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Skin cells turned into cancer hunters: Let’s do less politically correct science and more real stuff

Why are we still wasting money trying to change the weather?

We’ve cracked the code to program biology and there are so many better things we can do. We can read the four letter alphabet, and now we’re in the early days of unpacking the operating systems. One team (below) has just reprogrammed skin cells to hunt down one particular type of brain cancer and found a way to get the cells to stick around long enough to deliver killer drug doses to the cancer cells. It’s at proof of concept stage — we can extend the life of mice with this cancer by about 200%, but we haven’t tried this in people. This may be years off, or not. Cancer is an information problem.

In one form or another this concept will change the world. Sooner or later we will figure out how to reprogram cells to seek out and destroy every last difficult-to-get cancer cell. No more mass collateral damage that kills healthy cells too. Then we’ll teach the immune system to stay alert and keep picking off any recidivists. No more recurrences.

This is just the beginning of customized, individualized medicine. Early days.

 

 Groundbreaking discovery made use skin cells to kill cancer

ScienceDaily:  In a first for medical science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill pharmacy researchers turn skin cells into cancer-hunting stem cells that destroy brain tumors known as glioblastoma — a discovery that can offer, for the first time in more than 30 years, a new and more effective treatment for the disease.

The technique, reported in Nature Communications, builds upon the newest version of the Nobel Prize-winning technology from 2007, which allowed researchers to turn skin cells into embryonic-like stem cells. Researchers hailed the possibilities for use in regenerative medicine and drug screening. Now, researchers have found a new use: killing brain cancer.

“Patients desperately need a better standard of care,” said Shawn Hingtgen, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy and member of the Lineberger Comprehensive Care Center, who led the study.

The survival rate beyond two years for a patient with a glioblastoma is 30 percent because it is so difficult to treat. Even if a surgeon removes most of the tumor, it’s nearly impossible to get the invasive, cancerous tendrils that spread deeper into the brain and inevitably the remnants grow back. Most patients die within a year and a half of their diagnosis.

Hingtgen and his team want to improve those statistics by developing a new personalized treatment for glioblastoma that starts with a patient’s own skin cells, with the goal of getting rid of the cancerous tendrils, effectively killing the glioblastoma.

In their work, Hingtgen and his team reprogram skin cells known as fibroblasts — which produce collagen and connective tissue — to become induced neural stem cells. Working with mice, Hingtgen’s team showed that these neural stem cells have an innate ability to move throughout the brain and home in on and kill any remaining cancer cells. The team also showed that these stem cells could be engineered to produce a tumor-killing protein, adding another blow to the cancer.

Depending on the type of tumor, the Hingtgen’s team increased survival time of the mice 160 to 220 percent. Next steps will focus on human stem cells and testing more effective anti-cancer drugs that can be loaded into the tumor-seeking neural stem cells.

“Our work represents the newest evolution of the stem-cell technology that won the Nobel Prize in 2012,” Hingtgen said. “We wanted to find out if these induced neural stem cells would home in on cancer cells and whether they could be used to deliver a therapeutic agent. This is the first time this direct reprogramming technology has been used to treat cancer.”

Hingtgen’s team is also currently improving the staying power of stem cells within the surgical cavity. They discovered that the stem cells needed a physical matrix to support and organize them, so they will hang around long enough to seek out the cancerous tendrils. “Without a structure like that, the stem cells wander off too quickly to do any good,” said Hingtgen, who reported this result in a separate journal called Biomaterials.

In that study, Hingtgen and his team added his stem cells to an FDA-approved fibrin sealant commonly used as surgical glue. The physical matrix it creates tripled the retention of stem cells in the surgical cavity, providing further support for the applicability and strength of the technique.


Press release provided by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

REFERENCE

Juli R. Bagó, Adolfo Alfonso-Pecchio, Onyi Okolie, Raluca Dumitru, Amanda Rinkenbaugh, Albert S. Baldwin, C. Ryan Miller, Scott T. Magness, Shawn D. Hingtgen.(2016)  Therapeutically engineered induced neural stem cells are tumour-homing and inhibit progression of glioblastoma. Nature Communications; 7: 10593 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms10593
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Skin cells turned into cancer hunters: Let's do less politically correct science and more real stuff, 8.8 out of 10 based on 54 ratings

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140 comments to Skin cells turned into cancer hunters: Let’s do less politically correct science and more real stuff

  • #
    Alexander

    23…?

    23

    • #
      Yonniestone

      The number 23, is there something you’re trying to say Alexander?

      40

      • #
        Alexander

        Here’s a little quiz: what significance might that number have here on the JoNova website? What sequence might end with 22, and call for something naturally next? What might some of us, at least, be expecting to come our way?

        Hint: it has to do with something new, and something scientific.

        23

      • #
        Roy Hogue

        He’s trying to ask if the next episode of David’s model is coming along soon. The next one will be number 23 in the series.

        Or maybe he’s communicating in code with little green Martians. You can take your pick. ;-)

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        • #
          Roy Hogue

          I hear that Martians would be quite a scientific surprise if they ever land here.

          I wonder if they would live up to the gawdawful reputation the movies have given them. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

          50

          • #
            KinkyKeith

            Roy,

            Isn’t the atmosphere of Mars almost entirely CO2?

            Is it true that if Martians came here they would need to wear tanks of “breathable” CO2 on their backs and wear a face mask?

            60

            • #
              Roy Hogue

              KK,

              I’m sure that if you ask the next martian you see you can get a firsthand account of conditions on his home planet, atmosphere, global warming, politics, how their social security system works, economic forecast, even tomorrows weather, anything you want to know. According to the movies Martians are all very well educated and know just about everything, especially about scaring the be-whillikers out of movie audiences. So give it a try. What’s to lose? ;-)

              10

              • #
                Roy Hogue

                It does occur to me that the atmosphere of Mars is rather thin compared to ours. Maybe they would have to wear suction pumps on their backs to keep the pressure down to what they can tolerate.

                I never realized how much the movies left out about Martians. Poor research I guess. Or bad science? ;-)

                10

              • #
                Roy Hogue

                You might say, Martians suck.

                10

        • #
          Rereke Whakaaro

          23 is a nice prime number. I must admit that I am rather fond of 23, myself.

          30

          • #
            Roy Hogue

            Prime numbers may actually be a speciality of Martians. After all, they’re always shown with three fingers, a nice prime number as you point out. They apparently work in squads of three when attacking Earth (George Pal, 1952) and even have three lenses in their great big eye.

            I think you’re onto something with the prime numbers. And 23 is the next in the series of David’s TSI model. What a coincidence… …or is it? ;-)

            10

            • #
              Alexander

              What a delight that seven characters can set off such a group riff.

              10

              • #
                KinkyKeith

                Alexander,
                Just letting off some steam.
                Can’t be totally technical all the time, or we might lose perspective and become cynical like those pushing the CAGW meme.
                :-)

                00

              • #
                Roy Hogue

                Just letting off some steam.

                I don’t know about you Keith but I’m beginning to be scared of a Martian attack. You can never tell what madness will be caused by breathing all that carbon dioxide in Mars’ atmosphere. After all, the stuff is supposed to be so dangerous that we have to stop creating it.

                10

    • #
      Just-A-Guy

      Walter Sparrow becomes obsessed with a novel that he believes was written about him. As his obsession increases, more and more similarities seem to arise.

      The Number 23.

      Abe

      00

  • #
    John Smith

    An investor friend once told me,
    “I don’t put my money in rooms with ceilings”
    cure a disease = ceiling
    manage a disease = no ceiling

    Sorry to be cynical
    but then again, I am a climate non-believer

    71

    • #
      The Backslider

      If you care to follow the research you will find out just how wrong you are.

      As with climate, this is about science against group think, not conspiracy theories.

      11

  • #
    John F. Hultquist

    Just to be clear – they are not claiming a human cancer cure next week or next year, nor even “real soon.”

    This is good news about serious and important work.

    Let’s send more research funds in such directions. Thanks, Jo.
    ~~~~~~~~
    For context: Bunsen Burner – high tech of 1855

    60

  • #
    Roy Hogue

    But Jo, it’s so much easier to fix non existent problems than to fix real ones. Fixing real ones takes hard work. Fixing non problems takes only endless talk and the making of lots of rules and regulations that don’t ever have to be checked to see if they do anything useful or not. And don’t forget, there’s a lot more money to be made in fixing non existent problems.

