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FASTER, PLEASE: News about cancer research that could be very, very important.

FASTER, PLEASE: VOA News reporting on a new test in medical trials that may predict a patient’s responsiveness to new generation of tumor-fighting cancer drugs.

FASTER, PLEASE: Johns Hopkins researchers say they’ve unlocked key to cancer metastasis and how to slow it.

Hasini Jayatilaka was a sophomore at the Johns Hopkins University working in a lab studying cancer cells when she noticed that when the cells become too densely packed, some would break off and start spreading.

She wasn’t sure what to make of it, until she attended an academic conference and heard a speaker talking about bacterial cells behaving the same way. Yet when she went through the academic literature to see if anyone had written about similar behavior in cancer cells, she found nothing.

Seven years later, the theory Jayatilaka developed early in college is now a bona fide discovery that offers significant promise for cancer treatment.

Fascinating report, well worth your time.

FASTER, PLEASE: The 2016 Spacex Mars Colonization plan has been published online.

FASTER, PLEASE: Can a Single Injection Conquer PTSD? The Army Wants to Find Out.

The $2 million Army study constitutes the first large-scale randomized control research into use of the shots—called stellate ganglion blocks—to treat PTSD. The injections have been used for decades for arm pain and shingles.

In recent years, some military doctors have begun treating PTSD patients, particularly Navy SEALs and Army Green Berets, with the injections. The shots interrupt messages along nerve fibers that control the fight-or-flight response.

That early clinical experience has produced promising results, with troops experiencing near-immediate relief of anxiety, hyper-vigilance, social withdrawal and other symptoms, said military doctors who have administered the treatment. They include Col. Jim Lynch, command surgeon at the joint Special Operations Command-Africa, which deploys elite troops to train local forces and conduct missions in Africa.

“Once people have the shot, they get dramatically better immediately,” Dr. Lynch said. The shot isn’t a cure, he said, but eases symptoms enough to allow talk therapy, pharmaceuticals and other approaches to achieve long-term improvements.

I wonder if this treatment could also help military service dogs who often suffer PTSD, too.

FASTER, PLEASE: GOP Senator Slams Pace of American Infrastructure Projects.

Logistics — and the infrastructure necessary to move lots of things and people quickly and efficiency — used to be an American speciality.

FASTER, PLEASE: New Drugs Show Promise as First to Prevent Migraine.

Actually, I’ve had pretty good luck with CoQ10 as a migraine preventative, and it’s also an energy booster. And despite initial skepticism, I’ve won over my wife, daughter, and brother. And it’s cheap, too, compared with drugs.

HUMAN SHIELDS: ISIS Has Killed Hundreds of Civilians in Mosul, U.N. Says.

Iraqi forces, backed by airstrikes from a United States-led coalition, have made advances into the city, and the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, has responded in brutal fashion to halt the flight of civilians they want to use as human shields, the United Nations said.

The deadliest attack came last Thursday, when at least 163 civilians, including women and children, were killed near a Pepsi factory as they headed out of the Shifa neighborhood of Mosul, the United Nations’ human rights office in Geneva said.

“They were gunned down as they were fleeing,” said Ravina Shamdasani, a spokeswoman for the human rights office, which reported that, as of two days ago, the bodies of the victims were still lying in the streets.

An estimated 200,000 civilians are still trapped in desperate conditions in the old city of Mosul, targeted by jihadists and suffering heavy casualties from coalition bombing and artillery fire.

They must be thinking, “Faster, please.”

FASTER, PLEASE: Prostate cancer trial stuns researchers: ‘It’s a once in a career feeling.’

GEORGE KORDA: Finding rationality in a politically gelatinous world? Not a prayer.

Donald Trump becoming POTUS has created a new stratum of political irrationality among those appalled by his victory.

Before Election Day, when Clinton and her supporters were confident of winning, Trump’s attitude toward the outcome was big news. Would he and his backers accept the results? Clinton said of Trump, “He became the first person, Republican or Democrat, who refused to say that he would respect the results of this election. Now, that is a direct threat to our democracy.”

With Trump’s victory respect among many for the election results disappeared faster than a politician’s promise. On social media, in demonstrations, and in other ways never-Trumpers call themselves the “resistance,” declaring Trump is “Not My President,” and speculate, suggest, or insist he resign, be impeached, or that there should be a do-over election.

Many of these partisans – as well as Democrats in Washington’s halls of power – a few short months earlier insisted that it’s unpatriotic to disrespect a president, and if someone hopes a president fails they hope America fails. That’s when in Barack Obama they had a president they liked.

Those high-minded principles have in many quarters transitioned to it being unpatriotic to not disrespect Trump, and pulling for him to succeed means wanting America to fail.

Those are rational reversals only if principles depend on the politics of the moment. Speaking of irrationality, take Trump, Clinton campaign and former FBI Director James Comey, please.


FASTER, PLEASE: Paris: Trump Blocks First of Obama’s “Three Authoritarianisms,” Roger Simon writes.

FASTER, PLEASE: The US Strategy of Annihilation and Humiliation.

In his first interview as secretary of defense, James Mattis outlined the United States’ strategy. Mattis’ words carry weight because he is one of the few subordinates U.S. President Donald Trump seems to trust implicitly and to whom Trump has delegated significant responsibility. In the interview, Mattis said the war of attrition – pushing enemies out of their locations rather than destroying them completely – failed to produce the desired outcome. The U.S. will now fight a war of annihilation and humiliation against the enemy, which is not just IS but radical Islamism in general. Mattis expects the war to be a long fight, but he also expects to win.

Mattis pointed to the battles for Mosul and Tal Afar as models for how these tactics will be implemented in other places. In both cases, forces on the ground, some with U.S. help, have surrounded IS targets to try to prevent Islamic State militants from retreating and foreign fighters from leaving the battlefield to return home. The forces then advance and clear these cities block by block, a hard task that takes time. This is what Mattis described as annihilation. The Islamic State’s greatest strength on the battlefield has been its ability to retreat and regroup, and the goal of annihilation is to destroy that strength. But this strategy comes with a high price. Iraq sent its best trained and equipped fighters into Mosul first, and casualty rates were reportedly around 50 percent for some units.

