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InitialsDiceBear„Initials” ( by „DiceBear”, licensed under „CC0 1.0” (
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Congress voted against funding a cure for cancer just to block a win for Biden
  • I agree it may have presented barriers for coordination the FDA and access to US markets. I haven't been able to dig deep into the Cuban studies, but just because something is labeled a phase 3 or phase 4 by the investigators doesn't necessarily mean it was done to the standards necessary for fda approval or in the correct context of current standard of care treatments in the US or who knows how many other issues. If it was fully ready for all markets as is and required no further investigations, and it was only the US FDA causing problems, I would expect it to have already been widely available in many other countries that don't have embargos with Cuba, like all of Europe. Currently it's only available in Cuba, Colombia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Peru, and Paraguay.

    Mostly though I didn't want someone to accidentally misread this and think it meant cure. I realize you did not say that, but it's just a common misreading I've noticed people make of the term cancer vaccines when they've been mentioned in popular media. Didn't want someone to drag their poor dying relative off to Paraguay thinking they're getting cured.

    I agree the Cuban embargo is ridiculous, should be stopped, and is hurting both countries with no benefit to anyone (other than keeping a certain segment of voters in Florida happy).

  • Congress voted against funding a cure for cancer just to block a win for Biden
  • It's also not a vaccine in the sense it's preventing cancer, it's for the treatment of cancer that is already there, specifically non small cell lung cancers (though it's being tested in other cancers that use the signaling mechanism being targeted). Not saying it's impossible that it could prevent cancer, just that it hasn't been tested in that way to the best of my knowledge.

    There is some precedence for a vaccine like that though. The HPV vaccine for instance prevents HPV (and therefore hpv related cancers), but is also used as a treatment if an HPV related cancer develops.

  • Congress voted against funding a cure for cancer just to block a win for Biden
  • Slight correction on that vaccine, the FDA doesn't authorize any drug for sale in the US that hasn't passed it's rigorous trials and gone through its approval process. It's currently being tested and has more trials ongoing right now. FDA will be able to approve it for sale if it passes its trials.

    Also the word cancer vaccine kind of implies cure to some, but it's not by any means:

    "MST was 10.83 months for vaccinated vs. 8.86 months for non-vaccinated. In the Phase III trial, the 5-year survival rate was 14.4% for vaccinated subjects vs. 7.9% for controls."

    So it might be a useful tool but just don't want to get hopes up unnecessarily. People who's immune system reacted to the vaccine the strongest did best, so current trials are focused on combining it with an immune checkpoint inhibitor drug to increase the immune response even more hopefully (and those drugs are already being used by themselves in cancer). These drugs block "checkpoints" in the immune system that would normally stop it from attacking things like yourself, which we kind of want it to do in cancer.

    Not saying I support an embargo in Cuba, I don't, just don't want this comment to be inadvertently read as "Cuba has had the cure to lung cancer this whole time and you're not allowed to have it!" which isn't true.

  • U.S. put a hold on an ammunition shipment to Israel
  • Yes totally agree, there's no way this goes anywhere but worse somehow as long as Netanyahu remains in power. Hopefully elections (or just being hauled off to jail hopefully) push him out soon, for everyone's sake.

  • U.S. put a hold on an ammunition shipment to Israel
  • Yes not disputing at all that there's a proxy war (though Soviet Israeli relationship deteriorated long before that started with Soviets funding Israeli opponents since 1967), just that despite or partially because of this, Israel is closer to Russia than most western countries. Isreal doesn't want to upset Russia and give them more incentive to fund proxies against them, and some Israeli governments, like Netanyahu's especially, have helped provide cover for Russian actions. And Russia at times will often take surprisingly pro Israeli moves despite also funding proxies.

    I don't think it would be impossible for Israel to switch alignment to Russia, and I think you would quickly see Russia providing cover and stopping any assistance with proxy conflict against them. It would be essentially accomplishing Russia's goal, so what would they have to fight Israel about anymore? Putin is a real politic great powers kind of leader who has no qualms about butchering civilians by the thousands. He's certainly not aligned with Iran because he's concerned about Palestinians. Israel becoming fully aligned with Russia would be accomplishing a 77 year in the making goal for the Soviet Union and Russia.

  • U.S. put a hold on an ammunition shipment to Israel
  • That's true, but also a little more complicated than that I think. At least one of the reasons Israel was able to extract so much aid from the US to begin with was the threat they could align with the Soviet Union (initially one of the biggest supporters of Israel, and first to recognize them as a state officially in 1947, though they had a few others had unofficially recognized them by then). Stalin had a zionist foreign policy, despite (or maybe because of) being antisemitic himself. Though Soviets and Israel largely schismed in 1967 and the Soviet union began throwing its funding behind the surrounding Arab states.

    Relations warmed in the 90s again but have been up and down since. But there has been a lot of Russian immigration to Isreal. Russian is the third most spoken language in Israel.

