JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).



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More medical good news… the research we could be doing

It’s a feel good thing, to read some of the latest medical news.

Stem cells are the child-like cells within us that could theoretically be converted into almost any tissue we need. But getting them is difficult. Embryonic cells pose all kinds of dilemma’s. We’ve already managed to get adult cells from skin, but that requires a biopsy. Now researchers have obtained stem cells from blood. It makes things just that much easier. They can also be stored and frozen. Handy to have as a back up in years to come; more flexible because they don’t have to be converted into the powerful Induced Pluripotent Stem (iPS) cells straight away.

One day, your GP will take a blood sample and send in an order for blood vessels, heart valves, muscle tissue — if you need a new bladder, people are already working on creating them. There won’t be so many waiting lists and prayers for donations, and there won’t be any need for immunosuppressant therapy either. Your body will be happy to have your own cells back.

Ponder how much we could achieve if we focused on solving real problems instead of fake ones.

This is the kind of research that we could be doing more of.

Dr Amer Rana and his colleagues at the University of Cambridge grew patients’ blood in the lab and isolated what are known as ‘late outgrowth endothelial progenitor cells’ (L-EPCs) to turn into iPS cells. The iPS cells can then be turned into any other cell in the body, including blood vessel cells or heart cells — using different cocktails of chemicals. Scientists use these cells to study disease, and ultimately hope to grow them into tissue to repair the damage caused by heart and circulatory diseases.

Dr Amer Rana, of the University of Cambridge, said of the research: “We are excited to have developed a practical and efficient method to create stem cells from a cell type found in blood. Tissue biopsies are undesirable — particularly for children and the elderly — whereas taking blood samples is routine for all patients.

Shannon Amoils, Research Advisor at the BHF, said: “iPS cells offer great potential — both for the study and potentially the future treatment of cardiovascular diseases. As iPS cells are made from the patient’s own tissue, they can be used to study diseases and hopefully one day to repair damaged tissue without being attacked by the body’s immune system.

“Being able to efficiently produce iPS cells using cells from a blood sample will make it easier for researchers to push this technology forward. But there are still many hurdles to overcome before this kind of technique could be used to treat patients.”

Science Daily    and  The Daily Mail

How much sooner will we get this to work, if we had a $10 billion Renewable Biology Fund?

Australia is the lucky country, but it could be a smart one.

 

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73 comments to More medical good news… the research we could be doing

  • #
    JeffC

    “that could theoretically be converted into almost any tissue we need”

    actually an unproven theory … in fact based on the work thus far a disproved theory … its a pipe dream to think we can “trick” a stem cell into becoming a heart cell in a petri dish and grow a whole heart as a result … this is not science fiction it is a science fantasy …

    spend the money on adult stem cell research … we have proven they can can be used …


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    • #
      Bernard

      Well, in reply to your post about ‘Pipe-dream’ check this out—-http://www.investorsinsight.com/blogs/john_mauldins_outside_the_box/archive/2012/11/17/one-biotech-ring-to-rule-them-all.aspx


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    • #

      Jeff, let me explain it better. It’s not possible to get embryonic cells from adult blood (except possibly, maybe, from pregnant women). The stem cells in this story are technically referred to as “adult cells” — what makes it confusing is that any stem cell is by definition a “child” type of cell in that it has not grown up and differentiated. The “adult” refers to the source – blood from adults.

      And the background to this news is that it’s been discovered, done, tested, used to treat real people, and a Nobel awarded. Some countries are in on this revolution. Others fiddle at the edges and act as a quarry for the world instead.


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    • #
      shauno

      This has already been achieved in Spain. The heart cells from a cadaver were dissolved leaving only the cartilage (cant remember the correct term for it but when the cells are dissolved its left with a white lattice) type lattice. Stem cells where then used to build new heart muscles that formed around the lattice. They new how to form the correct muscles and a brand new heart was grown in the lab and to top it off it was induced to start pumping and it did. This is not science fiction its happening now big time. Dont have a link it was on a tv show a few months back.


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  • #
    Speedy

    Jo

    How’s this for an idea? The people who want “renewable” energy can put their taxes into a middle ages-style “sustainable” economy – the others can support medical research into cures for cancer etc or just using the tools that civilised society has already developed.

