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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.”

FASTER, PLEASE: Miniaturized Nuclear Power Plant? U.S. Reviewing Proposed Design.

“Miniature” in nuclear terms is still pretty big. The modules are small enough to fit on flat-bed trucks, but they would stand nearly nine stories tall. Moreover, a power plant would probably require several modules hooked together like giant batteries. Of course, they’d need to be operated by professional nuclear engineers.

But the design — a radical departure from other nuclear plants — would also have advantages.

Each module uses less uranium fuel, making a large-scale meltdown far less likely. The fuel would be housed in a special containment vessel that would be submerged in a pool of water, an added safety feature. And rather than using pumps of the sort that failed during the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the reactor would circulate the water using natural convection. The company maintains the design is simpler and safer than existing reactors.

I’m still waiting for those long-promised mini thorium reactors in every neighborhood.

FASTER, PLEASE: Architect of the Capitol Decides Anti-Cop Painting Violates Rules, Will Come Down Tuesday.

FASTER, PLEASE: Search begins for universal influenza vaccine.

The smallpox vaccine was the first to use the “empirical paradigm” of vaccinology – the same strategy we largely use today. It relies on a trial-and-error approach to mimic the immunity induced by natural infection.

In other words, vaccine developers believe the body will mount an antibody response to something in the inoculation. But they don’t focus on which specific patch of the virus is causing an immune response. It doesn’t really matter if it’s a reaction to a small patch of HA that many strains share, for instance. When using an entire virus as starting material, it’s possible to get many different antibodies recognizing many different parts of the virus used in the vaccine.

The seasonal flu shot generally fits into this empirical approach. Each year, epidemiologists forecast which flu strains are most likely to infect populations, typically settling on three or four. Researchers then attenuate or inactivate these strains so they can act as the mimics in that year’s influenza vaccine without giving recipients the full-blown flu. The hope is that an individual’s immune system will respond to the vaccine by creating antibodies that target these strains; then when he or she comes into contact with the flu, the antibodies will be waiting to neutralize those strains.

But there’s a different way to design a vaccine. It’s called rational design and represents a potentially game-changing paradigm shift in vaccinology.

The goal is to design some molecule – or “immunogen” – that can cause effective antibodies to be produced without requiring exposure to the virus. Relative to current vaccines, the engineered immunogen may even allow for more specific responses, meaning the immune response targets particular parts of the virus, and greater breadth, meaning it could target multiple strains or even related viruses.

This season’s bug moved so quickly that it hit me and one of my sons before we could get in for our already scheduled flu shots.

COMING TO A CHEST NEAR YOU: Completely Artificial Hearts. Faster, please.

FASTER, PLEASE: Time to Move the US Embassy to Jerusalem to Save the Two-State Solution, Roger Simon writes.

Though personally, when it comes to the Middle East, I’m in favor of the One-State Solution.

FASTER, PLEASE: Obama’s Coming Obscurity.

Emmett Tyrrell:

The last time I drew attention to Obama’s lamentable condition some readers scoffed at me and pointed to Obamacare, which has practically wrecked the healthcare system for millions of Americans. Surely that disaster casts a long and dark shadow behind the 44th president, whom they admonished. I remained serene. And what about Obama’s dealings with Israel, our most loyal ally in the Middle East? Just the other day, one of his henchpersons ambushed Israel in the U.N. Security Council. Admittedly, there have been setbacks suffered by the United States while this incompetent was in office, but I believe they will be short-lived. President-elect Donald Trump is coming to town, and he is bringing with him an exceptional Cabinet. Already he is threatening to erase Obama’s foolishness, and he is doing it on Twitter. Wait until he is seated in the Oval Office with the power of the other two branches of government behind him. In the end it will be seen that I was right, as I was right in calling the election. Obama leaves no shadow, not even a legacy — Trump won on Nov. 8.