Speed is an often overlooked force multiplier. The Marines used it to great battlefield (and propaganda) effect in Second Fallujah, but the battle to retake Mosul has been going on for months.

FASTER, PLEASE: ‘This is not the end’: Experimental therapy that targets genes gives cancer patients hope. “In August 2014, Joho stumbled into Hopkins for her first infusion of the immunotherapy drug Keytruda. She was in agony from a malignant mass in her midsection, and even with the copious amounts of OxyContin she was swallowing, she needed a new fentanyl patch on her arm every 48 hours. Yet within just days, the excruciating back pain had eased. Then an unfamiliar sensation — hunger — returned. She burst into tears when she realized what it was. As months went by, her tumor shrank and ultimately disappeared. She stopped treatment this past August, free from all signs of disease.”

FASTER, PLEASE: Getting Serious About Terrorism.

FASTER, PLEASE: Navy Adds Second Attack Sub to 2021 Plans; Considering 3 SSNs in Future Years.

Due to concerns about overwhelming the two sub construction yards – Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Newport News Shipbuilding and General Dynamics Electric Boat – with too much new work, as the Block V boats are set to include a new Virginia Payload Module section around the same time SSBN construction will begin, the Navy previously planned to buy just one SSN in years it also bought an SSBN. Due to an impending attack sub shortfall, though, Navy plans have continued to up and up the amount of work that could come to the two builders.

“In the past we had anticipated dropping down our submarine construction, our attack submarine construction, during years of the Columbia program procurement,” Acting Navy Secretary Sean Stackley told the Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee this morning.

“In fact, we intend to, and we’re laying the groundwork, to sustain [a] two submarine per year procurement rate – because that is our number-one shortfall.”

Our aging Los Angeles-class attack subs are being retired faster than the Virginia-class boats can be built to replace them — too fast even by our plan to shrink the submarine fleet.

FASTER, PLEASE: FCC Begins Rolling Back Obama’s Net Neutrality Rule.

FASTER, PLEASE: This Machine Can Map and Zap Multiple Tumors at the Same Time.

This is exactly the sort of thing that Andy Kessler was predicting a decade ago.

FASTER, PLEASE: U.S. Military to Move ‘Very Quickly’ in Arming Syrian Kurds Despite Turkish Opposition.

FASTER, PLEASE: Is it really possible to live until you’re 146? The science of ageing.

FASTER, PLEASE: Researchers cure diabetes in mice without side effects.

FASTER, PLEASE: FDA approves first new drug to treat ALS in 20 Years.

“This is the first new treatment approved by the FDA for ALS in many years, and we are pleased that people with ALS will now have an additional option,” he said.

It’s in fact the first new drug approved for ALs since 1995, when riluzole, sold under the brand name Rilutek, was approved.

Radicava is given in the form of an intravenous infusion, with two weeks of daily treatments followed by a two week break.

Tests on a very small group of 137 patients showed those who got the drug had slower declines compared to those who did not.

It comes at a price. Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma America says the drug will cost more than $1,000 per infusion.

“If taken annually for 12 months or 13 cycles, according to the dosing and administration in the label, the cost before government discounts, will be $145,524,” the company said.

Cheaper, too, please.

FASTER, PLEASE: “Exercise-in-a-pill” boosts athletic endurance by 70 percent. “Mice in the control group could run about 160 minutes before exhaustion. Mice on the drug, however, could run about 270 minutes—about 70 percent longer. For both groups, exhaustion set in when blood sugar (glucose) dropped to around 70 mg/dl, suggesting that low glucose levels (hypoglycemia) are responsible for fatigue.”

AND A LOT OF THESE ARE … FASTER PLEASE: NYC’s mad scientists could literally change our world.

FASTER, PLEASE. MUCH FASTER: Trump is quietly succeeding in chipping away at Obama-era regulations.

FASTER, PLEASE: A guide to 5G technology.

FASTER, PLEASE: End the discrimination against nuclear power.

Gov. John Kasich has long championed cost-effective action for clean air and the environment and last year vetoed legislation that would have repealed the state’s solar and wind mandates.

Unfortunately, those mandates exclude nuclear power, which provides 90 percent of Ohio’s clear energy. As a result, Ohio’s nuclear plants are at risk of closing — and killing over 1,300 high-paying, high-skill jobs.

Cheap natural gas has played a role in nuclear’s troubles, but why then have solar and wind been booming during a time of low natural gas prices? The answer is obvious: They benefit from over 23 years of federal subsidies and state mandates like the one Kasich supports for wind and solar — and which excludes nuclear.

Like most environmentalists, I used to be opposed to nuclear power. I thought solar and wind would be enough. But the more I learned about solar and wind, I realized they could never power a high-energy industrial civilization.

Anyone serious about reducing carbon emissions has to be serious about nuclear power, unless their real goal is a serious reduction in the number of living human beings.


American shale gas is, at long last, penetrating into Eastern Europe. Poland just purchased its first cargoes of U.S. liquified natural gas (LNG), an important milestone in Europe’s quest to reduce its dependence on Russian energy imports. . . .

Europe has a gas problem, and America is helping to solve it. The continent has long relied on Russia for its natural gas supplies, and currently sources roughly a third of those hydrocarbons from Russian companies—predominantly Gazprom. That gas comes with conditions, though. Moscow has used contract terms and prices to coerce its European customers, offering cushy deals to countries it sees as friendly to the Kremlin’s interests, and hiking prices or, in the case of Ukraine, halting supplies altogether when a country crosses it.

For years, this seemed to be Europe’s fate, as the continent had few other options for overland pipeline suppliers to help it meet its natural gas demand. The advent of LNG changed that, however, by allowing any country with a port to import super-chilled natural gas on board ships from suppliers all around the world. After Russia’s annexation of Crimea, Europe began to accelerate its development of LNG import infrastructure as a way to help reduce its dependence on Gazprom.