    171

    • #
      Yonniestone

      Band aid solutions are very popular with people that own Band aid factories. ;)

      90

      • #
        Roy Hogue

        …and with those who own public office **. And I use the word “own” quite intentionally because they think they do own those offices.

        60

        • #
          Roy Hogue

          ** the position, not the physical office

          50

          • #
            Rereke Whakaaro

            What position is that? Does it involve bending at the waist to check if your shoes are shiny enough?

            40

            • #
              Leo Morgan

              @ Rereke Whakaaro

              I loved the quip.

              Yet I must regretfully disagree with yourself and Roy.

              I don’t think Turnbull believes he ‘owns’ the office of Prime Minister, so much as that he believes he ‘OUGHT to own’ it.

              I think that’s why he’s proposing his recent Senate Reforms; to move himself toward the role of autocrat, rather than having to muck about with all that troublesome Democracy stuff. I’m not defending the abysmal role of the minor parties, I’m denouncing Turnbull’s ‘solution’.

              00

              • #
                Roy Hogue

                I get it, something like a certain U.S. presidential candidate of the female persuasion?

                10

            • #
              Roy Hogue

              Does it involve bending at the waist to check if your shoes are shiny enough?

              Rereke,

              Are you sure you want to go there? ;-)

              Well, I have to admit it is funny. I might have been tempted too.

              00

    • #
      Bruce J

      Non-existent problems can never be fixed, the funding must continue if the problem cannot be shown to be fixed, until the problem is fixed or the “researcher” retires!

      20

      • #
        Rereke Whakaaro

        Yesterday, upon the stair,
        I met a man, who wasn’t there,
        He wasn’t there again today,
        I wish that man would go away.

        60

        • #
          Just-A-Guy

          One fine day, in the middle of the night,
          two dead boys got up to fight.
          Back to back, they faced each other,
          drew their knives and shot each other.
          Deaf police who heard the noise,
          came to kill the two dead boys.
          Don’t believe what I’ve told you?
          Ask the blind man he saw too!

          -Anonymous

          Abe

          20

  • #
    The Backslider

    I have pancreatic cancer. It has a one year survival rate of 27% and a five year survival rate of only 6%.

    In the USA it receives around 2% of research funding, much the same elsewhere.

    Five year survival for breast cancer is around 78%, prostate cancer almost 100%.

    170

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      Sorry to hear that but best wishes.
      As for medical statistics I recall mentioning to several doctors (after the hockey match) that I knew someone with Crohn’s disease (which I had never heard of). They all looked grave and told me the survival rate was 25-30% after a year and close to zero after 3. That was 42 years ago and she is still alive.

      130

    • #
      Mindert Eiting

      I remember that a cancer institute in my country told on tv, while I cared for a friend with cancer, that although they did not have hard evidence, in their experience patients who were optimistic and tried to live as satisfying as possible, lived longer. My friend lived three times as long as expected. Note that the six percent is an unconditional probability. Conditional on a satisfying life, it may be higher.

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      • #
        The Backslider

        This is absolutely true. I am on a number of Pancreatic cancer groups on Facebook. Those that are fighters and positive tend to survive much longer, while those who are negative always go down very quickly, usually within three months.

        120

    • #
      KinkyKeith

      Best wishes Backslider; and as for advice I can’t do any more than say that Graeme and Mindert have already said it so well.

      :) :)

      80

    • #
      ianl8888


      Five year survival for breast cancer is around 78% …

      As is for bowel cancer if found early enough (regular colonoscopies do that). Hard statistics say that over 50′s are at risk, over 70′s at higher risk and over 70′s males at highest risk

      Hope you are one of the 6% to beat pancreatic cancer longer term

      Oh, and I agree with Jo Nova’s comment that cancer is an information problem. The biggie question is why can a group of rogue cells that destroy everything they touch mimic(?) the host DNA so well that even a properly functioning immune system doesn’t just tear them to shreds ?

      It seems the development posted in this thread here is pointing directly at that question

      70

      • #
        The Backslider

        Hope you are one of the 6% to beat pancreatic cancer longer term

        I plan on getting a 6% tattoo in four years time. Can’t wait to see the curious look on a biker’s face :-)

        120

      • #
        Richard

        that even a properly functioning immune system doesn’t just tear them to shreds

        Personally I’m of the opinion that people get cancer because they have poorly functioning immune systems to begin with as a result of eating the wrong foods and their immune system I think is then only further compromised when they undergo conventional treatment. I think this is why the Gerson Therapy that treats cancer sufferers with essentially a raw plant-food diet has such an incredibly high cure rate. There is no secret, or magic pill in my opinion, I think one just needs to reactivate their body’s own healing mechanisms by eating good food. There’s some good documentaries that talk about these alternatives such as Edward Griffin’s “A World Without Cancer” and “Food Matters”. Worth watching.

        23

        • #
          The Backslider

          This is completely wrong. I have always had a very strong immune system and even with one year of chemo I have only had one not very bad cold.

          Cancer is a mutation and hides itself from our immune system, no matter how strong it is.

          71

        • #
          The Backslider

          Gerson therapy is a complete crock and dangerous. Ask Steve McQueen how good it was.

          Gerson therapy has never cured anybody.

          The internet is full of nonsense cancer cures. For a start there is no cure for cancer, only remission at best.

          If you knew just a little about cancer and how it works you would know immediately and not be sucked in by fabricated anecdotes.

          As with climate, follow the science…..science.

          81

          • #
            Andrew McRae

            What have you learned about scientifically studying your pancreatic cancer and can those lessons be applied to the study of global warming?

            10

            • #
              The Backslider

              Most people who have cancer follow the science, their life depends on it.

              Most are not at all impressed by the plethora of crackpot cancer cures which are everywhere online. Unfortunately some do get sucked in, to their own demise.

              One of the biggest crackpots are the cannabis lobby, who cherry pick studies which appear to support their cause. I regularly post a study which looks at serum level doses (as in when you ingest cannabis) as opposed to studies which used massive doses in a Petri dish. It found that normal doses cause cell proliferation and promote metastasis.

              I can kill cancer in a Petri dish with household bleach. This does not mean that drinking bleach will cure my cancer.

              What all this tells us is that, as with climate science, everything must be based on solid empirical evidence, not crackpot declarations based on something other.

              41

        • #
          Richard

          Here is a short excerpt from the Food Matters documentary if anyone is interested: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ShqKk3fasZA

          00

    • #
      bobl

      What are they treating you with backslider?

      30

      • #
        The Backslider

        I started on Gemcitabine/Abraxane. With that I beat metastasis to my liver. That stopped working however and I am now on Cisplatin/Oxaliplatin.

        30

        • #
          bobl

          Hmm,
          Do they use docitaxel for that, StarPharma has a formulation of that that is much better. I think a target might also be Oxaliplatin, contacting them might get you on a trial. The starpharma tech makes these drugs last longer and be more evenly delivered over time. This increases exposure of the cancer to the drug and makes the drugs work better and be less toxic (because it doesn’t need high peak levels of exposure to get high average levels of exposure). The dose limiting effect of docitaxel is neutropenia, in starpharma’s trials they have reached that same dosage without neutropenia. This suggests that docitaxel can be delivered in higher doses using the starpharma formulation. They have a deal now with Astrazenica (spelling?) for the cancer targets. I know all this because I have shares in the company and it’s in their public disclosures.

          Mods, can you send this on to Backslider please in case he missed this late response.

          00

    • #

      I am sorry to hear of your plight. I have survived a bout of postrate cancer.
      I don’t make any prognosis, but I am aware of a case, from his daughter in law, that a Stanley Sheldon cured himself of incurable lung cancer so bad he was advised to settle his affairs, by an old aboriginal treatment using a tea made pawpaw leaves. If you have no source of these I will provide same gratis. All the best.

      22

      • #
        The Backslider

        As I said above, the internet is full of nonsense cancer cures.

        Do you really think I should stake my life on unverifiable and probably fabricated anecdotes?

        41

        • #

          I realise the internet is full of rubbish, but as I said this came from his daughter in law and she also has me shown copies of medical records. Stanley Sheldon was suffering from terminal lung cancer in his mid 60′s and survived it and lived to his 80′s. It is also recorded on the internet as well as some other information about pawpaw.

          00

        • #
          bobl

          Isn’t it just.

          However, some things do actually help and have scientific evidence of efficacy. You can look them up on pubmed.

