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Comment: Re:It's a start (Score 1) 26

by Japie_H (#47498897) Attached to: Gene Therapy Converts Heart Cells Into "Biological Pacemakers"
This does work in complete heartblock. They injected their adenoviral construct into the right ventricle, in fact they tested this approach in pigs with complete heartblock (as per title of the paper).

Having said that, this is not the first time (or the only approach for which there is prove of principle) to create a biological pacemaker in big animals. And there are many considerations to take into account, a basic one is the different sequence of cardiac activation and how this influences pump function. With an electronic pacemaker you can reposition the lead, program it differently (timing, pulse strength etc.), but with gene-therapy you just have to hope for the best. Also, cloning a sinoatrial node/AV-node is not a simple matter as they are both highly complex structures, composed of multiple cell types. While definitely interesting gene therapy approaches to create a biological pacemaker have a long way to go.

Comment: Re:Extremely variable sleeping periods (Score 2) 210

by Japie_H (#45162067) Attached to: Sleep Is the Ultimate Brainwasher
A quote from the accompanying editorial:

"Sleep is universal among vertebrates (9) and has been found in invertebrates (9, 10). The total number of hours of daily sleep varies from as much as 20 hours in bats to as little as 3 to 4 hours in giraffes and elephants (8, 11)—and there is currently no reasonable physiological hypothesis to explain this variation (11).Because CSF perfusion of the interstitial space is limited to the surface of the brain during waking, and brain volume increases faster than brain surface area [even with the folding of the cortical surface (12)], larger brains should have a relatively larger volume of interstitial space to “buffer” the accumulation of sleep-driving molecules, and thus might be able to withstand much longer periods of waking before the inevitable switch to the waste-clearing state of sleep occurs. If only neuroscientists could easily bring live, large-brained animals to the lab." (emphasis mine)

Comment: Re:why universal? (Score 1) 100

by Japie_H (#44932681) Attached to: Universal Flu Vaccine "Blueprint" Discovered
From there abstract (I'm not at work so I don't have access to the full text at the moment) they don't claim to have found a universal vaccine.

What is important to know is that many virusses (including influenza) have a core containing the genomic material and a protective envelop. The immune system can make antibodies to both the protective envelop and the proteins of the core. The different strains of influenza (H1N1, H5N1 etc.) are classified based on 2 proteins on the envelop of the virus (wiki link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Influenzavirus_A)

The authors followed a group of people during the H1N1 pandemic in 2009. They found that when healthy naive individuals got infected with pH1N1 (i.e. people without antibodies against H1N1, which is taken to mean that they have never been infected before with H1N1) indivuduals with antibodies against the core proteins of another influenza strain did not get as sick as individuals who did not have such cross reactivity of their antibodies.

This may guide vaccine development to target core proteins, but it is by no means a blueprint for a universal vaccine (and the idea to target core proteins in vaccins is not new either)

Comment: Re:Conspiracy! (Score 1) 659

by Japie_H (#43126413) Attached to: Most Doctors Don't Think Patients Need Full Access To Med Records
In the Netherlands every patient has a right to a copy of his medical files (it's your data!), except for 'notes' that you can apply to the patient files. These notes are however supposed to be personal and not to be shared among docters.

Furthermore if your patient is an addict you should mention it in his/her medical files. But on the other hand, in the Netherlands we don't have the whole claim culture; even if a patient files a lawsuit, if you can explain why you think the patient is an addict you'll never get convicted. There is always a risk of damage to your relation with the patient, but that is just how it is.

If you're recommending expensive tests just because you deserve to get your ass handed to you in court.

Comment: Re:The English version is good for this (Score 1) 462

by Japie_H (#39823757) Attached to: 'Mein Kampf' To Be Republished In Germany

They did not only make assumptions about Hitler, but early on they (The French, British and also Americans) did not disagree that much with the German eugenics practice. There were even articles published in respected medical journals in which American doctors decried that they were lagging behind Germany with respect to forced sterilisation. See for example: Eugenic Sterilization and a Qualified Nazi Analogy: The United States and Germany, 1930-1945 (sadly behind a paywall)

In the eugenics program they first sterilized and later developed methods to mass murder "disabled" people. (with gas, first with carbon mono-oxide from exhausts later with the pesticide Zyclon-B) They later used the methods of the eugenics program in the concentration camps as part of the final solution.

Comment: Re:Seems reasonable.. (Score 1) 1271

by Japie_H (#39062679) Attached to: Doctors "Fire" Vaccine Refusers
I'm almost a doctor and as a doctor you have a moral (and depending where you live, a legal) obligation to treat people. Just because they don't agree with everything you say does not give you the right to refuse treatment. I do think it's a stupid (and amoral since you children are too young to choose for themselves) decision to deny them the benefit of modern science. However, people smoke around their kids as well and give them crappy food. Both of those have more damaging effects than not vaccinating (as long as the majority of people is still vaccinated at least) and we still give care to them. [br] In the Netherlands we have a special arrangement that in the case of parents that don't want a blood transfusion for their child because of religious beliefs and the doctor thinks the child needs it, the parents are temporarily deprived of parental authority untill the procedure is done. After which the parental authority is returned. I believe most parents are actually happy with this arrangement since their child survives and they did not decide against their religion.
Open Source

Aquaria Goes Open Source 58

Posted by Soulskill
from the come-on-in-the-water's-fine dept.
A post on the Wolfire blog yesterday announced that the source code for Aquaria has now been released. Aquaria, an action-adventure, underwater sidescroller from Bit Blot, was part of the Humble Indie Bundle, which was so successful that the developers of four games pledged to release them as open source. This marks the final release, following Lugaru, Gish, and Penumbra: Overture. The source code is available from a Mercurial repository.

+ - BP "top kill" fails 1

Submitted by oxide7
oxide7 (1013325) writes "BP Plc said on Saturday its complex "top kill" maneuver to plug the Gulf of Mexico oil well has failed, crushing hopes for a quick end to the largest oil spill in U.S. history already in its 40th day. It may be another two months before the London-based energy giant can definitively turn off the gusher — a delay that could undermine U.S. President Barack Obama as he faces growing criticism for a perceived slow response to the disaster."
News

+ - CBC News - World - 'Top kill' operation fails: BP->

Submitted by
MrShaggy
MrShaggy writes "http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2010/05/29/bp-oil-top-kill.html

BP has scuttled the "top kill" procedure of shooting heavy drilling mud into its blown-out oil well in the Gulf of Mexico after it failed to plug the leak.

BP chief operating officer Doug Suttles told reporters on Saturday that over the last three days, the company has pumped in more than 30,000 barrels of mud and other materials down the well but has not been able to stop the flow.

"These repeated pumping[s], we don’t believe will likely achieve success so at this point it’s time to move to the next option," Suttles said.

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2010/05/29/bp-oil-top-kill.html#ixzz0pMdV9rOF"

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:not for long (Score 1) 198

by Japie_H (#31186588) Attached to: Enlightenment Returns To Bring Ubuntu To ARM
While I agree that most effects are just fun for a couple of minutes (wobly windows, water drops etc., there are some compiz functions/plugins that I find quite usefull.
For example:
Scaled down versions of windows when you're alt tabbing
Being able to scale down a whole window (which I really like when I'm just looking for a pattern in a log file
and don't need to see the specifics
Scaling down all windows so that you can easily find the right terminal

While I don't think that most effects are very useful there are some effects that make you (or at least me) a bit more productive.

As in certain cults it is possible to kill a process if you know its true name. -- Ken Thompson and Dennis M. Ritchie

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