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Comment Re:Interesting. (Score 2, Insightful) 403

I said it a few comments down... but I will take lawyers, polisci majors, bankers, and economists who support liberal democracy in a heartbeat over scientific leaders who endorse prison camps, massive censorship, brutal suppression of political dissent, for some reason want to crush the most non-threatening people on the face of the planet, and who (at the very minimum tolerate) endorse forced sterilization!

Comment Re:Minor quibble... (Score 2) 403

>Did you know that China doesn't have a "President" in any meaningful sense of the word? President Hu Jintao is an "organ of the state" who is a figurehead for the National People's Congress, a largely powerless body selected by the Chinese Communist Party.

So, he's a figurehead not a president. That's not a slam against presidents (or figureheads of repressive oligarchies) but I believe that the two outlooks are very different.

Comment Re:With or without permission? (Score 2, Informative) 176

It would be completely illegal without informed consent. They would have had to go to their Internal Review Board (IRB) and get approval and would be required to follow federal guidelines. This is a highly regulated part of medical privacy and IRBs do not screw around with the rules because the institutional consequences are massive. They range from massive lawsuits to federal crimes. The scientists doing the SNP arrays would also be forbidden from knowing any patient information. Only the doctors involved with patient treatment would know any identifying information.

Now one of the interesting caveats to this is that the doctors involved with the patient's care are privy to the results of the SNP array. Presumably they would be told "Patient X Y and Z have mutations correlated with early onset Alzheimers and Huntington's Disease. They would be obligated to tell their patients and begin any appropriate care. My guess is that is why they decided to study patients around 65 years old. Any genetic predispositions would already have manifest themselves. I am curious if it was done to avoid any ethical concerns with "diagnoses" arising from the study.

Comment NO NO NO... not gene sequenced (Score 2, Informative) 176

This is not the same as sequencing their genomes. This will not provide a full sequence of each person's genome. It will look for specific mutations that have already been identified and tell us who has certain point mutations.

Think of it as the difference between having the full text of the file in the case of sequencing and having a count of the number of times the writer wrote "teh" instead of "the"

This is not to say that this study is without merit but it is not gene sequencing or genomic sequencing.

For more information on SNP arrays wikipedia is helpful and if you really want details you can talk to Affymetrix (I bet these are the arrays they will use).

Comment Re:It ISN'T a requirement. (Score 0) 567

The answer to all of your "follow up examples" is this: they shouldn't

"Why on earth should engineering majors study optics, when so few will work with optics?"

They shouldn't be precluded from engineering for being bad at optics. If they need to learn it in the future they can... or someone who is good at optics will do it.

"Why should a computer science major study operating systems, when scant few of them will actually work on an operating system?"

They absolutely shouldn't "study operating systems" unless they are working on some kind of operating system science. What they should do is be proficient at using a computer enough so that they can analyze their data. Perhaps more computer savvy for physicists and less so for cell biologists.

"Why should English majors study poetry, when so few will become poets?"

Your one good example. Studying poetry would actually benefit someone writing prose if only to allow their prose to be more poetic. However, a lack of poetry knowledge shouldn't preclude you from being a writer.

"Why should Business majors study economics, when so few will actually become economists?"

Once again... knowledge of economics probably can help businessmen. Although you should remember that Bill Gates never finished college and most likely never took Economics and that didn't stop him from being the most successful businessman on the face of the earth. Steve Jobs is also a dropout, as well as Michael Dell, Paul Allen, Ralph Lauren, David Geffen, Larry Ellison, and Andrew Carnegie to name a few. No one told them that they couldn't be businessmen because they didn't take Econ 101.

'Why should a home owner buy fire detectors, when so few will have their house burn down?"

This has nothing to do with organic chemistry and medical school. This is akin to saying how could someone be a doctor without taking organic chemistry when people always look both ways before crossing the street. Its a good idea to have smoke detectors but not having them doesn't prevent you from living without burning to death in your home.

"Why should people buy the Journal, when it publishes such stupid crap?"

Who knows?


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