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Comment: Re:The important bits (Score 1) 77

by nbauman (#49362915) Attached to: Citizen Scientists Develop Eye Drops That Provide Night Vision

For a games-theory argument, consider that the regulatory agencies are free to require any safety requirements at no cost to themselves, but if something goes wrong they are held responsible. As a result we have a system where it costs 2.5 billion dollars to bring a drug to market, so that it's economically infeasable to implement existing cures for rare diseases. It's also impossible for individuals to manage their own risk with informed consent.

(1) If you read a little further down that Google search, you find out that maybe it doesn't cost $2.5 billion after all.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11...
$2.6 Billion to Develop a Drug? New Estimate Makes Questionable Assumptions
Aaron E. Carroll
NOV. 18, 2014
The bottom line is that the report contains a lot of assumptions that tend to favor the pharmaceutical industry. While the Tufts Center reports that $2.6 billion is the cost to develop “a new prescription medicine that gains marketing approval,” it might be more accurate to say that it’s the cost to develop certain new molecular entities for which pharmaceutical companies did all of the research. That’s very few drugs, in the scheme of things.

(2) Another game theory argument is that drug companies and doctors will sell drugs to make as much money as they can, even if they give people drugs that they don't need and it harms them. The Nobel-prize winning economist Kenneth Arrow wrote that a free market in health care is impossible, because the consumers (patients) don't have enough information to evaluate what the doctor is telling them.

(3) Most scientists agree that theory should be confirmed with empirical fact. In fact, there are countries that until recently had almost no government regulation, and they bring new drugs to market all the time. Unfortunately, most of those new don't live up to their claims when western doctors try to use them. So their drugs aren't any good. Those facts disconfirm your theory.

(4) In fact, without regulation, drug companies and doctors sell drugs with unfounded claims, and give patients drugs that are inappropriate and harmful, following their financial motivation rather than the interests of their patients. This confirms Arrow's theory.

For example, China has relatively few government regulations.

JAMA Intern Med. 2014 Dec;174(12):1914-20. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.5214.
Use and prescription of antibiotics in primary health care settings in China.
Wang J, Wang P, Wang X, Zheng Y, Xiao Y.

RESULTS: Most staff in the primary health care facilities had less than a college degree, and the medical staff consisted primarily of physician assistants, assistant pharmacists, nurses, and nursing assistants. The median (range) governmental contribution to each facility was 34.0% (3.6%-92.5%) of total revenue. The facilities prescribed a median (range) of 28 (8-111) types of antibiotics, including 34 (10-115) individual agents. Antibiotics were included in 52.9% of the outpatient visit prescription records: of these, only 39.4% were prescribed properly. Of the inpatients, 77.5% received antibiotic therapy: of these, only 24.6% were prescribed properly. Antibiotics were prescribed for 78.0% of colds and 93.5% of cases of acute bronchitis. Of the antibiotic prescriptions, 28.0% contained cephalosporins and 15.7% fluoroquinolones. A total of 55.0% of the antibiotic prescriptions were for antibiotic combination therapy with 2 or more agents. In nonsurgical inpatients in cities, the mean (SD) duration of antibiotic therapy was 10.1 (7.8) days. Of the surgical patients, 98.0% received antibiotics, with 63.8% of these prescriptions for prophylaxis.

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Antibiotics are frequently prescribed in Chinese primary health care facilities, and a large proportion of these prescriptions are inappropriate. Frequent and inappropriate use of antibiotics in primary health care settings in China is a serious problem that likely contributes to antimicrobial resistance worldwide.

Comment: Re:Ummmm ... duh? (Score 1) 365

by nbauman (#49358585) Attached to: Modern Cockpits: Harder To Invade But Easier To Lock Up

How is that proposed program doing that would let pilots have a pistol in the cockpit?

About as you'd expect.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

On March 24, 2008, a US Airways pilot's gun went off on Flight 1536 from Denver to Charlotte, North Carolina. The pilot was a Federal Flight Deck Officer and was authorized to carry the weapon by the US Transportation Security Administration. No one was injured and the aircraft landed safely.[4] According to the pilot, the gun fired while he was trying to stow it. The bullet went through the side of the cockpit and tore a small hole in the exterior of the plane. The plane was pulled from service for repairs.[5]

Comment: Re:Ummmm ... duh? (Score 2) 365

by nbauman (#49358539) Attached to: Modern Cockpits: Harder To Invade But Easier To Lock Up

Much less likely, I'd be more worried about the "depressed narcissistic arsehole" overpowering the stewardess and crashing the plane anyway.