          Capsaicin (Chilli’s) for example have verifiable toxicity to cancer cell lines in mice. Tea tree oil is toxic to most micro-organisms including bacteria viruses and fungi, and is known to cure some skin cancers, it is highly effective in cancers that are caused by a micro-organism, by killing the microorganism causing the cancer. A tea made from tee tree leaves can be taken internally, but it is a non selective antibiotic, and a laxative, so it will kill those good bacteria too and might not agree with your bowel. There are also other complementary drugs like lysine which helps clear out the phages that prevent treatment reaching the target cells or which aid in getting the anti cancer molecule into the cells. Stuff like DMSO found in cabbages and broccoli sprouts. This chemical can help molecules diffuse through the skin, so for example chemicals can be introduced into the lymph system this way. Magnesium Chloride in your bathwater is useful in helping to prevent bone decalcification or excessive muscle calcification caused by calcium and vitamin D supplimentation

          Having said all of this, these complementary molecules can change the way the chemotherapy works, and at worst make them more toxic, the dosages depend on there being no complementary molecules around. DMSO for example might cause too much chemo uptake, so best consult someone who knows about it. Combining DMSO with tea tree oil might cause sufficient tee tree oil to cross the skin to be toxic where without the DMSO tee tree is safe to apply to skin, and who knows what some of these things might to to someone with a malfunctioning pancreas

          Don’t give up on the natural cures, just because they are natural does not make them powerless, many natural things like tee tree oil are very powerful drugs (remember penicillin is a natural cure that was found in bread mould, Aspirin comes from the bark of a willow tree, Morphine comes from a poppy plant), but don’t rely on them either.

          00

  • #
    KinkyKeith

    Real science.

    The last paragraph was interesting; the use of a “glue” to hold the introduced cells in place while they went to work mending.

    KK

    40

  • #

    Various forms of gene therapy have been shown to offer potential cures for many diseases and should be supported. The problem that you have elucidated to is with the distribution of funding amongst a myriad of competing causes, defence, infrastructure, old age care,etc., and for some reason stopping alleged global warming seems to have captured the imagination of the politicians and the media which has resulted in the enormous wastage of funds. How much funding has gone down the drain on desalination plants, hot rocks, pink batts, carbon capture, green energy etc….., and then multiply this globally. At this moment the wind turbines in SE Aust. are operating at 10% capacity and have been for 9 hours, not a very good use of funds that could have been used elsewhere.

    80

  • #
    TdeF

    Now if only Australia moved the funding for 350 scientists studying climate change into something useful, something which even slightly looked like such a real problem worth solving. The absurdity was that the 350 CSIRO scientists were looking furiously for a problem. Having failed to find one, they are looking for a solution. This is a retirement home for scientists.

    Public service science is a contradiction. There is no motivation to succeed. Quite the reverse. It is like public service ABC/SBS journalism, rudderless and open to manipulation by unnamed political groups. Sell the ABC/SBS monster. Sell the CSIRO. Look at the CSL, a huge success. The Unions too have outlived their function by 50 years and represent another irresponsible, overpaid, opportunistic and uncontrollable force in society for which we all pay. Why? What good do they do? As the recent Royal Commission established, they negotiate for themselves, not the workers. Similarly for public service science. What good does it do? Hitler would have won the war if the Rolls Royce company had not developed the merlin engine which powered the spitfire, the Lancaster and the Hurricane and the amazing Mosquito.

    If public service science was not bad enough, we now have political science. Global Warming and now Climate Change. What has this cost the world? What else could have been done with these trillions? It is not sustainable and it is not right.

    112

    • #
      Analitik

      Yeah but what good will developing inaccurate models of the behavior of skin and cancer cells do?

      11

    • #
      Analitik

      You forgot the P-51 Mustang

      30

      • #
        TdeF

        Agreed. An American plane with the Merlin. Completely transformed it.

        40

        • #
          TdeF

          It seems you need wartime priorities to get anything done. Competing teams, multiple teams against multiple teams in this case many US and British aircraft designers against the German designers and the Russian designers. Winner takes all.

          Contrast that with Global Warming. Tens of thousands of scientists and thirty years and they cannot even agree whether we have a problem? Now, has warming stopped or not? (Pause is prejudicial) Is Climate Change a problem? Has it already happened?

          Finally, how many CSIRO scientists does it take to open a can of peas? None. It’s a trick question. The first ten years is spent deciding whether you have a can of peas.

          81

          • #
            Analitik

            Stop nitpicking.

            The Science is Settled

            20

          • #
            Robk

            War is more than ultimate competition, it also involves ultimate cooperation for any chance of success. Unfortunately it is competition vs cooperation in a most basic and polarized manner that squanderes rational thought and reason.

            20

          • #
            Rereke Whakaaro

            That is why we have fought a cold war since 1945. War = Progress. Concensus = Stagnation. Apathy = Decline.

            40

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      Curiously the Air Ministry tried twice to stop the Spitfire project (in favour or the Bristol fighter – don’t ask_/
      It was told by Hawker to mind its own business and Hawker would decide what was needed (they turned down a contract for what they considered an inadequate aeroplane and sold the Hurricane abroad at first).
      As for the Lancaster, when the Air Ministry approved Manchester proved so awful in service (but not as awful as the Air Ministry approved Botha) Aero wanted aluminium allocations to build a 4 engined version and were told “to go and dig for it”. Somehow they found enough to prove the point.
      And the Mosquito was known as Freeman’s Folly after the Air Marshall who championed it against all opposition until everybody suddenly realised they’d been a supporter after all).
      The Mustang was a P51 without the turbo charger which the Yanks didn’t want to export. Putting in a Merlin (with turbocharger) fixed its performance.

      I might also mention the Hawker Henley, which you’ve never heard off. It was a larger 2 seat Hurricane type light bomber. It was 80 kph faster than the 3 seat Battle which was ruled obsolete in early 1939 (which it was) but gone renewed production contracts until 1941 despite being shot out of the skies by the Luftwaffe and the German Flak with dreadful casualties i May 1940. The Finns, who were being invaded by the Russians, arrived in the UK and bought all they could lay their hands on. They increased the armour, leaving out one crewman to save weight and added 2 Bofors 40mm anti-tank guns. Highly successful and 2 years before the British did the same with the Hurricane in the desert.
      The UK was lucky that they had The Few, because The Many at the Air Ministry combined to do their best to lose the air war. (Ad let’s not get into the provision of british Naval aircraft).

      30

  • #
    Robk

    A good point Jo. Medical science is making huge progress but simply doesn’t have the political pathway to rapid activist meddling. The possible exception being the danger of politicizing pandemic scenarios.

    60

    • #
      bobl

      Very good point, I wouldn’t like medicine being funded in the same monopolistic, activist driven way that Global Warming ™ is. We’d end up with cures for sanity, ADHD (IE more drugs for kids just being kids), and improved versions of weed, ice and ecstasy…

      70

  • #
    Casey

    To be honest here, I don’t expect any cancer cure for decades, centuries even.

    There is FAR too much money involved in the triumvirate – cancer charities, cancer treatment, cancer after-care.
    These three attract MASSIVE amounts of money. Money that needs administration.

    Cure cancer? And the charities will dissolve, treatment will be a one=off injection or tablet (or short series of the same). After-care? Disappears – no one needs after-care when the condition has gone for good.

    Cancer cures don’t exist for the same reason the ACC lies DO exist – the money.

    86

    • #
      The Backslider

      This is just conspiracist bullshite. As a cancer sufferer I follow the research. Billions are being spent on ground breaking research, much of that money coming from “Big Pharma”.

      93

      • #

        I think the free market will solve this faster. If a reliable treatment was developed, say in Japan, Brazil or India, how much would the average Stage 4 cancer patient pay to try it? They will hock the house …

        But rarer cancers may take a lot longer to achieve treatment for, unless a common cancer treatment method is applicable to them as well.

        104

        • #
          PeterS

          Most things yes but not all things. The space program and the race to the moon was funded on both sides by the respective governments, not the free market. If it was left to the free market on the US side, the Russians would have won and the US would probably still be struggling to get to the moon or only managed to get there more recently. Same with many other US government funded large scale programs that had a strong drive to achieve success, such as the atomic bomb to win the war. However, in general small to medium size projects are much better handled by the free market – governments tend to stuff them up so badly all the time.

          31

        • #
          Andrew McRae

          I think the free market will solve this faster.

          The free market would be able to talk about new ideas in biotech.
          Quite the opposite of this:
          https://theconversation.com/new-defence-trade-controls-threaten-academic-freedom-and-the-economy-55310

          00

          • #

            The controls will destroy the very thing it was said to protect: innovation. I suggest it is one more example of the power and control obsessed attempts to stop all those people out there who are doing all those things without THEIR permission. There is not one whit of concern about security or effective defense.

