1. Addressing Inequities Realistically

    brian on 2007.07.06 at 11:06 pm

    If we can find approaches that meet the needs of the poor in ways that generate profits for business and votes for politicians, we will have found a sustainable way to reduce inequity in the world. This task is open-ended. It can never be finished.

    - Bill Gates’ Harvard Commence Address

    I’ve always thought that Bill Gates was a better guy than his business tactics with Microsoft represented. His next career as a philanthropist will give him the opportunity to prove that. I hope he hits it out of the park.

    One thing that will help him is that he’s a realist. It’s sad that the “do the right thing” motivation hasn’t brought mankind to where it needs to be, but perhaps by realigning businesses to serve human needs as well as business goals, we can get over the hump.

    I don’t think human inequity can ever be solved. I believe that there will always be poverty and homelessness. As someone who strongly believes in the lessons of Darwin, I don’t see anyway around this. That said, I still believe that we should work toward equity as if it were an achievable goal, and that a large dent can be made in the problem. Good luck, Bill.

    Posted in: Medicine · Politics

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  2. Benefits found in simple antibiotic for poor HIV patients

    jake on 2004.11.19 at 01:22 pm

    Helping suffering people in need is a very good thing. The drug, co-trimoxazole, “costs less than 10 cents per person a day.”

    I find it terrible that education in developing countries is still lacking. Hell I find that education is lacking everywhere. The numbers of HIV infected people even here in the US declined during the 90’s.

    Now that education is heading toward, just say no, without a lot of education, the rates are going back up again. Moving away from safe sex education toward no sex education is naive and ineffective. Kids are gonna have sex, just like their tight ass, right wing parents did in the back seat of a car. All you can do is tell them the truth and give them condoms and hope that you didn’t screw up being a parent. They need a reason not to have sex once hormones kick in. And “because I said so” or “because you’ll go to hell” doesn’t count.

    But a little more to the point of the original article, education needs to be spread in developing countries also. I viewed a show on HBO in 2003 (You can buy the DVD or a book about it too) where it was made clear that many of the sick are carted off like the Lepers of old and basically feared out of ignorance. Anyone remember Philidelphia?

    Let’s hope that the rest of the world can lead the spread of information since our government is so adament about supressing it.

    Posted in: Medicine · Politics

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  3. High tech nausea stopper

    jake on 2003.03.21 at 06:29 pm

    I think I'm ready to try Dueling Dragons again. has a review of a new way to combat motion sickness.

    Though the trip ends up being about as exciting as watching a fishbowl (we saw just one tail and endured four hours of chilly sea spray), I'm pleased to know I can go thrill-seeking without losing my lunch.

    Next stop: the Matterhorn.

    The product is called the Relief Band and can supposedly stop many times of nausea. I might have to get one of these someday if it really works. As I get older, I find myself more susceptible to motion sickness. Guess that's what I get for making fun of my mom for all those years about her weak stomach. It is a bit expensive to buy on a whim.

    Posted in: Technology · Medicine

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  4. More abortion news

    jake on 2003.03.14 at 04:49 pm

    On a similar note, a piece of legislation that Bush reinstated in 2001 may affect his proposal of aid to countries with HIV/AIDS epidemics.

    Now, the Bush administration is considering extending the Mexico City policy to include HIV and AIDS clinics in developing countries. That would restrict the $15 billion promised by the president in his State of the Union Address on Jan. 28.

    Let's hope this isn't some jerky way to save some money.

    Wired News

    Posted in: Politics · Medicine

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  5. Senate passes late term abortion plan

    jake on 2003.03.14 at 04:36 pm

    The senate has ok'd a ban on late term abortions.

    The bill prohibits doctors from committing an "overt act" designed to kill a partially delivered fetus. Partial birth is described as a case in which the entire fetal head is outside the body of the mother, or, in the event of a breech delivery, if "any part of the fetal trunk past the navel is outside the body of the mother."

    The article seems to have a typo. It references many times that there is no exemption when taking into account the health of the mother. Like this...

    Abortion rights supporters have pledged a court challenge. "This bill is unconstitutional," argued Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) citing the lack of an exemption in cases where the health of the mother is in jeopardy.

    And right after, the odd line...

    The legislation includes an exemption in cases in which the procedure is necessary to save the life of the mother.

    On a personal level, I find abortion to be terrible in most circumstances. And I realize this isn't all encompassing, but if you don't wanna have kids, use contraception.

    There are exceptions, like when the health of the mother is at stake. Which is why I believe that should have been added to this bill. I'm smack in the middle of the grey area that many people can not even see on this issue.

    Wired News

    Posted in: Politics · Medicine

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  6. Stem cells to the rescue!

    jake on 2003.03.07 at 06:01 pm

    Wired reported this morning that Dimitri Bonnville was treated with stem cells to fix his damaged heart. His other option was a heart transplant.

    Other studies have suggested that simply injecting stem cells into a damaged area might be enough to instigate tissue repair. But most of the work has been done with younger stem cells taken from embryos or aborted fetuses.

    This appears to be the first piece of evidence that stem cells taken from someone as old as 16 have differentiated so effectively. Still, O'Neill says he's not sure the results could be duplicated in older people.

    It's too bad they don't know more about the procedure. There's references in the article that they're not positive how the miraculous recovery occured. But they sure are glad it worked. I just like the idea it may strike a blow for stem cell research.

    I'm not a fan of harvesting cells derived from abortions. But other techniques like this seem feasible. Perhaps, cells could be harvested at a young age in the case they are needed years later. Similar to how some people store their own blood for personal use.

    Wired News

    Posted in: Medicine

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