Or just pulling out a gun and shooting the other person in the cockpit, locking the door, and doing the same thing that happened here.
All flight crew members are automatically Federal Flight Deck Officers and are allowed to carry guns on the plane, and other flight officers are prohibited from knowing that their coworkers may be carrying guns.

That's reassuring I guess.

On March 24, 2008, a US Airways pilot's gun went off on Flight 1536 from Denver to Charlotte, North Carolina. The pilot was a Federal Flight Deck Officer and was authorized to carry the weapon by the US Transportation Security Administration. No one was injured and the aircraft landed safely.[4] According to the pilot, the gun fired while he was trying to stow it. The bullet went through the side of the cockpit and tore a small hole in the exterior of the plane. The plane was pulled from service for repairs.[5]

Comment: Re:Protected relationships (Score 1) 365

by nbauman (#49358383) Attached to: Modern Cockpits: Harder To Invade But Easier To Lock Up

So then the next thing you'd say is priests and lawyers should also not have confidentiality, because that would be inconvenient.

Lawyers and doctors have a relationship worthy of protection for very clear reasons. Same with spouses. But priests/clergy? Not really agreeing with that one. Why should a relationship between a priest and anyone else be a legally protected one relationship? What benefit to society is provided by protecting that relationship? I cannot think of a single benefit to society by protecting that relationship as something special when investigating a crime or inquiring about mental stability.

The reason clergy have confidentiality, and equivalent secular counselors do not, is because of the political power of religions. L. Ron Hubbard figured that out.

So Kenneth Starr subpoenaed Monica Lewinsky's therapist to testify and bring his records. What would the political response have been if he subpoenaed Lewinsky's rabbi?

I think it's a violation of the First Amendment to protect religious but not secular counselors.

Since we've lost doctor-patient confidentiality, and therapist-client confidentiality, we should resolve the inconsistency by requiring clergy to testify.

But in our politicized legal system, I can't imagine that happening.

Comment: Re:Ummmm ... duh? (Score 2) 365

by nbauman (#49358271) Attached to: Modern Cockpits: Harder To Invade But Easier To Lock Up

Gee, and one wonders why people might not be forthcoming with their doctors.

As soon as you say "fuck doctor patient confidentiality" then WTF would you expect people to tell doctors anything for?

That's what happens in the military, in the special combat services. The military has a high suicide rate. They've been trying to encourage combat personnel to talk about that with doctors or therapists.

Military personnel believe, with some justification, that if they went to a doctor or psychologist about a mental problem, it would be the end of their career.

And there's a military culture being against psychotherapy and against acknowledging mental illness.

(This is assuming that psychotherapy can actually prevent suicide. There was no evidence it can, last time I did a literature search.)

So then the next thing you'd say is priests and lawyers should also not have confidentiality, because that would be inconvenient.

One of the few ways you can have therapy that is still kept confidential is to see a clerical counselor. Kenneth Starr subpoenaed Monica Lewinsky's therapist to give his records and testify, but Starr didn't subpoena Lewinsky's rabbi. Also, unlike health professionals, the clergy aren't required to keep written records.

I've never heard of a prosecutor subpoenaing a clergyman to testify about his congregants. They're privileging religious counselors over secular counselors, which is one more example of hypocritical favoritism towards religion, but our government always ignores the First Amendment when it's politically expedient.

Comment: Here's the scientific evidence (Score 5, Informative) 492

by nbauman (#49327543) Attached to: Hacking Weight Loss: What I Learned Losing 30 Pounds

I realize that randomized, controlled trials in peer-reviewed journals may not be the whole, final truth, but this is a nice catalog of everything that you can argue over.

http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/1...
Myths, Presumptions, and Facts about Obesity
Krista Casazza, Kevin R. Fontaine, Arne Astrup, et al.
N Engl J Med 2013; 368:446-454. January 31, 2013. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMsa1208051 [FREE]

Results. We identified seven obesity-related myths concerning the effects of small sustained increases in energy intake or expenditure, establishment of realistic goals for weight loss, rapid weight loss, weight-loss readiness, physical-education classes, breast-feeding, and energy expended during sexual activity. We also identified six presumptions about the purported effects of regularly eating breakfast, early childhood experiences, eating fruits and vegetables, weight cycling, snacking, and the built (i.e., human-made) environment. Finally, we identified nine evidence-supported facts that are relevant for the formulation of sound public health, policy, or clinical recommendations.

Comment: Re:No "probably" about it... (Score 2) 179

by nbauman (#49317293) Attached to: WHO Report Links Weed Killer Ingredient To Cancer Risk

Read the article and weep. Of course, there's no need to weep for Monsanto, who are slaughtering their way to the bank.

