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World of Enzymecraft | Taming the Dragon.

Games provide a framework for bringing together the strengths of computers and humans. The results in this week’s paper show that gaming, science and computation can be combined to make advances that were not possible before.” Score one for spatial reasoning: Using the game Foldit, online gamers manage to decipher a enzyme structure that has eluded scientists for a decade — in three weeks. “Cracking the enzyme ‘provides new insights for the design of antiretroviral drugs’, says the study, referring to the medication to keep people with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) alive.

On the subject of HIV, it looks like the enemy of our enemy is our friend: In a stunning feat of gene therapy, scientists have used a disabled version of HIV to successfully defeat leukemia. “Mr. Ludwig’s doctors have not claimed that he is cured — it is too soon to tell — nor have they declared victory over leukemia on the basis of this experiment, which involved only three patients…But scientists say [this] may signify a turning point in the long struggle to develop effective gene therapies against cancer…In essence, the team is using gene therapy to accomplish something that researchers have hoped to do for decades: train a person’s own immune system to kill cancer cells.

We’re No. 50!

On the eve of the State of the Union — Win the Future! — the wags at Pleated Jeans compile a handy map of what each state desperately needs to work on. (By way of Blackpepper and Webgoddess.) “Whether it’s a fat population, high rate of STDs or excessive tax rate, it turns out that every state ranks dead last in at least one unsavory category. Check out the map (click image to enlarge) to see what your state is the worst at, then review additional stats and references after the jump.

Brownback to the Future?

“Search the record of history. To walk away from the Almighty is to embrace decline for a nation. To embrace Him leads to renewal, for individuals and for nations.” Not to be outdone over on the Republican side, right-wing GOP Senator Sam Brownback throws his hat in the ring as well. From what I’ve seen of Brownback, which isn’t much other than a few Sunday show appearances, he seems like the scariest kind of cultural and religious conservative — a smart and articulate one. (And, to his credit, Brownback has tried to add such important issues as prison reform and AIDS awareness to the usual catalog of medieval social positions held by the religious right.) The McCain team would do well not to underestimate him.

World AIDS Day 2006.

“We are all sick because of AIDS – and we are all tested by this crisis.” — Sen. Barack Obama


L&T 2003.

“Those who think AIDS is over are dreaming. It is one of the most serious epidemics the world has ever faced, and we need to really, really get serious about it.”
Kofi Annan


Get Your War On.

We’re clearly going to war, we’re giving all the old folks prescription drugs, we’re eliminating AIDS in Africa, and American taxpayers won’t have to pay a red cent. Anybody notice a problem? Dubya’s State of the Union promised a lot, including dividend goodies for the rich and flaming death to Saddam, but it didn’t say much about the actual State of the Union. At any rate, I was impressed with the AIDS initiative (although I’d be more impressed if he wasn’t getting advice from cranks like these), but otherwise didn’t think much of Dubya’s speech. I also doubt he changed anyone’s mind about the Iraq situation, but perhaps Secretary Powell’s speech next week will prove more fruitful. (Thacker link via Julian’s Jabberings.)

Link and Think 2002.

“We can and must do more to stop the spread of AIDS…there is no other moral or practical choice.”
William Jefferson Clinton.

I have learned in the last week that this thing is real, and it doesn’t discriminate. It affects everyone.
Eric “Eazy-E” Wright.

Run Away!!

Showing their colors once again, Billy Tauzin and a gaggle of GOP lawmakers exhibit an irrational phobia of the HIV-positive muppet.

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