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Comment Not like any yogurt (Score 3, Informative) 183

Med student here, just attended three meetings on this condition, and I've had a number of patients with this condition.

This kind of treatment has been tested before and is an exciting possibility, but there have been failures in the past. Also, this is nothing like the yogurt cultures you know.

......... then again I'm an idiot .........


Submission + - Climate researcher Mann suing journalist Steyn for libel (

Kurofuneparry writes: National Review journalist Mark Steyn has announced that he is being sued by Penn State climate research Michael Mann over an article that attempted to connect Penn State's handling of the Jerry Sandusky rap case to the handling of a review of Mann's work. The letter provided by Mann's lawyer is presently available.

This is a move likely to keep the debate on climate change simmering and tempt the Streisand effect. From the offending article, "If an institution is prepared to cover up systemic statutory rape of minors, what won’t it cover up? Whether or not he’s 'the Jerry Sandusky of climate change', he remains the Michael Mann of climate change..." The letter from Mann's lawyer hinges on an argument that the "... allegation of academic fraud is false, and was clearly made with the knowledge that it was false."

Comment Re:A question for the bio geeks.. (Score 3, Informative) 121

While you are correct about many of the concerns from the stemming process, I was mainly talking about somatic mutations (like those caused by gamma radiation for example). The statement I made previously about these somatic mutations propagating no more in stemming than in breeding is still true. Also, the proto-oncogene concern is one that current research is already working toward limiting.
My main concern with your statement is the argument that stem cells are MORE susceptible to random mutation than somatic cells. This is simply false. You argued that decreased activity is a protective attribute than for stem cells. In fact, most stem cells in the human body are LESS active than somatic cells as somatic cells do the work and (monopotent) stem cells like osteoprogenitor cells are mainly there to replenish and preserve genetic information. It's a biological axiom that sex cells (sperm and ova) have the highest importance in preserving genetic integrity and that's what we see experimentally: the sex cells have BETTER preservation of information, not worse.
.... Then again ..... I'm an idiot ....

Comment Re:A question for the bio geeks.. (Score 5, Informative) 121

Biochemist medical student here. Propagating genetic errors is certainly a concern here, but the same concerns exist for genetic transfer in breeding generally. While skin cell are exposed to more radiation, the cells preferred for sampling here are typically from buccal (mouth) sources or are relatively deeper than the layers where most melanoma form.
Honestly, the more prime concerns are with imperfect "stemming" or imperfect conversion to heart cells.
Then again ... I'm and idiot ....

Submission + - Borat used for Patent prior art (

Kurofuneparry writes: "Rarely does patent law meet pop culture so hilariously. But it gets to a more important point: An invention cannot be patented if there has been a public disclosure of said invention prior to the date of filing." Not exactly a tech patent, but it does comically display the kind of prior art searches that are often being done so poorly in the tech industry by the over-burdened patent office. After talking about how a "scrotal support garment" patent is invalidated by the Borat movie, the article also mentions a case involving Apple last year as well as a case in which the Bible was used for prior art.

Comment Re:Calling 'shock' or 'electroshock' inaccurate (Score 1) 65

Yes, in the sense that they're using it to try to determine which parts serve which function. Certain areas are dependent on the function of other areas, like Broca's area (mouth articulation for speech) being dependent on Wernicke's area (Word association/searching).

Then again.... I'm an idiot.....

Comment Calling 'shock' or 'electroshock' inaccurate (Score 2) 65

This is deep brain stimulation. They're running a constant or alternating current, not producing bursts of electricity or a 'shock'. I've administered the modern, anesthetized, calibrated version of electroshock in my medical training and this procedure described here is also very, very different.

This is much more analogous to overclocking a part of the brain by preferentially stimulating it to work harder. This may be used to improve performance but those applications are still far away. This is most useful as a diagnostic tool or even more likely as a research tool to try to understand what various parts of the brain do.

Then again.... I'm an idiot.....

Submission + - Tiny Zaps Boost Memory (

sciencehabit writes: Ever feel like you could use a little jolt to perk up your brain? Six epilepsy patients recently got exactly that. While they were in the hospital awaiting surgery to mitigate their seizures, they volunteered for an unusual experiment: Taking advantage of platinum electrodes surgeons had implanted in the patients' brains, researchers zapped the volunteers with mild pulses of electrical current. The jolts enhanced the patients' ability to learn their way around a virtual city.

Submission + - Genetic Parkinson's Mutated Brain Cells Made in Lab, A Step Closer to Cure

An anonymous reader writes: Scientists have successfully replicated the genetically caused Parkinson’s disease brain nerve cell in the laboratory formed from skin cells, a breakthrough researchers believe will give them the ability to precisely examine how mutations in the parkin gene affects 10 percent of patients with Parkinson’s.

Comment Re:Good (Score 1) 1319

This is ignoring the point of the objection: Some pharmacists believe that the morning after pill is murder and that filling it just because it's their job is akin to soldiers in various atrocities saying that they were just following orders.
Also, you seem to have misunderstood the post to which you were responding. They were agreeing with you.
Then again..... I'm an idiot....

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