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Breakthrough!: How the 10 Greatest Discoveries in Medicine Saved Millions and Changed Our View of the World by Jon Queijo

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6. The Scratch that Saved a Million Lives: The Discovery of Vaccines

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Clara and Edgar, Part I

Riding on the wave of an explosive sneeze, the microscopic enemy blasts out at 100 miles per hour, a cloud of 40,000 aerosolized droplets that instantly fills the room. Clinging to ocean-sized droplets, the invisibly small microbes drift about for several minutes, patiently awaiting their next victim. The wait is not long. Gently wiping the nose of her dying four-year-old child, Clara complies by the simple act of breathing.

The enemy makes landfall in Clara’s nose and throat and within hours has mobilized into nearby lymph nodes. Entering cells, ...

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