Faster, please.

FASTER, PLEASE: Zinc Battery Breakthrough Could Mean Safer, Lighter Cars and Smartphones.

FASTER, PLEASE: Time for a Congressional Investigation of the Iran Deal, Roger Simon writes.

FASTER, PLEASE: After Decades of Work, a Malaria Vaccine Is Here. “Three African countries have been chosen to test the world’s first malaria vaccine, the World Health Organization announced Monday. Ghana, Kenya, and Malawi will begin piloting the injectable vaccine next year with young children. The vaccine, which has partial effectiveness, has the potential to save tens of thousands of lives if used with existing measures, the WHO regional director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, said in a statement. The challenge is whether impoverished countries can deliver the required four doses of the vaccine for each child, the AP reports. Malaria infects more than 200 million people worldwide every year and kills about half a million, most of them children in Africa.”

It’s a start.

FASTER DATA, PLEASE: 5G Progress, Realities Set in at Brooklyn 5G Summit.

IF ONLY IT DID THAT FOR YOUNG HUMANS: Young Human Blood Makes Old Mice Smarter. “A protein found in young human blood plasma can improve brain function in old mice. The finding, published on 19 April in Nature, is the first time a human protein has been shown to have this effect. It’s also the latest evidence that infusions of ‘young blood’ can reverse symptoms of ageing, including memory loss, decrease in muscle function and metabolism, and loss of bone structure.”

So I guess mark this as support for the hypothesis that there are “youthening” elements in younger blood, as opposed to the hypothesis that there are “pro-aging” elements in old blood. Though there’s no reason why both can’t be true. Either way, faster, please!

FASTER, PLEASE: President Trump Should Run, Not Walk, Away From The Paris Climate Treaty.

FASTER, PLEASE: Scientists Halt Growth of Colon, Stomach Cancers.

FASTER, PLEASE: Possible new treatment for neuroinflammation in stroke.

SLOWER, PLEASE: China Takes Wraps Off National Hypersonic Plan.

The conference, which gave many Chinese researchers their first opportunity to display many years’ worth of research to a wider Western audience, underlined the nation’s impressive overall advances in all areas of high-speed flight research for defense, transport and space access. While progress in some specific defense areas—most notably the recent flight tests of the DF-ZF/WU-14 hypersonic glide vehicles—was not discussed, the progress indicated by the underlying research makes it readily apparent that China is making strides in hypersonic capability much faster than previously thought.

The scope of high-speed technology activity, added to evidence shown at the conference of large-scale government investment in comprehensive test facilities, appears to support recent assertions made in the U.S. that China is on track to quickly overtake America’s hard-won leadership in the field. The claim, made in 2016 by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and by think tanks such as the Arlington, Virginia-based Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies, comes as both China and Russia conduct demonstration flights of air-breathing and boost-glide hypersonic weapon systems. Both nations are believed to be targeting 2020 for deployment of the first operational units.

This is extremely difficult stuff to do, and if China isn’t just blowing smoke, then we’re going to have to reassess their entire military aviation effort.

FASTER, PLEASE: Goldman Sachs Is Interested in Space Mining.

The global investment bank Goldman Sachs has claimed mining asteroids for precious metals is a “realistic” goal.

It has released a report exploring the possibility of using an “asteroid-grabbing spacecraft” to extract platinum from space rocks.

“While the psychological barrier to mining asteroids is high, the actual financial and technological barriers are far lower,” the report said, according to Business Insider.

“Prospecting probes can likely be built for tens of millions of dollars each and Caltech has suggested an asteroid-grabbing spacecraft could cost $2.6 billion.”

The bank added: “Space mining could be more realistic than perceived.”

I’ve been saying this for decades. It’s nice that people with money are catching on.

FASTER, PLEASE: Synthetic Blood Is About To Go Through Human Trials. This may have anti-aging relevance, too. Since there’s some evidence that young blood’s anti-aging qualities are really just based on the absence of toxic stuff in old blood, presumably synthetic blood would be just as good if that’s the case. Swap out real blood for synthetic, purge all the old built-up crud, then replace with new. I hope it’s that easy!

FASTER & FURIOUSER PLEASE: Suspected Triggerman in Border Agent Brian Terry’s Murder Arrested.

FASTER, PLEASE: Trump Team Moves Closer to Gutting Some Federal Agencies.

President Donald Trump’s federal hiring freeze ends on Wednesday in order to move into the next phase of a proposed reorganization of agencies headquartered in Washington and their satellite operations throughout the country.

Starting now, some federal agencies are likely to go on a hiring spree, like the Pentagon, while others will be forced to slash their workforces, like the Environmental Protection Agency. Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney told reporters Tuesday afternoon the freeze is being lifted in favor of a more strategic, surgical approach that will enable the White House to oversee a streamlining of the functions of government.

The process, though, is far from over.

Under a series of executive actions Trump has signed, agencies must develop plans by the end of June to maximize employee performance. By the end of the following quarter, agencies have to submit plans describing how they intend to reform their operations.

And at a higher level, Mulvaney’s office will map out how to restructure the executive branch so that it’s directed by its functions. As an example, he cited 43 workforce training programs across 13 agencies that could be centralized. He added that multiple offices across multiple agencies handle trade, and pressed that it should be more centralized, as well.

The broader suggestion to structure around functions and issues came from a meeting of CEOs at the White House on Tuesday morning; Mulvaney said the administration is seeking input from business leaders, academics, and civilians alike.

I hope they use a chainsaw, and not a scalpel.

ROGER SIMON: After Syrian Gassing, Trump Must Expose the Iran Deal.

Faster, please.

UM…. SLOWER, PLEASE:US military developing tech to make soldiers smarter and faster.

