Monday, March 24, 2008

Medical breakthrough!

Scientists have come up with a method for removing tonsils rectally. They conceded that it might be safer and more effective to do it the usual way, but you know, they just had to show that they could do it.

Believe it or not, the above is a total fabrication. But then there is this headline: Cloned cells treat Parkinson's in mice - Yahoo! News.

All well and good, but then read this passage from it:
But they found that a mouse's own cloned stem cells were far less disruptive to its body than cloned cells taken from other mice.

"It demonstrated what we suspected all along -- that genetically matched tissue works better," said Viviane Tabar of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Institute in New York, who worked on the study.
Ya think?

But hey, let's suck in lots of federal dollars for more of this. It might not give us any really useful results, but then it gives some researchers something really cool to fool with. We'd be money ahead if we just gave the researchers free phalloplasty.

Advice for politicians

I hate to disagree with Soccer Dad, but I offer some different ideas on how to handle a sex scandal.

For one, Eliot Spitzer should have captured the whole thing on tape. Then he could have said that he was making a porn movie, and you can't bust people for prostitution when they're acting in a porn movie.

What's more, he should have used this opportunity for campaigning. Maybe have him making campaign speeches on a TV in the background or something. He could sell the tapes to raise funds, and no one would dare complain about the campaign messages because everyone knows that only bluenoses could possibly object to mass distribution of porn.

Spitzer's failure to do these things can only be explained as a lapse in judgment. Surely it's not because he wasn't cynical enough.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Random Easter venereal disease post

Overheard back in the early 80's - "you know the difference between true love and herpes? Herpes lasts forever"

It so happens that a few weeks ago I was talking to a pharmacist who was amused by some of the TV ads for pharmaceuticals. She was particularly amused by one for Valtrex, in which one person would say "I have herpes" and their presumptive bedmate said "and I don't" To which our pharmacist said "but you will".

I assume that the people in the commercials were actors, or at least would claim that they were. Even so, we're talking social evolution here. I can't find a link, but I seem to recall that back in the 80's a couple filed suit because their image was used in a public service ad about herpes.

Such innocent times! We hadn't heard of AIDS yet. Once the acronym appeared it was pretty firmly associated with IV drug users, Haitians and especially gays. Some of my less PC coworkers in hard hats said it stood for "another infected..." and the rest will be left as an exercise.

Hey, while we're at it why not work in something about syphilis too. I understand that you can get it from blood transfusions. And that apparently this was a problem in Mexico once upon a time.

More social evolution: a few weeks ago I took a pit stop at a convenience store and the men's room was out of service. No problem, they said to use the ladies' room. Ah, they have condom machines in here too. But it's been a while since I've seen one that said "for prevention of disease only".

Ha, good luck with that. They aren't 100% effective as birth control when used as directed by competent adults, much less by horny adolescents. It's hard to see how they'd be any more effective against disease. Of course abstinence is always 100% effective when used. It's not very reliable when it's *not* used, but then neither are condoms. Yes, that's absurd, but then why do some people blame abstinence education programs for problems that occur when they clearly aren't being followed? Are programs that encourage condom use ever blamed for problems that occur when kids don't use condoms?

Clearly I've run out of things to write about, so that will be all.