Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

Abortion, eugenics and Kate Cox

Eugenics is the practice of arranging reproduction within a human population to increase the occurrence of heritable characteristics regarded as desirable. Setting aside who gets to decide which human traits are desirable and undesirable, we simply don’t know enough about the genetic basis for things like industriousness, fidelity, thrift, honesty and countless other human behaviors […]

Why vote?

On our trip to Colorado for Thanksgiving, the boarding announcements for each flight began with an invitation to active service people and veterans to board first, always followed with “thank you for your service.” People join the military for many reasons. Some out of a sense of patriotism, others because that was the best-paying job […]

You keep using that word . . .

In the film, “The Princess Bride,” Wally Shawn repeatedly exclaims “inconceivable.” Finally, Mandy Patinkin (as Inigo Montoya) replies: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” Whenever GOP politicians announce their belief that the age for Social Security and Medicare Benefits should be raised, the mainstream media […]

Basic research and the origins of CRISPR gene editing

I’ve always done basic research. I’ve never done any research specifically aimed at a clinical goal. I’ve never patented anything I’ve done. None of that motivated my curiosity. I’ve been a medical school professor for over 36 years and was Principal Investigator on three NIH grants and one from the American Cancer Society, and I […]

CRISPR to the rescue!

The Boston Globe has an article announcing the imminent approval of Casgevy, a CRISPR-based treatment for sickle cell disease that has already been approved in Britain. It is hard to overstate how transformative CRISPR has been for genetics research, and how promising it is for gene therapy. Sickle cell disease was always the low-hanging fruit, […]

My turn in the barrel

In August 2020, I got my first jab of the Moderna COVID vaccine as part of their Phase III trial. One month later, I got the booster. 12 hrs after that, I had the classic symptoms–headache, fever, muscle and joint pain–indicating that I was in the vaccine arm of the trial and not the control. […]

Comparing energy efficiency of boiling water: household appliances

Comparing energy efficiency of boiling water: household appliances Michael D. Eissenberg, BSME, PE, Leed AP*, and Joel C. Eissenberg, Ph.D.* *co-corresponding authors Abstract Kitchen appliances use various mechanisms to heat, with differences in energy sources and geometry. The goal of this study was to compare energy efficiency across common household appliances. To facilitate comparison, 1 […]

Semaglutides and the next public health revolution

It is hard to overstate the transformational public health benefits of anti-hypertensives and statins for blood pressure and serum cholesterol control. For a modest cost, these drugs not only mitigate human suffering but save billions, if not trillions, of dollars by avoiding costly surgical interventions. The repurposing of anti-diabetic drugs like semaglutide and tirzepatide for […]

Heirloom crops and global warming

The biggest near-term threat to human civilization from global warming is loss of fresh water and arable land for crops. It turns out that nature has confronted the challenges of increased temperature, increased salinity, disease resistance and violent weather. Recently, as strain of maize called “Jimmy Red corn” has been resurrected from a population bottleneck […]

Zombie EV sales

A commenter on AB recently noted that EVs are dead, to which I responded that there sure are a lot of zombie EVs here in East Providence. Kevin Drum has a post up about EVs showing that zombie EVs have been proliferating exponentially since 2011 and arithmetically since 2020. So many dead EVs. Who knew? […]