President Trump will arrive at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue carrying an attache case bulging with executive orders to rescind and agency regulations to nullify. I am sure he is aware that for years the 44th president and his servitors have been promulgating regulations large and small to give the bureaucracy evermore intrusive control over business and the citizenry. Trump will, as he promised, cut the waste, rein in government and drain the swamp.

Read the whole thing — although as I’ve become much more hopeful about the cutting and reining, I’ve become more suspect of the draining. But that particular two outta three would be amazing.

FASTER, HOTTER, PLEASE: Chillies could help beat cancer as research finds capsaicin destroys diseased cells.

FASTER PLEASE: The Fountain of Youth by Targeting Senescent Cells?  I wouldn’t be twenty again for half the time and twice the pay, but I wouldn’t mind having my twenty year old body back.

FASTER, PLEASE: Coming Innovations That Will Make Flying Economy (Mostly) Better.

FASTER, PLEASE: Damaged Mitochondria Associated With Aging and Cancer Can Be Removed Using a New Process.

FASTER, PLEASE: Donald Trump Considers Moving VA Toward Privatization.

FASTER, PLEASE: A Major Breakthrough In Modern Medicine: Regenerative Medicine Is Finally A Reality!

FASTER, PLEASE: “Yes, I know good news is hard to swallow,” Michael Ledeen writes in a timely column headlined “Bye Bye Obama,” “but we are living in a revolutionary moment, of which the Trump election is a dramatic symptom.  The crisis of the Islamic Republic would be a fitting end to the Obama era. He dreamt of a glorious strategic alliance with Iran, and a definitive lethal blow against Israel. How fitting with the Divine sense of humor to have the Palestinians and Iranians to wreck their own enterprises.”

FASTER, PLEASE: Obama’s Israel Vendetta Opens the Door for Trump to Defund the UN, Roger Simon posits.

Why are we still a part of that corrupt pro-totalitarian organization anyhow?

FASTER, PLEASE. Andrew McCarthy: Trump Should Quickly Rescind Obama’s Drilling Ban.

FASTER, PLEASE: New drug gives hope for those with progressive multiple sclerosis.

FASTER, PLEASE: The oil industry must brace for five energy “tsunamis” that threaten to drag prices as low as $10 a barrel in less than a decade.

The falling cost of solar power and battery storage, rising sales of electric vehicles, increasingly “smart” buildings and cheap hydrogen will all weigh on crude, Thierry Lepercq, head of research, technology and innovation at the French energy company, said in an interview.

“Even if oil demand continues to climb until 2025, its price could drop to $10 if markets anticipate a significant fall in demand,” Lepercq said at his office near Paris. Crude last slumped to that level in 1998.

“Solar, battery storage, electrical and hydrogen vehicles, and connected devices are in a ‘J’ curve,” he said. “Hydrogen is the missing link in a 100 percent renewable-energy system, but technological bricks already exist.”

Bring ’em on.

FASTER, PLEASE: Diluting the Power of the Liberal Ideological Complex.

FASTER, PLEASE: Space Junk Solution? Japan Would Use a Tether to Nab Debris & Destroy It.

JEFFREY TOOBIN: Gawker’s Fall & the Trump-Era Threat to 1st Amendment.

For decades, the news media benefitted from the deference paid by courts to the judgments of newspaper editors. The judge in federal court treated Gawker’s editors as if they were running a newspaper, and he declined to second-guess them about what constitutes the news. The jury in state court did the opposite. The question now is whether the law, instead of treating every publication as a newspaper, will start to treat all publications as Web sites—with the same skepticism and hostility displayed by the jury in Tampa. The new President and his fellow-billionaires, like Thiel, will certainly welcome a legal environment that is less forgiving of media organizations. Trump’s victory, along with Hulk Hogan’s, suggests that the public may well take their side, too.

I’m not sure exactly what “Trump-Era Threat” is supposed to mean. There doesn’t seem to be a threat from Trump, who knows exactly how to get what he wants out of the press. Are we supposed to feel threatened by an “era” merely because of its unseemly namesake? Perhaps then “Trump-Era Threat” is in the headline just to generate pageviews.

