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Comment I am surprised (Score 3, Insightful) 117

If there is an energy source in the soil itself, why there isn't an abundant amount of bacteria taking advantage of this. I guess I've come to believe that life will evolve to meet just about any condition, and an energy source seems to be about all it needs. Yet there has been no serious evidence of any type of life currently on mars.

Comment Re:There goes another Swiss Army knife (Score 1) 298

The person I was responding to said that it was impossible to take control of a plane since 9/11, PERIOD. It is not. People have taken control of planes. Whether or not they got what they wanted as a result is not relevant - they took control of the plane in, according to you, at least 2 cases, even if they were arrested on the ground.

The OP didn't make any claims about US airlines or anything else - just that hijackings since 9/11 are impossible PERIOD, which is demonstrably false as you have just agreed.

Comment Re:Not cooling, global waming! (Score 0) 158

I've seen some questions raised on how much pollution in the 20th century masked global warming. I think this study shows just how much a relatively small change to a regional temperature can cause comparatively large changes in the area's climate. It should help support the potential changes that could come from a change of only a couple of degrees over the next century.

Comment Re:There goes another Swiss Army knife (Score 2) 298

Why do people keep saying this? There have been hijackings since 9/11 in which the plane was not destroyed and the hijackers took control of the plane.

For an assuredly incomplete list, check out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_aircraft_hijackings

Pay particular attention to the 10+ ones listed after September 11, 2001.

Comment Re:Five minutes after Monsanto Protection Act sign (Score 1) 679

Every one of those cases that I've seen has involved someone who knew that they were using a Monsanto product and were fully aware of the patents at hand. I'm not fond of Monsanto's practice, but the farmers were on shaky legal ground to start with.

In this case, one of Monsanto's (presumably patented) development products got out. I wonder if there's a case for invalidation based on negligent behavior allowing it out into the wild. Some level of doubt can be applied to products brought to market, but for those that never should have left a controlled environment, there may be other legal issues at hand.

I also wonder if there's not a chance of this being a random mutation. Does Monsanto put markers in its products that could be used to determine this?

Comment Re:India ? (Score 1) 273

I agree that culture changes are necessary. Gawande has written in the past about how introducing a simple checklist to prevent line infections at Johns Hopkins--widely seen as one of the premier hospitals in the country, if not the world--and giving nurses the power to call doctors on a missed step while also having the administration back the nurses cut the infection rate from 11% to zero, likely saving at least eight patients and dozens of infections per year.

But Gawande also notes that doctors have egos, and easily bruised ones at that. This kind of thing doesn't go over well with a lot of them who see nurses as interfering or overstepping if they call out a missed step. Given the shortage of doctors, I expect that it will be a while before most hospital administrations are willing to back their nurses in mandating that every step be followed.

Comment Re:India ? (Score 1) 273

You're thinking of the washing that you do in the bathroom. I looked up Gawande's words and found that I understated the time to wash. Here's how he describes it.

First, you must remove your watch, rings, and other jewelry (which are notorious for trapping bacteria). Next, you wet your hands in warm tap water. Dispense the soap and lather all surfaces, including the lower one-third of the arms, for the full duration recommended by the manufacturer (usually fifteen to thirty seconds). Rinse off for thirty full seconds. Dry completely with a clean, disposable towel. Then use the towel to turn the tap of. Repeat after any new contact with a patient.

Almost no one adheres to this procedure. It seems impossible. On morning rounds, our residents check in on twenty patients in an hour. The nurses in our intensive care units typically have a similar number of contacts with patients requiring hand washing in between. Even if you get the whole cleansing process down to a minute per patient, that’s still a third of staff time spent just washing hands.

And it's not always possible to hire more staff, especially when strict adherence to washing means you have to hire half-again as many staff to do rounds. While there are some private hospitals making a healthy profit, not all of them do, and there are a lot of hospitals that are run by governments, churches, or non-profits and their margins are thin to non-existent. The need to purchase new equipment just to keep up with other hospitals can obliterate that margin in a single purchase. Doctors tend to send their patients to whichever hospital has the shiniest toys and patients want it that way. Failure to keep up with the newest technology puts revenue at risk and may mean cutbacks that further damage the hospital's ability to effectively treat its patients.

Comment Re:India ? (Score 2) 273

It's not so much common sense as it is a rush to get to patients. I have all three of Dr. Atul Gawande's books where he discusses at length how the medical profession works. He talks about how there's only so much time to see patients and washing hands before seeing each one to avoid moving infections between patients takes precious time. Proper washing takes at least 30 seconds. Multiply that by the number of patients seen on rounds, and it adds up.

Even when his hospital added gel dispensers to walls, people were in such a hurry that they forgot. One of his patients became infected with MRSA and he was left wondering if it happened because he neglected to wash his hands. There was no way to know, and the patient was put in jeopardy, not to mention having to stay in the hospital even longer.

Solutions like this are done out of desperation.

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