Why we need government funding for basic science

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Messages 21 - 40 of total 46 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Jan 9, 2018 - 04:56pm PT
Here's an idea: let's just transfer all the money the Guvmint gives to entities like public broadcasting over to general funding for science education. We could get a bunch of freeloaders off the public dole and force them to fairly compete for the media dollar just like everyone else in that business. A huge bonus, in that we will discover for once just how valuable PBS is to the hard-working public that supports it.


Even better, lets transfer all the money spent on police. Think of all the lives saved! Let's transfer all the money spent on fire depts. No building is going to last forever, anyway...why go to the expense and effort!

Please someone, explain to me the profit motive for finding a cure for cancer? Once it is cured, industry will lose all the chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, and associated hospital charges. Obviously, from an industry standpoint, they must be very pro-cancer!
xCon

Social climber
909
Jan 9, 2018 - 05:02pm PT
NPB needs a massive expansion in public support to get them off the petroleum and pharmaceutical industries tit
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Jan 9, 2018 - 05:15pm PT
What's your problem with an hour long show discussing Walden Pond by Thoreau brought to you by British Petroleum and Smith Kline Glaxo?

People are such ingrates.
Timid TopRope

Social climber
the land of Pale Ale
Jan 9, 2018 - 05:20pm PT
My siblings and I just inherited a bunch of Pfizer stocks so I am inclined to agree with the OP. Let the government fund the science, not my unearned investment.
thebravecowboy

climber
The Good Places
Jan 9, 2018 - 05:44pm PT
Phyl is right. We don't NEED any of this...nor would it matter if we did.
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Jan 9, 2018 - 07:04pm PT
Please someone, explain to me the profit motive for finding a cure for cancer? Once it is cured, industry will lose all the chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, and associated hospital charges. Obviously, from an industry standpoint, they must be very pro-cancer!

Nailed it!

Credit: T Hocking
Lituya

Mountain climber
Jan 9, 2018 - 08:20pm PT
As an observation - We don't really "need" basic research or advances in medicine. People are born and people die. I know this sounds harsh, but I don't mean it that way at all. There are many, many aspects of modern medicine that are great, if you and your loved ones are the ones affected, by things as "simple" as a infection that would have killed you 100 years ago to a stage 4 cancer that is put into remission by immunotherapy. But a case can be made that what the world needs more than keeping more people alive longer is fewer people, less violence, less pollution, less material consumption, etc. At the rate we are going, the planet is going to be killed by people.

Phyl, thanks for providing some great insight/confirmation regarding current green libtard cult-of-science arrogance. On its face, all compassion and justice--but pull back the curtain and one can see the ugly side. Kind of a Twelve Monkeys type of method mixed with a Tragedy of the Commons philosophy. Just add a little religious zeal, and, voila! Justification for pretty much any brand of human depravity imaginable.
rottingjohnny

Sport climber
Sands Motel , Las Vegas
Jan 9, 2018 - 08:21pm PT
Braun...Maybe , when you die , you could donate your body to science and find a cure for stOOpid...?
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Jan 9, 2018 - 08:50pm PT
Why invest in drugs that will only be used for a short time, when they can focus on markets with customers that will use the products for years or decades? And why invest in all that R&D for hard problems when you can just piggyback on pre-existing basic research and do a little bit of R&D for a big payoff?

That's a lot to unpack.

“Why invest in drugs that will only be used for a short time…?”

12 years is the most they get, so "short time" is built into the equation.

My experience is with anti-epileptic / anti-convulsant drugs. This is an area where there is constant improvement being made so there are many people who benefit directly from the relatively short lifespan of the drugs. I've gone through five drugs in the last ten years, each one a big step forward. If I was still taking the med available to me in 2007 my quality of life would suck.

“…when they can focus on markets with customers that will use the products for years or decades? And why invest in all that R&D for hard problems when you can just piggyback on pre-existing basic research and do a little bit of R&D for a big payoff?”

That sounds like the business model of the generics.

The idea that a drug company has an incentive to make drugs which stay on the market for years or decades makes no sense. They go generic within 12 -10 years after release, and the originators sales go away (except in rare cases like mine where generics are problematic.) No licensing. Nothing. But the real question is, aside from aspirin, how many drugs are cutting edge decades after their origin? In general I don't like statins, but some people have to resort to them. Should the drug they take be the same in 10, 20 years?

I agree with Reilly that it takes waaay to long to get a medication to market. Patents are good for twenty years from the date of invention, but eight years or more are spent getting through the FDA.

Regarding your link, obviously I have no idea why Pfizer made their decision. But I have read several articles lately about paradigm shifts in our understanding of Alzheimer’s and dementia. I think we could see a real shakeup in the field.

Chinese scientists found the cure for all type of cancer.

German clinics screen for faulty gens and replace them with the correct one. 99.99% defect free babies.

Re the Chinese, reliable citations please.

Re the Germans, we have the capability. A large constituency of religious nutjobs are against any kind of genetic therapy. I don’t know if they are responsible, but the FDA seems to be sitting on their hands on this one.