Who knows?

So then a more important question is, would the New Yorker have headlined a “Clinton-era threat” in Gawker’s wake had Hillary won the election?

Let’s talk about that Clinton-era threat — hypothetical, thank goodness — because it seems certain that there would have been one.

Hillary Clinton was the subject of the movie in the Citizens United case, which as a candidate she promised to see overturned — silencing political filmmakers for generations to come. It was on Clinton’s behalf (following her blunder at Benghazi) that an innocent YouTube videomaker was jailed for nearly a year. Just last week it was Clinton who urged “that Congress should take action against” purveyors of what she deems to be “fake news.” And forget mere threats, what about two years ago when Democrats tried to repeal the First Amendment? That, too, was backed by Hillary Clinton.

Whatever you might think of Donald Trump or the merits of the Gawker verdict, Hillary Clinton’s record on freedom of speech is atrocious — for which she has never been held accountable by the very press she has sought to control.

Even if Trump were to somehow turn out to be as hostile to free speech as Clinton is, at least he’d have Jeffrey Toobin et al. to hold him to account.

UPDATE: From the comments:

Was this summer the Era of Trump? First everything was George W Bush’s fault, even after he left office. Now it’s all Trump’s fault, even before he’s formally elected President.

Obama hasn’t even left the White House and it’s already like he was never there.

Faster, please.

PUTTING THE “FASTER” IN “FASTER, PLEASE:” NASA’s working on a nano-starship that travels at 1/5 the speed of light.

FASTER, PLEASE: Genetically Modified Pigs Could Ease Organ Shortage.

Researchers have been trying for decades to make animal-to-human transplants work, a process known as xenotransplantation. Pigs are a particularly promising source of organs. They produce big litters. Organs such as the kidney and liver are similar in size to those of humans. “Nobody has come up with a better animal,” says Joseph Tector, a professor of surgery who runs the xenotransplantation program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

A previous push into xenotransplantation by companies and scientists in the 1990s faltered due to a number of factors. In early experiments with nonhuman primates, their immune system attacked and rejected the pig organs. There were concerns that remnants of retroviruses in pigs’ genetic makeup, while harmless to the pigs, might end up infecting humans. Trying to modify the pig genome was a slow process; it often took years to successfully modify a single gene.

Then last year, a group led by George Church of Harvard University published a paper describing their use of a new gene-editing technology called Crispr-Cas9. Unlike previous gene-editing systems, Crispr allowed the researchers to make multiple changes simultaneously to inactivate viral remnants in the pigs’ genes.

Crispr has helped renew enthusiasm for xenotransplantation.

In the meantime, if you’re eligible, please sign your donor card.

FASTER, PLEASE: The Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency Will Test-Fire its New Larger SM-3IIA Interceptor Missile in Space.

The new missile, called the SM-3IIA, is slated to fire from a land-based missile defense site planned by the Pentagon for Poland by 2018, a Missile Defense Agency spokesman, told Scout Warrior in a statement.

SM-3 missiles, first deployed on Navy ships, are exo-atmospheric interceptor missiles designed to destroy short and intermediate range incoming enemy ballistic missiles in above the earth’s atmosphere. With the weapon, threats are destroyed in space during what’s described as the mid-course phase of flight.

“The SM-3 Block IIA missile is beingThe SM-3 IIA guided missile is a larger version of the SM-3 IB in terms of boosters and the kinetic warhead, which allows for increased operating time. The second and third stage boosters on the SM-IIA are 21″ in diameter,allowing for longer flight times and engagements of threats higher in the exo-atmosphere,” Missile Defense Agency spokesman Christopher Szkrybalo told Scout Warrior in a statement.

I’m old enough to remember to “Star Wars” detractors insisted it was impossible to “hit a bullet with a bullet.”

EVEN FASTER, PLEASE: Congress set to vote on bill that promises to speed up drug approval.

FASTER, PLEASE: ‘Diamond-age’ of power generation as nuclear batteries developed.