            Their concern is ONLY that they have control over who does what and when. They fear change as such and intend to STOP it at all costs. Even if it means wiping out technological civilization and all human life on earth. Insane? Yes, but that is what we are dealing with.

            He who lives by permission is a slave no matter how well off he temporarily happens to be.

            00

        • #
          bobl

          I don’t think its as simple as this. If you want my opinion Cancer is a microorganism mediated disorder – it has it’s roots in viruses, bacteria and fungal diseases. However in most diseases when we are cured we heal, in cancer the damage cascades.

          It could also be a metabolic disorder, there is research to suggest that Cancer is related to Vit D deficiency, indeed most cancer patients are D deficient. The medical fraternity discount this because fixing the Vit D deficiency doesn’t stop the cancer, they say Vit D is not the cause of cancer, but cancer is a cause of D deficiency.

          They might be right, however as an engineer that knows about cascade failures I know that machines like our bodies do not always heal when the root cause is set right, initial damage can cascade and be self sustaining even after the root cause is set right. Vitamin D deficiency might cause Cancer but setting D deficiency right may not fix it. This doesn’t mean that Vit D deficiency isn’t the initial cause of the cascade failure known as cancer.

          Newer research shows that much of the drug immunity cancer ends up inheriting is due to the fact that conventional drug treatments don’t target the malfunctioning stem cells the cancers grow from – perhaps a better understanding of cancerous stem cells will show us the silver bullet.

          Science knows a lot about cancer metabolism, a lot more than for other diseases, it’s a very hard to target disease because the bad cells are so much like good cells. It’s actually pretty easy to treat, kill the bad cells, but the problem has always been targetting, how to avoid killing the patient at the same time. Many cancers of themselves are not fatal, it is the metastases of those cancers that is fatal, so perhaps the best “cure” might simply be to target circulating cells and prevent metastasis. Prevention of metastasis is in its infancy – Asprin shows promise.

          So many avenues of promise – where to invest.

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    PeterS

    I am of the firm opinion that cancer would have been solved a long time ago if we had spent a fraction of the money spent on so many other wasteful areas. I read various estimates of the cost, ranging from $300 billion to $30 trillion. I suspect it’s closer to the low end. In any case the world as a whole has wasted countless trillions over the past few decades with hundreds of billions wasted on just the fight against climate change. So the money was there to solve the cancer problem with probably money to spare to solve a number of other medical issues. The world is sick in many ways but the most serious one is in the minds of so many so called leaders of our societies.

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      I don’t believe that it’s just or even mainly a matter of money.

      Only rarely is a shortage of funds a show-stopper. Sure, big stuff like CERN’s LHC needs lots of money, but gene research doesn’t need such monolithic development.

      A big wad of money also tends to attract those who want the money, not the results.

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    Pegasus

    Whilst the pharma/medical industries have a vested interest, there will never be a one-off cancer treatment. It is no different to the oil industry, alternative energy solutions are not in their best interests, though they undoubtably exist. They are businesses.

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      Robk

      I very much doubt that cancer is a “one-off cure” type of disease. It really is most likely a general term for malfunctioning cellular “machinery” due to any one, or several of, very many causes.

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        The Backslider

        This is correct. Cancer is so variable on a molecular level that it is very difficult to find a solution. There is very promising work being done with immunotherapy.

        There is no conspiracy to not find a cure, if you spent just a little time looking at the research you would know this.

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          bobl

          However Backslider there are problems in the way biotech does things and, the length of time treatments take to get to market, and the off-label use of otherwise approved treatment. An example,

          Early studies show that Aspirin’s anticoalgulant effects prevent cancer cells circulating in the bloodstream from sticking to blood vessel walls and reinvading the body (Metastasis). Because Aspirin affected cells can’t “Stick” the probability of them reaching the liver and being terminated then excreted is much higher. Aspirin reduces Metastasis frequency by more than 30%. Yet you’ll not find an Oncologist who is prepared to prescribe Aspirin for this, they’ll quietly suggest that you take baby aspirin for your heart health instead. This is Aspirin, a common over the counter drug available to anyone who wants it. When the oncologists wants to take a biopsy, they take you off Aspirin, they then take the biopsy (which makes you bleed internally releasing all those cancer cells into the lymphatic and vascular systems) but they don’t put you back on Aspirin to prevent those cells from metastasising. Given the safety profile of simple Aspirin, shouldn’t the patient be given the facts and allowed to use Aspirin to ward off biopsy induced metastasis even though Aspirin has not been through Phase 3 trials for this purpose?

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    pat

    might be some “food money” here for medical research:

    1 Mar: Yale Daily News: Finnegan Schick: Climate change institute shut down
    After a University decision to cut all its funding, Yale’s Climate & Energy Institute will close by the end of June…
    The announcement came in a Monday afternoon email to the YCEI community from institute co-directors and geology and geophysics professors David Bercovici and Jay Ague, and follows years of cuts to the institute’s funding, according to students involved in the organization…
    The YCEI was founded in 2008 with the backing of then-University President Richard Levin…
    Students interviewed said that while the YCEI was clearly a priority under Levin, administrative support has dwindled recently. They said they were infuriated by the announced closure and skeptical that it was closing because of insufficient funding.
    “It can’t be a budget thing. It can’t be. I don’t want to say that Yale doesn’t support [the YCEI], but … I think it’s the administration’s lack of interest,” said YCEI New Haven Energy Scholar Intern Matthew Goldklang ’16. “I had no idea we were going to be completely cut. It’s really sad.”…
    James Barile ’18, who is involved with the YCEI through a solar energy initiative, said the University appeared to be shifting away from undergraduate climate change research, which he said is not very public, toward climate change initiatives that are “more showy.” …
    Barile said the institute’s budget had been cut in half over the last three consecutive years.
    “They eventually cut funding so much that it just became buying food,” Barile said…
    http://yaledailynews.com/blog/2016/03/01/climate-change-institute-shut-down/

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    Imagine if you will that someone was to fund research work like this to the tune of $1 Million. It would pay the wages of the research Doctor and two or three assistants for a couple of years, and a place would be found for them to do their work, probably at some University somewhere.

    Then, in a couple of years, that initial funding of $1 Million might just run out, and they would go cap in hand seeking another similar amount to keep their work going. They would say that they are close to working it out, and perhaps they might even get another Million, maybe, depending.

    Okay then, now imagine that right up front, funding was made available to the tune of two thousand two hundred Million Dollars.

    That’s $2.2 BILLION.

    Imagine now the work that could be done. It would enable more hands on deck, and would undoubtedly speed up the process no end. The people would be secure in the knowledge that what they do is now covered. Well before that money ran out, the end result would be achieved, the cure for this Cancer, a cure that would last for all time.

    $2.2 Billion.

    On the other hand, for that same $2.2 Billion, then that would see a new Wind Plant. It will have a Nameplate of 500MW, one hundred and sixty six huge towers, each topped by a nacelle containing a 3MW generator.

    Then the authority would have to spend more money for the construction of the towers to hold the wires to get that power from the plant to the grid. There would be maintenance costs horrendously higher than for an equivalent real power plant. The power would be available, not when needed most, but at odd hours, so that it couldn’t be relied on for the security of supply of a real power plant. There will be days when it does supply, but there will be days of virtually nothing, averaging out to the equivalent full power operation of seven and a quarter hours a day, but no one can predict which seven and a quarter hours, just bits of power here and there, the yearly total power the same as that delivered by a real power plant, (like Bayswater) in 27 days of normal operation, or 20 days with all four units running, as often happens.

    The end result would be around 1,300GWH of power each year, that total falling each year.

    That is 0.63% of Australia’s total power consumption, not even one percent, about the equivalent of a f@rt in a Cyclone.

    After 15 to 20 years, perhaps even 25 years if things go absolutely perfectly, then there will be the cost of pulling it all down, and to keep that power in place, another $2.2 Billion (in today’s dollars) to build a new one.

    So, here we have two scenarios.

    You tell me, in this current day and age, which of those two scenarios would get ….. $2.2 BILLION of funding, half of that coming from Federal and State Governments, in other words, you and me, the taxpayers.

    Tony.

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      Manfred

      Add insults to the sustained societal injury being perpetrated in the ‘Green’ name of global eco-marxism.

      …advanced economies have formally agreed to jointly mobilize USD 100 billion per year by 2020, from a variety of sources, to address the pressing mitigation and adaptation needs of developing countries.

