Friday, November 19, 2010

Just the Good Stuff

Who needs deep thought on a Friday night? Not I!

What about "Personalized Medicine"?
Reader Watchtower asked a question about how having genomic information may play a role in possible treatments for people. This is an area that I have tons of experience and knowledge about so you can imagine I wanted to go all out! For the sake of brevity and simplicity I will just use a few links and offer some commentary.

I was at a company when I first started working that was at the forefront of thinking about "personalized medicine". Today it even has it's own Wiki entry!:
Personalized MedicinePersonalized medicine is a medical model emphasizing the systematic use of information about an individual patient to select or optimize that patient's preventative and therapeutic care. Personalized medicine can broadly be defined as products and services that leverage the science of genomics and proteomics (directly or indirectly) and capitalize on the trends toward wellness and consumerism to enable tailored approaches to prevention and care.

This sounds complex but it is not too bad. Every person has a unique genome. While maybe 99.9% of it is just like anyone else's there may be differences (as small as single nucleotide polymorphisms, SNP's or as large as gene fusions or re-arrangements) which can be used to predict how various treatments may impact that person. This is especially true in the case of cancer cell genomics. Some treatments may target a certain pathway to kill the cancer, but if that patient's cancer can side step that pathway or has a mutation in that gene then the treatment may not work at all and would be a waste of both time an resources.

Pharmacogenetics is a large area of interest right now as companies are looking to find their target markets ever more tightly. Clinical trials will often screen a patient group for markers that have been shown to be important for a drug's activity. One can focus on patients that will see a benefit this way.

I think the question was more in a broad sense and in that way having the genomes of various types of people (Norther European, Asian, African, etc) can help the choosing of treatments. We are still a ways away from being able to sequence a person's genome quickly, but luckily most time just small sections need to be looked at to determine the best treatment options. This goes on right now, no waiting for the future! Looking ahead I think the focus will result in better treatment on a patient to patient basis and cut down on dead end treatments. Still, there is a long way to go. Hope this helps!

Writing Sample
I have often teased that I sort of work on a possible long short story (novella?) that has been in my head for some time. I do try and think about it from time to time, but it never seems to come out right. I wanted to put what I had written down for the prologue section on here and see if it grabs anyone. No title, that's in flux, but here is how it would be set up:
Look, I never set out to make "the device".

I was a kid in second grade with a new set of colored pencils. One day I sat down and started drawing. This led to the first schematics of the machine I imagined. It all made sense at the time, very useful, and I even thought it was possible. I was in second grade!

Don't ask me if I had a vision. I was not visited by aliens. No God whispered in my ear. I was just doodling and something appeared from no where. If I had it to do over, I would have drawn a fucking rainbow or a pony.

But I didn't.
Let me know what you think!

Good Joke
Caught this over at the Big Steel Keg cooking board. Men, do we need to enroll?:
Southwest Tech is offering a new 2 year associates degree: Becoming a Real Man. That's right, in just six mini-mesters, you, too, can be a real man as well as earn an associates degree in MA (Male Arts).
Please take a moment to look over the program outline.
Autumn Schedule:
MEN 101 - Combating Stupidity
MEN 102 - You, Too, Can Do Housework
MEN 103 - PMS: Learn When to Keep Your Mouth Shut
MEN 104 - We Do Not Want Sleazy Under things for Christmas
Winter Schedule:
MEN 110 - Wonderful Laundry Techniques
MEN 111 - Understanding the Female Response to getting in at 2AM
MEN 112 - Pa renting: It Doesn't End with Conception
EAT 100 - Get a Life, Learn to Cook
EAT 101 - Get a Life, Learn to Cook II
ECON 001A - What's Hers is Hers
Spring Schedule:
MEN 120 - How NOT to Act Like a Buttface When You're Wrong
MEN 121 - Understanding Your Incompetence
MEN 122 - YOU, the Weaker Sex
MEN 123 - Reasons to Give Flowers
ECON 001C - What Was Yours is Hers
Autumn Schedule:
SEX 101 - You CAN Fall Asleep without It
SEX 102 - Morning Dilemma: If It's Awake, Take a Shower
SEX 103 - How to Stay Awake After Sex
MEN 201 - How to Put the Toilet Seat Down
Elective (See Electives Below)
Winter Schedule:
MEN 210 - The Remote Control: Overcoming Your Dependency
MEN 211 - How to Not Act Younger than Your Children
MEN 212 - You, Too, Can Be a Designated Driver
MEN 213 - Honest, You Don't Look Like Tom Cruise
MEN 230A - Her Birthdays and Anniversaries Are Important
Spring Schedule:
MEN 220 - Omit! ting %&*! from Your Vocabulary (Pass/Fail Only)
MEN 221 - Fluffing the Blanket After Passing Gas Is Not Necessary
MEN 222 - Real Men Ask for Directions
MEN 223 - Thirty Minutes of Begging is NOT Considered Foreplay
MEN 230B - Her Birthdays and Anniversaries Are Important 2
Course Electives:
EAT 101 - Cooking with Tofu
EAT 102 - Utilization of Dining Utensils
EAT 103 - Burping and Belching Discreetly
MEN 231 - Mothers-in-law
MEN 232 - Appear to Be Listening
MEN 233 - Just Say "Yes, Dear"
ECON 001C - Cheaper to Keep Her

I pass many but not all of these!

Some nifty finds today.

Maybe a Native American went back to Iceland with the Vikings?:
Native Americans Visited Europe 1000 Years Ago
Very interesting and found via genomic sequencing!

Money tends to stay in certain geographic areas. Check out how closed up New England is with the cash!:

Very interesting.