FASTER, PLEASE: Should The NFL Consider Ditching Thursday Night Football?

From the late ‘70s through the ‘90s, I mainly remember Thursday Night Football as an occasional treat late in the season. But as a regular item on the NFL schedule, the players reportedly hate the four day turnaround time to prepare for the games, and the recent addition of the horrid “Color Rush” uniforms only add to the debacle. To paraphrase Mies van der Rohe, when it comes to the NFL, less truly is more.

NEWS FROM A POST-ANTIBIOTIC WORLD: Scientists have used bacteria to kill antibiotic-resistant superbugs. “When the researchers combined the two types of bacteria in the lab, Bdellovibrio caused the population of antibiotic-resistant Shigella to decline 4,000-fold.” Faster, please.

FASTER, PLEASE: Iraqi forces say 1,000 Islamic State fighters killed in Mosul.

ASYMMETRIC WARFARE, AMERICAN-STYLE: One by One, ISIS Social Media Experts Are Killed as Result of F.B.I. Program.

While American and British forces conducted a series of drone strikes on members of the group, the F.B.I. sifted through thousands of the Legion’s followers on social media to figure out who had actually been inspired to take action. In the last two years, it has arrested nearly 100 people in cases involving the terrorist group.

Several of the arrests were of people who had direct contact with the Legion. Many of the others involved were “folks who first came on our radar because we became aware of them” through their connections with Hussain and Reyaad Khan, also a British citizen, who was another leader of the group, according to Andrew McCabe, deputy director of the F.B.I.

Mr. Hussain wore a number of hats, including that of a hacker. He was linked to the release of personal information on more than 1,300 American military and government employees. In March 2015, his group posted the names and addresses of service members with instructions: “Kill them in their own lands, behead them in their own homes, stab them to death as they walk their streets thinking they are safe.”

More important were Mr. Hussain’s efforts as an online recruiter.

According to court records, Mr. Hussain communicated with at least four men in four states, imploring them to initiate attacks or help spread the Islamic State’s message. Mr. Hussain was behind a plot to behead Pamela Geller, the author of a conservative blog. In early 2015, Mr. Hussain began communicating with Usaamah Abdullah Rahim, 26, and gave him instructions to kill Ms. Geller.

Mr. Rahim abruptly abandoned the plan and decided instead to kill a police officer in the Boston area. The bureau was monitoring him, and Mr. Rahim was shot and killed in June 2015 after he confronted an F.B.I. surveillance team with a knife. The F.B.I. also arrested two of Mr. Rahim’s associates, whom prosecutors say were involved in the plot.

Faster, please.

A METAPHOR FOR HILLARY AND THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY: Blood from Old Mice Makes Young Mice Decrepit.

Five days later, old mice did see some benefits from having young blood in their veins, including better muscle repair. But Conboy, who reported her findings in Nature Communications, says the really striking finding was just how bad old blood was for the younger animals. The aged blood inhibited the formation of brain cells in young mice and caused the animals to fall behind their peers in a strength test where they are hung upside down on a wire mesh. “The young mice became almost as decrepit as the old ones,” she says.

The research suggests that one day, instead of getting transfusions from young people, aged people will instead go to a medical facility to get their blood cleared of proteins that may build up and promote aging. Conboy says she and other scientists are working to identify what those molecules are.

Faster, please. Plus:

Given the swift and negative effects of old blood on younger mice—the results appeared immediately—this type of research could eventually raise questions about the age of blood-bank donors. A 2008 study in Blood found that the average age of blood donors in the U.S. was 35, but since repeat donors tend to be older, about 35 percent of blood came from people over 50, including many in their 60s.


FASTER, PLEASE: Turning back the aging clock. “Researchers from Caltech and UCLA have developed a new approach to removing cellular damage that accumulates with age. The technique can potentially help slow or reverse an important cause of aging. Led by Nikolay Kandul, senior postdoctoral scholar in biology and biological engineering in the laboratory of Professor of Biology Bruce Hay, the team developed a technique to remove mutated DNA from mitochondria, the small organelles that produce most of the chemical energy within a cell. A paper describing the research appears in the November 14 issue of Nature Communications.”

