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Comment Re:Sharks don't kill very many people (Score 2) 25

According TFA, ACE inhibitors, a very useful, very common and now very inexpensive medication came from the venom of the Brazilian somethingorother viper. Yes, it went through the period of time when it wasn't generic but once the general active structure was worked out, there was a time when there was the ACE inhibitor of the week club. The dozen or so competing drugs kept the prices sort of reasonable.

So yeah, Big Pharma gets it's cut, but for small molecules (as opposed to biologics which are antibodies which are much harder to manufacture*), once the structure gets out, it's pretty much all over for the original company. The point being that venoms are biologically interesting molecules. Nature has manufactured structures that do neat things to other cells (blow them up, gum up the power plant and a host of other mechanisms). Once we know the structure, we can tweak it. Protein chemistry has come to a point where determining the structure of a complex molecule is basically a PhD thesis. Then you can work on smaller molecules (easier to make) that can modulate the original enzyme. So a whole new class of venoms is a big deal.

* biologicals are now being manufactured by the generics (isn't progress wonderful). Big Pharma is fighting back by trying to get those manufacturers to go through the clinical trials showing safety and utility - a huge time and expense. The problem (from a libertarian point of view) is that Big Pharma has a couple of good points. Biologics aren't the 'same' molecule - they're close. But until we have a lot more experience with them, it is not unreasonable to do the clinical trials. The generic manufacturers, of course, have a different view.

Comment Re:What if I don't want to own a car? (Score 1) 297

When autonomous vehicles are less likely to kill me than one with a human driver, I will prefer the safer driver that also doesn't require a salary.

Right now, a 30 line Visual Basic program with a pseudo random number generator could at least match rush hour traffic in most US cities. We could do this next week.

Comment Not so high tech (Score 4, Insightful) 68

TFA goes on about putting magnets and RFID tags inside people as the state of the art. I'm sorry, something we do to our pets doesn't really get a 'hacking' imprimatur, much less 'high tech'.

Wake me up when somebody open sources the way to access human memory with a digital chip ('Microsofts in William Gibson's parlance'). Or making some drug or device that actually enhances the human condition. And no, splitting a tongue in half so you can move both muscles at the same time is not an 'enhancement'.

Comment Re:Count your teeth. 30 calories vs 150 (Score 3, Informative) 153

Pasteurizing milk literally kills it. Whole, raw milk is shelf-stable, and perfectly safe to consume. Left too long it simply turns into cheese. Once processed however, after a mere few days it grows highly toxic mold and fungus at a rate in direct proportion to the amount of processing (whole vs 2% vs skim). Interesting, no?

Pasteurizing milk wasn't done to piss goofball foodies off. It was done as a public health measure. Look up Listeria and see if it's 'perfectly safe'.

TL;DR - read the quote from the Wikipedia article:

The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says improperly handled raw milk is responsible for nearly three times more hospitalizations than any other food-borne disease outbreak, making it one of the world's most dangerous food products.[15][16] Diseases prevented by pasteurization can include tuberculosis, brucellosis, diphtheria, scarlet fever, and Q-fever; it also kills the harmful bacteria Salmonella, Listeria, Yersinia, Campylobacter, Staphylococcus aureus, and Escherichia coli O157:H7,[17][18] among others.

Comment Re:Coronation my ass - Hillary!'s public execution (Score 3, Informative) 227

If any serving member of the armed forces had done what she did they would be living in the Fort Leavenworth bed and breakfast for years.

A certain General Patreaus might disagree with you. Now, if you were talking about just peons, then you have a point. But the double standard is enchantingly broad.

Your own mileage may vary.