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Agnosticsherbet's Journal
Agnosticsherbet's Journal
November 3, 2016

Alzheimer's treatment within reach after successful drug trial

Alzheimer's treatment within reach after successful drug trial
An Alzheimer’s drug has been shown to successfully target the most visible sign of the disease in the brain, raising hopes that an effective treatment could be finally within reach.

A small trial of the drug was primarily aimed at assessing safety, but the findings suggest it effectively “switched off” the production of toxic amyloid proteins that lead to the sticky plaques seen in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients.

If the tablet, produced by pharmaceutical giant Merck, is also shown to slow the pace of mental decline – a crucial question that a major clinical trial should answer when it reports next year – it could be the first treatment for Alzheimer’s to be licensed in more than a decade.

Prof John Hardy, a neuroscientist at UCL who first proposed that amyloid proteins play a central role in Alzheimer’s disease, welcomed the results. “People are excited,” he said. “This is a very nice drug and I’m sure Merck are feeling very pleased with themselves.”

My mother died of Alzheimers. Everytime I forget anything, I find myself terrified that it's starting.
October 31, 2016

Telling Poor, Smart Kids That All It Takes Is Hard Work to Be as Successful as Their Wealthy Peers

Telling Poor, Smart Kids That All It Takes Is Hard Work to Be as Successful as Their Wealthy Peers Is a Blatant Lie
When it was revealed that low-income students face greater challenges in school and are far less likely than their wealthier peers to attend or graduate college, the message to this disadvantaged group of students was a simple one—work harder.

It was a new twist on the dreaded “work twice as hard to have half of what your peers have” mentality but it also seemed to just be an unfortunate reality in America.

But it isn’t often enough that the full picture of low-income students’ disadvantages is explored and unveiled to the very students who are trying to navigate that reality.

Many of these students do step up to the plate and work hard to obtain the type of academic scores that exceed expectations, but even that isn’t enough for them to overcome such daunting obstacles.

We need to make real change happen.
October 28, 2016

These Expert Writing Tips Will Guarantee Your Blog Posts Get Read

These Expert Writing Tips Will Guarantee Your Blog Posts Get Read
Neil Patel is a serial entrepreneur who has co-founded several successful web analytics firms such as Crazy Egg and Kissmetrics.

He's also one of the most prolific bloggers and content creators on the internet today, with more than one million email subscribers that look forward to his frequent posts on digital marketing topics.

In addition to writing on his own blogs, neilpatel.com and quicksprout.com, Neil is a columnist for several major business publications such as Inc. He's also the author of a new book, Hustle: The Power to Charge Your Life with Money, Meaning, and Momentum, which landed on the New York Times Best Seller list
October 26, 2016

The Republican Nominee, Astonishingly, Has Given Up Fundraising for the Ticket and Party He Leads

The Republican Nominee, Astonishingly, Has Given Up Fundraising for the Ticket and Party He Leads
The Washington Post snagged this astonishing, sign of the times scoop Tuesday night: Donald Trump, the Republican candidate for president and de facto leader of the party, and his campaign have stopped fundraising for the RNC. In fact, Trump Victory, the joint fundraising committee for the party and the campaign, held its last formal fundraiser on Oct. 19, nearly three weeks before the election, the campaign’s national finance chairman, Steven Mnuchin, told the Post. “We’ve kind of wound down,” Mnuchin said in reference to formal fundraisers. “But the online fundraising continues to be strong.” (Update, 11:45 p.m.: The Trump campaign issued this statement from spokesman Jason Miller in response to the reporting on its fundraising, “All fundraising, large and small including our Victory effort, will continue through the end of the election.”)

