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Conquering Polio

Conquering Polio Stephanie Sammartino McPherson Jonas Salk Biography on Jonas Salk By Garrett Hoover Jonas Salk was born on October 28, 1914 in New York City. It was here four years later he asked himself why some of the kids on his street were crippled while he had two sthrong legs. Scientist still had not found a cure or vaccine for Polio, a crippling and sometimes deadly virus. Salk’s parent’s, like many, did all they could to keep their son from getting polio. As Salk grew older he excelled at academics and at the age of only twelve entered high school.

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After finding a newfound interest in science and having numerous talks with his parent’s he coincluded he wanted to be a doctor. Practicing doctors made a greater amount of money but Salk wanted to be a research doctor; finding cures and aanswers to modern-day health issues was more important to him. In college, Salk studied different sciences and began experimenting with a vvariety of bacterium such as streptococcus. Shorty after moving to work at a lab in Woods Hollow, Massachusetts he met Donna Lindsay, an attractive, clever and rilliant young lady.

They were engaged for a little over one year and then all within three days he graduated, got married and enrolled in the residency program at Mount Sinai. After working as a doctor for some years he moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan to work on finding a vaccine for the influenza virus. Eventually Salk and Dr. Francis were successful and discovered and administered an influenza vaccine for thousands of US Army recruits. In 1947 Salk got an eexciting offer to work in his first independent lab in Pittsburg. Here he would Join the fight against Polio.

Salk formed a team of five brilliant scientists and began typing and researching the many different strains of the polio virus. He created a version of vaccine using killed polio viruses. Many scientists rejected this idea because it was not the traditional way to develop vaccinations. Salk worked to form a perfect recipe of how much time to let the polio virus sit in formaldehyde before it was fully killed. After many years of hard work and deducation his Polio vaccine was finally completed and put through many ouble blind tests before it was approved for public use.

Finally, Salk had found a vaccine for a virus that the world had been battling for years. “Jonas Salk was soft- spoken and kind, yet a proud and tough scientist. ” Salk always took the time to talk to patient and expressed care for their feelings. He was a man of great character, and devoted his life to the health and prosperity of all people. Salk was a hard and diligent worker but always had time to give a smile. He cared more about the welfare of life and the advancement of science than any amount of money.

For example, he chose a career as a lesser paid scientific researcher over a career as a practicing doctor. “There’s more to life than money. ” (McPherson 17). This quote got me thinking about how the world would look if Salk had decided to go into a career as a practicing doctor, and how many lives would have been lost had he not created a vaccine for Pollo. It also Impacted me tnat tnls man gave nls wnole IITe to sclence so tnat tne entire world would not be plagued by the polio virus. I am very grateful to Jonas Salk.

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