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Re: [Phys-l] A geek's observations on "Avatar"

Even here, the pendulum swings in the matter of antisepsis.
I recently listened to a medical researcher who was astounded to note
the difference in disease rates as between city and country kids - in
serious issues
like asthma and allergies.

It became clear to him that kids with more contact with dirt, and
consequentially with juvenile gastro-intestinal disturbances,
enjoyed very significant health advantages in adult life.
Amusing to hear him mention that when his kid drops food on the floor,
he no longer frustrates the desire to pick it up and swallow it.
A modern version of Mom's five-second rule? :-)
Polio is according to what I have read one of these problems of too much
antisepsis. Children in primitive countries apparently do not tend to get
severe polio, possibly because they are exposed to it early on. The
connection between too much cleanliness and asthma/allergies has been around
for quite a while. I was once told that allergies are not a problem in
Europe, by someone who grew up in Brussels. Apparently there are still
people there who have the farm animals inside the house.

John M. Clement
Houston, TX