Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Comment And now for the real story (Score 0) 266

Having worked in pharmaceutical development for over 20 years, I can tell you this is VERY scary for your healthcare. The reason these "minor tweak" drugs are developed, is because they are, in some way, better than the original. In this case, the new formulation is a longer acting pill. This is a big deal for Alzheimer patients. One of the major hurdles for neurodegenerative diseases is dosing compliance. If you forget to take the pill, it doesn't work. If there are fewer pills to take, the chances of forgetting diminish, or a once-a-day aide can assist in medication. This ruling tells drug companies that investing in innovation to improve a drug is not worth the money. As to the continued production of the old drug, you can be assured that the originating company would not pass up the money from licensing the production and sale to another company. The plan probably involved dropping the older version of the drug for a time to build a market for the new drug, then introduce the old drug under a new manufacturer.

Comment I've seen many support techs try to make the jump (Score 1) 133

I worked as a programmer for a medium sized help desk and saw dozens of tech support drones trying to make the leap from desktop support or system admin to programmer. The most successful did it piecemeal. A few would come to me and ask for minor admin privileges in the help desk software, and I would allow them to make changes to the development environment. The good ones would get recognized and rewarded with training and admin privileges. A couple ended up replacing me as I retired. It's a path I would recommend, as it has the advantage of keeping you employed while trying to make the jump. Pay attention to the previous comments about keeping the girlfriend happy. If you become a burden or even less contributing, it will hurt your relationship.

Comment Re:Cancer isn't one disease (Score 1) 366

Uh, I'm pretty sure no cancer researcher in the world is giving up on curing ALL cancers if they can. I mean, you automaticaly win the nobel prize for sure, get assured to be put on a stamp, and free drinks for the rest of your life if you "cure cancer." If you cure "just" one subtype of cancer, you probably get tenure or plenty of grant money, but you probably won't get automatically laid by saying "I'm the guy who cured multiple myeloma!" in a bar.

THIS is absolutely why I went into medicinal chemistry and worked on pancreatic cancer !!!!

Comment I actually own the book (Score 1) 193

The book that this app is based on (Modernist Cuisine at Home, the ~15lb book, not the 50lb reference) is actually a great book for the home cook. It has a great deal of information on technique that defies the traditionalist view of how to cook just about anything. While $80 is still a ridiculous price for an app, the book is a reference for any one who is a serious home cook.

Comment Nothing new here..... (Score 1) 226

I graduated in '91 studying molecular beams. There was so little work in the field then, that I went into peptide chemistry. Nothing has changed, and I doubt anything will in the future. More people want to study high energy physics than can be supported in the field. Nothing new. Nothing to see here, move along......

Comment Re:Won't happen (Score 1) 330

As a former cancer researcher at a big biotech pharma company, I also call bullshit. First of all, claiming that "antibodies are cheap and not complicated" just shows your ignorance of the science. The concept may be simple, but the actual production of pharmaceutical quality antibodies is VERY complicated and requires a massive infrastructure. And the average cost to bring a biologic drug to market is about 750 million dollars. As far as paranoid delusions of some company hiding the cure for cancer, I'm also a cancer survivor. Do you think if I was working on something that was "a cure for cancer" I would allow it be buried ? Do you think the entire company could be convinced to hide such a discovery ? Every nearly practical development in biotech seems to end up generating two or three spin-off companies. How are they going to be silenced ?

Comment You're dead when your credit score is 0 (Score 1) 516

I would think the appropriate way to determine how dead you are is measure your brain activity and multiply by your credit score then add your net worth. When that reaches zero, congratulations, you've become a productive member of society and the six rich folks getting your organs thank you.

Comment You are mistaken.... (Score 1) 615

You are mistaken if you think this will be a problem for the Heartland Institute. With the crowd that they are interested in playing to, the denigration of science is a plus. For the hard-core tea baggers and the biblical literalists, science is the enemy. Science is a liberal plot to disprove everything that they KNOW is good and true. If the Heartland Institute plays up the "we hate science" agenda, and they get traction with publicity, just watch. They money will roll in.

Comment From some one who knows Art (Score 5, Interesting) 114

I don't understand all the Art bashing here. I worked under Art when he ran Genentech research, and later when he was promoted to CEO. He was a genius at getting other geniuses (and no, I'm not counting myself in that category) to give their best, most creative work. He made Genentech a fun, exciting place to work. We all worked hard (very hard), but were well rewarded and felt the work was vital and exciting stuff. I think he has exactly what it takes to help guide Apple. He's not some bean-counter, suit wearing executive. He's a scientist at heart, and as hard-core a geek as any one could want (he was known for using UNIX mail even after the company rolled out a custom mail interface).

Comment I have a little experience (Score 3, Informative) 138

Having spent eight years designing call center applications, I can tell you the one metric you'll want to point your bosses at is the potential to increase first level call resolution. You should balance any increase in call handling time with the potential for greatly reduced call escalation. The key to this is involving the second and third level escalation points in your wiki.

Slashdot Top Deals

I have a very small mind and must live with it. -- E. Dijkstra