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Reform the PhD System or Close It Down

pnotequalsnp Too many bodies, too few incentives. (487 comments)

The competition for tenure track positions is currently insane, since the professors from previous generations have trained too many PhDs. The funding agencies reward large labs under a single PI with large grants, with the labs mostly running on graduate students and post-docs who themselves see no way out. Now we are seeing career post-doctoral positions, especially in the biomedical sciences; see the recent suggestions about making a post-doctoral position more permanent. Not everyone can be a manager (PI), so we are stuck being graduate students or post-docs. I know industry is also a home for PhDs as I am one of those happy campers, but the fact is there are too many PhDs being trained relative to the number of positions available.

Lets have a system where the professor is rewarded for doing their own research, rather than their ability to write grants and farm out the work to their subjugated minions.

more than 3 years ago

Ireland Criminalizes Blasphemy

pnotequalsnp Re:It's so very odd..... (1376 comments)

To paraphrase Dawkins: "agnosticism is flawed because it assumes that the probability that God exists is equal to the probability that God does not exist". I think you would rather say that right now you cannot rule out the existence or the non-existence of "God" (provably soon). But to say that they are equally likely (probability) is incredibly naive, since you presumably have to tell me which God you are talking about, which history has shown to be ever-changing (Zeus, Thor, etc.). Therefore you are neither atheist nor agnostic.

more than 5 years ago

Would You Pay For YouTube Videos?

pnotequalsnp Slow down (475 comments)

Would you pay ...

Woah woah woah. Stop right there. No.

more than 5 years ago

Android Scans DVD Bar Codes, Downloads Movies

pnotequalsnp Re:nice (181 comments)

Sorry sir but you are wrong. I'll reiterate my limited econ 101 experience: we assume perfect information for markets to be perfectly efficient, so having the price across all offerings is a good thing. What you should decide is if the extra cost at the given store is worth the added benefits (customer service, locality, other factors). This is commonplace today, for example when choosing eco-friendly dry cleaning, products without lead etc. Obviously people choosing Walmart are making the choice that the added services are not worth the extra price. Not everyone has the same values (which determine price) as you.

more than 5 years ago

New Method To Revolutionize DNA Sequencing

pnotequalsnp It does not rock (239 comments)

Considering current sequencing technology generates terabytes of data per day (see the Sanger center), then wouldn't it be efficient to maximize the amount of information per pixel (i.e. per byte)? This method is actually is much worse (orders of magnitude) than the current method. There are many other problems with what they do, but hopefully the cash infusion can last them another 2 years until the write a paper like this. BTW, the say that appropriate camera tech. will be available in 2-5 years, but they're ready now! They might be buying time...

about 6 years ago

First Whole Cancer Genome Sequenced

pnotequalsnp Re:Shenanigans (115 comments)

Fine, but you can't do the research if you don't have the genome. The title of the article wasn't "Cancer Genome Sequence, Cure Eminent."

I am saying if you claim to that you have the genome, you should probably have the genome. They don't. I said nothing about cures for cancer. Again my point stands, since they only have the differences between the tumor genome and a "reference genome" (same for the normal genome of that person). They then compare the two to see the differences in the differences. The have a 10% data missing problem.

more than 6 years ago

First Whole Cancer Genome Sequenced

pnotequalsnp Shenanigans (115 comments)

I call shenanigans, since at least 7% of the genome is repetitive elements, centromeres, cnvs etc. etc. Also, remember that they use a reference genome, which itself is not complete. What happens if the cancer/person has a sequence not found in the reference genome. I know, it is not reported. It is more informative to say 90% of the tumor was sequenced. Probably the last 10% was the important part anyways (cnvs and the number of repeats are very important), so this is just anther "first post" in Science and Nature. Can they start publishing proper papers rather than "hot" papers?

more than 6 years ago



The Role of Mitochondrial DNA in Aging and Cancer

pnotequalsnp pnotequalsnp writes  |  more than 7 years ago

pnotequalsnp (1077279) writes "Doug Wallace, PHD UC Irvine, gave a very interesting talk on the role of Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) entitled "Human Origins, Aging, Cancer & Degenerative Disease".

One of the interesting conclusions is that aging is correlated to body temperature (or exercise) and overeating. mtDNA produces ATP and heat. In warm blooded humans, typically their mtDNA produces more heat for the body by burning calories. On the other hand, cold blooded humans produce less heat and more ATP to use as energy for the body. Basically, keeping your electron transfer chain oxidized in your mtDNA (by exercising or converting calories to heat) will reduce cancer risk (free radicals produced). If you have a tightly coupled mtDNA (produce less heat and more ATP) and you overeat (meaning more calories), then you will reduce the electron transfer chain within your mtDNA, creating more free radicals, resulting in apotosis (cell suicide) and you will age faster.

In short, calorie restricition will increase lifespan and reduce cancer risk, especially in cold blooded humans.

Click here for a video of the talk"


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