    2011, Putin said: "Israel is, in fact, a special state to us. It is practically a Russian-speaking country. Israel is one of the few foreign countries that can be called Russian-speaking. It's apparent that more than half of the population speaks Russian".[38] Putin additionally claimed that Israel could be considered part of the Russian cultural world, and contended that "songs which are considered to be national Israeli songs in Israel are in fact Russian national songs". He further stated that he regarded Russian-speaking Israeli citizens as his compatriots and part of the 'Russian World'

    Israel at times has been quite friendly to Russia. It took a neutral stance on the Crimea annexation, infuriating the United States. Russia recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in 2017. Israel refused to recognize Russians assassinating people abroad, infuriating the UK. Netanyahu has spoke often about his friendship with Putin. Israel refused to impose sanctions on Russia or send defensive weapons to Ukraine.

    I mean you could go on, it's a complicated relationship, with especially Netanyahu favoring closer relations with Russia and trying to play both sides. Iran's relationship with Russia certainly presents complications, but I don't think Israel getting closer to Russia or at least using the threat of it to extract more from the United States is out of the question. They're often trying to "play both sides" of the Russia and US divide to their benefit. Especially if Netanyahu remains in power.–Russia_relations

    China and Israel have had surprisingly good relations too. And again, Netanyahu has consistently tried to make those closer, possibly to help keep US aid flowing.

    Not saying the US shouldn't cut off Isreal, please do, but the results may be surprising if that were to actually happen. I don't think putin harbors any particular concerns for the plight of the Palestinian people.

  • The UK’s controversial Rwanda deportation plan, explained
  • Don't be lgbt though:

    LGBT+ travellers

    Same-sex sexual activity is not illegal in Rwanda, but is frowned on by locals. LGBT+ travellers can experience discrimination and abuse, including from local authorities.

    There are no specific anti-discrimination laws that protect LGBT+ individuals in Rwanda. Read more advice for LGBT+ travellers.

  • AMD confirms Radeon GPU sales have nosedived
  • I'm not sure what you mean? This article is about AMD. Nvidia is the one that skimps on the vram. Amd's 7800 xt has 16 gb of vram and is $500. Their most expensive gpu is the 7900 xtx for about $950 currently and it has 24 gb.

    Nvidia 4080 is over $1000 and has 16 gb of vram though.

    I agree gpus are too expensive, but if amd gpus go under, Nvidia will have even more power to price gouge. I'm rooting for Intel too to bring even more competition in.

  • IRS plans to increase audit rates of wealthy taxpayers by 50% | CNN Politics
  • Edit: sorry I think my first answer posted earlier was wrong, after more review I misunderstood "audit percentage," it would be the percentage of taxpayers in those brackets who get audited, not the percentage of audits that bracket makes up of all audits. Below answer should be closer now.

    If you're curious you can use the percentage from article and do simple math to find the number.

    Those making more than $10 million will go from 11% of them being audited to 16.5%. And we can get data on tax return audit actual numbers below.

    So diving back to the numbers, there were 3,353 audits of individuals make $10 million or more in 2023, meaning if the audit rate was 11% there were would be about 30,481 individuals total in this bracket that filed that year. So the higher audit rate would bring it to a total of about 5,029 audits of those making ten million or more, assuming the number of audits and number of people filing in that bracket are constant.

    Also here are the audit rates by tax bracket for 2022 and 2021.

    The $10 million plus bracket went from only 2% audited in 2021 to 8% audited in 2022. Wonder what changed between those years...

  • Second Boeing whistleblower dies in less than two months
  • MRSA is just a version of staph aureus that is resistant to some common antibiotics. The antibiotic resistant version is common everywhere now since we use so much antibiotics. The antibiotic resistant version doesn't make someone sicker in and of itself than the non resistant version, it just doesn't respond to some antibiotics. From context I gather this was MRSA pneumonia.

    Staph aureus lives on all of our skin, mouth and external surfaces. It's not like something you catch, it's something that's already there and takes advantage of an opening, like a wound, lungs already damaged by a recent flu virus or something, or a weakened immune system. It's common that people in the hospital get staph infections, because they're already there for something else making them sick that gives staph an opening. Strokes are also more common in hospitalized patients that are sick with other things. Strokes usually aren't directly related to an infection, but the pro inflammatory response can increase clotting and make a stroke more likely. Strokes also can inversely make pneumonia more likely, if you have trouble swallowing and saliva and secretions are going down the wrong tube, then it creates an easy way for bacteria from your mouth like staph to get to the lungs and start up a pneumonia.

    Tldr: MRSA is on your skin right now, don't worry about it too much, don't overuse antibiotics

  • Court blocks Louisiana's congressional map with a second majority-Black district
  • Yes that's what happened. One court slapped it down for unfairly reducing minority representation in violation of the voting rights act, so this map was drawn to increase minority representation. Now these two judges struck down the new map saying basically "I think it should be unconstitutional to consider race at all when drawing districts, even if it's to make sure they aren't being unfairly diluted, voting rights act is unconstitutional." It's supreme court bait to try and get them to strike down more of the voting rights act with their same reasoning they used to strike down affirmative action policies. If the supreme court decides to take this up eventually, I'd say the voting rights act days are numbered unfortunately with this court.