Not a hell of a lot to back up those claims. As the article says, there's "limited evidence." Case-control studies never prove anything; they're merely hypothesis-generating. You can never be sure that you've controlled for every factor. They use case-control studies to "prove" that marijuana causes schizophrenia. I'd like to see the written record of the Working Group that classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans” (Group 2A), and how they came to that conclusion.

The Lancet Oncology

Available online 20 March 2015

        Kathryn Z Guytona,
        Dana Loomisa,
        Yann Grossea,
        Fatiha El Ghissassia,
        Lamia Benbrahim-Tallaaa,
        Neela Guhaa,
        Chiara Scocciantia,
        Heidi Mattocka,
        Kurt Straifa,
                on behalf of the International Agency for Research on Cancer Monograph Working Group, IARC, Lyon, France

  Show more

                doi:10.1016/S1470-2045(15)70134-8

Glyphosate is a broad-spectrum herbicide, currently with the highest production volumes of all herbicides. It is used in more than 750 different products for agriculture, forestry, urban, and home applications. Its use has increased sharply with the development of genetically modified glyphosate-resistant crop varieties. Glyphosate has been detected in air during spraying, in water, and in food. There was limited evidence in humans for the carcinogenicity of glyphosate. Case-control studies of occupational exposure in the USA,14 Canada,6 and Sweden7 reported increased risks for non-Hodgkin lymphoma that persisted after adjustment for other pesticides. The AHS cohort did not show a significantly increased risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. In male CD-1 mice, glyphosate induced a positive trend in the incidence of a rare tumour, renal tubule carcinoma. A second study reported a positive trend for haemangiosarcoma in male mice.15 Glyphosate increased pancreatic islet-cell adenoma in male rats in two studies. A glyphosate formulation promoted skin tumours in an initiation-promotion study in mice.

Glyphosate has been detected in the blood and urine of agricultural workers, indicating absorption. Soil microbes degrade glyphosate to aminomethylphosphoric acid (AMPA). Blood AMPA detection after poisonings suggests intestinal microbial metabolism in humans. Glyphosate and glyphosate formulations induced DNA and chromosomal damage in mammals, and in human and animal cells in vitro. One study reported increases in blood markers of chromosomal damage (micronuclei) in residents of several communities after spraying of glyphosate formulations.16 Bacterial mutagenesis tests were negative. Glyphosate, glyphosate formulations, and AMPA induced oxidative stress in rodents and in vitro. The Working Group classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans” (Group 2A).

        6
        HH McDuffie, P Pahwa, JR McLaughlin, et al.
        Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and specific pesticide exposures in men: cross-Canada study of pesticides and health
        Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev, 10 (2001), pp. 1155–1163

        7
        M Eriksson, L Hardell, M Carlberg, M Akerman
        Pesticide exposure as risk factor for non-Hodgkin lymphoma including histopathological subgroup analysis
        Int J Cancer, 123 (2008), pp. 1657–1663

14
AJ De Roos, SH Zahm, KP Cantor, et al.
Integrative assessment of multiple pesticides as risk factors for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma among men
Occup Environ Med, 60 (2003), p. E11

15
WHO/FAO
Glyphosate. Pesticides residues in food 2004 Joint FAO/WHO Meeting on Pesticides Residues. Part II Toxicological. IPCS/WHO 2004; 95–162
http://www.who.int/foodsafety/... (accessed March 6, 2015).

Comment: Re:Pencils (Score 1) 119

Each kindle comes stocked with over 1,000 educational books. The literacy rate *shoots up* in every area they deliver them, mostly in Central and East Africa. They have a *very* small operational budget, so anything you give them goes a *long* way (compared to most charities).

I started working in educational technology in the 1960s. I've seen major fads come and go.

Here's the most important thing I've learned: Always ask them if they have published a study in a peer-reviewed journal about their success (or failure). I didn't see any studies like that on their web site.

It's pretty easy to put together a pr stunt for the cameras and collect some happy kids who love reading. It's pretty difficult to deliver useful results with a sustained effort.

Comment: Re:Pencils (Score 1) 119

They're not educating people. They're teaching rote memorization.

A friend of mine was in the Peace Corps teaching science in a small village in Africa.

They had never seen ice before.

He decided to show them ice. He used a portable gas-powered refrigerator to freeze some water. He put a piece of ice in a test tube, heated it with a candle, and showed them how the ice became water.

One kid, who was a little more clever than the others, challenged him. The kid didn't accept my friend's argument that the ice became water. He thought that the water was coming from the candle.

Actually, that's a good point. How do you know that the water is coming from the ice rather than the candle?

You could come up with an experiment and see what happens. Then you'd be doing science rather than memorizing facts.

How could you possibly teach a lesson like that with "scripted instruction"? http://m.theatlantic.com/educa...

