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Remembrance of things past

Frankly, given our aesthetic propensities, we would not always wish to perceive these smaller worlds within our domain. About forty percent of humans house eyebrow mites, living beneath our notice at the base of hair follicles above our eyes. By ordinary human standards, and magnified to human size, these mites are outstandingly ugly and fearsome. I would just as soon let them go their way in peace, so long as they continue to favor utter imperceptibility. And do we really want to know the details of ferocious battles between our antibodies and bacterial invaders—a process already distasteful enough to us in the macroscopic consequences of pus? (Don't get me wrong. As a dedicated scientist, I do assert the cardinal principle that we always want to know intellectually, both to understand the world better and to protect our selves. I'm just not sure that we should always crave visceral perception of phenomena that don't operate at our scale in any case.) (Stephen Jay Gould. The living stones of Marrakech: penultimate reflections in natural history. New York: Harmony Books, 2000:355.)

Drug compliance and tuberculosis

The problem of patient compliance in completing prescribed drug treatment in medicine is well appreciated. It is a particular problem in the case of tuberculosis. The World Health Organization has warned that the bacterium responsible for tuberculosis is becoming resistant to antibiotics because of the failure of patients to complete their course of treatment. A new procedure mixes the antibiotic with a fluorescent dye (indocyanine green). When the skin is illuminated the fluorescent dye causes a slight fluorescence of the skin. Patients wear a bracelet that shines light at the skin …

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