Tag Archives: Analysis

POSITRACTION: Clostridium difficile treatment cheap and easy



October 28th, 2014 at 10:55 am
Frozen poop pills can help fight life-threatening intestinal infections

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The pills take the place of fecal transplants, which have gained credibility in recent years as a method of treating Clostridium difficile infection, but which require delivery by enema or a tube down the digestive system. Scientists say the pills, which contain filtered, healthy fecal matter, offer a cheap, convenient and safer way to “make the medicine go down.”

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In a small and preliminary trial, the pills cured the diarrhea symptoms in 19 out of 20 people with mild to moderate C. difficile infections. Each patient popped 30 of the pills over a two-day period, and their bowel movements fell from a median of 5 per day to 1 per day eight weeks later. Fourteen of the 20 patients were cured after the first two-day treatment, and five others — sicker than the rest — were cured after a second two-day, 30-pill treatment.

Further, not a single participant showed adverse side effects due to the pills. Researchers published their findings Saturday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Disgusting? Yup. Practical? Yup. Saves lives? Cheap? Yup. Easy? Yup!

So how will Big Pharma and the FDA keep this off the market?

Anyone, who has spent any time around old folks in hospitals or nursing homes, knows how bad this infection is.

Makes everyone unhappy. And, sometimes weakens and kills.

Infection control is … cumbersome. And, this isn’t Ebola, but it runs through hospitals and nursing homes like a wildfire.

My sainted aunt had it three or four times. It made her embarrassed, uncomfortable, and miserable.

(She’d have never taken the pills if she knew what was in it. But, I’d have looked her right in the eye and lied like a politician running for reelection!)


Hope this gets a speedy approval.

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POSITRACTION: New nanobots could destroy cancerous tumors soon



August 30th, 2014 at 8:10 am
New nanobots hunt down and destroy cancerous tumors

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An army of tiny weaponized robots traveling around a human body, hunting down malignant tumors and destroying them from within sounds like a scene from a science fiction novel. But research in Nature Communications today from the University of California Davis Cancer Center shows the prospect of that being a realistic scenario may not be far off.

Promising progress is being made in the development of a multi-purpose anti-tumor nanoparticle called “nanoporphyrin” that can help diagnose and treat cancers.

Cancer is the world’s biggest killer. In 2012, an estimated 14.1 million new cancer cases were diagnosed and around 8.2 million people died from cancer worldwide.

This year, cancer surpassed cardiovascular diseases to become the leading cause of death in Australia; 40,000 Australians died as a result of cancer last year. It’s no wonder that scientists explore every possible technology to efficiently and safely diagnose and treat the disease.

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Now here are some “weaponized robots” that we can all get behind.

God, the Universe, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster has enable humans to do both great and terrible things. 

I hope we do more “great”.

Imagine this developing technology saving your loved one. 

I pray for the individuals working on this to work faster, harder, and smarter.

Wish I could contribute, but for now we can all send good thoughts in their direction … …

… … and maybe God, the Universe, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster will hurry them along.

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ENDNOTE: Marriage is on the decline


June 6th, 2013 at 9:07 am
Living in a world where marriage is on the decline

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There wasn’t much disagreement on the panel: End welfare payments for single mothers, stop no-fault divorce, remove tax penalties for marriage, and fix “the culture.” From this list the only victory they got was ending welfare as we knew it, which increased the suffering of single mothers and their children but didn’t affect the trajectory of marriage and single motherhood.

So the collapse of marriage continues apace. Since 1980, for every state in every decade the percentage of women who are married has fallen (except Utah in the 1990s):

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I’m glad I didn’t miss my soulmate.

I can’t imagine my life without here. 

Life didn’t work out as either of us thought. But we knew we’d have limited time together and made the most of it. 

I remember reading that “interdependence is the joining of two independent people to accomplish more than either could do on their own”. 

What are we losing, what have we lost, by this cultural shift?

Are the men and women happier without each other?

Or have we cheapened “life” so that it’s not as worthwhile as our ancestors?

Marriage as an institution may have developed as a survival mechanism, but it certainly is more than just that.

Sadly, I don’t see any change in thinking any time soon.

Too bad for them.

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POSITRACTION: Futurist Thomas Frey calls attention to “prisons”


January 4th, 2013 at 3:02 pm
When Prisons Become Illegal
Futurist Thomas Frey 

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Restorative justice is an approach to justice that focuses on the needs of the victims and the offenders, as well as the surrounding community.

