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Comment: Poor planning (Score 1) 342

It all comes down to poor planning to begin with. Look at the Superconducting Supercollider ($2Billion to dig a friggin hole), this Tower, the cancelled Constellation program, cost overruns such as the $1.5Trillion F-35, etc. The government needs to do a much better job planning things out, and once planned, bring them to completion on time and on budget. If not, you have to have HUGE FINES or even jail time for bidding on things you know you can never accomplish. Don't blame that Senator for pork. Senators are elected to bring pork to their constituency. Blame the stupid planning by the administration of Sean O'Keefe for the failures of the Constellation program.

Comment: Difficulties (Score 5, Informative) 117

by teethdood (#43138167) Attached to: Scientists Grow Replacement Human Teeth In Mouse Kidneys
I am a dentist One of the benefits cited in the fine article is that the kidney-grown tooth structures more closely resemble a real tooth with a physical root. The root system of a tooth is much more complex than just its physical shape. Within a tooth socket, you have the periodontal ligament surrounding the root separating the jaw bone from the root. Then you have the root itself with cementum layer, dentin layer, then pulp. Even if we were to be able to grow a tooth outside the mouth, it doesn't mean all the necessary structures are there. When transplanting a grown tooth, you're faced with several obstacles: 1) Bone socket must be created to the exactly fit the tooth 2) Creating the periodontal ligament to provide cushion, natural tooth movements, and the ability to extract that tooth without it fusing to the bone 3) The pulp tissue needs to be connected somehow to the nerve and blood systems, otherwise you would have to do a root canal to remove the pulp 4) The morphology of the crown portion above the gum needs to be correct, meaning the tooth needs a crown So, while being able to induce cells to grown into something that looks like a tooth is a step forward, at this point it is far from a viable treatment option versus a titanium implant which has a known shape/diameter/length. The golden ticket is when we can induce mesenchymal stem cells to grow into a tooth directly in the jaw (hopefully with the correct morphology due to its position next to adjacent teeth as well).

Comment: Re:Problem-Based Learning (Score 1) 371

by teethdood (#33461242) Attached to: Harvard Ditching Final Exams?
This is happening at the graduate/professional level. These students are supposedly the cream of the crop. Still, given so much freedom, these students spend a lot less time studying than students in the traditional classroom setting (how can they study if they don't know where to turn to, at least until the following week). Many more kids who graduated with professional degrees at PBL schools couldn't pass the Board exams for licensure to practice than at traditional schools. They can't practice to pay back debts of some 300K (monthly payments of more than $2500). The Dean was sacked or resigned I'm not sure. At any rate, the school's reputation is shot at least in the eyes of those in the same field. To get back on topic, I'm not sure but I think the reason why Harvard is doing away with finals is because of the same PBL approach they helped theorize.

Comment: Re:Problem-Based Learning (Score 1) 371

by teethdood (#33461166) Attached to: Harvard Ditching Final Exams?
I can only speak for dentistry but I can surmise that medical school (since you have an MD) also need lots of spoon-feeding/rote memorization. In general all the undergraduates who couldn't handle the amount of workload/memorization have already been weeded out. Only when they grasp the basics forced down their throats can they begin to think independently. "Before you can run, you must first learn how to walk." Exams/midterms/finals are designed to gauge the level of comprehension of each student and if they do away with them, what other tools are available to assess each student? How can anyone step in and help those kids who are falling behind before it is too late? The exams are not only to see how each student does, but also for the professors to see if their style/way of teaching is working.

Comment: Problem-Based Learning (Score 1) 371

by teethdood (#33460068) Attached to: Harvard Ditching Final Exams?
Harvard and some other schools instituted the so called "Problem-Based Learning" in which instead of the traditional roles of educators spoon-feeding students information in class, the educators would give students a problem for them to do their own research on, then at the end of the week, they would meet in a small group and discuss the problem along with the educator. PBL then doesn't require sitting for final exams etc. The idea is that this method would stimulate independent thinking/research-focused minds. However this method is proving to be a failure in certain professional schools. I will not name names but a certain school in SoCal decided to switch to PBL in their dental program. Instead of getting students to do their own research, these students would just hang out, get a job somewhere, help out at their parents' business, etc. They depended on their fellow classmates to come up with the answers. The end result is that they aren't really prepared for the Board exams. They aren't prepared in substance (studying) AND in the fact that they haven't been exposed to intense sitting exams (the Board exams take 2-3 days). Students need to be forced to go to class every day, get information shoved down their throat, and be grilled and final-tested because sometimes their profession requires the grand-daddy of final exams.

Comment: Google Voice (Score 1) 213

by teethdood (#29766079) Attached to: Hands-On Look At the BlackBerry Storm 2

If I could just swap phones as needed during the course of the day.

It gives you one phone number which when called would ring all your phones. Then you can use whatever phone depending on your activity at the moment. As a matter of fact when I get home from work, I would switch an active call from my cell phone to my home phone without missing a beat if I ever need to cut down on mobile minutes.

Comment: Re:ICANN should make domains more expensive (Score 1) 489

by teethdood (#23910639) Attached to: The Beginnings of a TLD Free-For-All?
Since patents are good for 20 years, why not make people register domains for 20 years for the initial purchase? You can think of your domain as a "patent". Then the $250 you propose would make sense. Imagine all these squatters having to fork out $250 per registration to sit on a domain that may not be worth anything.

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