HEALTH: Lilly Alzheimer’s drug fails in latest study.

The drug, solanezumab, missed the study’s main goal of significantly slowing cognitive decline in patients compared to a placebo or fake drug.

Eli Lilly and Co. had been studying the drug in patients with mild cases of the disease.

Current Alzheimer’s treatments like Aricept and Namenda only temporarily ease symptoms such as memory loss, confusion and agitation. They don’t slow, stop or reverse the mental decline that happens when the brain’s nerve cells stop functioning normally.

Faster, please.

FASTER, PLEASE: The Race For A Zika Vaccine.

FASTER, PLEASE: In Wake of Brexit, Trump, European Union May Break Apart.


HOW THE VEGAN SAUSAGE GETS MADE: “Stunned By Trump, The New York Times Finds Time For Some Soul-Searching,” former Timesman Michael Cieply writes at that vast rightwing conspiracy scandal-mongering hate rag, Deadline Hollywood:

Having left the Times on July 25, after almost 12 years as an editor and correspondent, I missed the main heat of the presidential campaign; so I can’t add a word to those self-assessments of the recent political coverage. But these recent mornings-after leave me with some hard-earned thoughts about the Times’ drift from its moorings in the nation at-large.

For starters, it’s important to accept that the New York Times has always — or at least for many decades — been a far more editor-driven, and self-conscious, publication than many of those with which it competes. Historically, the Los Angeles Times, where I worked twice, for instance, was a reporter-driven, bottom-up newspaper. Most editors wanted to know, every day, before the first morning meeting: “What are you hearing? What have you got?”

It was a shock on arriving at the New York Times in 2004, as the paper’s movie editor, to realize that its editorial dynamic was essentially the reverse. By and large, talented reporters scrambled to match stories with what internally was often called “the narrative.” We were occasionally asked to map a narrative for our various beats a year in advance, square the plan with editors, then generate stories that fit the pre-designated line.

As John Crudele writes at the New York Post,The New York Times can’t improve until it admits bias”; eliminating that obsession with The Narrative might be a good place for the Times to start, if they wish to put a Band-Aid on all the hemorrhaging:

The New York Times is so, so very sorry that its presidential election coverage was so, so very wrong.

Please have pity on them, Times publisher Arthur “Pinch” Sulzberger Jr. begged his paper’s readers the other day. “We aim to rededicate ourselves to the fundamental mission of Times journalism. That is to report America and the world honestly, without fear or favor…,” Sulzberger said in a letter.

Tell me, how is the paper going to “rededicate” itself to “honesty” if it can’t even admit that it was dishonest during this past election? The Times’ coverage was blatantly slanted against Republican Donald Trump, so much so, in fact, that even its own Public Editor — who is supposed to be the referee of ethics — slammed her employer.

“We believe we reported on both candidates fairly during the presidential campaign,” Sulzberger added in the letter.

If the boss truly believes that, he might as well shut the paper down right now because he’s going to lose subscribers faster than Hillary Clinton lost her “expected” electoral votes.

I dunno — if there’s one thing we’ve seen over the past week, the vast majority of leftists want to stay permanently bundled-up in the safe space woobie that is the Liberal Cocoon. And nobody, not even the Washington Post, cocoons its readers like the Gray Lady.

QED: Actual headline at the Times: “A Newly Vibrant Washington Fears That Trump Will Drain Its Culture.” As Heather Wilhelm writes at NRO, “One could write a doctoral thesis regarding the multiple-layered ironies within this headline, or merely stare at it and marvel for days.”

Sadly, it will receive no such analysis from the editorial offices of the Times itself, aka, the school cafeteria from Saved By the Bell.

FASTER, PLEASE: Retinitis pigmentosa may be treated by reprogramming sugar metabolism.

