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Medicine

Aging Is a Disease; Treat It Like One 625

theodp writes "In a letter to Sergey Brin, Maria Konovalenko urges the Google founder to pursue his interest in the topics of aging and longevity. 'Defeating or simply slowing down aging,' writes Konovalenko, 'is the most useful thing that can be done for all the people on the planet.' Calling for research into longevity gene therapy, extending lifespan pharmacologically, and studying close species that differ significantly in lifespan, Konovalenko says 'it is crucial to make numerous medical organizations recognize aging as a disease. If medical organizations were to recognize aging as a disease, it could significantly accelerate progress in studying its underlying mechanisms and the development of interventions to slow its progress and to reduce age-related pathologies. The prevailing regard for aging as a "natural process" rather than a disease or disease-predisposing condition is a major obstacle to development and testing of legitimate anti-aging treatments. This is the largest market in the world, since 100% of the population in every country suffers from aging.'"

Comment Re:Power storage that doesn't degrade... (Score 1) 363

Hydrogen is great stuff. You just need to store it bonded with carbon. Do it right, and you can make butane for fuel cell usage.

http://www.gizmag.com/usb-charger-butane-fuel-cell-nectar-lilliputian-systems-brookstone/28281/

Take it a step further and let me run my laptop off a Bic lighter or two and i'll be happy.

Comment Re:Survey says... (Score 1) 363

As another poster said, other laptops will use the battery as a temporary "capacitor" (buffer) to take the spike in load upon demand. For example: when you spike all cores of the CPU to 100% usage from idle when kicking off a video transcoding job. Many AC/DC adapters can't buffer the spike in current. That, and my surface mounted components in laptops don't carry enough capacitance to offset the load spike too.

Comment Re:No reference, no big deal (Score 1) 892

So do you give them two weeks notice when you terminate their employment? That would be quite courteous. Or does the courtesy only get extended if it favors you?

People often forget that in most countries of the world (including America) that the situation is entirely asymmetric.

If you quit without notice or cause, the employer is entitled to no compensation.
If you are fired without notice or cause, the employer is then liable for some compensation. In many cases that liability is for a lot longer than 2 weeks (13+ in America - we call it unemployment insurance, and employers do pay increased costs for every one of their former employees that is drawing)

So lets not simply assume that the "courtesy" should so simply extend both ways. If you want to justify why it should, then lets hear it.

Comment Re:Ice ages are caused by planetary wobbles (Score 2) 180

Or, you know, you might want to look in it, since if you are basing your theory on these things, then it's up to you to do the research which demonstrates how they are significant.

This statement right here is the problem with most people. They, like you, dont understand what the fuck they are talking about.

All the long-duration proxies (more than a few hundred years) do measure as an average over hundreds and even thousands of years because there is too much short term noise in the signal. Thusly statements about the rate of warming on short time scales cannot be made about periods in the past more than a few hundred years. He doesnt need to look into why this is because its proven within mathematics (more specifically, in the fields of statistics, calculus, and now information theory) rather than physics, chemistry, or "earth science."

Thousand-year running average cannot ever make meaningful statement abouts hundred year derivatives. because its impossible. You just argued that he should re-prove whats already known for an absolute undeniable fact.

Comment Re:Just curious (Score 1) 637

http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-11-725R
  • Download the GAO report. Page 4 lists the total number of employees that were involved in waivers (~3M).
  • Of that total, ~50% were union members.
  • now, since unions represent ~12% of the US workforce (~65M at last count) = 8M
  • It would seem that Unions got a disproportionate amount of the waivers.

Does that mean that of the 1200+ waivers, that Unions got > 600? no.

Before you say that union contracts are negotiated, and therefore cannot be altered, ask yourself if the minimum wage gets increased, do union wages get automatically increased? Isn't that a change in federal law, outside the control of the unions?

Comment Re:So Much for Democracy (Score 5, Insightful) 381

June 30, 2013 - mass protests erupt calling for the presidents resignation after severe fuel shortages and electricity outages

Understatement of the year.

