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View Diary: H5N1: A Teachable Moment, And An Open Letter (124 comments)

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  •  well, there's vain and then there's vain (0+ / 0-)

    I'm sorry you've had that experience... I've been pretty happy with the people in my department and other places I've been, for the most part... even the most vain ones (the ones with the sport cars) would not withhold information for personal benefit that would help the world medical community that much. Webster in particular, who that article quotes, is not exactly in a tenure fight -- he is one of the most well-respected eminences grises in his field.  So to say it is a case of publish or perish, is I think off the mark.

    There are real issues with exploiting genetic information from countries as I suppose you know.  Going to isolated populations where there is a genetic disease, studying them and identifying the relevant gene, and presumably using it to develop medicines that will not be offered to the group you studied.  (Often these are isolated native populations.)  It is the genome equivalent of buying Manhattan for a handful of beads.

    We're in agreement anyway about what the outcome should be -- we're just disagreeing on whether there is any complexity to the issue.

    •  Huh- (0+ / 0-)

      Most vaccines are made with huge government funding in USA or Europe.  Subsidies, one might say.  And insurance policies to reduce the risk of getting a rare side effect from the vaccine are another subsidy.

      WHO should be having their say and putting some funding into getting the vaccine out.

      I don't think the tropical diseases are being worked on enough, often because there is no way the folks in say, Indonesia, will be able to pay the US rate for the drugs/vaccines.  The big companies don't bother to do the research at all as a result.  Military and government work on these diseases do our "war fighters" health can be protected.  It is sort of like the anti GMO people complaining because no one is working on making more nutritious GMO food.  That is silly, because what is needed is MORE food that peole like to eat, not newly engineered, more nutritious food.  We need more knowlege and more treatments and more vaccines NOT just more affordable ones.  First, lets make them and let affordable happen next.

      If a drug is discovered it can be bootlegged or made generically too- and it will be.  We are talking about protecting ourselves with a vaccine after the bird flu moves in.   There is a strong strategy to give the vaccine to the local outbreaks in the Far East (or where-ever) or drugs for that matter, to nip the epidemic in the bud.  This attitude should be promoted- this is a global pandemic and needs a global response.  

      You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

      by murrayewv on Thu May 25, 2006 at 09:42:36 AM PDT

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      •  The vanity I find... (0+ / 0-)

        is the who is smartest sort of vanity.  The competition for most publications being at Harvard not say University of South Dakota.  Sports cars seem trivial compared to the ways we compete against ourselves in science and keep score- all grant writing is competition.  And it is a competition where success is based on publications, and team work is harder to achieve.

        You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

        by murrayewv on Thu May 25, 2006 at 09:45:23 AM PDT

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