WELL, THIS IS THE 21ST CENTURY, YOU KNOW: This world-first brain implant is letting a ‘locked-in’ woman communicate: Paralysis is about to get a whole lot less lonely. Also, faster, please.

FASTER, PLEASE: Yes, Trump’s Going to Dump the Iran Deal.

YOU WENT FULL NEO-CONFEDERATE, MAN. NEVER GO FULL NEO-CONFEDERATE: San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee Tells Trump and The World that “Being a sanctuary city is in our DNA. San Francisco will never be anything other than a sanctuary city.”

Illegal immigration now! Illegal immigration tomorrow! Illegal immigration forever! Or as Victor Davis Hanson wrote in May, “the idea of a sanctuary city is Confederate to the core, reminiscent of antebellum Southern states picking and choosing which federal statutes they would abide by or reject:”

Even before the Civil War, the Nullification Crisis of 1832-33 pitted South Carolina against a fellow southerner, President Andrew Jackson, as the state declared that federal tariff laws were not applicable within its confines. Jackson understood the threat to the union, and promised to send in federal troops before South Carolina backed down.

The problem with legal nullification is always the enduring principle, never just the immediate landscape, of its implementation.

Sanctuary cities are careful to employ euphemisms rather than explicit references to illegal immigration. But not labeling San Francisco as an “illegal alien sanctuary” or even an “immigration sanctuary” only institutionalizes the idea of any city becoming a “sanctuary” from any federal law it finds convent. If sanctuary cities continue to flaunt federal immigration laws and if the federal government does not cut off federally earmarked funds to such offenders — or if ICE does not, in Jacksonian style, threaten to use force to arrest and deport illegal aliens — then the concept will spread, and spread well beyond matters of immigration law.

Much of the rural West opposes the Endangered Species Act. Can Wyoming declare that federally protected rats and bugs are not protected inside its state borders, when such pests obstruct construction of dams or highways? Many conservatives oppose federal restrictions on gun sales. Could Oklahoma City declare hand-gun purchases within its city-limits free of federal firearms statutes? Perhaps Little Rock could ignore a Supreme Court ruling and announce that gay marriage is not legal within its jurisdiction. On what rationale would liberals in California object to such nullifications — that neither state nor city had the right to ignore a federal law or to obstruct the law enforcement duties of federal officials?

As a remedy to such reactionary nullification of liberal federal laws, would San Francisco or Los Angeles advocate cutting off federal funds, sending in federal agents, or nationalizing the local or state police? All of these are proven remedies from when recalcitrant southern states refused to abide by federal integration and civil rights laws in the 1960s.

Faster, please.


FASTER, PLEASE: Disney’s stock dips following ESPN’s big subscription loss.

ESPN’s management decided they would rather be MSNBC with somewhat more interesting visuals. So they shouldn’t be too surprised that their ratings are moving into MSNBC territory. Or as Iowahawk would say:


FASTER, PLEASE: Alzheimer’s treatment within reach after successful drug trial.

FASTER, PLEASE: Scientists find key protein for spinal cord repair.

Of dozens of genes strongly activated by injury, seven coded for proteins that are secreted from cells. One of these, called CTGF or connective tissue growth factor, was intriguing because its levels rose in the supporting cells, or glia, that formed the bridge in the first two weeks following injury.

“We were surprised that it was expressed in only a fraction of glial cells after the injury. We thought that these glial cells and this gene must be important,” said lead author Mayssa Mokalled, a postdoctoral fellow in Poss’s group. Indeed, when they tried deleting CTGF genetically, those fish failed to regenerate.

Humans and zebrafish share most protein-coding genes, and CTGF is no exception. The human CTGF protein is nearly 90% similar in its amino acid building blocks to the zebrafish form. When the team added the human version of CTGF to the injury site in fish, it boosted regeneration and the fish swam better by two weeks after the injury.

“The fish go from paralyzed to swimming in the tank. The effect of the protein is striking,” Mokalled said.

