I was at the hospital the other day for our daughter’s vaccination. On a TV mounted on the wall, a lady in white lab coat was explaining how massaging the baby increases skin tone (it doesn’t). Being a new parent, I was paying careful attention to gather useful information and there seemed to be some of it forthcoming from the TV.
Immediately after lady peddling the baby oil went away, this appeared on the screen: Did you know that Sharks do not get any disease because they have a perfect immune system? What? I was taken aback by this enthusiastic display of stupidity for wider public consumption without regard for that quality we call intelligence. A closer look at the TV made me realize that this wasn’t a NHS video promoting baby health as I had implicitly assumed but a commercial channel (Virgin’s Baby TV). Clearly, the programming team of this channel could use someone in their team who has more than two brain cells.
So, what’s with the sharks being immune to all diseases and all. From my meager knowledge of how the world works, I am quite sure a perfect immunity is impossible. I am reminded of the impossibility of it every time I sneeze. There are viruses and bacteria that keep evolving and there is no way a lumbering colossus like a Shark can evolve its immune system as quickly as the nimble little attackers evolve their weapons. When I looked up, the origins of this myth seems to be this: Sharks have been around for 400 million years and they are one of the very first to evolve an immune system. So, apparently, the thinking goes as an immune system that has served a creature for so long must be very versatile and should be perfect. Well, it ain’t. Sharks get diseases too. They may have some characteristics that we may be able to exploit and there are legitimate scientific studies on shark immune system. But, perfect it is not.
Unsurprisingly enough, during my quick read-up on shark’s immune system, I found many shady websites selling shark oil concoctions promising all sorts of miracles. If you are looking for a perfect immune system, I have news for you. You ain’t gonna get it. So, get over it.