WELL, THIS IS THE 21ST CENTURY, YOU KNOW: 3-D-Printed Sneakers, Tailored to Your Foot. “Throw out your custom insoles. Adidas is selling shoes with soles that will soon include bespoke shock absorbers.” Faster, please.

YEAH, I’M OKAY WITH THAT. FASTER, PLEASE! Don Surber: Trump is plowing and salting the fields of a bureaucratic oligarchy.

CHARLIE MARTIN: Her name was Steph.

In John Gunther’s Death Be Not Proud, a book written long before I was born, he makes the observation that cancers starting with “glio” are death sentences. That’s been true until, well, about now, when suddenly we’re seeing a bit of progress. Faster, please.


The market believes that if crude oil prices remain above $50 per barrel, U.S. shale oil production will increase. For this reason, OPEC is finding itself in a catch-22 situation: It is losing market share to the U.S. shale oil drillers, but it is unable to propel prices considerably higher. It is losing its ability to influence prices above a certain level. [As Instapundit readers have been aware for a while now. -Steve]

A cartel is able to hold its members only when it fulfills their objective of higher prices, which has not been the case with OPEC. The member nations will now look to fulfill their objective by cheating and acting individually, according to their requirement.

Saudi Arabia, which was the leader of OPEC and the price setter of the world, is losing its clout in OPEC. Even in the current round of production cuts, most of the work is being done by Saudi Arabia, whereas the other members are shying away from their designated quotas.

OPEC has far outlived the average lifespan of a cartel, but if the OPEC members don’t regroup and act together, chances are that the cartel will come to an end very soon.

It couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of crooks, thugs, and despots.

FASTER, PLEASE: Jeff Sessions Presses Shift at Justice Department.

As the new administration struggles to repeal the Affordable Care Act and ban travelers from some Muslim-majority countries due to terrorism concerns, the former attorney general and prosecutor from Alabama, who has been immersed in justice-related issues for decades, has swiftly implemented a series of crime-fighting provisions while relaxing civil-rights initiatives.

In two months, Mr. Sessions has reversed the department’s withdrawal from for-profit prisons; pulled out from part of a major voting rights case in Texas; nixed federal guidance allowing transgender students to use the public bathrooms of their choice; threatened to withhold Justice Department funding from “sanctuary cities” that thwart cooperation with federal immigration officials; and ordered a crackdown on violent crime, potentially including attacks against police officers.

There’s also a purely federal matter which might require his attention.

FASTER, PLEASE: Scientists begin mid-stage trial of Zika vaccine for first time.

FASTER, PLEASE: Carbon-based filter which turns seawater into drinking water could help millions.

Reporting their findings in the Nature Nanotechnology journal, researchers from the University of Manchester have claimed that the process of desalination – filtering salt-water to produce fresh water – could lead to cheaper filtration systems in the developing world.

They explained that by controlling the size of the pores in the membranes the team was able to filter out common salts passing through the material.

“Realization of scalable membranes with uniform pore size down to atomic scale is a significant step forward and will open new possibilities for improving the efficiency of desalination technology,” Rahul Nair, professor of material physics at the University of Manchester, said in a statement.

If I’m understanding this technology correctly, it has far wider purification applications than just desalinating seawater.

SOONER, PLEASE: Hypersonic Attack Drones by 2040?

Developing recoverable drones is much more challenging given the level of autonomy and re-entry needed for hypersonic vehicles to descend and perform ISR missions.

“A booster sends it into the atmosphere and then it dives down to its target,” Zacharias said. “A re-entry vehicle would need to be maneuverable with sufficient wing area so it can avoid counter-missiles. We need to design that chamber and make it stable to allow for maneuver.”

The advantages of hypersonic ISR drone flight are multi-faceted.

“You could fuel one of these to go for 1,000 miles in ten minutes. It speeds up the kill chain,” he said.

While today’s cruise missiles travel at speeds up to 600 miles per hour, hypersonic weapons will be able to reach speeds of Mach 5 to Mach 10, Air Force officials said.

“Faster, please” felt a little presumptuous for a headline about a Mach 10 attackbot.

RECOVERY: Tiny fish with a funny name could help with opioid crisis.

The fang blenny, a fish found in the Great Barrier Reef, has potent venom that acts the same way as opioid drugs for killing pain. It could represent a new way to look at our most effective — and problematic — pain drugs.

Why do we need new opioid drugs?

Mostly because the ones currently on the market aren’t that good. We have potent opiods that are incredibly addictive and have lots of other side effects, including constipation, dizziness, nausea and altered mental condition. Or we have weak ones that simply aren’t that helpful for deep and chronic pain.

As things stand, we can go into the lab and tinker with existing drugs, and hope we can decrease addictiveness while maintaining potency. But so far, that hasn’t exactly been very successful.

Another approach is to look to nature. Nature has had millions of years to tinker with biologically active chemicals. We don’t necessarily know where to look for these, nor have the tools to begin a search. But chemicals that have evolved to kill pain without killing you are out there somewhere — in the fang blenny fish, for example.

Faster, please.

FASTER, PLEASE: GOP Rep. Franks: ‘Trump Agenda Is Dead’ Without Senate Rule Change.

On the flip-side Hillary will (likely) never be president, so that alone is a major accomplishment for Trump.

FASTER, PLEASE: How 3D Printing Could Bend the Cost Curve in Healthcare.

It won’t be long now before “3-D printing, is there anything it can’t do?” becomes your favorite new Instapundit meme.

FASTER, PLEASE: “Groundbreaking” technology restores movement in paralyzed man.

AS A WISE COMMUNITY ORGANIZER ONCE SAID, ELECTIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCES: Trump moves decisively to wipe out Obama’s climate-change record.

Faster, please. But hey, if anything goes wrong, we can still take Obama’s “Science” “Czar” up on his modest 2009 plan to shoot rockets full of pollution into the stratosphere, right?

(Classical reference in headline.)

WINNING: Trump Signs Four Bills Rolling Back Obama-Era Regulations.

