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

by pepty (#49365263) Attached to: Citizen Scientists Develop Eye Drops That Provide Night Vision

If you use your own team members as test subjects you can easily bypass regulatory agencies in the early parts of the research phase.

So long as you don't actually tell anyone outside of your research group about those experiments, and then lie to your insurance companies about what happened if there is an accident.

the research is the easy part, getting it through the regulatory agencies is the hard (and expensive) part.

For most of the $, it's hard to separate the two. Yes the FDA requires successful phase III and sometimes phase IV trials, Aren't those research? The actual paperwork for the FDA submission costs millions to prepare, but that's chump change compared to the rest of the costs.

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

by pepty (#49365221) Attached to: Citizen Scientists Develop Eye Drops That Provide Night Vision

But if this was describing actual drug instead of a blogpost about a hobby, QC/QA protocols would be followed to ensure that only the intended active pharmaceutical ingredients and excipients are in the dose, and that the method of administration doesn't introduce any contaminants.

Anyway, if you want to hear something even scarier: you can treat Alzheimers in mice by repeatedly permeabilizing the blood brain barrier for a few hours. How's that for potential of letting nasty stuff into the wrong place?

http://www.sciguru.org/newsite...

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

by pepty (#49365183) Attached to: Citizen Scientists Develop Eye Drops That Provide Night Vision
OK, consider me cued up.

This is exactly the sort of thing you'd expect to see in a stagnant market dominated by large monolithic entities. It's usually a small upstart company that's more agile than the big conglomerate, but it works the same in research as it does everywhere else.

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 [google.com] 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.

A few things to consider:

1. Over a third of new drug approvals are for rare and orphan diseases (37% in the US last year). It is definitely economically feasible to create treatments for rare diseases.

2. This paper doesn't describe anything that wasn't described in a patent from 2012. (Methods to enhance night vision and treatment of night blindness US 20120157377 A1)

3. They aren't doing research to advance a treatment for a medical condition

Comment: Re:finger pointing (Score 2) 398

by pepty (#49352057) Attached to: Millennial Tech Workers Losing Ground In US

We really have not seen much innovation in the past 10 years. If you think about it, what is really new and improved from this time in 2005?

You have a really narrow view of STEM.

1. DNA sequencing is several orders of magnitude faster and cheaper, as are ways of making use of the data for diagnostics and theragnostics. Moore's law might be better applied to bioinformatics than to transistors these days.

2. Cancer therapeutics that use the immune system to selectively attack cancer cells instead of stuff that is just somewhat more toxic to cancer cells than the rest of your body.

3. Just announced this week: Some of the first promising candidate drugs for Alzheimers ... How much more fuckin awesome can innovation get?

4. Viable electric cars and self driving cars on their way.

5. I can use my cell phone to get a ride from a stranger in a hybrid car cheaper and faster than I can get a cab.

Comment: Re:And the almond trees die. (Score 1) 417

by pepty (#49313717) Attached to: How 'Virtual Water' Can Help Ease California's Drought
The war will be with Nevada and Arizona over splitting up the Colorado river. As the law stands right now, Las Vegas goes dry and Arizona loses half of its supply before SoCal would lose a drop. CA's senators are Democrats as are most of CA's congress critters, the rest of the basin is pretty much Republican, and the fight will happen when both the senate and the house are dominated by republicans. Should get painful pretty fast.

Comment: Re:And the almond trees die. (Score 4, Insightful) 417

by pepty (#49313591) Attached to: How 'Virtual Water' Can Help Ease California's Drought
Right now the population consumes a relatively small proportion of the water that is being used. Of course, living in CA would get very interesting if we had to fallow the farms. Whole congressional districts with unemployment over 50% (before they depopulated), food prices skyrocketing as CA became a net importer of food and ag products ...

Comment: Re:And the almond trees die. (Score 1) 417

by pepty (#49313545) Attached to: How 'Virtual Water' Can Help Ease California's Drought

1. The amount of greywater and wastewater is much smaller than the amount of water currently used by agriculture in CA. The farmers would keep drilling deeper wells.

2. So how much energy and infrastructure would it take to pump that water from coastal cities back up into the central valley or over mountains to where the farms are?

Comment: Re:And the almond trees die. (Score 4, Interesting) 417

by pepty (#49313497) Attached to: How 'Virtual Water' Can Help Ease California's Drought
The aquifiers won't go dry, but it eventually becomes cost prohibitive to pump water from ever deeper wells (1000 ft or more) and then having to demineralize it. Meanwhile, the upper layers of the aquifer become permanently compacted (areas of the cental valley have subsided 25 ft or more due to ground water depletion) and never recover their ability to hold so much water.

Comment: Re:WTF AM I DOING HERE! (Score 1) 109

by pepty (#49310877) Attached to: New Alzheimer's Treatment Fully Restores Memory Function For Mice
I agree, repeatedly permeabilizing the BBB to the extent that cells larger than bacteria can get in sounds a wee bit risky. Also:

The team reports fully restoring the memories of 75 percent of the mice they tested it on, with zero damage to the surrounding brain tissue.

The abstract mentioning completely clearing amyloid plaques in 75% of the mice, which, while awesome, is not fully restoring memory.

Comment: Re:How About (Score 1) 224

by pepty (#49308717) Attached to: Chevy Malibu 'Teen Driver' Tech Will Snitch If You Speed

are already a generation that's never really gotten into cars the ways Boomers and Xers did - the auto executives of 2025-2035 will wonder why nobody wants to buy a faster, more powerful, or better-handling motor vehicle.

It's not just lack of interest. It was a lot cheaper for young boomers and Xers to buy cars: they generally didn't have 2-3x their starting salary locked up in college loans. The boomers didn't even have to go to college.

The answer will be that unless they have a friend with a Tesla, they'll never have experienced the notion that driving can be fun, and that $10/day for a RoboUber account gets the job done just as well as a NannyCar.

My guess is that it will skip a generation. Sort of like vinyl records.

Comment: Re:How About (Score 1) 224

by pepty (#49308663) Attached to: Chevy Malibu 'Teen Driver' Tech Will Snitch If You Speed

My kids, who just turned 8, are unlikely to even learn how to drive. They'll live in a world where all cars are self-driving.

That's a bit of hyperbole. They will certainly have the option to buy self driving cars, but it's unlikely that everything else will be phased out and off the road within ~5 years of self driving cars being introduced.

Comment: Re:Bipedal? (Score 1) 45

by pepty (#49308603) Attached to: Meet the Carolina Butcher, a 9-Foot Crocodile That Walked On Two Legs

Actually, it's a guess from a very incomplete skeleton - skull fragments, a few vertebra and a femur. If, and it's an if, the hind legs were longer, other explanations can be found. However, "walked on hind legs" is sexier. no more.

The bipedal crocodile idea isn't new or just based on this one specimen. Here's a reference FTA:

http://www.bioone.org/doi/abs/...

The bipedal stem crocodilian Poposaurus gracilis: inferring function in fossils and innovation in archosaur locomotion. Bull. Peabody Mus. Nat. Hist. 52, 107–126 (2011).

Comment: Re:VR Demands Specialized Input Devices (Score 2) 124

by pepty (#49264397) Attached to: Valve's SteamVR: Solves Big Problems, Raises Bigger Questions

The bigger problem is movement. Movement by pressing a button detaches your apparent movement from your physical movement, which is going to be incredibly disorienting.

I think movement by button while sitting at your desk won't be disorienting at all, but movement dependent on walking/jumping on a device that provides feedback entirely unlike the environment being simulated will definitely take a lot of getting used to for each implementation.

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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