    Personally, I can’t see much attraction in the health care of the middle ages, but then again, maybe we could just tell the greens that Bubonic plague is just “Natural”…

    Cheers,

    Speedy


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    • #
      Charles Higley

      Hey, the Bubonic Plague is what they want! Anything that will decimate the population is fine with the Greenies. Do not forget that they consider humans a cancer on the planet, to be sequestered and minimized.

      Biofuels serve their purposes by raising the cost of food and starving the poor around the world. The Greenies love it because starving is such a natural thing, even though the gasoline in their tanks, here in the US is 10% food- derived ethanol. The hubris of concerting food to fuel makes me nauseous.

      Don’t forget that the UN’s Agenda 21 also considers sewer systems and plumbing to be unsustainable.

      We have to welcome more: Campylobacteriosis, Cryptosporidiosis, Escherichia coli Diarrhea, Encephalitis, Gastroenteritis, Giardiasis, Hepatitis A, Leptospirosis, Methaemoglobinaemia, Poliomyelitis, Salmonellosis, Shigellosis, Typhoid Fever, and Yersiniosis.

      The UN, the organization that just cannot resist hurting people around the world! I guess their plan is “Peace Through Death, it’s so peaceful when you’re dead.”


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      • #
        Bite Back

        Don’t forget that the UN’s Agenda 21 also considers sewer systems and plumbing to be unsustainable.

        We need to make the UN unsustainable.


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      • #
        Brian of Moorabbin

        Hey, the Bubonic Plague is what they want! Anything that will decimate the population is fine with the Greenies. Do not forget that they consider OTHER humans a cancer on the planet, to be sequestered and minimized.

        Fixed that for you Charles.

        It’s always a source of amusement to me that Greenies are so anti-human, and yet they never want to volunteer to remove themselves from existance and thus remove their burden on the planet.


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  • #
    John F. Hultquist

    This would be a great way to move forward. My wife already has plastic lens-eyes and a porcine heart valve so it is easy for us to see the benefits of medical research.

    We should send copies of this post to sensible politicians. Okay, sorry. Sensible newspaper editors? The UN? Maybe the Pope?


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  • #

    It seems to me that your question at the end of your posting is based on a misconception. Certainly, much more medical research would be done if no money would be wasted on the futile quest of “saving” the globe, but the overriding concern goal would still exist. That is to satisfy the urge to deconstruct the economies of the developed nations, so as to create asset- and income-equalization between the have- and the have-not nations.


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  • #
    Andrew McRae

    if you need a new bladder, people are already working on creating them.

    Mini Pee, you complete me! :D

    /austin.


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  • #
    Peter Miller

    It is interesting to speculate how many useful discoveries could be made in medical science if all the tens of billions wasted each year on ‘climate research’ were diverted into doing useful research.

    The problem is this: real research is not trendy enough for our so called political elite, while “let’s save the planet together” is the ideal catchphrase for these political loonies.

    The fact that the science behind CAGW is almost entirely baseless is irrelevant, it’s the ‘cure’ which is important. The ‘cure’, of course, involves lots of new taxes and suckering the gullible into giving you their political support.

    We have been trying to find a cure for cancer (a genuine problem) for decades, so this subject is definitely too old to be trendy. While the search for a ‘cure’ for ‘global warming’ (a non-problem) is perhaps less than ten years old and therefore clearly young enough to be trendy.

    We have been brainwashed into believing that support for the Big G is always good – green is good, to be fair it often is. However, the Big G also stands for being goofy – these days it is becoming increasingly difficult to discriminate between green and goofy. Talk to any environmentalist activist on the subject of climate change and it will become immediately obvious what I mean.


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  • #
    Rereke Whakaaro

    A cynical person might surmise that the rich were funding this sort of research because it would give them a longer and richer lifestyle, whereas the lower classes were being forced to finance climate change through their taxes and power bills, and so have a shorter and much poorer lifestyle.

    A redistribution of wealth always equates to a redistribution of health.


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    • #
      Roy Hogue

      A redistribution of wealth always equates to a redistribution of health.

      Funny — around here they’re saying redistribution of the health equates to redistribution of the wealth.