The president canceled the “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” rule, which blacklists companies from receiving federal contracts if have violated labor rules in the past, the “Planning 2.0” rule, which dealt with how to use 245 million acres of federal land and was opposed by the energy industry, and two regulations under the “Every Student Succeeds Act,” which Trump said removes “an additional layer of bureaucracy to encourage freedom in our schools.”

As he signed the orders, Trump said there was “a lot more coming” and he would “remove every job killing regulation we can find.”

Faster, please.

FASTER, PLEASE: Intel Optane Memory has a mission: Make hard drives faster than SSDs.


Any real remedy needs to start with cutting off the American money that helps bankroll this monstrous sham. And as far an anyone’s aim is really to help Palestinian women, it’s hard to think of a better place to begin than by doing everything possible to remove from their lives  — as well as ours — the pervasive and too often pernicious presence of the United Nations.

Faster, please.

AND ANOTHER ONE DOWN: US drone strike kills man behind Marriott Hotel bombing, Pentagon says.

Qari Yasin was killed in a drone strike in Paktika Province on March 19, the Pentagon said late Saturday.

The September 2008 suicide truck bombing at the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad killed more than 50 people, including two US service members. It sparked a fire that charred the hotel, which is near the diplomatic section of Islamabad.

Yasin is responsible for other carnage, including an attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team, which was visiting Lahore, Pakistan, in March 2009. In that incident, gunmen sprayed the team’s tour bus with bullets as it neared the stadium, killing eight people — six police officers and two civilians — and leaving several visiting players wounded.

Faster, please.

FASTER, PLEASE: Molecule kills elderly cells, reduces signs of aging in mice.

FASTER, PLEASE: A Norfolk doctor found a treatment for sepsis. Now he’s trying to get the ICU world to listen.

Valerie Hobbs, 53, was in the throes of sepsis – an infection coursing through her veins that was causing her blood pressure to tank, her organs to fail and her breathing to flag.

“When you have a person that young who’s going to die, you start thinking, ‘What else can we pull out of the bag?’ ” said Dr. Paul Marik, who was on duty that day in the intensive care unit of Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.

In this case, he reached for Vitamin C.

Marik, chief of pulmonary and critical care at Eastern Virginia Medical School, had recently read medical journal articles involving the vitamin, and decided to order IV infusions of it, along with hydrocortisone, a steroid, to reduce inflammation.

Then, he went home.

The next morning, Hobbs had improved so much she was removed from four different medications used to boost her blood pressure. Her kidney function was better. Her breathing eased.

Three days later, she left the ICU.

That was in January 2016. Today, Hobbs is back at her home in Norfolk.

“At first we thought it was a coincidence, that maybe the stars aligned just right and she got lucky,” Marik said.

Ten days later, another patient, a paraplegic, arrived in the ICU with sepsis, and Marik prescribed the same thing. That patient improved as well.

A third patient, a man so sick with pneumonia he was on a ventilator, also received the treatment. The results were the same.

Faster, please. But there’s a catch:

He wants there to be a comprehensive study, and he said that Stanford University has expressed some interest. But he said it will be difficult to fund because it uses drugs that have been on the market for decades: “We are curing it for $60. No one will make any money off it.”

Studies take money, and that money often comes from pharmaceutical companies.

Somebody should fund it. A friend on Facebook suggests that health insurance companies should fund it, since it could save them a bundle.

FASTER, PLEASE: U.K. Police Make ‘Significant’ Arrests in London Terror-Attack Investigation.

Mark Rowley, the U.K.’s top counterterror policeman, said in a morning press conference that there was no evidence of further threats but that investigators were trying to determine whether the attacker acted on his own or had accomplices.

“Our determination is to understand if either he acted totally alone, inspired perhaps by terrorist propaganda, or if other people have encouraged, supported or directed him,” he said.

With the two overnight arrests, nine people were now in custody, and one woman was released on bail overnight, he said. Police have seized 2,700 items from searches, including what Mr. Rowley described as “massive amounts” of computer data.

The question is whether an attack at the heart of British government will be enough to shake Britain loose from her cultural complacency.

FASTER, PLEASE: Trump Lays Plans to Reverse Obama’s Climate Change Legacy.

The moves are intended to send an unmistakable signal to the nation and the world that Mr. Trump intends to follow through on his campaign vows to rip apart every element of what the president has called Mr. Obama’s “stupid” policies to address climate change. The timing and exact form of the announcement remain unsettled, however.

The executive actions will follow the White House’s release last week of a proposed budget that would eliminate climate change research and prevention programs across the federal government and slash the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget by 31 percent, more than any other agency. Mr. Trump also announced last week that he had ordered Scott Pruitt, the E.P.A. administrator, to revise the agency’s stringent standards on planet-warming tailpipe pollution from vehicles, another of Mr. Obama’s key climate change policies.

While the White House is not expected to explicitly say the United States is withdrawing from the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, and people familiar with the White House deliberations say Mr. Trump has not decided whether to do so, the policy reversals would make it virtually impossible to meet the emissions reduction goals set by the Obama administration under the international agreement.

That’s from the NYT writeup, so of course they say that like it’s a bad thing, but even James Hansen — “the father of climate change awareness” — says Paris is a fraud.

FASTER, PLEASE: Harvard geneticist says CRISPR has potential to reverse effects of aging.

FASTER PLEASE:Trump advisers’ space plan: To moon, Mars and beyond.

FASTER, PLEASE: Mining nature for the next groundbreaking antibiotic.

WOW: Scientists Have Created an Artificial Retina Implant That Could Restore Vision to Millions.

The retina is located at the back of the eye, and is made up of millions of these light-sensitive photoreceptors. But mutations in any one of the 240 identified genes can lead to retinal degeneration, where these photoreceptor cells die off, even while the retinal neurons around them are unaffected.

Because the retinal nerves remain intact and functional, previous research has looked at treating retinitis pigmentosa with bionic eye devices that stimulate the neurons with lights, while other scientists have investigated using CRISPR gene editing to repair the mutations that cause blindness.

