Suggested Answers to the Short Quiz

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Suggested Answers to the Short Quiz

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Suggested Answers to the Short Quiz entitled “The Immune System and Health in General”

Question 1

Did our author, Matt Richtel, write an essay entitled “How to Get the Best From Your Immune System?

Answer 1

Yes. It is available at viewtopic.php?f=663&t=2123&sid=32e0233f ... da4bd64f9f.

Question 2

Did the essay end with some frequently-asked questions (FAQ’s) which he treated seriously, if not reverentially?

Answer 2


Question 3

Was FAQ No. 4 “Should I pick my nose?”?

Matt Richtel Answer to FAQ to No. 4

“Definitely not if other drivers can see you. I kid! Actually, it could help to introduce dirt and other safe pathogens to your body, helping to educate your immune system. Your immune system learns from nature. It needs inputs.”

Question 4

Was FAQ No. 3 “Should my child eat dirt?”?

Matt Richtel Answer to FAQ to No. 3

“Yes, at least metaphorically speaking. See above.”

Matt Richtel’s “see above” comments –

“Exposure to a great variety of germs can help us stay healthy.

“The immune system evolved in a time of great peril. Over epochs, we lived in squalor, with abundant disease and without modern tools to sanitize our food, water and homes.

“Today, we have all kinds of tools to clean our environments — antibacterial soaps and disinfectants, and a hypochondriac’s obsession with wiping down every surface. But research shows that when we cleanse our entire world, we deprived our immune system of its natural need to learn and spar. And with all our hygiene, we not only cleanse pathogens but also lots of non-threatening microbes that help train the immune system without any harm to us.

“The result? A sharp rise in food and skin allergies in industrialized countries. Allergies are basically the immune system creating inflammation in a body in response to something that doesn’t really cause much of a threat. This happens, the science suggests, because people grow up in such sanitized environments that immune systems don’t calibrate properly to the natural world.

“It's okay to eat dirt, said Dr. Meg Lemon, a Denver doctor who treats people with allergies and autoimmune disorders.

“She was only half-kidding. A few encounters with viruses and bacteria today might forestall an allergy tomorrow. What won’t kill you — and most of the world won’t kill you — will bring balance to your immune system.”

Question 5

Was FAQ No. 1 “Does vitamin C do anything to keep me healthy?”?

Matt Richtel Answer to FAQ to No. 1

“The false idea that Vitamin C is a cold cure-all emerged in the 1960s. To repeat: there is no magic pill to keep you forever healthy. The main thing you can do for yourself is to consume natural nutrients when you are sick, and fluids -- to replenish what is lost through dehydration owing to fever or to purging of fluids through, well, y’know. Don’t expect a single vitamin or herb to do the trick. One fascinating study done in mice suggests that creatures (mice, humans, etc) that have viruses do better when they keep up the nutrients; in other words, it may not feel great to eat, but it might help your immune system to get the resources it needs. (The study shows that it may be less beneficial, even harmful, to eat when you have a bacterium).”

Question 6

Was FAQ No. 2 “Does being in the cold increase my likelihood of getting sick?”?

Matt Richtel Answer to FAQ to No. 2

“People get sick in winter in part because they’re cramped inside together, and germs get passed more easily in tight confines. Try a nice brisk walk to keep you well.”

Question 7

Was FAQ No. 5 “What about vaccines? If I keep my immune system healthy, why do I still need vaccines?”?

Matt Richtel Answer to FAQ to No. 5

“Vaccines are a proven, effective and generally very safe way of helping the immune system do its job when faced with brutal pathogens. Plus, they help keep these pathogens out of the general population, protecting those with less-hearty immune systems from getting deathly sick.”

Question 8

Was FAQ No. 6 “When is a fever considered a risk?”?

Matt Richtel Answer to FAQ to No. 6

“Your natural temperature can fluctuate. For newborns, fevers over 100 degrees are considered reason to check in with a doctor. For children, the number can be as high as 102 before considering treatment. But there is the discomfort associated with fever to consider as well. Which brings us to [FAQ No. 7]”

Question 9

Was FAQ No. 7 “Should I try to reduce a fever?”?

Matt Richtel Answer to FAQ to No. 7

“This turns out to be a question that divides very smart people. Dr. Dinarello, the discoverer of the fever molecule, takes the position that the immune system can get its job done even if you take medicine to reduce fever. “Take the Tylenol,” he said. “I tell parents, ‘You think this fever is going to help your kid get better faster, but I don’t think it is.’”

“The highly-regarded Mayo Clinic, by contrast, urges restraint with fever reducers, encouraging people to wait until the fever rises above 100.4 before treating it. A columnist wrote in depth about this debate for The New York Times, ultimately siding with Dr. Dinarello. So, as you can see, reasonable and wise people differ.”

Question 10

Was FAQ No. 8 “What would I [i.e., Matt Richtel] do?”?

Matt Richtel Answer to FAQ to No. 8

“During my ski virus, I indulged myself with Advil. In the end, though, that was immaterial. The real problem was that I actively undermined my immune system. The sentence was a virus that lasted a week longer than it might have otherwise — one that confined me to bed, where I belonged in the first place.

