solyandra in context, two wallpapers, using proteins to switch off cancer

The Solyndra Scandal in Context – Republicans pursued clean energy loans, too—and good for them!

As I predicted, Solyndra’s bankruptcy is serving as the new Climategate — it’s giving conservative politicians who once felt the need to grope for some sort of muddled centrist-sounding position (e.g.,”the science is uncertain,” or “all of the above”) the pretense they need to transition to full-on oppositionalism.

We see this now as Republicans decry clean energy loan guarantees that they were begging for a few years ago. I had some fun with Mitch McConnell a few days ago, and ThinkProgress has a great post nailing Daryl Issa — who even now is investigating Solyndra — for pleading with DOE’s Steven Chu to fast track a loan guarantee to Aptera Motors, an electric car manufacturer.

Conservatives simply have no sense of shame. If they have to lie and blow-up another ant hill into a full-blown scandal they will. If, as is usually the case, they end up looking like moronic hypocrites than so be it. They’re like a vicious gossip who is not concerned with the truth as much as they are about how much damage they can cause once the sound bite becomes part of the public echo.

fall leaves

pile of autumn leaves wallpaper

Protein ‘Switches’ Could Turn Cancer Cells into Tiny Chemotherapy Factories

Johns Hopkins researchers have devised a protein “switch” that instructs cancer cells to produce their own anti-cancer medication. In lab tests, the researchers showed that these switches, working from inside the cells, can activate a powerful cell-killing drug when the device detects a marker linked to cancer. The goal, the scientists said, is to deploy a new type of weapon that causes cancer cells to self-destruct while sparing healthy tissue.

The concept of either genetic or cell switches being turned on and off to fight cancer is not new – I studied the concept when I was in school. The new angle here seems to be using a protein switch. Likely most people know that many of us carry around oncogenes and that other genes can be triggered by environmental factors to become cancerous. So scientists know that cancer can be switched on. How do you create a mechanism which is so specific that it will switch cancer cells off without shutting down essential life processes. The Johns Hopkins protein makes the cell produce its own chemotherapy drug which does just target cancer cells. Thus far it has been in lab animals. No human trials have started.

manet’s poppies wallpaper

Twenty-five of the 100 highest paid U.S. CEOs earned more last year than their companies paid in federal income tax, a pay study by a Washington think tank said on Wednesday. Yet according to conservatives and libertarians they are not creating jobs because their companies have to pay taxes occasionally and profits are difficult because of all those pesky regulations.

What Does Rupert Murdoch Want With America’s Schools?

While Murdoch’s arrival to the education business is being cheered by Jeb Bush and other conservatives, the idea of the parent company of News of the World and Fox getting into the school biz hasn’t gone over well with the education establishment. Murdoch’s new venture has stirred controversy in New York, where this summer the state sought to enter into a $27 million contract with Wireless Generation to track student performance. Given Klein’s hiring, the deal prompted an outcry by teachers’ unions and other critics who saw the public school system becoming just another example of revolving-door politics and crony capitalism. (“They chose us because we’re good,” and not due to any connection to Klein, says Wireless Generation’s spokeswoman, Joan Lebow.)

In early August, New York teachers’ unions demanded the state rescind its plans to contract with Wireless Generation. “It is especially troubling that Wireless Generation will be tasked with creating a centralized database for personal student information even as its parent company, News Corporation, stands accused of engaging in illegal news-gathering tactics,” representatives from the state and New York City teachers’ unions wrote.

If nothing else bundling up education with the machinations of the corporate world will get young Americans used to the idea that they are just clogs in corporate culture and privacy is a quaint relic of the past.