Now, a team led by the Italian Institute of Technology has developed a new approach, with a prosthesis implanted into the eye that serves as a working replacement for a damaged retina.

The implant is made from a thin layer of conductive polymer, placed on a silk-based substrate and covered with a semiconducting polymer.

The semiconducting polymer acts as a photovoltaic material, absorbing photons when light enters the lens of the eye. When this happens, electricity stimulates retinal neurons, filling in the gap left by the eye’s natural but damaged photoreceptors.

To test the device, the researchers implanted the artificial retina into the eyes of rats bred to develop a rodent model of retinal degeneration – called Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) rats.

After the rats had healed from the operation 30 days later, the researchers tested how sensitive they were to light – called the pupillary reflex – compared to healthy rats and untreated RCS rats.

At the low intensity of 1 lux – a bit brighter than the light from a full moon – the treated rats weren’t much more responsive than untreated RCS rats.

But as the light increased to around 4–5 lux – about the same as a dark twilight sky – the pupillary response of treated rats was largely indistinguishable from healthy animals.


Macular degeneration runs in my family, so it’s with a personal sense of urgency that I add this “Faster, please.”

FASTER, PLEASE: President Trump’s FDA nominee could mean better drugs sooner at lower cost.

FASTER, PLEASE: Michelle Obama’s School Lunch Reign of Terror Is Nearly Over.

FASTER, PLEASE: Can we delay ageing?

Quietly, over the past few decades, remarkable discoveries have been made about the biology of ageing. Since we all get older, it might seem that ageing “just happens” and can’t really be changed. In contrast, age-related disease does not seem inevitable, since not everyone gets cancer, heart disease or dementia. Accordingly, much research funding has been directed towards individual diseases, whereas very little has been directed towards ageing itself.

This is regrettable, since ageing is the greatest risk factor for many diseases; far greater than, say, smoking. If we could gain control over the ageing process, we should be able to maintain health and youthfulness for longer, and increase our resistance to age-related disease.

Ageing is a natural progressive decline that affects all organ systems and coincides with an increased risk of death. Many processes in biology, like the formation of muscles in an embryo, are governed by key “regulatory genes”, genes that can co-ordinate an entire programme of events. Evolutionary biologists long argued that regulatory genes for ageing would not exist. Ageing happens after reproduction, they argued, so a gene controlling ageing should have no effect on reproductive fitness, and so would have no way to arise by natural selection.

Thus it was surprising to discover that the rate of ageing of an entire animal could be changed dramatically by altering single genes. . . .

So far, we do have life-extending drugs for mice. Rapamycin, which targets a stress sensor called TOR, extends the average lifespan of mice by about 25 per cent, and experiments with pet dogs are under way, co-ordinated by scientists at the University of Washington in Seattle. But rapamycin can have side effects in humans (where it is used to modulate the immune system following organ transplants), so its usefulness may be limited for now.

The lifespan of a mouse can also be increased by feeding it nicotinamide riboside (NR), a nutraceutical that raises energy levels (but buyer beware: clinical trials have not been carried out). On the other, more pessimistic, hand, it is possible that we humans, with our long lifespans, have an already-active cell-protection system. Like small dogs and bats, we live longer than expected for our body size. (Among most species of mammals, a larger body size correlates with longer lifespan.)

Right now, many researchers, even those not thinking about ageing, are trying to make drugs that boost this cell-protective network. Their motivation stems from the fact that this network not only counteracts ageing, it also counteracts age-related disease. For example, elevating the levels of FGF21, a hormone normally made in response to starvation, has beneficial effects on overweight mice fed a “western diet”, and thus might counteract diseases associated with obesity, such as diabetes. Activating this cell-protection system suppresses many types of cancer in laboratory mice, and several of its components are targets for cancer interventions. Activating the system can also improve the weakened response that elderly people have to flu vaccinations. So the wheel is turning and, before too long, we should learn whether humans are broadly susceptible to the pro-longevity, healthful effects of this system.

Faster, please. I take the nicotinamide riboside, in the form of Niagen. Does it work? Ask me in 20 years.

MUCH FASTER PLEASE:Thousands of people could live in space colonies orbiting the Earth in 20 years, expert claims.

FASTER, PLEASE: Defunding NPR Likely Wouldn’t Go Into Effect for 2 Years.

The funding for CPB, which receives roughly $450 million a year for public television and public radio, is allotted two years in advance. Any appropriations bill that did not include new funding for the CPB would mean that it would not be defunded until fiscal year 2019.

President Donald Trump is expected to release his budget blueprint on Monday. Transition officials have signaled that the president plans dramatic cuts, including privatizing the CPB and eliminating both the National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities.

The move would cut funding to National Public Radio, widely considered liberal-leaning, which recently failed to disclose during an interview with Trump-bashing former CIA analyst Ned Price that he was a Hillary Clinton donor.

NPR claims federal funding is “essential,” even though it also acknowledges that on average “less than 1 percent” of its annual operating budget comes from grants from the CPB.

Then they shouldn’t have any problem making up the difference.


“The Deep State Is a Figment of Steve Bannon’s Imagination.”

—Headline, the Politico, Thursday.

“Rogue Twitter Accounts Fight to Preserve the Voice of Government Science.”

—Headline, The Intercept, yesterday.

As Melissa Mackenzie of the American Spectator tweets, “Find them. Fire them,” adding, “Dear President Trump, It’s time to go Sherman on these unelected government bureaucrats. Sincerely, Taxpayers.”

Faster, please.

TRUMP’S FINEST HOUR: “President Trump’s decision to fire 46 United States prosecutors may yet go down as his finest hour. He hasn’t explained the timing. In and of itself it’s not unusual for an incoming administration to ask for the resignations of the U.S. attorneys of the previous regime. Mr. Trump’s action, though, comes amid a broad campaign among his political adversaries to nullify the vote in November. The president may simply have concluded that the country needs to be fully confident that prosecutors are free of political hostility.”