      I wonder which one is the truth. Or does it matter? You and I are screwed either way.


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      • #
        Rereke Whakaaro

        Nah,

        My version better reflects cause and effect in any economy with limited medical resources.

        I might even point out that your version sounds a bit too “propagandish” for my tastes. :-)


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      • #
        KinkyKeith

        In Australia we have a system of “free” health care, Medicare, Government care, you are absolved from all

        personal responsibility for your own health, the Gummint must care for you.

        Addiction to this “free” health care encourages people to drink, smoke, party and eat their way to bad health

        and expect the Feds to pick up the bill.

        The only initiative required of these health care recipients is that they know how to vote correctly .

        Good health is a result of good genetics, good habits of eating in moderation, exercise and intellectual activity and of course, Medicare.

        Presently it is Medicare and Medicare; no personal input expected.

        As an alternative to the Global Warming effort I suggest that along with stem cell research we could do with some good old fashioned instruction and education on how to care for our own health.

        The diversion of public funds to personal health initiatives would give a bigger payoff than Global Warming “research.”

        KK :)


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  • #
    Roy Hogue

    One day, your GP will take a blood sample and send in an order for blood vessels, heart valves, muscle tissue — if you need a new bladder, people are already working on creating them. There won’t be so many waiting lists and prayers for donations, and there won’t be any need for immunosuppressant therapy either. Your body will be happy to have your own cells back.

    Let us hope!

    On the other hand, I learned a long time ago not to count my chickens before they hatch.

    Definitely get the money better spent though!


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  • #
    Roy Hogue

    Australia is the lucky country, but it could be a smart one.

    And so should we all.


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    • #
      Dylan

      I really wish people would stop quoting Horne. The ‘lucky country’ quote was meant as an insult.

      btw, nice post Jo. Puts things in perspective.


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      • #
        KinkyKeith

        I agree Dylan.

        The term Lucky Country gives me the irrits because it is used by politicians as a protective shield.

        Apparently we are supposed to believe that life is was and always will be so easy here in OZ that we can blow

        money of Global Warming, School Shelters (who got the money and then who gets to keep the votes) and keep

        the rest of the world from poverty just by donating more to the UN.

        Political statements like “you don’t know how lucky we here in Oz compared to ….” are used to divert attention from the fact that our politicians don’t perform too well and don’t intend to either.

        They are too busy feathering their own nests.

        KK


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  • #
    elva

    Professor Graeme Clark invented the cochlear ear. Deaf people, especially children, can now hear. Now he underway to developing a bionic eye. Think of Jordie in ‘Star Trek’.

    This device can bypass the optic nerve. When that nerve dies no way can help a blind person see. But Professor Graeme Clark’s device could do this. It has been proven to work just this year. However, it needs a lot more R&D. The present Gillard government is threatening to cut funds. This will mean he and his team might have to go overseas.

    Meanwhile much larger amounts are literally wasted on ‘renewables’ such as the rusting wave power experiment at Port Kembla. Yes, what a smart nation we are…not.


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    • #
      elva

      P.S.
      I also would like to add that the government is forcing chemo-therapy patients to pay $100 for each treatment session. This applies even to private health fund patients. Why? Oh, just to save a measly $100 million or so a year. How much does that compare with the so called CO2 and AGW research grants? Very compassionate indeed.


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  • #

    A question of priorities. Against the 100% certain risk that nearly the entire population (apart from those who die accidentally) will either have organs that wear out or develop life threatening or debilitating illness (e.g cardio-vascular, cancer)or (for the third world) suffer preventable diseases made worse by poor nutrition and insanitary conditions; there is the unknown risk of theoretical anthropogenic global warming, predictions of which far exceed observations.
    Or votes, money, and power.


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  • #
    Scarface

    Sorry to be this rude, but it’s a fact: the current AGW-science and mega-funding is all about depopulation. The research you propose (and I agree full-heartedly with you) doesn’t fit their agenda well. The money and resources wasted on the redgreen CO2-hoax is a crime. One day people will be brought to trial for that.

    Until that day: Keep fighting the good fight! Thank you for all your time and effort.
    You are a beacon of hope in the current remake of the Dark Ages.