Just, kinda, wound down? Wound down trying to win? It seems pretty clear, if it wasn’t clear already, that both sides—the GOP and the Trump campaign—have given up on each other. Trump never appeared to care about building a governing majority, or governing in general, so it doesn’t seem like much of a shock that raising money for the GOP party apparatus wasn’t his bag. And, in fairness to Trump, his entire campaign was based on sticking it to the party apparatus, so giving big sums of money to Trump wasn't exactly traditional GOP donors' bag either. In the end, the big ticket fundraisers also likely wound down because there weren't many more funds to raise. Either way, from a party perspective, this could be a (the latest?) death knell, certainly for Trump, but likely for many Republican candidates in tight races up and down the ballot.

“The consequences of halting major fundraisers will compound the challenges facing a candidate and a party already straining to match Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s much larger and better-financed operation,” the Post notes. “Unlike Clinton, who has an extensive turnout operation of her own, Trump and many other GOP candidates down the ballot are relying heavily on the Republican National Committee to bring voters to the polls.”

By contrast, the Clinton campaign has 41 fundraising events lined up between now and Election Day, accord to the Post.* Hillary Clinton’s last fundraising gig will be Tuesday night, but the campaign still has dozens and dozens more lined up featuring other high-profile surrogates. Clinton has also been reportedly weighing her strategic options when it comes to redirecting funds to bolster Democratic candidates in tight races. Obama has also been on the road trying to take advantage of the GOP's top of the ticket weakness to pick off some congressional districts and Senate races that weren't considered winnable previously.
October 23, 2016

New record for fusion: Giant leap in pursuit of clean energy

New record for fusion: Giant leap in pursuit of clean energy

On Sept. 30, at 9:25 p.m. EDT, scientists and engineers at MIT's Plasma Science and Fusion Center made a leap forward in the pursuit of clean energy. The team set a new world record for plasma pressure in the Institute's Alcator C-Mod tokamak nuclear fusion reactor. Plasma pressure is the key ingredient to producing energy from nuclear fusion, and MIT's new result achieves over 2 atmospheres of pressure for the first time.
Alcator leader and senior research scientist Earl Marmar will present the results at the International Atomic Energy Agency Fusion Energy Conference, in Kyoto, Japan, on Oct. 17.

Nuclear fusion has the potential to produce nearly unlimited supplies of clean, safe, carbon-free energy. Fusion is the same process that powers the sun, and it can be realized in reactors that simulate the conditions of ultrahot miniature "stars" of plasma -- superheated gas -- that are contained within a magnetic field.
October 10, 2016

We scored the town hall debate and Hillary Clinton won (LA Times Clinton Wins)

We scored the town hall debate and Hillary Clinton won
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump faced off again on Sunday for the second presidential debate. To help us determine who prevailed we enlisted the help of three of our political writers and columnists to act as judges. Each judge scored every round with a win, lose or draw. And each declared a winner at the end. Follow our debate coverage on Trail Guide.

The LA Times has been a bit critical of Clinton in the past.
October 4, 2016

Beer Company Develops Edible Six-Pack Rings That Feed, Rather Than Kill, Marine Life

Beer Company Develops Edible Six-Pack Rings That Feed, Rather Than Kill, Marine Life
A craft beer company and an ad agency brewed up a brilliant idea to save marine life if six-pack rings end up in the ocean. Are you aware that 80% of the plastic humans throw away ends up in the oceans? The sad reality is made worse when one learns that, as a result, billions of pounds of plastic are now swirling in convergences in the seas. In fact, 40% of earth’s total ocean mass is now covered by plastic.
According to Greenpeace, approximately 70% of Seabirds and 80% of Sea Turtles are now ingesting plastic. As a result,1,000,000 birds and 100,000 marine mammals and sea turtles are dying each year.

One of the major contributors to this epidemic are the seemingly harmless six-pack rings found around cans of soda and beer. Because the rings have little value, consumers nonchalantly throw them into the trash without any regard for marine life. Now, 99% of seabirds are expected to have plastic in their guts by the year 2050. This is unacceptable, and a Florida-based brewery agrees.

Saw this at Facebook. Now, if we can make all plastics biodegradable and edible.
September 27, 2016


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