Faster, please.

FASTER, PLEASE: Sessions Has Asked Remaining Obama-Appointed U.S. Attorneys to Resign.

Naturally, the left dials the hissy-fit up to 11 in response, despite this being SOP when a new administration comes into power (“In 1993, the Clinton administration fired all 93 United States attorneys on the same day,” those crazy right-wing Rethuglicans at the New York Times notes). But then, what other response do they have?

UNLIMITED POWER! General Atomics Announces Next-Generation Railgun Pulsed-Power Containers.

“For the past decade, GA-EMS has provided pulsed power in support of the Navy’s railgun program,” stated Nick Bucci, vice president Missile Defense and Space Systems at GA-EMS. “Our next generation HEPPC breaks our own energy density record and exceeds the capabilities of other available railgun pulsed power container solutions. What we have packed into a 10-foot standard shipping container is equivalent to what is currently available in a 20-foot shipping container, doubling the energy density to provide greater flexibility for ship and land-based installations and maneuverability for mobile applications.”

GA-EMS internally funded the development of the HEPPC in support of a Multi-mission Medium Range Railgun Weapons System, which integrates pulsed power, launcher, hybrid missile and fire-control technologies. Each HEPPC includes high-energy pulsed power modules with an energy content of more than 415 kilojoules per module. Each module utilizes GA-EMS’ world-record-breaking high-energy density capacitors.

I was going to write, “Faster, please,” but it doesn’t get much faster than a railgun.

SO MUCH WINNING, YOU’LL BE SICK OF ALL THE WINNING: Founder of EPA’s environmental justice office quits; Also, the EPA has an environmental justice office.

Faster, please: Keep draining that swamp.

MICHAEL LEDEEN: Obama/Iran Nuke Deal Secrets Are NOT Classified, Just Kept From You.

Faster, please.

FASTER, PLEASE: NASA’s longshot bet on a revolutionary rocket may be about to pay off.

The rocket engine starts with a neutral gas as a feedstock for plasma, in this case argon. The first stage of the rocket ionizes the argon and turns it into a relatively “cold” plasma. The engine then injects the plasma into the second stage, the “booster,” where it is subjected to a physics phenomenon known as ion cyclotron resonance heating. Essentially, the booster uses a radio frequency that excites the ions, swinging them back and forth.

As the ions resonate and gain more energy, they are spun up into a stream of superheated plasma. This stream then passes through a corkscrew-shaped nozzle and is accelerated out of the back of the rocket, producing a thrust.

Such an engine design offers a couple of key benefits over most existing propulsion technology. Perhaps most notably, unlike chemical rockets, the plasma rocket operates on electricity. As it flies through space, therefore, it does not need massive fuel tanks or a huge reservoir of liquid hydrogen and oxygen fuel. Instead, the rocket just needs some solar panels.

The Sun powers both the production of plasma and the booster exciting the plasma, and the extent to which it does either can be shifted. When a spacecraft needs more thrust, more power can be put into making plasma. This process uses more propellant, but it provides the thrust needed to move out of a gravity well, such as Earth orbit. Later, when the vehicle is moving quickly, more power can be shifted to the booster, providing a higher specific impulse and greater fuel economy.

“It’s like shifting gears in a car,” Chang-Díaz explained. “The engine doesn’t change. But if you want to climb a hill, you put more of your engine power into torque and less into rpm, so you climb the hill, slowly, but you’re able to climb. And when you’re going on a freeway, flat and straight, you upshift. You’re not going to go to Mars in first gear. That’s the problem. It’s why we run out of gas going to Mars with a chemical engine.”

Not needing a huge propellent tank means more cargo space for supplies, equipment, habitat, or people.

FASTER, PLEASE: New malaria vaccine is fully effective in very small clinical trial.

FASTER, PLEASE: New Drugs May Stop Migraines Before They Start.

HUGH HEWITT: Fire Obama’s ‘Deep State’ Sleeper Cells Yesterday.

Faster than yesterday, please.

FASTER, PLEASE: Harvard Medical School is testing a new design of a brain implant meant to restore vision to the blind.

FASTER PLEASE: Printed ‘lab on a chip’ costs a penny and catches disease early.

FASTER, PLEASE: Progress, And Momentum, On Doing Something About Aging.

Fifteen years ago, de Grey was lead author of a paper in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences which claimed the “indefinite postponement of aging . . . may be within sight”. Since then, he says, his position among gerontologists — the scientists of ageing and its related ills — has changed from sidelined dilettante to one of the discipline’s most influential and public voices.

Most approaches aimed at combating ageing focus on arresting the harmful byproducts of metabolism, he says. These cause cellular damage and decay, which, in turn, accumulate to trigger the age-related disorders, such as cancer or dementia, that tend to finish us off.

For de Grey, this strategy turns anti-ageing treatment into an impossible game of Whac-A-Mole. Because we understand metabolism so poorly, our efforts to interfere with it remain crude and the process of decay races through the body far quicker than treatments to avert it can keep up.

Instead of stopping the damage, the approach that de Grey has developed at his research centre — Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence (SENS), a public charity that he co-founded in 2009 — focuses on repair. This “engineering” approach is designed to keep the process of degradation below the threshold at which it turns into life-threatening disease. “If you can repair the microscopic damage then you are sidestepping the bigger problem [of prevention]”.

While his science may now be more widely accepted, his pronouncements of impending immortality remain unpopular among his peers. Their squeamishness is unsupported by the evidence, he says. It belies an intellectual dishonesty that has at its heart a deeply emotional — and increasingly erroneous — attachment to the inevitability of death, according to de Grey.

Historically, accepting the inevitability of death was the rational choice and a necessary requirement, he says, “to get on and make the most of our miserably short lives”. Today, when technology has advanced enough to put us “within striking distance” of extending human life by a multiple of existing lifespans, this acceptance has become a huge obstacle to achieving that goal. The traditional emotional need to accept our own mortality has generated a “pro-ageing trance” which is hobbling even the best scientists from pursuing the enterprise with the ardour it demands.