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  • #
    mfo

    Scientists at Cambridge have taken cells from the nasal cavity of paralyzed dogs, cultured them in the laboratory and injected them into the dogs’ spinal cords at the site of the injuries. The cells were taken from their nasal cavities as it is the only part of adult dogs where the nerve cells continue to grow and the same is true for people. The experiment was a success and many of the dogs regained the ability to walk. But it will be quite some time before such treatment becomes available for people with spinal injuries.

    The irony of the billions being misspent on the climate scare is that many of the scaremongers will in time suffer from serious, debilitating and incurable diseases which perhaps would have been curable had some of the pointless CAGW funds been used for medical research.


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  • #
    MadJak

    But if we put our funding into this sort of thing, what would we do with all those oxygen thieves with tertiary qualifications in environmental science?

    C’mon Jo, the government needs to keep the unemployment figures down – what else can we do with the oxygen thieves? I mean, they have an aversion to hard work, and they bought their degrees, so seriously – where would their compensation come from?

    Until we come up with s resolution to that, we should all just shut up and hand over our hard earnt to the union lackeys and failed lawyers.

    Squeal!


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  • #
    cohenite

    Opportunity cost; Peter Slipper spends $100′s of thousands on travel and cancer patients lose funding.

    So with AGW, fatcats grow fatter and ideological nut jobs gain power. The rest lose.


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  • #
    pat

    why would we want to stop this? LOL.

    30 Nov: WLOX: Solar firm that got $26M in Miss. loans is closing
    JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – Mississippi taxpayers may have only an empty Senatobia building and some solar panel equipment to show for nearly $26 million in loans provided to Twin Creeks Technologies.
    The California-based solar technology firm is liquidating, and a company that bought Twin Creeks’ assets does not intend to take over its agreement with Mississippi. The contract called for Twin Creeks to invest at least $132 million and create at least 500 jobs…
    http://www.wlox.com/story/20220865/solar-firm-that-got-26m-in-miss-loans-is-closing


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  • #
    mick

    If medical research was conducted like climate research every time a doctor would see the patient they would end up dying.

    Climate science is so irrelevant the consequences of the baloney research doesn’t matter. Green collar crime is now much bigger than white collar crime, the reason it’s not being prosecuted is that it helps governments and other Big Green companies steal from the public at large.


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  • #
    Mattb

    And yet here we are living longer than ever?


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    • #
      MadJak

      MattB,

      And yet here we are living longer than ever?

      Yes – at least in part due to resources no longer being wasted on areas of science like Phrenology, lysenkoism.

      Maybe we should take a step back and actually consider the value more appropriately based on what we know and what we need to know rathe than what people predict and advocate?

      I know, radical thinking – I’m sure the commies will want to cens……


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    • #
      gnome

      ‘Onya Matt- the research dollar is being wisely spent if it keeps Lewandowsky and his ilk away from medical research. Imagine the frankensteinish results we could have if Lewandowsky got among the stem cells.


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    • #

      And yet here we are living longer than ever?

      Since you ask: No.

      Of the 1100+ in my personal genealogy database, it’s evident that people used to grow old in the past; well into their eighties and even beyond 100. [You can't have the data. It's a genetically-biased sample anyway.]

      The poor people died earlier. Most for who I can discern occupations, were labourers and tradespeople.

      A high frequency of mortality was in infants and in mothers, having given birth. One man had 3 wives and a total of (IIRC) 11 children by them in total. Two of the 3 wives appear to have been sisters; both their deaths are recorded on effectively the same date as the birth of their last child. It was normal for births NOT to be recorded until the child had survived a couple of days so mortality rates were probably higher.

      Families were large and the odds were about 1 in 3 that children would not reach the age of 12. Families were the main mechanism that older people has to support them after they became too old to work productively. It was their Superannuation Strategy. And the same is still used in countries without a mature system providing for the accummulation of personal wealth for personal, financial security after retirement.

      Trying to have many children was a major cause of high infant and childbirth mortalities. Needing to use children as a cheap source of labour resulted in substantial fatalities. The “average life expectancy” statistic is strongly dependent on those factors.

