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Comment Re: well, botox is accepted (Score 1) 41

I've considered that - it would take some care not to accidentally die of wrong pH blood or bad electrolite balance or somesuch. I'd also need to find the toxic dose when injected - hopefully way less, because I don't think injecting a kg is doable.
I think of this goal as protection against suicide. If I am ever suicidally depressed, it will look like just too much effort to die by vitamin C overdose, so instead I'll live.

Comment Re:well, botox is accepted (Score 1) 41

The drug is found in venom, but is not itself venomous. (Source: listening to radio interviews.)
In addition, any drug is toxic in sufficient dose. (Some drugs are toxic at their therapeutic dose, such as chemotherapy. Use of such drugs requires a careful cost-benefit analysis.)
I've decided that should I ever decide to commit suicide, I'm going to try to be the first person ever to die of vitamin C toxicity. It will take about a kilogram.

Comment Years off (Score 1) 41

These results are from experiments on rats. In radio interviews, the researchers said that human (phase I) trials were at least 18 months away. I'm no expert on how long clinical trials take, but I'd expect phase I through phase III couldn't be under three years, so expect 5 + years until this is in your ambulance's medicine cabinet.
Try not to have a stroke before then.

Comment "Right to try" (Score 3, Informative) 108

Many US states have "right to try" laws, and this is the sort of thing that those laws are designed to allow.
On the supply side you have charlatans, well meaning doctors who have a dud treatment they truly believe in, and well meaning doctors who have a working-but-unproven treatment they truly believe in. On the demand side, you have patients who want to pay for a miracle and have bought into the (often hard-sell and deceptive) sales story of the supply side. These combine to try to push politicians into allowing unproven medical treatments. The medical establishment objects, but are often drowned out.

You can find lots of criticism of "right to try" here.

Comment Re:GOOD. (Score 1) 281

"Eradication" implies it is being done worldwide. If there is a country which doesn't do the vaccines, you don't have an eradication program (i.e. you have not overcome the political/social will problem).

Some diseases develop new strains which evade vaccination. Measles is not one of them. Influenza is an example of a disease which we cannot (with current or near term foreseeable technology) eradicate, because of fast strain evolution and animal reservoirs.

Comment Re:GOOD. (Score 5, Interesting) 281

Vaccines can be used to eradicate measles, we just haven't tried.

Vaccines have eradicated smallpox and are on the verge of eradicating polio (42 paralysis cases worldwide last year, so far this year we're running at 1/3 of last year at the same time, 3 vs 9 cases.)

In terms of eradication, smallpox had everything going for it: an effective cheap vaccine, no animal reservoir, obvious symptoms, and the political/social will to make it happen (because it was such a terrible disease.) By comparison, polio can circulate without obvious symptoms, making it hard to eradicate.

Measles eradication has everything going for it that smallpox did, except for the will. People who think measles vaccines are dangerous should campaign for measles eradication. Their children will get the vaccine, but their grandchildren and every later generation until human extinction will not.

Comment Re: out with the old (Score 1) 306

From the final (U Texas) link:

âoeThe glass electrolytes allow for the substitution of low-cost sodium for lithium. Sodium is extracted from seawater that is widely available,â Braga said.

It can use lithium or sodium but sodium is cheaper. It may yet turn out that using lithium has advantages which justify the extra cost.

Comment Re:out with the old (Score 5, Insightful) 306

It leaves Musk happy. The megafactory churns out batteries until this (or something similar) gets commercialized, then he switches production to the new battery type. It will let Tesla make more cost-effective electric cars. (If the inventors can impress him enough, Tesla might hire them commercialize it itself. It would be a Muskian thing to do.)

It is people who have invested in lithium mining who are unhappy.

Comment Re:High "volumetric"density. Bad mass density? (Score 5, Interesting) 306

Probably not - no ingredient we've been told about is exceptionally dense.
From Wikipedia Li-ion batteries have 100-265 W.h/kg and 250-676 W.h/L, which implies density of about 2.5kg/L.

This page gives typical density of glass as 2.4 to 2.8 kg/L. Sodium metal has density 0.97 kg/L. So the new cell should have similar or better mass density than the Li-ion cells.

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