Better, Faster, More Comprehensive Manure Distribution [Link]

September 26, 2016 by Gabe | [mmd] | ℳ↫

If you're interested in what an actually researcher thinks of the Microsoft announcement about intering the oncology research fied, there's no better blog to turn to than In the Pipeline:

Put shortly – and these sorts of stories tend to put actual oncology researchers in a pretty short mood – the cell/computer analogy is too facile to be useful. And that goes, with chocolate sprinkles on it, for all the subsidiary analogies, such as DNA/source code, disease/bug, etc. One one level, these things do sort of fit, but it’s not a level that you can get much use out of. DNA is much, much messier than any usable code ever written, and it’s messier on several different levels and in a lot of different ways. These (which include the complications of transcriptional regulation, post-transcriptional modification, epigenetic factors, repair mechanisms and mutation rates, and much, much, more), have no good analogies (especially when taken together) in coding. And these DNA-level concerns are only the beginning! That’s where you start working on an actual therapy; that’s what we call “Target ID”, and it’s way, way back in the process of finding a drug. So many complications await you after that – you can easily spend your entire working life on them, and many of us have.

This idea that everything is solvable like a software problem is pure hubris and shows a profound ignorance of the field. It sounds too good to be true and as Theranos and 23andMe have shown, it often is.

In a follow up post about the Zuckerberg's foundation and their plan to fight disease and affliction, Derek corrects some of the media hype and juxtaposition to the Microsoft announcement:

As for the rest of the money, there were a lot of headlines about “cure all diseases”, which does make you wrinkle your nose, but a closer look shows that it’s not as insane as that makes it sound. The language is to “prevent, cure, or manage” diseases, and the timeline is stated to be 100 years, which makes a lot more sense than Microsoft curing cancers in five. If we can keep our act together as a civilization, there’s no telling what biomedical science – or any science – will look like in a hundred years.

Older articles

  1. The Democratization of Censorship [Link]

    September 26, 2016 by Gabe | [mmd] | ℳ↫

    For those unaware, one of the highest profile security researchers and bloggers was hit with the largest DDoS attack in history. It was so massive that it impacted Akamai and they removed support for his website, which is a dramatic accomplishment that may portend an unwelcome future for the internet ...

  2. More on ScanSnap and Sierra

    September 21, 2016 by Gabe | [mmd] |

    This is a follow up to a previous post. My own testing shows that there's no issue with my ScanSnap and DEVONthink Pro Office. My interpretation is that the main issue is with scanning to from the ScanSnap software. Use at your own risk but I've ...

  3. Audible Channels

    September 19, 2016 by Gabe | [mmd] |

    Recently Amazon rolled out Audible Channels as a new benefit to Prime subscribers. Channels similar to podcasts and to some degree compete for listeners. If you are an Amazon Prime member and an Audible customer then you can subscribe to topical feeds filled with interesting content like The Great Courses ...

  4. ScanSnap Blows It For Mac Sierra

    September 19, 2016 by Gabe | [mmd] |

    TJ on Twitter sent out the fire alarm for ScanSnap users.

    Fujitsu is telling ScanSnap owners not to upgrade to Sierra because they failed to update their software for the new OS.

    That link sums up a complete failure by Fujitsu. Their scanners will simply fail to scan in a ...

  5. Print to PDF on iOS 10

    September 15, 2016 by Gabe | [mmd] |

    Well, well, well. This is just great. A very generous person just dropped me a note today to say that in iOS 10 it's very easy to convert an email to a PDF. From the standard message print screen pinch out to open the message in a new window ...

  6. Sharing a Contact and Voicemail with iOS

    September 11, 2016 by Gabe | [mmd] |

    Here's a couple of nice options that may not be well known. You can share a contact by visiting the contact card in iOS and using the share sheet to send it as a text message. The shared contact can then be added, in its entirety, by the recipient ...

  7. The All New DEVONthink To Go for iOS

    September 09, 2016 by Gabe | [mmd] |

    Every year there's one or two iOS apps that really elevate the platform to a new level for me. In the early days it was Tweetbot and iThoughts. Then it was Evernote and Editorial, and Workflow. More recently, scanning applications like Scanner Pro or Scanbot have been tremendous new ...

  8. Hazel 10 Year Sale [Link]

    September 06, 2016 by Gabe | [mmd] | ℳ↫

    Hazel for Mac is 10 years old and to celabrate Noodlesoft has a 50% off sale running right now. Just visit the store and get it for $16. Hazel is one of the main reasons I'd never go iOS only. It makes my Mac far too efficient to abandon.

  9. New MailMate Design Coming

    September 01, 2016 by Gabe | [mmd] |


    I've been using MailMate for years and contributed to the fundraiser for version 2. If you're a paid user then you should have access to the beta features, including the new design just released.

    The new modern theme looks good and I especially like how quoting works.

    New Theme

    Revision ...