      Amongst the ordinary people, once they reached mature adulthood (35+), it was unlikely that they’d die of disease or accident until they’d reached at least 60. Some died in wars. For the women, childbirth remained a risk.

      My ancestors were (largely) either lucky to avoid cholera and other epidemics; or were stubborn enough to survive anyway.


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      • #
        Andrew McRae

        A census taken from a town in Roman-era Egypt shows life has gotten much longer on average since 100AD, but this OECD data shows it was still only 46 on average in western developed nations even as late at 1900AD.
        I guess your ancestors were doing better than average.

        I am not so concerned with the length of life though, we’ve got that solved.
        The quality of life and what one does with it concerns me a bit more.


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      • #
        Mark D.

        Interesting Bernd.

        I’m sure some people did live to very old age. But if we can imagine the same number as today had worn out knees and hips (I have several friends with knee replacements in their 50s), occluded heart arteries, deteriorating vision and assorted other common maladies, living older than 60 was probably hell. I can’t imagine a world before aspirin and we now have so much better.

        Then too, at any old age, sudden deadly illness happens. If not for modern medicine, I would not be here (dead at 41 or so), my almost 90 mother and father gone (dad 10 years ago mom two months ago), my mid 50 sister (gone next year) late 50 sister in law (gone in a year or two), and a brother (in 10 more years). None of us would have died quickly either. Most of the above slow, agonizing and probably hideous.

        Obviously the topic of medical advances made through science is dear to my heart. It is a dark time when we see monies spent on the folly of de-carbonization. It is only BECAUSE of inexpensive energy that we have made any of these advances.

        I can only conclude that those behind warmism are not interested in extending human life, reasoned argument could be made that they are interested in the opposite.

        Truly shameful


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    • #

      Mattb: And yet here we are living longer than ever?

      Tell that to someone on the organ donor list. They’ll feel so much better.

      If you knew you’d need a liver transplant 10 years from now — would you prefer Australia was a leader in customized hepatocyte transfer or a leader in installing Chinese solar panels?

      If one of your parents has a heart attack, would you rather they could recover heart function with minimal surgery and risk, and maintain their activity and independence, or would you rather that Australia produced 4 quadzillion less tons of CO2, and reduced world temperature by 0.0001C?

      One of those scenarios could make a big difference to your children.


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  • #
    RoyFOMR

    I’m not at all sure about the desirability of ‘living longer’ whatever that means.
    I’m far more concerned about the manner of one’s death, the quality of life leading up to that death and the happiness of loved ones as they grow-up.
    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that premature death is not a tragedy; more so if it could be preventable. Yup, I’m all for clean air, water, basic medical care for all; just not comfortable with the notion that the relatively (in current global terms) well-off can squeeze out another decade or so when so many die needlessly before their time.
    That’s why I get rather exercised when those who are paid to look after all our interests act only to enrich themselves.
    Despite the clear-link, both scientific and economic, between longevity and energy availability the CAGW bandwagon fuelled by a mixture of greed and naive wishfulness just keeps rolling along!
    For goodness sake we now have the reduction of demand for energy (And Water!) an integral part of EU and UK economic policy. Thank goodness India and China just ignore this madness; just sad that our leaders don’t have their understanding and compassion.
    I really can’t be bothered to provide extensive links to back up this claim as those that are predelicted not to listen will just use their fingers to stick back into their ears rather than click-a-link!
    Just Google ‘smart-meters’, ‘UK not building reservoirs’ or any environmental article from the BBC, Graundian, ABC or of similar ilk.
    Forget about Jo’s plea for more funding of medical advances; yes it’s laudable but of little consequence to the distraught Mum of a year-old child with mortal diarrhoea in a country where the ruling classes drive around in their Mercedes!


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    • #
      KinkyKeith

      Yes Roy, you have hit the nail on the head.

      Government must address day to day problems and fix them: all the Noble Cause talk is just a diversion away from the lack of basic stewardship in modern politics.

      Our infrastructure is decaying and there is no forward planning of dams and airports and power generation.

      These are the three political “hot potatoes” that every government is going to fix when they are asking to be put into power.

      These are also the first items to be put in the too hard basket after elections are over.