Lituya

Mountain climber
Jan 9, 2018 - 10:17pm PT
Re the Germans, we have the capability. A large constituency of religious nutjobs are against any kind of genetic therapy. I don’t know if they are responsible, but the FDA seems to be sitting on their hands on this one.

Lots of non-religious people have a problem with it too. There are many concerns that whole societies have a right to participate in with their voices. Not just "scientists" who want to dabble in public policy.

Blonde hair and blue eyes, anyone? German scientists, in particular, have much to atone for.
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Jan 9, 2018 - 10:26pm PT
I get your point, and take it well. But at the same time gene therapy is real. It is here. And it can do a lot of good.

Your point about the possibility (probability?) of abuse is sobering.

Lituya

Mountain climber
Jan 9, 2018 - 10:34pm PT
Appreciated. On the level of disease-curing potential--e.g. cancers and auto-immunes caused by rearrangements, translocations, extra copies/protein overexpressions--I think it should be full speed ahead. But on the in-utero stuff I think ethics and public input should play a strong role before any serious meddling begins.
zBrown

Ice climber
Jan 9, 2018 - 10:41pm PT
a todo cachete

Hope and/or pray there are no Meltdown flaws in those genetic therapy chips and salsa



Lituya

Mountain climber
Jan 12, 2018 - 06:54pm PT
Ken M says: Please someone, explain to me the profit motive for finding a cure for cancer? Once it is cured, industry will lose all the chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, and associated hospital charges. Obviously, from an industry standpoint, they must be very pro-cancer!

Ken, you understand that chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery are, in fact cures for hundreds of thousands of people every year, right?
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Jan 12, 2018 - 07:23pm PT
Ken, you understand that chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery are, in fact cures for hundreds of thousands of people every year, right?


Maybe. But you have to wait five years to find out. You understand why, right?

They are also treatments for the cancer once it is there. But something that prevented the cancer would be a financial disaster to the cancer industry. What is the financial incentive to find it? Why would a commercial operation spend billions to find it?
beaner

Social climber
Maine
Jan 12, 2018 - 07:49pm PT
I work in basic biomedical research.

For profit companies don't do basic research. Period. It is primarily done in government labs, research universities, teaching hospitals, and some private (non-government) non-profit research labs.

Basic research is the process of conducting research purely to better our understanding. It might result in a practical application 10 years down the road, or never. It might answer one question, only to raise 100 more.

It makes no sense to lock up basic research as proprietary information. The only way we progress scientifically, is if it is shared with the world so that other researchers can continue to push forward. The only practical way to fund this is through government research grants, because nearly all of these studies are never going to directly result in a marketable product -- but through many research projects conducted across many institutions we eventually advance humanities combined knowledge to the point where we understand a disease well enough to begin to research potential therapies. This is where applied research comes in, and this is the type of research pharmaceutical companies do. This is, of course, extremely expensive and time consuming, which is why patents are awarded for novel drug compounds.
beaner

Social climber
Maine
Jan 12, 2018 - 08:01pm PT
The problem with "curing" cancer is there is a huge variability in the underlying genetic cause of the cancer. Two breast cancer patients could respond completely differently to the same treatments because there might be completely different genes involved. There isn't one cancer to cure. This isn't like smallpox or polio.

Cancer will eventually become a manageable chronic disease for most people. It's managed, and eventually they'll die of something else. There won't be "a cure", not because of some conspiracy to make money of people's illness, but because no cure could possibly work against all types of cancer.
Lituya

Mountain climber
Jan 12, 2018 - 08:50pm PT
Well said. And I understand better than most.
moosedrool

climber
Andrzej Citkowicz far away from Poland
Jan 13, 2018 - 12:08am PT
Ksolem, I was talking about the future headlines, if the USA stop investing in basic research.

The argument that companies don’t want to find permanent cures, is bogus.

Maybe you can use that argument against the companies that have drugs on the market for particular diseases. Like, Bayer for hemophilia. But other companies are working on better solutions, including a permanent cure through gene therapy.

But, that’s beyond the subject, which is basic research.

Moose
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jan 13, 2018 - 12:53am PT
The cult of science...

Moronic.

Because the government does things so efficiently...

Yes, in fact it does quite a few things efficiently that corporations can't, won't or f*#kup just fine on their own. And that's without getting into the fact somethings should never be driven by profit such as basic healthcare, K-12 education and prisons.



There won't be "a cure", not because of some conspiracy to make money of people's illness, but because no cure could possibly work against all types of cancer.

Exactly. Hell, it's almost not actually a disease per se and while we may come up with more or less effective approaches to deal with individual cancers on a person-by-person basis there will likely never be a way to prevent cancers from occuring.

let's just transfer the $100 billion the Guvmint annually gives out in corporation subsidies and let the free market actually work as claimed.

Fixed that for you and there's another $200+ billion in defense procurement contracts to corporations in 2018 that are loaded with waste by design.

Chinese scientists found the cure for all type of cancer.

German clinics screen for faulty gens and replace them with the correct one. 99.99% defect free babies.

No, they haven't.

Ken, you understand that chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery are, in fact cures for hundreds of thousands of people every year, right?

They're not cures, they are front like treatments that may or may not be effective for any given person depending on the stage of the cancer and the tumor genotypes involved.
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