  • As Biden Plans to Reschedule Marijuana, Advocates Say 'Fully Legalize' It
  • They always have time to try and stop Democrats from doing anything they think would be popular. They especially worry about anything that would be popular with their own constituents, since even a majority of Republicans support marijuana legalization.

    Look at the games they played in Minnesota for a really glaring example on this issue. Republicans there went to the trouble of funding and recruiting candidates for a "legalize marijuana now party." This allowed them to split the vote just enough in swing districts to prevent democratic control of the state senate, meanwhile the Republicans blocked any marijuana legalization (except for the time they accidentally legalized small dose edibles because they didn't read a bill about hemp carefully, they were really mad about that, lol). When the democrats recaptured the majority in both houses in the 2022 election, they legalized marijuana. Filibustering isn't like in the federal senate though, for federal legalization will need to convince at least eight to ten republican senators to go along with it

  • What 10 Years of U.S. Meddling in Ukraine Have Wrought (Spoiler Alert: Not Democracy)
  • Just click on the author's byline and look at their past "investigations, " it tells you all you need to know. But this article is filled with such endless BS it would take ages to unpack it all. I'll just post one thing from the beginning of the article.

    During this period, Ukraine has not become an independent self-sustaining democracy, but a client state heavily dependent on European and U.S. support, which has not protected it from the ravages of war.

    From the ravages of war, wow, what country invaded and annexed them multiple times and is ravaging them? Not worth mentioning I guess. The fighting is all the US and EU's fault for helping Ukraine to defend itself! If Ukraine had just rolled over everytime Russia wanted to lop off sections of their country or even take the whole thing plus some neighboring countries to boot, then everything would be peaceful! It goes on from there like that. Impressive mental gymnastics throughout, and clearly trying to push an established viewpoint of the author rather than inform, really more of a bad opinion piece than an "investigation."

  • DEA to reclass marijuana to Schedule III
  • From a medical marijuana perspective it wouldn't change much for states where it is still illegal. It will make things easier for people who are prescribed it in states where it is legal, and hopefully for places that produce or sell marijuana that are currently locked out of banking and payment systems. This would also allow Medicare to at least consider covering it in those states, but they wouldn't necessarily have to. Medicare coverage decisions are made by the center for Medicare and Medicaid services, we'll have to see after this change goes through what they determine. They do also already cover FDA approved medications based on cannibinoid ingredients like marinol or epidiolex which are pharmaceutical preparations of delta 9 thc and cannibidiol respectively (these are already available in every state since they are fda approved). Private insurance also will make their own determinations about whether they will cover it or not, but with this change there is a chance they could, whereas before there was no possible way. Medicaid coverage is mostly determined by each individual state.

    The only way this would over ride state law and allow medical marijuana into a state that doesn't have legal marijuana would be if somehow the marijuana plant itself got an FDA approval, but that is very unlikely for a lot of reasons, foremost that the marijuana plant has a large mix of many different drugs with many differences in amounts and ratios of those drugs from strain to strain, plant to plant, different parts of the plant, or even the same plant at different times in its life. It's not like, heroin, or fentanyl, or cocaine which are specific chemicals. You could never really say "marijuana plants in general" have a specific indication for a specific disease, it would need to be much more specific in terms of what is actually being given, and only that would have the evidence and therefore the FDA approval. Like take epidiolex/cannibidiol for instance, a single chemical, 25 mg/kg/day was found effective as an add on therapy to another primary therapy for reduction in seizure frequency in children with Lennox gestaut syndrome and dravet syndrome. That's the specific indication and dosage that the FDA agrees is effective based on the evidence. Lots of other reasons too you'd never see an FDA approval for "all marijuana plants in general," but the unpredictable mix of tons of different drugs across many many strains of marijuana plants and variability between the plants itself is enough to make this a practical impossibility. It's definitely contributed a few medications that have roles in certain diseases though, like many other plants before it.

    In short, you'll still need to convince individual states to legalize it or make medical marijuana laws if you want an actual marijuana plant or plant preparation prescribed to you. Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance coverage could all be different (and even different by insurance company), but there's at least a chance it could give coverage now, whereas it was impossible before. This also makes marijuana research easier and helps reduce any federal criminal penalties.

  • Chinese scientist who first published COVID sequence protests after being locked out of his lab
  • From an article linked within the article:

    Despite the plaudits, China in fact sat on releasing the genetic map, or genome, of the virus for more than a week after three different government labs had fully decoded the information. Tight controls on information and competition within the Chinese public health system were to blame, according to dozens of interviews and internal documents.

    Chinese government labs only released the genome after another lab published it ahead of authorities on a virologist website on Jan. 11.

    If it weren't for this scientist it would have taken even longer to get the dna sequence (and even longer for the life saving vaccines). And the whole time Chinese government labs already had the sequence and were refusing to share it with the world despite the World Health organization and scientists around the world begging them to.