      We need to change public expectations of government: some things like water power and transport are essential; others like “saving the planet” are good to look at after we have fixed all else that needs fixing.

      KK :)


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  • #
    pat

    this is related because it’s a cost to the public, in many cases against their will. i have no problem with individuals choosing to buy – or even get for free from the govt (if they successfully lobby for it) – fluoride tablets for their children, but i OBJECT totally to govts putting such things in my water supply. even those who fought against Queensland adding fluoride have a terrible time even finding out which particular substance is going in the water, or where it is sourced from:

    1 Dec: BundabergNewsMail: Mike Knott: Council under fire on fluoride
    HEALTH professionals have hit out at Bundaberg Regional Council’s decision not to go ahead with fluoridating the region’s water supply.
    The council has fought a long battle against what was originally a Labor State Government’s decision to force all local governments in Queensland to add fluoride to their water.
    The council argued Bundaberg ratepayers could not afford the estimated $7.8 million for the infrastructure plus the ongoing costs.
    This week the council had a win when the State Government legislated in parliament that councils would be given the choice of whether to go ahead or not…
    But council water and wastewater spokesman Alan Bush said while they had run their campaign on economic grounds, he was against fluoridating water.
    “There’s a 50-50 split among doctors and health professionals about fluoridating water,” he said.
    “When we started out I was neutral.
    “I was surprised at the amount of professional people against fluoridation.”
    http://www.news-mail.com.au/news/council-under-fire-fluoride/1643334/

    28 Nov: ABC: Referendum urged on water fluoridation
    Queensland Health Minister Lawrence Springborg says councils given funds to provide fluoridation will be required to continue the fluoridated supply.
    However, that is not stopping Cr Ian Petersen, who says he is strongly opposed to the concept of compulsory mass medication…
    Cr Petersen says fluoridation has a detrimental impact that far outweighs a very minimal benefit.
    He believes it is pointless to fluoridate council’s three reticulated water supplies when more than 90 per cent of it is used for watering gardens, washing cars and flushing toilets…
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-11-28/referendum-urged-on-water-fluoridation/4396514


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  • #

    Jo,

    Your mention of funding brings to mind a phone call I had earlier this week from a charity asking for money.

    After the caller introduced himself, I explained that the government had already decided what to do with my money, leaving me with nothing to spare to spend on what I thought worthy.

    His response was surprising and effusive; castigating the current federal government and urging me to join the local branch of the Liberal Party to rid the country of its Labor as soon as possible.


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    michael hart

    When in a philosophical mood, I sometimes find myself thinking about some of the reasons why I chose to take an educational/career path in the sciences.

    In a very selfish way I actually derive pleasure from acquiring new knowledge about how the physical/chemical/biological world seems to work. If that helps other humans lead more satisfying lives with good health then I enjoy it even more.

    In contrast, deciding that I already understood sufficient about the world, sufficient to tell other people what they can and cannot, should or should not do with it, simply never occurred to me as a source of pleasure.

    If “the-world-is-hurting-we-need-to-stop-what-we-are-doing” theme is always the answer, then just what is the question that seems to be being asked so repetitively? It doesn’t seem like an efficient use of limited resources to continuously do “research” that always seems to produce precisely the same result.


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    KinkyKeith

    This is a great idea for a post.

    New science, useful science

    It is inevitable that the Global Warming aspect of discussion here will fade as there is now well documented scientific refutation of any link between CO2 and the climate.

    The next phase of the blog has already moved to discussion on how to “change” the perception of CO2 induced Warming in the public mind and political sphere so that better use can be made of the resources.

    One comment above mentions the waste of intelligent effort on the Global Warming monster;

    how much better to see all this money, time and human talent going to something visibly more positive.

    It shouldn’t be too hard for the public to see that dead money into Global Warming can be diverted to better

    use.

    KK :)


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      memoryvault

      . . . that dead money into Global Warming can be diverted to better use.

      How about we try the novel idea of NOT diverting it from the taxpayer in the first place.


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        Andrew McRae

        Well now you’re talkin’ my language.
        How far were you thinking we should go on this journey? Some basic Austrian Economic reform, or all the way to Rothbard-style anarcho-capitalism with a Stateless society?
        As a start I’d be happy just with Government cutting red tape on small business to stimulate employment and innovation, but since big business pays the political parties to keep things complicated there is not much chance of that happening.