      Funding largely driven by the manufactured political output of the UN IPCC in efforts to build their Green Fund complete with their National Designated Authorities (NDA’s).

      Meanwhile, back in reality, the Former UN climate scientist Rajendra Pachauri charged with sexual assault.

      By Tuesday, the charge sheet filed by police in New Delhi against Mr Pachauri had stretched to more than 1,400 pages.
      The document outlines the allegations against him, which also include criminal intimidation, harassment and “insulting the modesty of a woman”.
      It includes the names of 23 prosecution witnesses including former colleagues who are ready to testify against him.

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      Analitik

      Could be worse. The money could go into Concentrated Solar Power. US$9 billion for the 2GQ Noor project in Morroco
      http://cleantechnica.com/2016/02/06/160-mw-of-2-gw-noor-solar-thermal-project-in-morocco-now-connected-to-grid/

      Of course they have only built the stage 1 160MW out of 4 for the first plant but you do get 3 hours of storage. I can’t find any mention of how much power (energy actually) it has actually delivered since it was “connected to the grid” earlier this month. I wonder how much of the budgeted US$537 million (for this first plant) has been spent so far
      http://www.power-technology.com/projects/noor-ouarzazate-solar-complex/

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    • #

      Imagine if you will that someone was to fund research work like this to the tune of $1 Million. It would pay the wages of the research Doctor and two or three assistants for a couple of years, and a place would be found for them to do their work, probably at some University somewhere.

      Then, in a couple of years, that initial funding of $1 Million might just run out, and they would go cap in hand seeking another similar amount to keep their work going. They would say that they are close to working it out, and perhaps they might even get another Million, maybe, depending.

      Okay then, now imagine that right up front, funding was made available to the tune of two thousand two hundred Million Dollars.

      That’s $2.2 BILLION.

      Imagine now the work that could be done. It would enable more hands on deck, and would undoubtedly speed up the process no end. The people would be secure in the knowledge that what they do is now covered. Well before that money ran out, the end result would be achieved, the cure for this Cancer, a cure that would last for all time.

      Mythical man-month. One woman requires 9 months of pregnancy to produce a baby, so 9 women will take just a month. ;-)

      And your million dollars for one year is well short of funding one doctor with several assistants doing research for a year. It’s closer to 5 million. In part because the stuff that they have to do is very expensive to do in the laboratory. Over, and over, and over, and over again.

      Thinking, like pregnancy, takes its time. Having more people doing the thinking might produce a quicker result, but not T/n. And it’s just as likely that it will take longer with coordination, meetings, etc.

      The team would also be too small to do genetic work effectively; there’s a shirtload of data that has to be wrangled and the optimum candidates chosen for subsequent experimentation. Unlike in climate ‘science”, those wrangling the data need to understand what the data mean. That requires experienced micro/molecular biologists and/or biochemists at the “middle level” with the mechanics of experimental series being run by e.g. uni post-graduates in the same or related fields. If the team is too small, then the lead researchers are distracted by minutiae.

      i.e. Don’t even start unless you have at least $10million in secured funding.

      With real research, you never know a priori exactly what you’ll be doing at the next step of the research. One must be prepared to be confounded, surprised and relatively free to exploit what one discovers in the process of research, even if it doesn’t satisfy the nominal objective of the research. vis Alexander Fleming’s moldy petri dishes.

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      If a project is late and under performing, an addition of people and resources will almost always make the situation worse.

      Small teams are far more effective at solving new problems. Large teams can only solve problems that have been solved before.

      When working to develop something new, one can do the work of four, two can do the work of three, three can do the work of two, and four can do the work of one. Go beyond four, the work accomplished per person drops non-linearly fast.

      Consider the following: nearly all of the major technological breakthroughs during recorded history were first accomplished by a single individual. Most of the breakthroughs were vigorously opposed by the establishment on the grounds that it couldn’t or shouldn’t be done.

      The bottom line is that spending a billion dollars on a million dollar problem will kill the solution even faster than spending a hundred thousand.

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      tom0mason

      Tony,

      So many rich, powerful but stupid Malthusians believe that anything restoring the ‘natural balance’ (what ever that is) aka allowing people to prematurely die off, is a good thing. To that end diverting funds from research that improves peoples’ lives to over-publicized imagined climate threats is par for the course.

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    tom0mason

    This looks like an excellent study, however I can see there is a small but important possible stumbling block — genetically damaged skin cells.

    From what I gather the terminations of all the chromosomes end in telomeres and these are the error correcting ends of the chromosomes, protecting us from excessive genetic damage as cells replicate and we age. Unfortunately over time as telomeres are used up genetic damage accumulates, the body show signs of aging and, for some, it also results in poor health.

    Inside the nucleus of virtually all of our cells are 46 chromosomes, the thread-like packages that carry our genes. At the tips of these chromosomes, like the hard ends of shoelaces, are structures called telomeres. While they do not contain genes, telomeres are important for replication or duplication of the chromosomes during cell division. They are made up of approximately 1,000 to 2,500 copies of a repeated DNA sequence (the order of chemical building blocks in a stretch of DNA), TTAGGG…

    See here (950KB PDF file).

    Also from what I understand a poor start in life may well be truly life shortening as childhood stress prematurely uses up the body’s chromosome telomeres, leading to prematurely poor health in later life. See here for the research on childhood stress affecting later life health.

    My main point is that *if* a cancer is happening because the patient’s skin cells telomeres are prematurely shortened, then it is possible that the skin cells used to generate the stemcells *could* have the same defect and cause more cancers while curing the target cancer. A win-lose situation.

    Hopefully the Shawn Hingtgen et al., in this study has contemplated this and have formulated some mitigation for this possibility.

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      Tom, what you say is a potential problem, but we can already extend telomeres in the lab. Sooner or later we will be able to wind back the clock in a cell, then implant it back into the body.

      Many cancer cells find a way to activate telomerase so they can keep on growing – thats the enzyme we have coded in the DNA of every cell which extends telomeres. Almost by definition most cancer cells have to find a way of doing that. If we can find a way to safely switch that gene on in normal healthy cells (in the lab or in situ) and then switch it off in the body, we may get extraordinary control and cure quite a lot of conditions of aging.

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        tom0mason

        Thank-you for the comment, I agree with your view here. I have read enough about cancer/telomeres/telomerase recently to realize I know very little on the subject — perhaps a little more than the average Joe but not much. I also understand that it is very early days for this field of research.

        Your observation “… if we can find a way to safely switch that gene on in normal healthy cells (in the lab or in situ) and then switch it off in the body, we may get extraordinary control and cure quite a lot of conditions of aging.” — would be nice to know there was some progress here.
        However for I fear only the rich and already powerful would get it initially, allowing them to extend their lives.
        How could this world cope with a near ageless individuals…? A whole new moral paradigm would open-up in this inequitable world.

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          Rereke Whakaaro

          Would you want to live forever? I mean that as a serious question.

          Most people get up, go to work, go home, watch TV, and go to bed. And the next day, they get up, go to work, go home, watch TV, and go to bed. And so ad infinitum.

          Computer games are good, until you read the cheat sheet, and then the bordom returns.

          Think of that, every day, forever?

          Insanity can be defined as doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results. At what point does sanity cease to exist, I wonder?

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            Manfred

            At what point does sanity cease to exist, I wonder?

            RW, that ‘point’ is the quantitative definition of your earlier qualitative statement ‘most people…’

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        Robk

        And perhaps throw in full understanding of mitochondrial control of apoptosis.

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          tom0mason

          Yes you are correct but the subject is touched on in the cited text, among which is this example —

          In addition to causing DNA repair in the form of recombination or end joining, broken DNA ends or uncapped telomeres can trigger other cellular responses. Because broken chromosomes are a severe form of DNA damage, cells are often exquisitely sensitive to their presence. Unrepaired broken DNA ends will often trigger cellular growth arrest, thereby preventing any cell division as long as the broken ends persist.
          In some human cells, broken DNA ends can trigger cellular suicide, a process known as apoptosis.
          Because short telomeres are more common in older cells, telomere capping problems may be related to the development of cancer and other age-related diseases.

          They also explain that cell replication is lower and slower in most older and damaged cells.

          Another related item more in line with the blog subject is the statement –

          While most of our skin cells have little telomerase activity, the skin stem cells that repair wounds do have some.

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      • #
        ianl8888


        Many cancer cells find a way to activate telomerase so they can keep on growing …

        That’s an example of my point above – I have seen a bowel tumour in a colonoscopic photo series (yes, my own) and it’s the ugliest thing I’ve seen since the first Alien movie. Absolutely no plan or purpose except uncontrolled, colonising growth

        So how can such a thing fool the immune system so well ?

