Friday, December 21, 2012

Why is wound healing such a slow process? It's all about the energy

My lab does a lot of work on wound healing. In a petri dish, cells are capable of growing many times faster than they do in the body. So why do our wounds heal so slowly? These Swedish scientists got the crazy idea to calculate an energy balance for our bodies. Turns out that it costs an incredible amount of energy for our bodies to transport resources to wounded areas to feed new cell growth. Our bodies need to expend almost 5,000 calories to grow just 1 gram of new tissue! With all the energy it takes to just keep us alive every day, our bodies have only a small amount of excess energy left over to feed new cells, and so our wounds heal very slowly.  

It seems to me that there should be a way to short-circuit this process and make wounds heal much faster.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Obama thinks capitalism works... in space, at least

The only industry for which Obama has pushed a free-market approach is Space. And it's thriving. Coincidence? I think not.  

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Ready the defibrillators...

I'm just going to say this once.  The Republican Party is in need of major reform.  Here are some basic truths, as I see it:

#1: Most Americans don't care what other people do in their private lives.
#2: The Constitution gives the federal government zero authority on social issues.
#3: The *worst* way to promote your social values is to hold a gun to someone's head and say "share my values, or else", which is ultimately what you're doing when you try to get the government involved.

I'd say at least half of my friends who vote Democrat do so because they think Republicans want to ban abortion and contraceptives, hate gays and immigrants, and want to force everyone to live by the Bible.  The fact that these things aren't true DOES NOT MATTER.  In politics, the truth does not matter.  Only perception matters.  You can't win every debate, and on these issues the GOP has lost, and lost big time.  As long as the GOP holds to its social-issues platform, they will never win the debate, and instead they will lose the country.  Americans should promote their social values at home, in their communities, with their friends, family, and neighbors.  Keep the government out of it.

If the Republican Party wants to have a future in governing this country, it needs to embrace libertarian values.  It needs to promote capitalism, individual liberty in ALL matters (not just economic matters), fiscal responsibility, federalism, and a broad transfer of power and money from the federal government back to the states and the people.  It also needs to take a welcoming stance toward immigrants who are already in this country, whether legally or not.  By making these things central to its platform, the GOP will regain strong majority support and enthusiasm.  By rejecting its failed social-issues platform, it will take away the primary line of attack that Democrats use to win elections.  The GOP can and will take the youth and minority vote from the Democrats, while still retaining the support of traditional conservatives, if they follow this advice.

If the GOP fails to make these reforms, then it may be time for the rise of a third party.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Scientists Prove Federalist No. 10.

 People Aren't Smart Enough for Democracy to Flourish, Scientists Say.  That's funny -- it's taken scientists 225 years to prove what James Madison wrote in Federalist No. 10.  I guess that 17th Amendment really was a terrible idea after all.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Now this is what REAL climate change looks like...

A very interesting new study from NASA on the importance of a planet's axial tilt on its ability to sustain complex life. This may explain the "Cambrian explosion" of complex life on Earth. Evidence suggests that, possibly due to the ancient planetary collision that formed the Moon, primordial Earth had a severe axial tilt. This somehow changed around 540 million years ago, which finally stabilized Earth's seasonal climates and allowed complex life to flourish.

Of course, that's a big "somehow".  If a massive collision with a Mars-sized planet caused the original change in Earth's axial tilt, what could have caused it to change back?