Author Archives: phenomenica

Neurological Diseases vs. the California Stem Cell Agency: Disease-a-Week Challenge #16

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First, a seeming digression from the subject of chronic illness.

In my youth, I worked as an aquarium diver for Marine World Africa USA in Redwood City, California. Five days a week, I would swim down into the tanks full of wildlife, spending time with sharks, dolphins, eels, seals and other creatures of the sea.

The most beautiful tank was a million-gallon tropical fish display, with giant groupers big as cars and tiny cleaner fish that swam in and out of their mouths, and angelfish, surgeonfish, damselfish, wrasses, and more in this man-made reef.

But then one day, the fish began to die. One by one I carried them out, these fish I knew as individuals. Their colors faded, and they died. After three weeks, the tank was almost empty. We turned off the heaters and changed to a cold sea collection of local fish.

We never knew what killed that underwater neighborhood. But what if there had been one single solution, to save the lives of many?

There was. And in later years, I saw it happen.

Hold that thought.

Now. Consider neurodegenerative (nerve-destroying) diseases, such as Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, Alzheimer’s and ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). All incurable.

What if they had a common weakness: might a single medication defeat them all?

If you go to the California stem cell agency web page, www.cirm.ca.gov, and look up the project of Steven Finkbeiner of the Gladstone Institutes, you will find an amazing possibility.

First, the problem.

“A major medical problem… is the growing population of individuals with neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson’s and Huntington’s…These diseases affect millions of people, sometimes during the prime of their lives, and lead to total incapacitation and…death.”

Millions of people, incurably ill, with no expectation but suffering and death? That is about —> Read More

Hacking Quantum Theory

Does your college teach you how to hack a theory? In Strings Are Dead, I hacked and invalidated all string theories with the flawed Tidal Axiom. Can we do the same for quantum theory? Am I going to be in real hot soup for suggesting this? Yes.

First note that the physics establishment is coming around to accepting the fact that there are major fundamental problems with their theories. Professors Steinhardt and Efstathiou, in their Kavli Institute video blog, and Professors Lykken and Spiropulu in their May 2014 Scientific American “A Crisis in Physics?” point to the real risk that their empirical data no longer supports their theories.

We all know how to hack a computerized system, find the weakest link, a bug or a password. With physical theories it is the same. The weakest links are the axioms (assumptions used in mathematics). These are usually stated but can be implicit.

Quantum theory is looking more and more like string theories, open ended – the more you research the more you find. CERN is adding more fundament particles in their search to unify everything. The latest are the pentaquarks. How many more particles do we need to add before we determine that either the Standard Model is complete or is fundamentally flawed? 20, 50, 100 . . . ? Maybe Nature’s design allows for an infinity of particles types and no theoretical physicist has proposed otherwise.

Nature shows us that from a finite set of elements it is possible to construct an infinite set of chemicals. Is this Nature’s design philosophy? To construct an infinity from the finite? Therefore, observing an open ended number of particles would suggest that we are asking the wrong question. —> Read More

Spanish Scientists Create Magnetic Wormhole

A team of physicists at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain, has constructed and experimentally demonstrated a magnetic wormhole – an object that allows electromagnetic wave propagation between two points in space through an invisible tunnel. Wormholes are fascinating cosmological objects that can connect two distant regions of the Universe. Constructing an artificial gravitational wormhole [...] —> Read More

Fishing Cat Spotted in Cambodia for First Time in More Than Decade

Spotted by researchers from Cambodia’s Centre for Biodiversity Conservation, the fishing cat (Prionailurus viverrinus) – a medium-sized wild cat which prefers wetland habitats – has not been recorded in the country since 2003. The Centre for Biodiversity Conservation (CBC), a partnership between Fauna & Flora International and the Royal University of Phnom Penh, reports that [...] —> Read More

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