Daniel Dvorkin writes: When I first started studying bioinformatics almost fifteen years ago (!) what drew me to the field was the promise that we might soon be able to provide effective, personalized treatments for a wide variety of diseases. There have been some successes along the way, like genetic tests for warfarin dosage, but for the most part our gains in understanding of basic biology haven't been matched by clinical advances. Now it looks like that is at long last about to change, and it's about time.
Too many people suffer and die from too many diseases that we more or less understand, but can't effectively treat. I hated it when I worked in hands-on patient care, and I hate it now in the lab. We are, finally, getting there.
Daniel Dvorkin writes: Sadly, Charlie Warzel's analysis hits the nail on the head. It's becoming harder and harder to make your computer (particularly, but not exclusively, when online) behave the way you want it to rather than the way some anonymous MBA thinks it should behave, and this trend is only going to continue. We the geek-people, who made the whole thing possible, are out of the loop. After decades of decentralization, we're slowly moving back toward the classic sci-fi vision of The Computer being a giant centralized machine which users can only access when and how the powers that be want.
Daniel Dvorkin writes: "Slate reports on an anti-SOPA/PIPA petition hosted on whitehouse.gov; among the authors of the petietion are Aneesh Chopra, the US CTO. As usual, the story is a lot less dramatic than the headline ("Obama Administration Comes Out Against SOPA And Protect IP") but it's a hopeful sign."
Daniel Dvorkin writes: The Australian government has confiscated Wikileaks founder Julian Assange's passport, the Times reports. Assange has been given contradictory answers as to why the passport was revoked, but it's obviously an act of revenge for the episode last year in which Wikileaks revealed that the Australian government's list of "child pornography" sites to be blacked out throughout the country contained many sites which had nothing to do with child porn — or, indeed, anything but the suppression of political dissent.