Well, get over it, guys. I’m not getting any younger here — and neither is anybody else.


Using mice and cultures of human cancer cells, a South Korean-led scientific team demonstrated that Salmonella typhimurium engineered to make a foreign protein caused immune cells called macrophages and neutralizes to mobilize against the cancer.

The bacterium came from an attenuated strain that has little infectious potential. Such strains have been tested as vaccines. The protein, called FlaB, is made by a gene in the estuarine bacterium Vibrio vulnificus, a close relative of the cholera bacterium, Vibrio cholerae.

Tumors shrank below detectable levels in 11 out of 20 mice injected with the modified Salmonella, said the study, published in Science Translational Medicine.

Faster, please.

GOOD LORD: Radiation at Japan’s Fukushima Reactor Is Now at ‘Unimaginable’ Levels.

Adam Housley, who reported from the area in 2011 following the catastrophic triple-meltdown, said this morning that new fuel leaks have been discovered.

He said the radiation levels – as high as 530 sieverts per hour – are now the highest they’ve been since 2011 when a tsunami hit the coastal reactor.

“To put this in very simple terms. Four sieverts can kill a handful of people,” he explained.

He said that critics, including the U.S. military in 2011, have long questioned whether Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) and officials have been providing accurate information on the severity of the radiation.

TEPCO maintains that the radiation is confined to the site and not a risk to the public. It’s expected to take at least $300 billion and four decades to fix it.

Faster, please.

WELL, GOOD: Mattis Review Of F-35 Fighter Likely To Yield Lower Price, Faster Production.

This is going to be easier than many observers expect. The joint program office was already working with prime contractor Lockheed Martin and engine-maker Pratt & Whitney to implement a “blueprint for affordability” aimed at accomplishing precisely what the president wants. And the cost of the fighters is falling with each successive production lot — it declined 4.2% in Lot 7 and then another 3.6% in Lot 8. Lots 9 and 10 will exhibit similar progress.

Lockheed Martin has welcomed the review, issuing a statement that “smart buying strategies” could yield significant savings. That’s an under-statement. Lockheed contributes to my think tank and is a consulting client, so I’ve been listening to company engineers grouse for years about how excessive testing and regulatory requirements have driven up the cost of each plane. The company’s internal estimate is that at least 20% of program costs are driven by redundancy, oversight and the like.

It may not be feasible to eliminate all of these overhead factors — many are required by law — but it is easy to imagine getting the cost of each plane down significantly from current projections.

Faster, please.

(Link was broken, fixed now — sorry!)

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN DOCTORS ONLY TAKE CASH? Everybody, Especially Patients, Wins.

Time has a great story about bringing basic market forces to medicine. Titled “What Happens When Doctors Only Take Cash,” the article uses the Oklahoma City Surgery Center as a model for a different way of doing business. Co-founded by the outspoken libertarian Keith Smith and Steven Lantier, two anesthesiologists, the center takes no insurance whatsoever. Instead, they take cash only and advertise and guarantee their prices and services. The result is pretty goddamned amazing:

The all-inclusive price for every operation is listed on the website. A rotator-cuff repair for the shoulder costs $8,260. A surgical procedure for carpal tunnel syndrome is $2,750. Setting and casting a basic broken leg: $1,925….

The Surgery Center would charge $19,000 for [patient Art Villa’s] whole-knee replacement, a discount of nearly 50% on what Villa expected to be charged at his local hospital. And that price would include everything from airfare to the organization’s only facility, in Oklahoma City, to medications and physical therapy. If unforeseen complications arose during or after the procedure, the Surgery Center would cover those costs. Villa wouldn’t see another bill.

The savings for Villa’s surgery were so awesome that his company footed the bill. Others are following suit.

Faster please — the insurance-for-everything model has been a disaster.

FASTER, PLEASE: 3-D-Printed Skin Leads the Way Toward Artificial Organs.

WELL, THIS IS THE 21ST CENTURY, YOU KNOW: Diamond vise turns hydrogen into a metal, potentially ending 80-year quest.

That excitement swirled because by squeezing hydrogen to pressures well beyond those in the center of Earth, Silvera and his postdoc Ranga Dias had seen a hint that it had morphed into a solid metal, capable of conducting electricity. “If it’s true it would be fantastic,” says Reinhard Boehler, a physicist at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, D.C. “This is something we as a community have been pushing to see for decades.”

The feat, reported online this week in Science, is more than an oddity. Solid metallic hydrogen is thought to be a superconductor, able to conduct electricity without resistance. It may even be metastable, meaning that like diamond, also formed at high pressures, the metallic hydrogen would maintain its state—and even its superconductivity—once brought back to room temperatures and pressures.

Faster, please.

FASTER, PLEASE: Two Infants Treated with Universal Immune Cells Have Their Cancer Vanish. “The experiments, which took place at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital, raise the possibility of off-the-shelf cellular therapy using inexpensive supplies of universal cells that could be dripped into patients’ veins on a moment’s notice.”

FASTER, PLEASE: Supreme Court Justice … Ted Cruz?

Finally, we’ll have someone who’ll get to the bottom of the Warren Commission Report…

FASTER, PLEASE: U.S. Kills 5 AQAP Operatives in Yemen Airstrikes.

FASTER, PLEASE: New gut microbe study may lead to potential autism treatment.

FASTER, PLEASE: Scientists just announced our best shot at ending antibiotic resistance to date.

FASTER, PLEASE: Donors and Drug Makers Offer $500 Million to Control Global Epidemics. “Stung by the lack of vaccines to fight the West African Ebola epidemic, a group of prominent donors announced Wednesday that they had raised almost $500 million for a new partnership to stop epidemics before they spiral out of control. The partnership, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, will initially develop and stockpile vaccines against three known viral threats, and also push the development of technology to brew large amounts of vaccine quickly when new threats, like the Zika virus, arise.”