Crime is a larger issue than just how government deals with criminals. Since crime victims and the community bear the brunt of the crime, they too must be actively involved in the criminal justice process.

Currently, many victims feel re-victimized by the criminal justice system itself because it excludes them from most of the process. Using a different approach, with restorative justice victims take an active role in the process, while offenders are encouraged to take responsibility for their actions, “to repair the harm they’ve done—by apologizing, returning stolen money, or community service”.

Restorative justice asks that victim’s concerns be considered throughout the process. Victims need help regaining a sense of control over their lives, and they need to be compensated for their loss.

Rather than simply warehousing offenders, restorative justice holds offenders personally accountable. They need to confront the pain they have caused to their victims and take the steps necessary to overcome their criminal behavior.

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The USA has too many in prison.

Time to try something different.

As far as capital punishment, I’d restrict that to inmates that are too dangerous to put in prison.

Libertarians generally believe in restitution. And, we’ve been saying it for a while.

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POSITRACTION: Johnson & Johnson’s Zytiga beats Prostate Cancer


June 3rd, 2012 at 7:33 pm
Science may have just beaten Prostate Cancer
in: Analysis, Breakthrough Thinking, Current Events, Education, Health & Fitness, Historical Perspectives, New Discoveries

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How do you know when your new cancer drug is working better than expected? When they shut down the clinical trial so that every participating patient can receive it.

Johnson & Johnson’s Zytiga is kind of a big deal. The FDA approved its use last year for advanced prostate cancer patients who had already received chemo but whose cancer had still metastasized.

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Truly amazing. We, as a species, have some much to learn about ourselves and the “real world”, but we keep letting politicians and bureaucrats distracts us. Argh!

What a blessing on posterity.

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MVIDEO: An Analysis of the Chapel


An Analysis of the Chapel of De La Salle and His Brothers

As part of the 2012 De La Salle Week festivities, Richard Emmerson, Ph.D., dean of the school of arts and medieval art specialist, gave an analysis of the mural in the Chapel of De La Salle and His Brothers, in the context of the building itself.

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“This video has been removed by the user.”

[JR: Wow, that was quick. And I was interested in it since I’ve been there so many times for long periods of time. Oblvious to what the nuances of what I was seeing. Argh! ]

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[JR: Strange? A little poking around gave anther link. Argh! 10 minutes well spent. Who knew it had such a story to tell?]

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POSITRACTION: Commuter marriages


February 21st, 2012 at 11:37 am
Commuter marriages on the rise
in: Analysis, Culture, Latest Trend

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Today’s technology is partly the reason. Unlimited cellphone minutes and video chats via FaceTime or Skype mean being apart doesn’t have to feel so isolating. “It can keep you together while you’re apart,” Stafford said. “It keeps you connected.”

But even the best technology is a poor substitute for being together.

Linda Young is a Texas psychologist that does relationship coaching, has lived apart from her husband for several years. She recommends that couples:

– Resist the urge to shelve unpleasant feelings out of fear of ruining the time you do spend together.

– Keep in touch in old-fashioned ways like writing notes and letters.

– Get creative, like watching the same movie so you can talk about it.

Living apart is not all chocolate and flowers and I-miss-yous. Having separate homes often means lonely weekends and having to show up solo at get-togethers with friends and family. And that can wear on a relationship.

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Luckily, I never had much of that. I did have to go to the USAF survival schools after marriage. Frau Reinke and I hated that. We were never apart for more than a week after that. People used to tease us that we were joined at the hip. We were. I miss her.

This story surprised me, because I didn’t think folks got married much any more.

Except for those folks trying to force a cultural issue.

Seems that the girls and boys don’t see the wisdom of the old ways.

In my case, I was expected to live at home until I went in the service. In Frau Reinke’s case, she was expected to live at home until she wed. That’s just the way life was. There was no discussion. No moving in together.

Common wisdom: It’s not fair to the girl. Why buy the cow, when the boy can get the milk for free.

Less common wisdom: It’s not fair to the boy. Why not get started on your real life? You don’t want an “easy” woman for your wife. It’ll nag you.

So, it’s good to see folks still getting married. Even at a distance.

And, there’s a move afoot to have the Gooferment get out of the “marriage business” and call everything a “domestic partnership”.

Seems like marriage will be left to The People. Sounds a little like the Tenth Amendment.

Hope all my fellow alums find these trends as inspiring as I do.

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