Friday, March 18, 2005

Detecting Alzheimer's Disease in a Living Brain

I've listened to talks that extrapolate the current incidence of Alzheimer's Disease (AD) in today's elderly population to the demographic bubble called the "Baby Boomers. The prediction is that caring for people with AD will, alone, be enough to bankrupt the public health care systems in the industrialized world.

A depressing introduction to some remarkable research

http://www.nature.com/news/2005/050314/full/050314-2.html

As the article points out this is the first time the plaque (beta-amyloid plaque)
that accumulates in a brain suffering from AD has been directly observed in a living brain.
Until now, only a post-mortem autopsy could provide unambiguous evidence.

Homework problem.
What other compound used in medical diagnostic imaging could be labelled with 19F
leading to a signifcant advance in the non-invasive detection of disease?

Standing on the Shoulder of Giants

Han Bethe, the last of the great 20th century physicists "present at the creation" of quantum mechanics recently died at the age of 98.

The Economist has a poignant obituary.

http://www.economist.com/people/displayStory.cfm?story_id=3764700

Monday, March 14, 2005

Bad, bad Nature.

After all our hand-wringing about the man-made hole in the ozone layer, Nature goes and rips the biggest ozone depletion ever recorded in the Northern Hemisphere..

"A new study led by the University of Colorado at Boulder indicates that two natural atmospheric processes in 2004 caused the largest decline in upper stratospheric ozone ever recorded over the far Northern Hemisphere."

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050309105438.htm

Bad, bad Nature.

Welcome

Welcome to my new blog "Not Even Wrong".

One of the goals of this blog is to poke fun at commonly held beliefs that have no basis in reality or, in other words, are "Not Even Wrong".

Another goal is to highlight/comment on notable advances in science and technology.

If you're wondering about the name, here's the anecdotal history:

The physicist Wolfgang Pauli was once asked to comment on the work in a paper by physicist X.
Pauli's comment was that the work was so bad that it was "Not even wrong."