        Funny isn’t it MV, we always arrive at the same conclusion. Australia needs a new political party whose aim is to eradicate political parties from the political system, a quasi-Democrats revival, which will dissolve into independent candidates the same scheduled day as all other parties. The Independence Party? Just throwing out ideas here.

        Calling it the New Democrats Party could get it confused internationally with the New Democrats Party in Canada who are the opposite of what you’re advocating.


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          memoryvault

          .
          An interesting comment Andrew, and one worthy of a detailed reply.

          Regrettably, I am half-way through cooking a large Schnapper on the Webber (a new hobby), and cannot do you, or the subject matter, justice at the moment.

          .
          I’ll give it a go in when our visitors all go home in a couple of hours.


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          MadJak

          Andrew and MV,

          I would suggest that the whole concept of political parties is fast becoming obsolete – people are much more dispersed in their political views now on various facets. The old party lines are a millstone around the necks of all involved – whilst they will agree with you on some points, sooner or later (on the best old school political polling) you will push some really big bad buttons.

          Just look at the ALP – their class and gender war rhetoric might as well come from another planet to the younger crowd coming through. Somehow they’ve done a fine job of alienating their original support base as well, but I guess that’s just a result of being top heavy with leeches, lawyers and professional politicians.

          Unfortunately we’re still in some sort of transition (I have no idea as to the end state), where numpty independant MPs and professional pollies are doing a damned fine job of being the professional sociopaths puppets (most blatant example being wilkie).

          For the record – I am for taxes, but only for the basics and to provide a hand up to those in need when they need it. Focus being on keeping the economy innovating and producing – not on the current “let’s tax our way to greatness” model. I also don’t see the point in having massively inefficient beurocracies trying to make things “fairer” (there is no such way to make anything fairer – it’s a misnomer).

          More resources to the front line – set a ratio for all government agencies that sets a clear ratio of bean counters to service providers.

          I am also all for the idea that each taxpayer should receive a statement detailing where every cent of their taxes was spent – with references to the politicians who voted for the legislation mandating the expense (living or deceased). The list against debt servicing would be an interesting one.

          No taxes without accountability. Right now they tax us and we’re accountable (or no-one appears to be).

          After all, it’s really our money, or so we’re led to believe.


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        MadJak

        What – letting the people creating the wealth decide for themselves how to spend it?

        What would they know about value for money?

        You mean like, forcing the distributors of other peoples hard earnt actually go out there into the real world and becoming productive.

        Blasphemy I tell you, pure blasphemy!

        /sarc

        If you did that, we would run the risk of having a more equitable society.


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        KinkyKeith

        Figure of speech MV.

        Gain the public’s interest by offering them something that can only be given them IF the money is diverted from AGW.

        Killing two birds with one idea.

        KK :)

        ps. Can remember the first time I saw a snapper as a small kid in the late forties or early fifties.
        At Nelson Bay; It had a huge bump on it’s head.

        KK :)


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    Skitzo

    Why would they spend your taxes on health when one of the globalists’ ultimate goals is depopulation starting with the lower classes. The sicker they can keep them the shorter they will be on this planet. It’s disgusting but it’s been in the works for a long time. If they can concoct more diseases and divert funds on useless causes such as AGW nonsense then their job becomes so much simpler. What amuses me is that the house of the big cheese has no room in it for our gutless and contemptible bunch of no-good slackers in Canberra. When they have outlived their usefulness, they themselves will find the short end of the stick. There is no honor amongst thieves.


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    Mattb

    Anyway – can’t anyone just give money away to a suitable medical charity to reduce their taxable income? To my knowledge everyone is able to proactively determine where their tax dollars are spent by donating, rather than paying tax and having the govt decide?


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      Hmm Mattb, if you give away your entire income (down to the tax free threshold) on the small sum you have left to spend you’ll only be paying GST, stamp duty, tarrif-related-costs, renewable scheme money through your electricity, petrol tax (unless you sell the car), customs duties, and a payroll tax and forced superannuation for any medical researcher you try to employ.