The second half of the CTGF protein seems to be the key to the healing, the group found. It’s a large protein, made of four smaller parts, and it has more than one function. That might make it easier to deliver and more specific as a therapy for spinal injuries.

Like I said, faster, please.

FASTER, PLEASE: This new immunotherapy technique could prevent all kinds of food allergies.

FASTER, PLEASE: Blue Origin”s Jeff Bezos revives the idea of free flying O’Neill space colonies.

While Elon Musk wants to found a city of a million people on Mars, his main rival in the commercial #Space game, Jeff Bezos, would like to revive a space colony concept first popularized by Dr. Gerard O’Neill in the 1970s, according to Alan Boyle. An O’Neill space colony consists of a giant rotating cylinder in space with people living on the inside, getting power from 24/7 sunlight. O’Neill envisioned the first such colony being established at the L5 point, one of the five Lagrange points where the gravity of the Earth and the moon cancel out. L5 has easy access to both the Earth and the moon and could serve as a way station to deep space destinations such as Mars. The concept was actually studied by NASA at one time.

The O’Neill space colony was popularized in the movie “Interstellar” and the TV series “Babylon 5.” The idea is that humanity would not just become a multi-planet species, but would be free from planets entirely. Bezos envisions all heavy industry being moved off of the Earth, with the home planet being turned into a garden of sorts for residential and light industry.

Works for me. I was an L5 Society member, back in the day.

FASTER, PLEASE: Arch, Fidelity, Bezos Bet $116M on Startup to Fight Diseases of Aging.

FASTER, PLEASE: Pembrolizumab Approved in US for First Line in NSCLC. “After causing a sensation at the recent European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) meeting, the new data for pembrolizumab (Keytruda, Merck & Co) in the first-line treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) have now secured an approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Pembrolizumab is now the first immunotherapy to be approved for first-line use in NSCLC and is expected to change practice, experts said at the meeting. . . . The approval for the new indication is based on results showing that pembrolizumab was superior to chemotherapy in the first-line setting.”

MY WIFE SAYS “MUCH FASTER, PLEASE.” Dutch Designer Creates ‘Smog Free Tower’ That Converts Chinese Pollution Into Diamonds.

FASTER, PLEASE: Vaccine Trial for Common Cold Nothing to Sneeze At.

Per an Emory press release, even though scientists in the ’60s were able to develop a vaccine effective against one type of rhinovirus, it didn’t work against the many other varieties that exist; Mashable pegs that figure at more than 160. So Moore mixed together 50 different rhinoviruses—gathered from immunologist James Gern, who keeps what he calls “one of the world’s biggest collections of kid snot”—into one vaccine, “like a bunch of slightly different Christmas ornaments.” Post-vaccine, the monkeys had developed antibodies in their blood for 49 out of the 50 viruses; similar results were found in the mice. Moore is hoping to eventually test the vaccine out on humans. “We think that creating a vaccine for the common cold can be reduced to technical challenges related to manufacturing,” he says.

We think the common cold is just a nuisance, but in terms of lost productivity and sheer human misery, it’s pretty major.

FASTER, PLEASE: New antibiotic mined from human gut reverses drug resistance in superbugs.

FASTER, PLEASE: Scientists have figured out how to help nerve fibres repair themselves.


Shot: NFL Ratings Tanking in Wake of Leftist Moral Exhibitionism.

Chaser: NFL ratings plunge could spell doom for traditional TV.

Who knew Colin Kaepernick, revealed by NFL defenses and his own ego to ultimately be a mediocre quarterback, could become the harbinger of so much old media destruction?


Click to enlarge.

UPDATE: Bills fans boo Kaepernick, chant ‘USA’ before he kneels.

WELL, THIS IS THE 21st CENTURY, YOU KNOW: This Robot Will Rake Your Leaves, Cut The Grass & Shovel Snow.

Faster, please.

NOW THIS IS THE 21ST CENTURY I WAS PROMISED: What radiation-resistant space fungus can do for drug discovery.