It was arguably the largest protest in the history of the world. Some claims are as much as 14 million people, nearly 17% of the Egyptian population.

To put that in perspective, 17% of the American population is more than 50 million people.

If 50 million Americans were protesting in the streets demanding that Obama (or Bush) to be removed from office, and as a response Obama (or Bush) then held a 5 hour television broadcast declaring that he will not only not be leaving office but that additionally that the constitution will never apply to him, then I damn well expect the American military to do the same thing.

Comment Re:Just curious (Score 1) 637

If waivers were for the states, then why were waivers granted to labor unions? http://news.heartland.org/newspaper-article/2012/03/06/labor-unions-get-lions-share-final-aca-waivers

If delays are acceptably part of the law, why then the veto threat and 100% Democrat party nay vote on the House bill that codifies the delay?

The rules on a federal exchange (not state exchanges), which is what the Congress and their staffs would be participating in, state that there is no subsidy. Since the law specifically moved them from their existing plan (so much for keeping the plan you have) to the federal exchange, one could argue that no federal government payment is allowed. Yes, they are only getting back what they had previously, but that is not what the law said.

Comment Re:Out of Body? (Score 3, Interesting) 351

Yes, indeed.

An academic neurosurgeon called Eben Alexander contracted a severe case of bacterial meningitis. After he recovered, he could not, from what he knew of the brain, explain where in the brain he could have been creating the rich experiences he had. The hallucination would have had to happen somewhere in the brain, and he recalls they were very rich, cognitively sophisticated, highly structured experiences.

But those parts of his brain which are normally said to be responsible for rich experience were in a soup of pus, bacteria, and comatose.

Anyway, if one can stomach the book title ("Proof of Heaven") and get past that obvious religious selling point, the actual story he tells is interesting. He could be wrong of course about where in the brain his experiences were happening, or when they were happening, but as he says, when he was operating on people, if they reported anything unusual, he'd just tell them that they had been very sick. Now that he's experienced it himself, he doesn't see how that amount of rich detailed and structured experience could have been generated by a sick brain.

Basically, we don't understand much about the brain, or how it relates to consciousness. The parts of his brain that are known to create rich experience were not available at the time of the sickness. So there's a lot that's not known.

Just to restate for clarity's sake: if the experience he had were really created by the brain, then most of what is known about the brain is wrong.

Comment Re:I'll be donating to the EFF again this week. (Score 1) 301

Foreign SMTP traffic being blocked at the ISP level. Home IP block ranges being blackholed. PTR records not provided to home accounts. All these issues are solved using a Smart Host. Unfortunately, depending on the monthly fees, it might be cheaper to just upgrade to a business class ISP account or host your e-mail elsewhere.

I've only had to setup Smart Hosts for clients with an SBS box that was in rural parts of America. Sometimes netblock ranges were blackholed and/or PTR records weren't supported at the ISP level for their DSL connection. And they were lucky to even have that for connectivity.

Comment Re:A track-history of lawlessness (Score 1) 258

Well, the conversation just slipped into Godwin's Law. But I'll bite anyway, because I'm bored.

I don't know any specific allegation of selling drugs, but I've heard such rumors in the past. However, one man's terrorist is another's freedom fighter. Backing and conducting assassinations? Don't know of any. I do know we have targeted killing of enemy combatants in the current war, but those are not assassinations. Jailing people without charging or trying them? I don't know of any Americans who have been held without trial by the US Government. I do know we hold foreign combatants and properly so without trial. POWs or internees should not be tried for being soldiers, as that is not a crime. They shall be held, without criminal charges for the duration of the conflict. When they have been suspected for violating the laws of war, they have been charged and brought before military tribunals. Perhaps you should read the applicable parts of the Third Geneva Convention. Coups and fabricating evidence to start wars? Well I know some intelligence information about Iraq was misinterpreted, but I don't know of any that was outright fabricated. And that war was to enforce a UN resolution that Iraq was unwilling to demonstrate compliance with. They had only to demonstrate compliance to defuse the causus belli and they refused.

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