The book "Humans Against Microbes" concluded that the solution to stopping viruses and epidemics lies in understanding and studying the billions of small organisms that spread in nature, and are responsible for the diseases that the world has lived and experienced.
And Bloomberg Agency published a report summarizing the highlights of the book “Humans Against Microbes”, confirming that these organisms, which are microscopic microbes, reproduce and spread quietly in nature or within wildlife, and it is they that cause diseases and viruses.
The book called for the need for a long-term sustainable investment in a biological monitoring system to understand these microscopic creatures and the dangers they pose.
He added that the potential gains from uncovering the genetic secrets of microbes go beyond pandemic prevention, but also include all of the next great civilizational challenges such as food security, biological weapons, ocean health, and climate change to name a few.
Use of artificial intelligence
To understand these microorganisms and examine their nature and work, the book called for the use of artificial intelligence, which has proven to be an important component in the fight against diseases and epidemics, and will play a pivotal role in the future.
In early 2020, AI helped discover a unique antibiotic that is effective against dangerous strains of Escherichia coli and drug-resistant tuberculosis.
A team led by synthetic biologist James Collins at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US discovered the antibody they called halicin.
“They took 100 million chemical compounds, fed them into an AI system, and figured out how proteins and molecular chemistry would work without them telling them,” said Eric Schmidt, a synthetic biologist and former CEO of Google. “And the program literally figured it out.”
In another breakthrough, DeepMind Technologies has deciphered one of biology's most vexing challenges: the three-dimensional shape of a protein from the amino acid sequence of the human genome and some microbes.
Bioengineering to inactivate animal vectors
The book added that bioengineering that disrupts vectors of animal diseases is another element in the war against these microorganisms.
A British biotech company has released genetically modified mosquitoes called "Oxitec" into the air to suppress a type of mosquito called Aedes aegypti, which transmits Zika and dengue virus and is spreading rapidly around the world, as the climate warms. .
Building an “always on” early warning system to detect emerging threats and related investments in healthcare and drug development could cost up to $430 billion over a decade, a small number compared to the $12.5 trillion in losses that the global economy would incur as a result of Corona virus, which was predicted by the International Monetary Fund.
Whatever choices we make, the microbial world will continue to send us vital signals, the book said, adding that SARS, Middle East respiratory syndrome, avian and swine flu outbreaks, the re-emergence of Ebola, Zika, and baffling new cases of monkeypox all reflect the risks of spreading Disease as the food industry expands and cities encroach on natural habitats.
He emphasized that the increased and long-term use of antibiotics, antivirals, antifungals and antiparasitics in the biosphere has led to biochemical adaptations that make infections more difficult to treat, with some "super" strains of tuberculosis becoming multidrug resistant.
For all these reasons, the book concludes, "it might be wise to listen to what microbes are telling us; our destinies are intertwined, and they have been on our planet for a long time, even if we humans are not."