Thursday, August 18, 2011

Hang In There

Help is on the way.
I well remember the 60 Minutes interview with the (MIT, I think) researchers who had done enough work on resveratrol to convince them to incorporate and seek venture capital. They ultimately sold out their company, staying on board to direct the work.
The prospects for useful anti-aging drugs on the market were 5-15 years, they said, so just stay alive, Boomers, and you may benefit.
The findings “demonstrate for the first time the feasibility of designing novel molecules that are safe and effective in promoting longevity and preventing multiple age-related diseases in mammals,” Dr. de Cabo and colleagues write in Thursday’s issue of the new journal Scientific Reports.
The drug is one of a set of chemicals designed by Sirtris, a small pharmaceutical company in Cambridge, Mass., to mimic resveratrol — the trace ingredient of red wine thought to activate protective proteins called sirtuins.
Of course, no telling how much it could cost but there's a case to be made for the reasonable cost/mass market profit model vs. the rich-people-only/premium market.

I Know It's Crazy

but I allow for that. Here's the thing, cancer researchers are talking about the microbes that appear to occupy our bodies at a pretty dense ratio as if these other organisms might...oh, I doing things we not only don't understand, but hardly even recognized even a few years ago.
It's science fictiony, really. Not that they have controlling intelligence or anything. Or do they? What is our unconscious, anyway?
On top of that, there's the particle physics people and the notions of multiple universes not out there and big but somewhere close by, but really, really small.
Time for bed.
As they look beyond the genome, cancer researchers are also awakening to the fact that some 90 percent of the protein-encoding cells in our body are microbes. We evolved with them in a symbiotic relationship, which raises the question of just who is occupying whom.
“We are massively outnumbered,” said Jeremy K. Nicholson, chairman of biological chemistry and head of the department of surgery and cancer at Imperial College London. Altogether, he said, 99 percent of the functional genes in the body are microbial.
...The enemy inside us is every bit as formidable as imagined invaders from beyond. Learning to outwit it is leading science deep into the universe of the living cell.
Just a metaphor, you say? Bwahahaha.

What This Site Needs

is more pictures. This is a closeup of a Tom Jay cast bronze sculpture outside the Jefferson County Library in Port Hadlock, WA.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Atwood's Not Worried

So I'm not going to worry either. She knows more than I do, a lot more.
Shall we make her an honorary contrarienne? Let's.
What do you make of the need to perform one's life on Twitter and Facebook?
Margaret Atwood: It is just an extension of the diary. There is a wonderful book called The Assassin's Cloak which takes diary entries from all centuries and arranges them according to day of the year. So you can turn to January 1, and there will be an entry from Lord Byron, and there will be one from somebody during World War II, and there will be one from Brian Eno. And then on January 2, there will be somebody else.
People used to perform their lives this way to themselves in their diaries and through letters to other people. So, for me, anything that happens in social media is an extension of stuff we were already doing in some other way. It's all human communication. The form that most closely resembles the "tweet" is the telegram of old—which also was limited, because you paid by the letter. So they were also short communications very rapidly sent.
All of these things, the postal service, et cetera, they're all improvements or modernizations of things that already existed earlier in some other form. Even African tribal drums, for instance, could send very complex messages over great distances. They were very rapid, they were very well-worked out, and communications could go like wildfire using that medium of communication.
All of this stuff is what we do now, but it's not different in nature from what we have always done, which is communicate with one another, send messages to one another, and perform our lives. We've been doing that for a long time.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

My Faith Is Waivering

Krugman is not alone. The White House does, indeed, have its head up its ass. This wrong on so many levels.