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    michael hart

    Stem cells may be a long term solution, but they still seem a bit like fusion at the moment: The practice is a long way short of the desires and fantasies.

    There are still more promising options in the medium term, IMO, that revolve around alternative methods of re-purposing existing T-cells in the immune system. These avoid some of the potential cancer threats from genetically-uncontrolled cell proliferation, because a ‘regular’ immune cell lineage more reliably expires, as it has to in the course of a normal immune response to infection. (I concede I do have a personal scientific bias because my PhD was about re-purposing existing T-cells to treat multiple sclerosis, but there are many very other therapeutic proposals.)

    Needless to say, I support all these options way over and above the pretend science of climate science wastrels who only seem to want to discover ‘new’ problems, not solve well documented existing problems.

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    This is Tony pretending to be pat.

    This may be just one U.S. State, West Virginia, but it is encouraging. The State has voted to delay new teaching standards in Science that tell K-12 students in mandatory courses that global temperatures have risen.

    State Lawmakers Fight Teaching Students Just One Side of Climate Change Debate

    Read all.

    Tony.

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      Rereke Whakaaro

      Sorry Tony, you didn’t fool anybody.

      For one thing, you are nowhere near as good looking as Pat.

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    William Astley

    I agree wasting money studying weather is a waste of money. This virus approach to treating cancer is interesting and appears to be breakthrough.

    There has been four years of clinical trials using modified virus to attack specific cancers. The success rate has been remarkable in some cases 100% cancer free, no detectable cancer. The researchers say the method appears to applicable to other cancers and is a breakthrough as opposed to an incremental advancement.
    HBO (HBO is a US pay for view specialty television channel) was granted access to make a documentary due to the high success rate of that method of treating cancer. The new technique has been grant fast track release and will be used more generally in the US in 2016.
    Vice Season 3 Special Report: Killing Cancer Debrief (HBO)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGkJYMPPA4s
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-z22u2003k&ebc=ANyPxKq-l_bwldmelbRhGlzaFD5zN9R50porfWhFHNXtm1yGDqtBdFLQSSNTGAZgE6LthZrsURWU6-LmBOFIW9BZD6_rB_vvCw

    I am including this comment, as I know it be correct and significant in terms of how to avoid getting cancer and most western diseases.

    There has in the last 5 years also been remarkable progress determining how and why cancer develops, from a multitude of studies and new microbiological research methods.
    The research has found a multiple of basic ‘lifestyle’ changes (what a human should and should not eat based on the biological effects on the body of ‘foods’, addressing the majority of the population’s deficiency in the proto hormone which is incorrectly called a vitamin, Vitamin D, and modest regular exercise) that can be made that reduces the incidence of most common cancers and most common Western diseases by a factor of roughly 10.

    This is a summary of the some of the key studies. As noted in the brief there is a vast different in dietary recommendations between countries which does not make sense as the science research is unambiguous.
    https://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2010nl/jul/sc%20herman.indd.pdf

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      Leo Morgan

      I’m sorry, who do you believe you’re agreeing with when you aver that ‘wasting money studying weather is a waste of money’?

      Tautology is tautologous. But I’m in favour of studying weather. Lives are saved, economic benefits are gained. I believe most if not all of our commentators here are science enthusiasts. I can’t speak for them, of course, but as for myself, it’s the substitution of political ideology for science that I mainly object to. Also, of course, the pseudo-science of prophesying future climate from the entrails of a computer model that has already been so repeatedly falsified.

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    ScotsmaninUtah

    a great article !

    It is truly wonderful to see Scientific progress being made in battling this disease,
    As I travelled this week from Germany to England ( through Belgium and France) I noticed just how much advertising was being pushed onto the public to go “Green”.
    Wind farms dotted the countryside, there are even 3 mini wind generators powering the border control in Calais.
    and yet , what is very revealing, are the huge numbers of trucks travelling across Europe everyday.
    The Greens simply do not understand what it takes to drive a modern society.

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      ScotsmaninUtah mentions this (my bolding here)

      …..and yet , what is very revealing, are the huge numbers of trucks travelling across Europe everyday.
      The Greens simply do not understand what it takes to drive a modern society.

      Same here in Oz.

      The green leaning populace all nod their heads in agreement when Labor Policy mentions a 50% reduction in Co2 emissions, and the Green mandate of a four thousand percent reduction in Co2 emissions by April if not sooner.

      They all equate that with getting rid of, umm just Hazelwood, that’ll do, and replacing it with wind and panels on the roofs of the zealots, sorry the believers, sorry, the faithful, sorry the gullible, sorry, their supporters anyway, you know what I mean.

      But hey mention that a 50% reduction in CO2 emissions also means taking one in two of their cars, SUV’s, utes, small trucks, large rigs off the road, half the trains, boats and planes, half their lawn mowers, etcetera, and it’s a whole new ballgame. Hang on a minute, we don’t quite agree with that now. Surely just Hazelwood will do the trick.

      Tony.

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        Analitik

        Just keep in mind that Agenda 21 is the end game for the most greens – as long as it doesn’t affect them.

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        William Astley

        The Greens appear to have skipped the stage of thinking about the unintentionally consequences of creating a problem that is not a problem and then forced spending on scams that do not work. As every country has a limited amount of money to spend and almost all countries are now running carrying unsustainably large accumulated debts, creating a problem which is not a problem is not a good thing.

        For example if Salby is correct and no less than 66% of the recent rise in atmospheric CO2 is due to natural causes and it is a fact that there has been no warming for 18 years which indicates there is no CAGW issue to solve why in the world would we waste limited GDP ‘fighting’ climate change by constructing green scams that do not work.

        It would be interesting to do a back of the envelop estimate of how much it would cost and what would need to be done to reduce total world CO2 by let say 30%, the absurdity is the world population is growing and the poorest countries in the world’s need for services is growing.

        It is surreal that looked at the problem via this dirt simple equation.

        http://news.yahoo.com/bill-gates-discovers-14-old-formula-climate-change-175433376.html
        “Here is a snippet from Gates’ annual letter explaining the variables:

        “Here’s what I came up with: P * S*E*C = CO2,” Gates wrote. “That might look complicated. It’s not.

        “On the right side you have the total amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) we put in the atmosphere. This is what we need to get to zero. It’s based on the four factors on the left side of the equation: The world’s population (P) multiplied by the services (S) used by each person; the energy (E) needed to provide each of those services; and, finally, the carbon dioxide (C) produced by that energy.”

        Both side of the equation need to reach zero, Gates said. So, one of the variables on the left must equal zero for the world to reach its goal of zero emissions.
        The first variable is population. The world supports about 7 billion people now, a number that is projected to reach at least 9 billion by 2050. Population will only continue to grow, or as Gates says in the letter, “no chance it’ll be zero.”

        Services, such as food, clothing, cars and heat, are also growing, “so (S) can’t be zero, either,” he said. However, the energy needed for each service is decreasing, thanks to progress in technology, such as the LED light bulb, Gates said. Moreover, growing technologies, including solar and wind power, are reducing carbon emissions, he said.”

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        ScotsmaninUtah

        Tony,
        thank you for listing the numerous numbers of vehicles and machines which, as you quite rightly stated , would simply disappear from our everyday use.
        When your list is viewed like this it becomes immediately apparent that nothing would function.
        I wonder if the Greens truly understand what they are wishing for ?

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    pat

    ScotsmaninUtah -

    all those trucks will soon be electric!!!

    25 Feb: Bloomberg: Tom Randall: Here’s How Electric Cars Will Cause the Next Oil Crisis
    A shift is under way that will lead to widespread adoption of EVs in the next decade.
    Predicting the timing of these shifts is difficult, but when it happens, the whole world changes.
    It’s looking like the 2020s will be the decade of the electric car…
    Last year EV sales grew by about 60 percent worldwide. That’s an interesting number, because it’s also roughly the annual growth rate that Tesla forecasts for sales through 2020, and it’s the same growth rate that helped the Ford Model T cruise past the horse and buggy in the 1910s. For comparison, solar panels are following a similar curve at around 50 percent growth each year, while LED light-bulb sales are soaring by about 140 percent each year.
    Yesterday, on the first episode of Bloomberg’s new animated series Sooner Than You Think, we calculated the effect of continued 60 percent growth. We found that electric vehicles could displace oil demand of 2 million barrels a day as early as 2023. That would create a glut of oil equivalent to what triggered the 2014 oil crisis.
    Compound annual growth rates as high as 60 percent can’t hold up for long, so it’s a very aggressive forecast…
    And what about all the lithium and other finite materials used in the batteries? BNEF analyzed those markets as well, and found they’re just not an issue. Through 2030, battery packs will require less than 1 percent of the known reserves of lithium, nickel, manganese, and copper. They’ll require 4 percent of the world’s cobalt. After 2030, new battery chemistries will probably shift to other source materials, making packs lighter, smaller, and cheaper…READ ON
    http://www.bloomberg.com/features/2016-ev-oil-crisis/

    is Randall a dreamer?

