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LIGO gravitational wave discoverers win 2017 Nobel Prize in physics
Two projects born a century ago in the mind of Albert Einstein, and the scientific leaders behind them, won the 2017 Nobel Prize in physics for detecting gravitational waves. Rainer Weiss won one half of the $1.1 million prize, while Barry C. Barish and Kip S. Thorne split the second half.

The initial detection by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) in 2015 proved ripples course through and disrupt the fabric of spacetime, which can reveal "unseen worlds," the Nobel Prize committee said.

by das monde on Thu Oct 5th, 2017 at 03:41:57 AM EST
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WHY are they doing this shit?  Is it all "because it's so much fuuuuuuun" or is there a practical application? Is this what you get when nerds get hold of the check book? Why don't they just spend their time trying to get laid like the rest of us?

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Thu Oct 5th, 2017 at 06:34:12 AM EST
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Deep down, discovery is a "killer technique" for getting laid; or at least, getting very high for a moment anyway. It is a cumbersome, largely misguided method, and the nerds won't enjoy anything like the full potential after the arduous work. But that still beats underpaid blue-color or service jobs, or a rural lifestyle. Commanding funds, technology, young wannabes is just as fun in the academy as on Wall Street, especially while bringing more good feelings to people on sidelines.

Practical application? An extra megapixel for the camera of your next iPhone might have something to do with LIGO.

by das monde on Thu Oct 5th, 2017 at 07:21:17 AM EST
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jobs saved or created
< wipes tears >

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Oct 5th, 2017 at 02:18:18 PM EST
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Half a million dollars? Isn't that good enough reason? At Eliot Spitzer rates, you could get laid over 100 times....
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu Oct 5th, 2017 at 02:49:56 PM EST
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As it happened yesterday, WYPR hosted a "bio-ethicist" who was promoting a Novartis CRSPR (gene editing) "therapy" now that the FDA has approved such for marketing.
Novartis says there will be no charge if a patient doesn't respond to the therapy within a month. ... Previous estimates predicted a price tag between $600,000 to $750,000.

USD 500,000 is the list price quoted on-air for a single course of this therapy a/k/a "living drug" a/k/a "biologic". Efficacy and morbidity of said technique is unknown, but promising, based on trials with a rare form of leukemia: "An estimated 3,100 patients aged 20 and younger in the U.S. are diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia each year, making it the most common childhood cancer")

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Oct 5th, 2017 at 03:36:11 PM EST
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David Mitchell, founder of an advocacy group called Patients for Affordable Drugs, said in a statement that the $475,000 cost is "excessive" and claims the federal government spent $200 million in early research on CAR-T therapy before Novartis purchased rights to the treatment.
Free market in action, as usual.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu Oct 5th, 2017 at 03:41:32 PM EST
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The evidence is all around us.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Oct 5th, 2017 at 03:45:34 PM EST
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For the US market the most effective attack on Novartis  would almost certainly be to seize upon their 'pagan' symbol, note they associate with 'witch doctors' and have a foreign domicile and then claim they are the spearhead for a conspiracy including space aliens to alter the DNA of US citizens, their vital essence' so as to make them more compatible with our new alien overlords.

Arguing that the price is excessive because Novartis purchased the rights for $200 million of research paid for by taxpayers will fail. Don't you know? "Government can't do anything right!" So the popular view will be that government squandered $200 million and it took a private company go get a profit out of it. And children with cancer? Pfft. As if they matter.  

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Oct 5th, 2017 at 05:14:48 PM EST
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