“Ultimately, the best things you can do for yourself when you’re sick are rest, eat well, don’t turn little things into lions, and remember that your immune system, if given your support, will likely do a darn good job of keeping you at harmony with the world.”

Question 11

So what is the public-policy issue associated with our focus book “How to Get the Best From Your Immune System”?

Answer 11

Please read on Q&A-12 and Q&A-13.

Question 12

Does it offer an opportunity to approach from a different angle what we have often studied -- that the U.S. spends more-than-double the GDP per capita on health care than any of the other 37 members of the O.E.C.D. (an organization of the world’s economically-developed countries)?

Answer 12


Question 13

And that despite spending so much more than any other O.E.C.D. member, the UN’s World Health Organization reports year after year that the performance of U.S. healthcare is NOT ONLY outranked by all of the other 37 members of the O.E.C.D., but even by some third-world countries?

Answer 13


Question 14

BTW, has Yours Truly made most of his focus-book recommendations on the basis of presentations to the Harvard Club of NYC by authors whose new books are coming off press -- following which we pepper them with questions?

Answer 14

Yes. Though “virtually all” would be more accurate than “most.”

Question 15

And do only approximately 1% of such presentations seem good enough to actually propose the book as a focus for our group?

Answer 15


Question 16

Did such a NYC Harvard Club webinar on 9/29/2021 feature Sergey Young presenting his new book “The Science and Technology of Growing Young: An Insider's Guide to the Breakthroughs that Will Dramatically Extend Our Lifespan . . . and What You Can Do Right Now” (BenBella Books 8/24/2021)?

Answer 16


Question 17

Did Yours Truly refrain from proposing “The Science and Technology of Growing Young” as a focus book for our organization (though I am currently reading it on the side) because Sergey Young turned out to be a venture capitalist specializing exclusively on funding longevity breakthroughs?

Answer 17


Question 18

And as such, did not know what causes aging when faced with a question from Yours Truly?

Answer 18

Yes, he did NOT know what causes aging.

Question 19

By way of background, did my daughter Hilary Karls graduate from MIT in 2005 with a double degree – BA in Economics and BS in Electrical Engineering?

Answer 19


Question 20

And during her Christmas and Spring breaks, did she always want to attend so-called “Nano Conferences” led by MIT professors?

Answer 20


Question 21

Is a nano one billionth (i.e., 0.0000000001)? And were these so-called “Nano Conferences” opportunities for experts from around the country IN DIFFERENT FIELDS who deal with incredibly-small quantities (e.g., medical researchers, astro-physicists, computer programmers, etc., etc.) to gain valuable insights from experts in other fields who deal with incredibly-small quantities?

Answer 21


Question 22

In exchange for underwriting her Nano-Conference expenses, did Your Truly always require Hilary to provide a report afterwards on what had transpired?

Answer 22


Question 23

Did one of those reports contain a description of an informal discussion during a meeting break regarding how long it would take human life expectancy sans accidents like getting run over by a bus – to go to infinity???!!!

Answer 23


Question 24

In other words, NOT ONLY would cures be found for EVERY human malady, BUT ALSO the aging process itself would be arrested???!!!

Answer 24


Question 25

For the curious, did those Nano experts all agree circa 2005 that this would take at least 20 years BUT NO MORE THAN 40 YEARS???!!!

Answer 25


Question 26

By way of deep background (since this was already a background digression), have we already studied that there is NOT a single atom in any human body that was there seven years earlier? And that, for example, dust is primarily old human skin cells which the average-sized human being sheds at the rate of more than 1 million/hour?

Answer 26

Yes and Yes.

Question 27

And does the aging process itself comprise the increasing inability of human cells to replicate their DNA 100% after a certain number of cell divisions?

Answer 27


Question 28

So did Hilary report that the Nano experts agreed that 20-40 years from circa 2005 it would be possible to enable all human cells to replicate their DNA perfectly even after an infinite number of cell divisions?

Answer 28


Question 29

BTW, did all the Nano experts agree that when this day arrived, it would be possible for each human being to NOT ONLY halt the aging process BUT ALSO to dial it back to whatever age you want, such as being a teenager all over again? Since this “only” means replicating your original DNA at virtually a 100% level which predominated when you were a teenager?

Answer 29

Yes and Yes.

Question 30

But back to Sergey Young and “The Science and Technology of Growing Young”, when he finished his presentation and the question period arrived, did Your Truly pose a question based on the aging process comprising the failure of your DNA to replicate itself completely?

Answer 30


Question 31

And did Sergey Young have no idea what I was talking about – presumably because as a venture capitalist, he had never received a funding request from anyone researching this technology?

Answer 31

Yes, Sergey Young had no idea what I was talking about.

Question 32

And do you think Yours Truly works so hard on our organization 19 years after “retiring” because he anticipates that he might actually last until human life expectancy reaches infinity and, as seems inevitable for everyone after our pensions are destroyed by inflation, we will have to go back to work so it is a good idea to keep in shape intellectually???

Answer 32

Is there a psychiatrist in the house???

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