Friday, May 19, 2017

Important stories below the fold

Why is there a global shortage of Penicillin?

AlJ has a very long and fact filled article that discusses not only the diseases affected, but the problems in modern day pharmacutical businesses

They are actually talking about the long acting shot here:  you can give the long acting shot in the third world (which means you don't have to worry if they take all their pills).

It is commonly used to treat syphilis (including congenital syphilis), strep throat (with it's complication of Rheumatic fever.

Problem: it's on "old" drug so not a lot of profit, and there has been a problem with some Chinese companies who make it... and India is underpriced by the Chinese companies so isn't making a lot of the drug.

The article also discusses the failure of drug companies to develop newer antibiotics.


Also from AlJ: The Ebola outbreak in the Congo


from PhysOrg: Can CRISPR save the world?

Only if you allow it to. It is a way to edit genes, as in GM food...

and the aim is to make plants resistant to fungus and other pests. They discuss wheat, and potatoes.

 but actually the big problem right now is Bananas: All bananas have a narrow genone: they don't produce seeds, you have to grow them from another plant...
and much of those produced for export are monoculture.

. In the first world, they are a fruit, no problem, but in parts of Africa and Asia they are a major source of calories.


I'll have to read up on the latest cyberattack, but I find this interesting:from GlobalVoices: China's computers are involved: half of the affected computers are in China.

Part of the blame is that  students are playing games on the university computers.

but there is also this: A lot of computers there (and in the Philippines for that matter) use pirated versions of windows. Here, you have to watch it when you buy a computer: Often the Windows or other programs you bought look fine, but then you find you can't load upgrades, or you get a notice that you have to buy a real version of the software, which of course is often ignored by people.

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