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Hank CampbellRSS Feed of this column.

I'm the founder of Science 2.0® in 2006 and, since June of 2015, the President of the American Council on Science and Health.

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It's rare that a government commission won't take the opportunity to increase its authority and its importance.  It's good job security and makes people feel relevant, even if it's not only unnecessary but being resisted by virtually everyone outside the commission, like in the case of the FCC trying to take over the Internet.

Yet The Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues, created by executive order in 2009, released its report on synthetic biology yesterday and said, just this once, things are okay without more rules.
It's become so commonplace for large science endeavors to be over budget and long-delayed that both budgets and time frames seem almost meaningless.   The James Webb Space Telescope might as well just be issued blank checks and, in Europe, the ITER nuclear fusion reactor project is making the overruns and delays of even the LHC look modest.
Writing in Blood, a group says that a 2007 adult stem cell transplant cured a patient of both his HIV and his leukemia.   Up to 33 million people worldwide have HIV/AIDS.

How did it work and what does it mean?  It was a perfect storm of good fortune for the patient so it's an interesting medical starting point but not really a cure-all just yet.   Timothy Brown, an HIV-positive man in Germany, also had leukemia and was undergoing chemotherapy but he got a bone marrow transplant  from a donor who carried an inherited CCR5 gene mutation that seems to make carriers immune to HIV.
If you think people in your family can't cook, imagine how bad the soup must have been to bury it and leave it untouched for 2,400 years.   

Chinese archaeologists say a bronze cooking pot dug up near the former capital Xian (for 1,100 years - go see the terracotta army at the burial site of Qin Shihuang, the first emperor, there) contains bone soup.   They found it while excavating a tomb because they need an extension of the airport - nothing new, China is sort of like a "Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy" opening when it comes to history getting in the way of Progress.
When I was a lad, a fellow named Edward Packard came up with the Choose Your Own Adventure series, books where you read until an action point and you had to make a decision - your decision determined the plot of the book from there on out by sending you to a specific page where things continued.

Using real-time video coding procedures, a group of researchers have created a similar approach that is interactive for movie watchers, so if you're one of those annoying French nihilists and like movies that end with a crying clown or whatever, okay, it can happen, but if you're an outrageously optimistic American and like happy endings, that could be possible also.
The National Cancer Institute says 200,000 American women will get breast cancer this year and 20% will die from the disease.

A lumpectomy is a common treatment but up to 40 percent of women see the cancer return, a number that is reduced to about 10 percent with radiation of the (whole) breast.

But between 2001 and 2006 partial-breast treatments, brachytherapy, went up 1000% - despite real evidence it works.