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Comment: Re:Hi speed chase, hum? (Score 2) 434

Are you suggesting the police pursuit DIDN'T cause him to drive over 100 mph? Because I think the police chase still motivated him to drive that fast. Even if they pulled off at the end, that still doesn't explain why they had to do it in the first place. There was no threat of violence here except for the reckless driving that predictably occurs during a high-speed chase.

Comment: Re:Wish I could say I was surprised (Score 2) 176

by interkin3tic (#47432839) Attached to: Peer Review Ring Broken - 60 Articles Retracted
That's true for large clinical trials, but clinical trials aren't all or even most research. For basic research like what this journal seems to publish on, no. It's rare that you'd have an experiment which would take months, let alone 5 years, and it would only be at the very end that you'd get a yes or a no.

For example, a study in that journal is entitled "Predicting blast-induced ground vibration using general regression neural network." The abstract is

Blasting is still an economical and viable method for rock excavation in mining and civil works projects. Ground vibration generated due to blasting is an undesirable phenomenon which is harmful for the nearby inhabitants and dwellings and should be prevented. In this study, an attempt has been made to predict the blast-induced ground vibration and frequency by incorporating rock properties, blast design and explosive parameters using the general regression neural network (GRNN) technique. To validate this methodology, the predictions obtained were compared with those obtained using the artificial neural network (ANN) model as well as by multivariate regression analysis (MVRA). Among all the methods, GRNN provides excellent predictions with a high degree of correlation.

Emphasis mine: they're testing if they can predict how the ground will shake after an explosion.

They're not going to spend five years dreaming up a model for it completely on a dry-erase board, set off a stick of dynamite, realize they were wrong, and throw out five years of work. They get preliminary results that are positive and encourage the project to go forward. They make up a model based on data, then refine it with subsequent bombs. If one were completely unable to use the method they propose to figure out how the ground shakes during explosions, they'd likely find that out before months had gone by.

I don't know what the breakdown is between clinical trials and basic research. I'd bet there's more research money spent on clinical trials than basic research (necessary, given certain realities about clinical trials) but that there are more scientists in basic research. So I'd bet that most research out there is actually not really affected a whole lot by the negative results issue: if you get a negative result, you get it before you commit yourself to it, and you move your reserarch in a different direction.

Comment: Re:dumb clickbait article (Score 1) 124

The initial finding of "baby cured of HIV" was surprising for the reasons you just mentioned. You're suggesting the story shouldn't be updated because it's not surprising? Well, unfortunately, you'll get your wish. I'm pretty sure people will forget this "Nevermind, no miracle after all" and will use the initial story as a reason to go off their meds.

Comment: Re:I hate to imagine it (Score 2) 124

From this blog post it sounds like the mother taking her off the drugs was what prompted the initial finding: the doctors would have been unethical to tell someone to take their HIV + kid off antivirals because there's a chance they may have killed all the viruses.

As far as why, the cocktail isn't super convenient. It's a bunch of pills taken throughout the day. Getting a toddler to take multiple pills a day every day is probably a very frustrating thing. I'd imagine the mother (who didn't have any prenatal care and didn't realize she was HIV positive until after birth) doesn't have the best health insurance, so the out of pocket expenses probably really quickly added up.

I mean, that's obviously all small potatoes compared to developing drug-resistant HIV and full blown AIDS and dying. Not excusing her actions, just saying it's understandable.

Comment: Re:Time to abolish patents (Score 1) 73

by interkin3tic (#47432265) Attached to: Google, Dropbox, and Others Forge Patent "Arms Control Pact"
While that's true, google seems to be fostering innovation by simply buying up any newcomer that does anything interesting and new. If patents were changed, google would obviously meddle quite a bit in how the laws were drafted, and we could see google start to copy innovative stuff people were doing in their garage rather than simply buying them.

I'm not convinced it's a reasonable enough worry to say "lets not overhaul patents" though.

Comment: Re:I live in Canada (Score 4, Interesting) 190

by interkin3tic (#47347681) Attached to: Eric Schmidt and Entourage Pay a Call On Cuba
At this point, it has very little to do with communism. Florida is a big primary state and a big electoral state. Florida has a lot of Cuban-americans who would prefer we invade the island. They have traditionally fiercely opposed lifting the sanctions. Evidently this isn't as true as it was. Still, outside of cuban americans, not many people care one way or the other.

Thus, politicians gain very little and risk quite a bit by opposing the sanctions.

And yes, it is fucking stupid on multiple levels: it was probably always counter-productive, political leaders should show some fucking backbone and end it, citizens shouldn't be so apathetic about keeping an entire nation impoverished, and why is florida even allowed to vote?

But, dumb as all that is, "we still hate communism" is not a big reason why we still have sanctions.

Comment: Re:Some crazy White Supremist, financed by (Score 1) 105

by interkin3tic (#47340271) Attached to: Fixing Faulty Genes On the Cheap
Again, nonsense. One can do quite a bit with a single stem cell or embryo. Furthermore, you can work in parallel: you don't need to do one cell at a time. You can do a bunch of cells in a dish, make a new organ, then implant it.

And, again, any method of introducing crispr to a large amount of cells in the body would still be harder than just injecting someone with poison. There's no need to make it self-replicating like a virus.

Comment: Re:Confused about how this works (Score 1) 105

by interkin3tic (#47336527) Attached to: Fixing Faulty Genes On the Cheap
To add onto that (since I was reading up on this), the cell itself splices in the new DNA sequence very rapidly and efficiently, since it's a mechanism the cell uses to avoid cancer.

In the double helix, when one strand of the DNA is broken, the string of DNA is held together by the other strand, it's an easy fix. Both strands broken at the same place means the DNA has come completely apart, has sustained some serious damage. The cell detects that pretty rapidly. The cleaner way is to find the sequence on the other chromosome and use that to repair the broken chromosome. A simpler but more dangerous way is to just grab two broken ends of DNA and stick them together. It's possible the cell will grab the wrong broken strand of DNA though and the result will be cancer.

Either way can be used to insert DNA where you want it.

Comment: Re:Some crazy White Supremist, financed by (Score 2) 105

by interkin3tic (#47336301) Attached to: Fixing Faulty Genes On the Cheap
No. That's nonsense. Crispr needs to get into a cell in order to do anything. These things aren't self-replicating either.

Say a terrorist has a crispr combo that mutates several of your anti-cancer genes. He's got nothing: he'd need to get that into at least one of your cells in order to have any chance of giving you cancer. If he has a means to introduce it into one of your cells... he doesn't need crispr. He could just use a poison or some normal carcinogen.

Terrorists kill with pipe bombs and planes. Watching them try to do advanced biotech would in fact be quite hilarious.

A large number of installed systems work by fiat. That is, they work by being declared to work. -- Anatol Holt