      If you want to believe that you can control where your tax dollars go, then I suggest you try running a campaign to get the government to change the way it uses your taxes. That ought to disabuse you….


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        And the CARBON TAX which is rolled quietly into the cost increases of everything.

        Policies such as RET’s lead to misinvestment in technologies that are commercially unviable and a technical nonsense. Those misinvestments are paid for in people’s power bills; and embedded into other product costs of everything made, handled or sold under such policy realms.

        Although they are not “taxes”, they are still a financial burden, wasting productive capacity on counter-productive outcomes. The loss in productivity and the higher prices reduce competitiveness, putting pressure on wages, resulting in there being less money in the pockets of most consumers, reducing their discretionary spending and savings capacity.


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    Tim

    ‘Renewable’ only applies to subsidised energy, not to lives, unfortunately. This would be a great breakthrough for science, but who would it be available for?

    If the goal is to reduce global populations, then it would probably only be accessed by a chosen few.

    “The elderly are useless eaters.”– Henry Kissinger quoted in the book ‘The Final Days’.


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    Bite Back

    This is the moral dilemma of our time. How do we provide necessary medical care to everyone? But the better question is, how do we pay for increasingly more and more expensive medical care for anyone, much less everyone? Let’s face it cost is the dilemma.

    Now Jo, I’ve got to ask this. Do you think that if climate change — or any other waste of money — goes away the politically powerful will give up all that money? I don’t think so, not here in the U.S. and not in Australia either.

    I know what I think is the only way to solve the problem; or at least solve it to the fullest extent that it can be solved. But free markets are not popular with enough people. The powerful will get the care. The rest of us will take pot luck. Research will be governed by politics, not by need or good science. And that will be the end of it.

    If you think I’m wrong I’ll listen. I have good personal reasons to hope I’m wrong. But the tide is going the other way.

    BB


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    Jimmy Haigh

    It’s much easier to be a “cimate scientist” (which doesn’t need much brain at all) than a doctor (which does).


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    Brendan

    Dr. Anthony Atala has already grown a new bladder using adult stem cells, and it was transpanted into a teenager who had lsot his own bladder to spina bifada. Unfortunately, the FDA is trying to clamp down on this and other research. Wake up. The government doesn’t want this to happen.

    Jo, I have argued elsewhere that the whole US medicare issue arguement between Repubs and Dems is moving thedeck chairs on the titantic. The real solution is exactly what you have said (I call it a BioMedical Manhattan Project). 45% of Medicare costs are due to diabetes, dementia, and kidney disease. Cure these and you significantly cut those future costs, and the cut the cost curve.

    More people need to buy into this and write their legislators.


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    Graeme Bird

    We don’t really need more cancer research. Or at least its no high priority. What we need is the implementation by the medical profession, of what is already known but disputed by mendacious wreckers. Disputed-in-error. The specifics of implementing what we already know, this is indeed are a complicated matters, that require the expertise of the mainstream modern medical profession. But they won’t do it. So they need to be defunded even if pensions are boosted in compensation. Cancer treatment is as corrupt and evil an era of science, as is the global warming fraud.


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    Graeme Bird

    “Dr. Anthony Atala has already grown a new bladder using adult stem cells, and it was transpanted into a teenager who had lsot his own bladder to spina bifada. Unfortunately, the FDA is trying to clamp down on this and other research. Wake up. The government doesn’t want this to happen.”

    But here we see that no sensibilities of the Athenian-Christian ethical world-view have been offended. This is the whole point of the stem-cell hysteria. Some elites must have conceived that stem-cells ….. resultant from unwanted healthy humans …… would lead to a further corruption of our standards and the mental landscape, affecting the way we humans view ourselves and each-other. My understanding is that most of the breakthroughs have come without killing. Without killing and from LIVE consenting adult humans. If you were the Aztec Royal family (that had grown accustomed to eating the organs of those you thought were lesser-people or those you thought were enemies) would you want to promote the idea that we don’t need to denigrate the human race in order to help individual members OF that race? I think we have fermented elite-elites that are every bit as corrupt and wicked as the Aztec royal family. Its as if the cow-dung had risen to the top and the cream had sunk to mid-level in the vat.


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