Sharks deliver

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Reading today's exciting news that a molecule, squalamine, discovered in sharks over ten years ago may end up leading to new and highly effective treatments for liver diseases such as hepatitis B and for dengue and yellow fever, I couldn't help but recall the prophetic words of the framers of the Endangered Species Act:

Who knows, or can say, what potential cures for cancer or other scourges, present or future, may lie locked up in the structure of plants which may yet be   undiscovered, much less analyzed? More to the point, who is prepared to risk those potential cures by eliminating those plants for all time? Sheer self-interest  compels us to be cautious.”

House Report No. 93-412, 93rd Congress, July 27, 1973

Today, many shark species teeter on the brink of extinction as out-of-control fishing around the globe devastates their populations.  What would we tell future generations if this discovery had never happened?  What cures for other diseases have we already overlooked, or are doomed to never find, because of our thoughtless exploitation of nature?