On BioScience and Life and Such

Archive for March, 2009|Monthly archive page

Unloading: HPV-vaccination

In Uncategorized on March 25, 2009 at 9:02 am

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Genome organization of human papillomavirus ty...

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The national biotechnology-board in my home-country has decided to announce that mandatory HPV-vaccination needs to be postponed. Why ? because “the long term effects are uncertain”.

&%¤#&%%%##** idiots.

This vaccine is probably the most tested vaccine ever. The issues surrounding its use concerns sexuality and young women. These issues are controversial by nature.

There is however, nothing controversial about the proven safety of the vaccine.

The job of an advisory-board of scientifically literate people, is to see beyond the politicized aspects of the matter, not to politicize them more.

The long term effects of a lot of what we do in our everyday lives are uncertain. If you demand 100 % certainty progress stops.

…….and in the meanwhile, many women will develop cervical cancer, some of them will die. Now that is 100 % certain.

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One more thing on abortion

In Uncategorized on March 19, 2009 at 2:59 pm

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A bar chart depicting selected data from the 1...

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The other day I overheard a conversation. A man says he is proud of staying together with his wife for many, many years. They have four kids, three boys and a girl. He goes on to say that in the early days of their relationship, his wife got pregnant. Since they were both young and had dreams and aspirations for the future, this caused some fierce arguing and they almost broke it off. The abortion (which they disagreed strongly upon, but finally agreed to go through with), the man said had saved their relationship and ……(the use of the following word caught my attention)……enabled them to go on to have 4 kids and a happy marriage.

Nobody can predict the future. Every single little thing we do, every tiny choice we make, shapes our future in unpredictable ways. While abortion can be viewed as taking a life by some, others may view it as choosing not to start one. In this world of uncertain outcomes, choosing not to start a life may enable you to start many others in the future.

Life does not have simple answers. It’s shades of gray. Gray matter.

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I haven’t joined Mendeley as community liaison

In Uncategorized on March 18, 2009 at 2:43 pm

From the Blind Scientist:

Despite rumors floating in the upper echelons on the interwebs, I must admit that I haven’t been approached, contacted, persuaded or forced to join Mendeley as a Community Liaison. I understand the rumours were founded on the statement from one of the company’s staff member that my role in the software development is “crucial” (not his exact words, but in the ballpark).I haven’t joined Mendeley as community liaison

You should read the whole article.

Myself, I havent even tried using the program, but I have downloaded it…….

BIOpinionated monthly quote-fest 0309

In Uncategorized on March 16, 2009 at 9:14 pm

1. From this post at cotch dot net:

For eight years, the United States was the brawling village idiot of the developed world, so far as Europe seemed to be concerned.

2. Daniel MacArthur of Genetic Future comments on the claim that scientist shouldn’t study race and intelligence:

Poisoning the well in this fashion is a highly effective strategy for shutting down debate on a particular topic – but this is a terrible strategy for a scientist to adopt.

3. From this post at The Bird’s Brain:

I don’t think science is about skepticism. It is about critical thinking, which is necessary for proper support of skepticism. Yes, be a skeptic, but look at as many sides of an issue as you can, and remember that there are probably others that you have not considered. An opinion is just that, an opinion, not a statement of fact. We all have them, but that doesn’t make us experts.

4. On studying religious faith from this post on Cotch dot net:

What a fascinating way to approach the issue. Not whether an idea is right or wrong; what it has to offer.

5. From this post on Sandwalk:

There are so many crazy people out there that the average skeptic simply doesn’t have time to fight them all.

6. From this news piece on how working women are to blame for the global financial crisis:

Women are twice as likely as men to work in the public sector. They account for two-thirds of the Civil Service and three- quarters of all public employees.

Yet they are barely represented in the useful public services of firefighting and arresting people. Encouraging women to leave the workforce would go a long way towards addressing the budget deficit without any downside whatsoever.

7. From this post on Sandwalk:

We had a really fun time discussing the topic, aided, perhaps, by the excellent wine list at the restaurant. I wish I could remember all the points I made. I think some of them were brilliant.

The Testosterone Project

In Transhumanism on March 12, 2009 at 10:58 am

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A vial of the injectable anabolic steroid, dep...

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I have reached a crossing point of (what feels like crucial) life events :

1) Reaching an age where a life crisis is acceptable, 2) failing in sports activities and 3) becoming a transhumanist (see previous posts Epiphany: Transhumanism, – not ?, Diving into Transhumanism I and II and Decision time, become a transhumanist or not).

Enter: Testosterone.

Without further ado, I am launching my personal testosterone project. However, since the whole idea of human enhancement is new (and still feels scary) to me, I’m going to take this slowly and stepwise, – with an option to pull out after each step.

My plan is to post as I go along. Here’s the project plan outline:

  1. Test my testosterone levels.
    – Done. Turns out I’m at the low end of the normal spectrum.
  2. If low (and yes it was low), then learn more.
    – This will be the topic of the next post. For those who would like some more background on testosterone therapy – go here (via Alexis Madrigal).
  3. If not to scary, find out how to get a hold of it. Options seem to be a gullible physician or the illegal substance market.
  4. If not too illegal, then get some.
  5. Try low doses.
  6. If adverse events acceptable, continue and report effects on blog.
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Quote of the month March 09

In Uncategorized on March 8, 2009 at 10:05 am
Gioachino Antonio Rossini (1792-1868), composer
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Gioachino Antonio Rossini, the famous opera-composer who created The Barber of Seville (the most famous of  his 39 operas):

How wonderful opera would be if there were no singers.

And I add: Politics without politicians, news without journalists, stock-exchange without brokers………

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On testing for Downs syndrome

In Uncategorized on March 4, 2009 at 12:42 pm

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The following is my response to this Mary Meets Dolly post on prediagnostic genetic testing for Downs Syndrome.

To add some facts arguing against your view on genetic testing for Downs syndrome:

In my home country, where the right to abortion has been established many, many years and where every women (public healthcare) over the age of 38 is offered genetic testing for trisomy 21, the number of children born with Downs has remained unchanged also after the introduction of genetic testing. Thus, your assumption that this testing leads to less children born with this syndrome may not hold true. Also, I do not think that most people believe that the world would be a better place without Downs. I think however, that most people understand that this is a severe disease and that life with Downs is a challenge for the family as a whole. As for the lessons of life, it is truly sad when someone says that we need the sick and disabled to learn these lessons. Such a statement demeans these patients by saying they function as tools for us to understand the less fortunate.

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