The really important lesson comes when the kids come up with an idea that isn't in the script, and ask a question that isn't in the script. The scripted instruction teachers will be helpless in that situation. They'll just tell the kid to be quiet and go on with the script. They have to. The teachers are being rated according to how well they follow the script.

Comment: Re:hmmm (Score 1) 135

by nbauman (#49256927) Attached to: Wikipedia Entries On NYPD Violence Get Some Edits From Headquarters

I dont see a problem with changing "choke hold" to "arm bar" is that is what the police call the move that was done.

I see a problem with it, but I just looked at the article and it appears the changes have been reverted to say choke hold once again. Hopefully further edits to the article will come under close scrutiny now.

The other change that got reverted back to choke hold was "headlock."

Comment: Re:hmmm (Score 1) 135

by nbauman (#49256909) Attached to: Wikipedia Entries On NYPD Violence Get Some Edits From Headquarters

some of the stuff is clear cut abuse. on the other hand some of it is semantics. I dont see a problem with changing "choke hold" to "arm bar" is that is what the police call the move that was done.

No, changing it from "choke hold" to "arm bar" is changing a word in simple English that everybody understands to a word that is in jargon that only the police would understand.

Wikipedia guidelines say that it's written for the general public, not specialists in a field.

It's a deliberate effort to obscure the truth and deceive.

Comment: Re:Surprise level: 0 (Score 2) 135

by nbauman (#49256865) Attached to: Wikipedia Entries On NYPD Violence Get Some Edits From Headquarters

wikipedia is not nor is intended as a primary information source. What information is on there, if it is to remain, is backed by citations to original source.

The purpose of an encyclopedia -- any encyclopedia -- is to provide an introduction and overview, and sources for further information.

It's possible for partisans, like the cops, to edit Wikipedia in a way that gives a biased account to favor their side. For example, the medical examiner reported that Eric Garner's death was a "homicide," but a lot of editors who were either cop fanboys or cops themselves kept adding the "explanation" that a homicide isn't identical to a crime. Most eyewitness accounts said that Pantaleo pushed Garner's "face" into the ground. They changed it to Pantaleo pushed Garner's "head" into the ground. They waged a big battle over changing "chokehold" into "headlock," which didn't even have a source.

They're trying to turn it into a defense attorney's version of the killing. That's not NPOV.

So the purpose of their editing of Wikipedia, Google's first hit, is to frame the story their way, for what is most peoples' initial version of the events.

Of course the pigxxx police union didn't like it when mayor di Blasio referred to the "alleged" attacks by demonstrators on police. Presumption of innocence is something they only want for cops, not for other criminals.

Comment: Re:Surprise level: 0 (Score 1) 135

by nbauman (#49256763) Attached to: Wikipedia Entries On NYPD Violence Get Some Edits From Headquarters

Wikipedia does not qualify as evidence--it would not be admissible as evidence of a crime. Don't cry wolf on that because when police really do tamper with evidence, it's a *LOT* more serious than making updates to Wikipedia.

Sometimes the court of public opinion is the only place you can get justice, because you won't get it in the (snicker) grand jury or the courts https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... .

Tampering with evidence is something that the courts regard as a venial sin a few steps lower in their priorities than caging free coffee and donuts from coffee shops.

There's a long history of pigsxxxx cops getting caught red-handed lying under oath, not just once but as a routine practice. I'm hard pressed to think of a case when they were held to account (except for one with a probationary officer who knocked an innocent cyclist off his bicycle and arrested him).

http://observer.com/2015/03/ca...
California Prosecutor Falsifies Transcript of Confession
Court of Appeal slams Attorney General Kamala Harris again
By Sidney Powell
03/04/15

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04...
Videos Challenge Accounts of Convention Unrest
By JIM DWYER
April 12, 2005

http://www.nytimes.com/imagepa...

Holding a cop liable for tampering with evidence is about as likely as the Ferguson government saying, "You're right. Our conscience can't take any more demonstrations. We'll abolish the government and hold new elections, democratic ones this time."

Comment: Re:Why wasn't this done sooner? (Score 1) 221

by nbauman (#49256421) Attached to: World's 1st Penis Transplant Done In South Africa

In the case of an m2f transsexual, you can see here how it's done. As you can see, they don't just "chop it off", which is why orgasmic function (which starts and ends in the brain) is successful in 80% or more of all cases post-op.

One technique using penile inversion, and another technique using a portion of the colon.

I am unable to come up with a joke for a surgeon named "Gary Alter" who performs gender reassignment surgery.

I never cheated an honest man, only rascals. They wanted something for nothing. I gave them nothing for something. -- Joseph "Yellow Kid" Weil

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