These fungi are radiation resistant. Thirty years ago, they survived when a routine test led to an explosion that blasted radioactive material throughout northern Ukraine. By sending these fungi to the International Space Station, Kasthuri Venkateswaran, a research scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, and Clay Wang, a professor at the USC School of Pharmacy, have tried to push them to adapt again.

The day the capsule landed, Venkateswaran and Wang made the hour-long drive to Long Beach, Calif., to pick up the samples, loading the cylindrical tubes of fungi into coolers. Back in the lab, Venkateswaran and Wang have spent the past month studying how the trip changed the fungi. Their goal is to use these impressively resilient organisms to point the way to drugs that could impart similar resilience to humans, such as those getting cancer treatment.

Faster, please.

FASTER, PLEASE: A new kind of treatment is working better than chemotherapy in some lung cancer patients. “The drug, marketed as Keytruda, is one of a new set of drugs called immunotherapy. The drug targets the programmed cell death 1 (or PD-1) receptor and allows the body’s own immune system go after the cancer cells.”

FASTER, PLEASE: Roger Goodell Feels a Great Disturbance in the Force, Er, Profits, Jim Geraghty writes.

This tweet by Iowahawk neatly sums up the current state of NFL, whose efforts over the past decade or so to alienate its core audience (and I say this as somebody who watched pro football for over 35 years before giving up) have finally reached fruition:


LET’S HOPE SO! SpaceX, Boeing Starting New Space Race?

Boeing Chief Executive Officer Dennis Muilenburg sketched out a Jetsons-like future at a conference Tuesday, envisioning a commercial space-travel market with dozens of destinations orbiting the Earth and hypersonic aircraft shuttling travelers between continents in two hours or less. And Boeing intends to be a key player in the initial push to send humans to Mars, maybe even beating Musk to his long-time goal.

“I’m convinced the first person to step foot on Mars will arrive there riding a Boeing rocket,” Muilenburg said at the Chicago event on innovation, which was sponsored by the Atlantic magazine.

It might seem presumptuous to say “Faster, please” when we already have two private American firms competing to see who can put humans on Mars first, but…

Faster, please.

WELL, GOOD: Zika Vaccine Could Actually be Profitable, Companies Say.

The race to find protection against the Zika virus is fueled by something often missing from tropical disease research: the potential for big profit.

The prospect of a blockbuster vaccine against a mosquito-borne virus has accelerated the pace of development and attracted the interest of big drugmakers, including Sanofi, GlaxoSmithKline Plc and Takeda Pharmaceuticals.

Although Zika infections are mild or asymptomatic in most people, demand for a vaccine is expected to be strong because it can cause devastating birth defects, pharmaceutical executives and disease experts said.

The most lucrative market is seen in travelers seeking inoculation against the virus that has moved rapidly across the Americas and is the only mosquito-borne disease also spread through sex.

“It scares people,” said Scott Weaver, a virologist with the University of Texas and chairman of the Zika task force for the Global Virus Network. “Europeans and Americans can pay a pretty high price for these kinds of vaccines.”

A vaccine could come to market in as little as two years. Even if the current outbreaks in Latin America and the Caribbean burn out by that time, people living in those regions are expected to want protection against a return of Zika.

Tens of millions of travelers from United States and other wealthy nations, including people on business trips with corporate-sponsored health coverage, are expected to get vaccines before visiting areas where Zika is circulating.

Faster, please.

FASTER, PLEASE: ISIS’ Al-Bayan Radio Station in Mosul is Bombed Into Silence by Iraqi Jets.

The Al-Bayan radio station was “one of the strongest” propaganda tools for the militants inside Mosul, a spokesman at Iraq’s Joint Operation Command told NBC News.

Broadcasting stopped Sunday after the station was bombed by Iraqi jets, the spokesman said.

Backed by U.S. forces, the country’s military is poised for an attempt to retake the city of 1.2 million, which was overrun by ISIS fighters in June 2014.