Germs


The horrific testing, conducted in secret and dubbed Operation Cauldron, took place offshore on a ship near the Isle of Lewis. Over the course of several months, dozens of terrified monkeys and thousands of guinea pigs were subjected to “germ bombs” containing bubonic plague and other deadly diseases, with many of the animals dying after a few days.

The project was part of the U.K. military’s effort to develop biological weapons that could be used on real people in a potental war against the Soviets. Needless to say, the Ministry of Defence was reluctant to release the incredibly disturbing 47-minute film documenting the experiments:


DoctorsAreMoreFrontCoverAdapted from Doctors Are More Harmful Than Germs: How Surgery Can Be Hazardous to Your Health – And What to Do About It by Harvey Bigelsen, MD. Reprinted by permission of North Atlantic Books.

“Well Mrs. So-and-So,” says Dr. Almighty, “since you are fifty years old and reaching menopause, you don’t need your uterus anymore; in fact it is probably getting in the way. Since we will be in there, we may as well take out your appendix because you don’t need it either, and taking it out will prevent future appendicitis. Most older women have gall bladder problems, so let’s take that out too, for prevention. Oh, and one of my friends is a plastic surgeon: While you are asleep and can’t feel anything, he can do a tummy tuck and smooth out some of your wrinkles with Botox. Don’t worry, it’s very, very poisonous, but we will just use it on your wrinkles. No big deal!”1

Sounds fabulous, doesn’t it? One-stop surgery: magically taking care of everything that could possibly affect you over the next ten years…


Another reason to whip out the Purell? AFP reports: Forensic scientists could soon use hand germs to help identify criminals and victims, a study said Monday. Researchers led by Noah Fierer of…


Janet Raloff writes in Science News: The tobacco in cigarettes hosts a bacterial bonanza — literally hundreds of different germs, including those responsible for many human illnesses, a new study finds. “Nearly…