Video Killed the Radio Star
Some items of possible interest.

Here is how all that genomic sequencing gets done in an easy to see sort of way:

There are newer ways that this is done as well, but this covers the basic idea. Here is a PCR reaction.

I think the film "The Fountain" could have been an all time great, but they missed the mark a little. Still, it is well worth a look and I can recommend it:

Just picked this classic up and will probably watch it tonight, "American Werewolf in London":


Rock Blogging
A few tunes to send you off for the weekend.

Gawains provided quite a list to choose from, so let's take a trip with KISS and "Room Service":

Never heard that one. My favorite KISS clip here.

Get your lighters up for Saigon Kick's ballad "Love is on the Way":

You know you like that one!

This maybe a repeat, but who cares! "Signs" by Tesla is a good tune:

I am past the no 1 year repeat zone with Soul Asylum and "Runaway Train":

'And everything seems cut and dry, day and night, earth and sky'

I like Garbage, not that kind, the band! Here is "The World is Not Enough":


Two left. Two and out.

A little Pat Benatar goes a long way! Here is "All Fired Up":

Love that lady!

Last call! Get up, get up and get down, 911 is a joke in your town!

Close the show with a live clip of Metallica's "Ride the Lightning":

Have a good night.


watchtower said...

Whew, just got in from a rare movie night at the Cineplex with the family.

That is some cool stuff you came up with GYSC concerning genomes, very interesting even though it's mostly over my head.

I had no idea that they were already using this genome thing to help with treatments, hopefully they will go far with this.

I can't help but think of those kids at St Jude's, wish we could eliminate that horrible disease one day.

GawainsGhost said...

Ha! The thing about that Kiss album cover is this. At the time, the band was nearly dead broke. They were selling out stadiums, but not selling albums.

The suits they're wearing were lent to them by their producer, Bob Ezrin. Which is why they don't fit.

Ezrin realized that Kiss was better live than on vinyl, so he produced their next album, Kiss Alive. It went quintuple platinum and made the band a household name.

On a side note, back in high school I used to do a lot of drama. There were these three girls, friends of my sister, who went to their first tournament. I was showing them around, telling them what to expect. And we were sitting in the cafetorium, and one of them said, "That girl is looking at you."

I turned around, and it was this drop dead gorgeous girl. So I turned to them and said, "What would a girl like that want with a guy like me?"

And they said, "Don't be silly!" Then got up, went over and brought this girl to me. I thought right then, right there, "I got to get a plan working on this."

I was these girls personal chauffeur for three years. Wherever they wanted to go, I would take them. To the mall, to the beach, to the livestock show, wherever, it didn't matter to me. Because anywhere I took them, and at every drama tournament, they would find some cute girl and introduce her to me, so they could run off and chase boys.

I collected names, addresses and phone numbers of hundreds of girls. Kept a little black book, which I hid under the spare tire in the trunk of my car.

Summer, 1978. I told my parents that I was driving to San Antonio to visit my grandparents. They said, "Drive safely." I will. "Have fun." Oh, I will.

I packed all of my best clothes and went down to the bank and withdrew all of the money I had saved. About $3000, which today would be the equivalent of $15,000.

I had a car, money, clothes, and a little black book, and maps. So I just drove around, everywhere from Austin to Corpus Christi south. Pull into town, check into a hotel, start making phone calls.

"I can't believe you came all this way to see me."

"Don't you think you're worth it?"

I was getting laid four or five times a week, and every night with a different girl. Until the money ran out.

When I finally got back home three months later, I caught holy hell from my parents, because I basically blew my college savings getting laid by drama queens. But I didn't care.

The only eight-track I played in my car the whole trip was Kiss, Dressed To Kill.

Greatest summer of my life, and one of the best albums ever.

getyourselfconnected said...

indeed that stuff in at work right now. I wish I could say the really bad diseases could be "cured" but that is not reality. Some of us keep plugging away though!

I think a short story based on that summer would be more interesting than my story, hee hee.

watchtower said...

It's Saturday!

Plus I'm off all next week!

I got in a good mountain bike ride this morning, it was brisk but not unpleasantly cold.

Not only did I get some good exercise, but I listened to some tunes on my mp3 player and thought about some things while riding.

I was thinking of Gawain's comment above while out on the trail and one thought led to another until I thought to myself "what would I tell myself if I could go back to the days when I was in high school?"

A lot of things came to mind but in the end it all boiled down to Shakespeare's "to thine own self be true", well that and learn to play the guitar!

Another thing that came to mind was something that my mom told me when I was in my teens.

Our family wasn't exactly rich when I was growing up but I had developed some expensive tastes by reading magazines such as Car & Driver and watching all those James Bond flicks and such.

I think, well actually I know my mother knew that I was always pining away for cars that I would never have and places I would never live but one day she told me this:

"you can't have everything sweetie but you can have something"

I have found this to be true, even from my humble origins I've managed to scratch a few itches thru the years, in fact at 46 years old I believe I may finally be satiated.

I can't think of anything material that I want these days, especially after I purchased the Bullitt awhile back...except for maybe that Rolex 'Submariner' watch that Sean Connery wore in Goldfinger : )

P.S. Actually as I have gotten older I've found out that I would much rather have experiences rather than more 'stuff'.

I don't know what a Rolex Submariner is going for but I do know that I would rather have Casio watch and a trip to Hawaii over the Rolex!

getyourselfconnected said...

"Actually as I have gotten older I've found out that I would much rather have experiences rather than more 'stuff'."

When I was reading your comment I was thinking the same thing exactly.

Time and experience mean so much more than stuff. Well said my friend.