Mike the Mad Biologist

Archives for March, 2010

A while ago, I described how previous decisions allowing the patenting of human genes–and thereby making cheap, affordable diagnostics impossible–flew in the face of the goal of federally-funded research. There’s no reason to patent something and charge thousands of dollars for something a high school student could do (PCR and sequencing). From The NY Times…

Transportation: The Hidden Cost of Housing

The Washington Post covered an interesting study by the Chicago-based nonprofit Center for Neighborhood Technology. Basically, to determine the cost of housing, the authors included the costs of transportation along with the cost of housing. Some findings: …the combined cost of a home that requires a longer commute by car might exceed that of a…

Since healthcare is temporarily off the radar screen, despite Republican attempts to have Romneycare declared unconstitutional (how Romneycare would be unconstitutional, but Medicare wouldn’t, well, that would be fun…), we can now return to the never-ending attempt by conservatives to gut Social Security. One of the key figures and bankrollers in that attempt is financier…

While I’m away, here’s something from the depths of the Mad Biologist’s Archives: By way of ScienceBlogling Razib, I came across this Reason article by Ronald Bailey summarizing the presidential candidates views’ on evolution. Bailey highlights two reasons what lack of support for evolution says about a candidate: The candidate probably is weak on the…

Saturday Links

Happy Saturday. While I’m away, here are some links for you. Science: Significant But Wrong: Are Open Data Advocates Asking Too Much From Statistics? Hobbit version 2.0: the undiscovered hominin China, Japan and Cuba ignore science, vote against shark protection Other: Fundies don’t really believe this stuff Against ‘Pro-Israel’ In Health Care Bill, Obama Attacks…

The NY Times has an interesting story about how state tax agencies are stepping up their efforts to collect money from people who earn money in another state, but don’t pay the taxes they owe in that state: When Josh Beckett pitches for the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium, New York collects income tax on…

And it could, if done right. Even those of us who read really fast max out at around 600 words per minute. This is a result of what is known as saccadic eye movement. When we read, only a very small part of the retina, known as the fovea, is used, so as we read…

One of the weird things (of many) about using the reconciliation process is that it can only be used once per session. So when the Democrats passed Romneycare, they also had to deal with getting student loan reform past conservative obstruction. From The Washington Post (italics mine): The student aid initiative, which House Democrats attached…

Tuesday Links

I heard some kind of healthcare bill was passed or something. While I puzzle this out, here are some links for you: Mass. tops nation in flu shots, report says Aaand, Point Proven Financial Shenanigans: the Repo 105 Explaining the Impact of Ultra-Low Rates to Greenspan Parenteau: The Hyperinflation Hyperventalists German Central Bank Admits that…

Romneycare for All!

Granted, the healthcare reform bill is an improvement, at least for the poor Republican welfare states of the South (and they’re ‘real’ Americans too!), but, as I’ve said before, this is a conservative, not centrist, healthcare plan. Brad DeLong: …the essence of the reform — which is that the insurance market has been restructured to…