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      pat mentions this: (my bolding here)

      After 2030, new battery chemistries will probably shift to other source materials, making packs lighter, smaller, and cheaper

      You know, able to run a Land Cruiser from a battery the size of a AAA Battery.

      I love the way that their dream for battery technology equates to the theory of perpetual motion. It’s right there. It’s coming soon. We can do this. C’mon!

      Power out equals power in.

      Tony.

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        Rollo

        When the energy density for batteries betters that of petrol I’ll reconsider my options. Also I’ll expect the battery to be “refillable” as many times as a petrol tank. Is this too much to ask?

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        Leo Morgan

        My sister is a Green. She does not understand this ‘power in’ talk of yours. It’s a battery- doesn’t it make energy?
        After being assured they don’t, she fell back to ‘well, eventually we’ll be able to get energy from water.’
        My discussion on the energy requirements of thermolysis, and the prospects for deuterium splitting foundered on mutual incomprehension. Apparently with sufficient R and D we’ll be able to burn water like petrol.
        Besides, unless I have a doctorate in science I’m not qualified to discuss the issue.
        *Sigh*

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      Graeme No.3

      Yeah, yeah.

      Current battery technology is around 300 kwh per kilogram. Petrol is about 1700. OK regenerative braking helps, as does smaller (lighter) motors but get batteries up past 8-900 kwh per kilo and then you can talk about change.

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    pat

    money woes:

    1 Mar: ClimateChangeNews: Ed King: Morocco climate summit faces funding drought due to EU spat
    Brussels is withholding €12m contribution to COP22 in a diplomatic row over Rabat’s claim on Western Sahara
    Millions of Euros to help Morocco fund this November’s UN climate summit in Marrakech are being withheld due to a diplomatic spat between the hosts and the European Union…
    Climate Home understands €12 million (US$13m) for the COP22 summit is being withheld by the EU until the dispute is resolved…
    Local media report the conference venue alone will cost US$23 million (€21m), around a third of the total cost of staging the summit.
    The country had hoped external donors would be able to offer a large chunk of funding. Canada and the US are also understood to have made offers of support.
    Senior UN officials met in January to discuss Morocco’s hosting of the event, amid fears the North African nation was unprepared to host a meeting deemed critical to boosting climate action…
    http://www.climatechangenews.com/2016/03/01/morocco-climate-summit-faces-funding-drought-due-to-eu-

    spat/

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    pat

    forewarned is forearmed:

    Forbes Bio for Dr. Bob Eccles below: I’m Chairman of Arabesque Partners and Professor of Management Practice at Harvard Business School… I’m also involved in a variety of initiatives to embed environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues in real world decision making. One of these is the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), of which I was the Founding Chairman…

    2 pages: 29 Feb: Forbes: Does The Financial World Finally Get Climate Change?
    by Dr. Bob Eccles
    “The combination of the weight of scientific evidence and the dynamics of the financial system suggest that, in the fullness of time, climate change will threaten financial resilience and longer-term prosperity. While there is still time to act, the window of opportunity is finite and shrinking.” – Mark Carney, speaking at Lloyd’s of London in September 2015
    Earlier this month saw the inaugural meeting in London of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), an industry-led group which brings together global best practice climate disclosure under the chairmanship of Michael Bloomberg…
    “From an investment point of view, if you can measure it, you can then manage it,” as Bloomberg said in a recent interview with the FT…
    “There are currently 341 organizations signed up to the CDSB (Climate Disclosure Standards Board) Framework across 10 different sectors and in 32 countries worldwide, with a total market capitalization of $4.2 trillion. These companies vary from Nestle to Airbus and NASA, which now uses the CDSB Framework for its Climate Risk Management plan,” Stevensen (Jane Stevensen, Managing Director of CDSB) told me…
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/bobeccles/2016/02/29/does-the-financial-world-finally-get-climate-change/#5fc4f1b6e13c

    Harvard Business School: Robert G. Eccles
    http://www.hbs.edu/faculty/Pages/profile.aspx?facId=126059

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    pat

    29 Feb: NYT: Claudia Dreifus: In ‘Half Earth,’ E.O. Wilson Calls for a Grand Retreat
    This week, the biologist Edward O. Wilson, professor emeritus at Harvard University and recipient of two Pulitzer Prizes, will publish his 32nd book, a personal exhortation to conserve biodiversity titled “Half Earth: Our Planet’s Fight for Life.”
    The book offers an improbable prescription for the environment: Dr. Wilson suggests that humans set aside roughly 50 percent of the planet as a sort of permanent preserve, undisturbed by man.
    We spoke for three hours in the cafeteria of the assisted-living facility in Lexington, Mass., where Dr. Wilson and his wife, Irene, have lived the past 14 years. Our conversation has been edited and condensed for space and clarity…
    WILSON: Moreover, the international discourse is changing. I’m very encouraged by the Paris Climate Accords. I was excited to see at the time of the Paris meeting that a consortium of influential business leaders concluded that the world should go for net zero carbon emissions. Towards that end, they recommended we protect the forests we have and restore the damaged ones. That’s consistent with the “Half Earth” idea…
    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/01/science/e-o-wilson-half-earth-biodiversity.html?_r=0

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      Graeme No.3

      I take it that the half Earth nature reserve won’t contain any volcanoes or flammable foliage.

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    pat

    pandering to Republicans? u must be kidding:

    29 Feb: Reuters: Jeff Mason: Obama adviser Deese to lead White House’s Supreme Court process
    President Barack Obama has turned to senior adviser Brian Deese, an economic expert ***who previously led the administration’s climate change efforts***, to head a team formed to pick a Supreme Court nominee and win confirmation, the White House said…
    Leading Republicans have vowed to block any nominee Obama chooses, leaving the White House with the challenge of finding someone it believes could change Republican minds or galvanize enough public support to pressure them to back down…
    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-court-adviser-idUSKCN0W224D

    1 Mar: NYT: AP: Obama, Congressional Leaders Talk Supreme Court Vacancy
    WASHINGTON — After an Oval Office sit-down on Tuesday did nothing to move Republican Senate leaders off their hard line against a Supreme Court nomination, Democrats pulled out another weapon in the heated election-year fight: Donald Trump.
    In a White House meeting that lasted less than an hour, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, told President Barack Obama that any confirmation process during a presidential campaign would politicize the court. They offered up no potential candidates that would win their backing and no route to filling the seat.
    “This vacancy will not be filled this year,” McConnell told reporters after the meeting…
    http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2016/03/01/us/politics/ap-us-obama-supreme-court.html

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    pat

    on topic!

    1 Mar: NYT: Gardiner Harris: Waste in Cancer Drugs Costs $3 Billion a Year, a Study Says
    The federal Medicare program and private health insurers waste nearly $3 billion every year buying cancer medicines that are thrown out because many drug makers distribute the drugs only in vials that hold too much for most patients, a group of cancer researchers has found.
    The expensive drugs are usually injected by nurses working in doctors’ offices and hospitals who carefully measure the amount needed for a particular patient and then, because of safety concerns, discard the rest.
    If drug makers distributed vials containing smaller quantities, nurses could pick the right volume for a patient and minimize waste. Instead, many drug makers exclusively sell one-size-fits-all vials, ensuring that many smaller patients pay thousands of dollars for medicine they are never given, according to researchers at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, who published a study on Tuesday in BMJ, formerly known as the British Medical Journal.
    Some of these medicines are distributed in smaller vial sizes in Europe, where governments play a more active role than the United States does in drug pricing and distribution…
    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/01/health/waste-in-cancer-drugs-costs-3-billion-a-year-a-study-says.html?src=me&_r=0

    AUDIO: 9mins: 1 Mar: BBC More or Less: Antibiotics and the Problem of the Broken Market
    It is a life and death situation – the world is at its last line of defence against some pretty nasty bacteria and there are no new antibiotics. But it is not the science that’s the big problem, it is the economics. Despite the $40 billion market worldwide there is no money to be made in antibiotics so big pharmaceuticals have all but stopped their research. Why is this and how do we entice them back in? Wesley Stephenson finds out.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03k0bx2

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      Leo Morgan

      Q) What broke the market and why is there ‘no money in antibiotics’?

      A) Government and regulation. Asking “Which regulation would we remove?”, as Obama did, is like asking “Which tree in the forest stops you running across the forest?”

      Still, there is strong hope for a new antibiotic class, teixobactin. Good for gram-positive bacteria, and apparently harmless to humans. And the technology that disclosed it’s existence is good for hundreds of similar discoveries, nature willing.

      http://www.bbc.com/news/health-30657486

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    lemiere jacques

    but if we cure the earth from climate change , there will be no more cancers… CO2 is panacée

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    pat

    1 Mar: Reuters: UPDATE 3-Spain’s Abengoa posts 1.2 bln euro net loss, debt rises
    Spain’s Abengoa, on the brink of becoming the country’s largest-ever bankruptcy, said on Monday its debt had risen by 492 million euros ($535 million) in 2015′s fourth quarter, as it posted a full-year net loss of 1.2 billion euros.
    The Seville-based energy firm, racing to reach an agreement with its banks and bondholders, said its gross corporate debt at the end of 2015 totalled 9.395 billion euros, up from 8.903 billion euros at the end of September…
    Abengoa started out 70 years ago as a business to design and make electricity meters and now operates solar power plants and has renewable energy projects spanning four continents.
    But its aggressive expansion into the clean energy business since 2007 has been fuelled by taking on huge debts, which brought the company to its knees this year when its lenders refused to extend credit lines…
    http://uk.reuters.com/article/abengoa-results-idUKL8N1686T7

    1 Mar: Reuters: UPDATE 1-China’s State Grid says looking at Abengoa assets in Brazil
    In an emailed statement to Reuters, State Grid said that it has not yet presented any formal proposal to Abengoa.
    Reuters questioned State Grid after comments earlier in the day by Brazil’s Energy Minister Eduardo Braga. He said the government was talking to two foreign groups regarding Abengoa transmission lines…
    Some of the new lines are vital to connect dozens of wind farms to the grid…
    The Spanish company was also heading up the construction of a line to transport power from the world’s third-largest hydroelectric power dam, Belo Monte, in the Amazon state of Para to Brazil’s power-hungry Northeast region…
    http://af.reuters.com/article/commoditiesNews/idAFL2N169226

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    pat

    nothing’s going according to plan:

    1 Mar: ReutersCarbonPulse: Mike Szabo: Energy Aspects again cuts EUA prices forecasts, warns of further weakness
    Energy Aspects has reduced its near-term EU carbon price forecasts for the second time in as many months, cutting by as much as 15.4% and warning that EUAs could plumb new lows…
    “This does feel like the market is re-establishing its equilibrium around the €5 level and it now faces a long journey back to the prices seen at the end of 2015,” wrote lead carbon, gas, and coal analyst Trevor Sikorski.
    “We remain sanguine over whether the market has stopped its declines. In a market with no meaningful fundamental floor to provide downward resistance, another wave of sell-offs could well batter prices.”…
    http://carbon-pulse.com/16413/

    1 Mar: ReutersCarbonPulse: Ben Garside: Point Carbon analysts warn EUAs still vulnerable to shocks, cut forecasts again
    EU carbon prices are only likely to slowly recover from the sharp falls of the past two months, but will remain vulnerable to shocks throughout the next decade because the MSR will have a limited calming effect, analysts at Thomson Reuters Point Carbon said on Tuesday…
    “We expect the shaken market confidence to result in a slow price recovery from current lows,” said Marcus Ferdinand, head of EU carbon analysis at Thomson Reuters Point Carbon.
    “Based on our model and on the expectation that traders will want to take profit on the recent price drop, we expect a recovery in the price later this year,” the report added…
    Far from being a one-off, the Point Carbon analysts said the EU ETS is likely to be vulnerable to such shocks for years to come.
    “Until there is a balance between supply and demand of carbon permits, the EU carbon price remains very vulnerable to sentiment swings like the one that fuelled the price crash of early 2016,” said Point Carbon’s Emil Dimantchev.
    The analysts do not foresee the ETS losing its surplus and reaching supply-demand balance until 2034 under their base case scenario, which assumes the currently-proposed 2030 EU headline targets of a 40% emission cut, and 27% renewables deployment and energy efficiency improvement.
    The report explored 15 other possible future price paths, including measuring deeper EU 2030 renewables and energy efficiency goals, a British exit from the EU, as well as accelerated coal power phase-outs
    in the Germany, Netherlands and the UK…
    http://carbon-pulse.com/16406/

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    Gerry

    Phage Therapy for bacterial infections – esp antibiotic resistant infections ….

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    el gordo

    ‘Democratic presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have both laid out plans to combat climate change, while all five Republican presidential contenders have argued that the problem doesn’t exist or have discounted the scope of the issue.’

    Yahoo

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    pat

    25 Feb: Guardian: Joshua Robertson: Queensland solar homes are using more grid electricity than non-solar, says Energex boss
    Head of state-owned power distributor says solar households in the south-east previously cut grid consumption but ‘don’t worry so much about their bill now’
    Effeney (chief executive, Energex) poured cold water on hopes of an explosion in the emerging solar battery and storage market, warning uptake would be “slow” as the technology was not yet an economic proposition for most people. Battery systems were also constrained by safety and technical issues and the ability of manufacturers like Tesla to mass produce them, he said…
    Solar-powered households which in previous years had cut their grid consumption “don’t worry so much about their bill now [and] are actually using more electricity off the network on average than people who haven’t got solar [who] are still worried about their electricity”.
    “Could we have imagined that that would have occurred, when the whole point of putting solar in was more about a green outcome?” Effeney said.
    “What you’ve got now is it’s all about price … people who have solar are not worrying and are happy to leave their air-conditioning on and that’s really counter to what you were expecting to be a green agenda.” ….
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/feb/25/queensland-solar-homes-are-using-more-grid-electricity-than-non-solar-says-energex-boss

    Giles gives a positive spin…comments are mixed:

    1 Mar: RenewEconomy: Giles Parkinson: Have solar households really sold out on their environmental goals?
    Last week, the head of the Queensland network operator Energex attracted some attention when he suggested that solar households had lost sight of their environment agenda because were using more power from the main grid than those without solar.
    What’s the point of solar, CEO Terry Effeney wondered out loud at a Brisbane business luncheon even on the future of electricity, if it wasn’t reducing demand and reducing the amount of coal-fired generation. And he used this graph (below) to illustrate his point…
    GRAPH
    But is that really a fair portrayal of what is going on in the electricity market and in solar homes and others? Many are not so sure. The actual graph is not in dispute, but the interpretation is…
    http://reneweconomy.com.au/2016/have-solar-households-really-sold-out-on-their-environmental-goals-49128

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      Wayne Job

      The people that I know that put solar panels on the roof did their sums with the government subsidy and the huge feed in tariffs. For them it was never about being green it was about the money.
      Dumb government policy costing those without panels the strugglers more for power. Idiotic in the extreme the people I know with panels are about as far from green as you can get,

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      Graeme No.3

      Tesla lithium battery packs cost roughly $15,000 to install (meanwhile Lithium prices are soaring but may come down in future).
      The battery might last 10 years (read the fine print).
      Savings per annum $600-650 p.a. i.e. 24 years to get your money back.

      Cheaper to have a unicorn on a treadmill, but first catch your unicorn.

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        Graeme No.3

        Sorry, that $15,000 gets the average household 4 hours power when the wind doesn’t blow or the sun stops shining.

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    tom0mason

    Within the cleanroom condition of academic research killing cancer may be practical, however in the real world there are many uncontrolled confounding factors that affect human health.
    As with the climate, off-planet events can have profound long term effects. For instance there is this study that shows blood pressure,heart rate and melatonin cycles synchronization with season, earth magnetism and solar flares.
    or Brückner and Egeson [1.3MB PDF] cyclic effects on humans. And has been noted by E.M. Smith on his Chiefio blog .

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    Arno Arrak (@ArnoArrak)

    You are on the mark, Jo. The trillions wasted on fighting imaginary warming would have gotten us a lot closer to conquering cancer than we are now. Your analysis of biocode breaking could be a starter if some of the trillions can be shifted in that direction. To me this is almost a miracle because when I went to college Watson and Crick had not yet done their thing.

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