Saturday, May 3, 2008


I don't know how close we are to putting these new devices in the field but they sure would make life tough for the bad guys. AllahPundit asks us to imagine "the utter paranoia it'll engender in the enemy once the word gets out. Every time a spider crawls past or a dragonfly floats by, they'll look and wonder." Indeed:


Bail Out

If you think it's a bit unjust to be asked to bail out those who bought homes they couldn't afford and now find themselves unable to keep up with their mortgage payments, you can go here to sign a petition to Congress to that effect. If you think there's something absurd about being asked to help those living in $500,000 houses pay for their homes while you can't even afford to buy a house at all then you might consider signing the petition.

There may be some who have built up a lot of equity in their homes and stand to lose it, but for many of those facing default on mortgages on which they had to put little or nothing down, their situation seems to be no different than if they were renting the house for the time they lived in it. All they lose, if the house is repossessed by the lender, is the monthly mortgage payments they had been making, which were just like paying rent. The big loser is the lending agency which is now in possession of a house which they probably will not be able to sell for the value of the original mortgage.

But then that's the risk they took when they underwrote loans to people with dubious ability to pay.


Medical Marvel

We've reported previously on developments with skin stem cells showing that they can be programmed to behave like embryonic stem cells. Now comes word that skin stem cells have been used to regenerate heart tissue:

Stem cell researchers at UCLA were able to grow functioning cardiac cells using mouse skin cells that had been reprogrammed into cells with the same unlimited properties as embryonic stem cells.

The finding is the first to show that induced pluripotent stem cells or iPS cells, which don't involve the use of embryos or eggs, can be differentiated into the three types of cardiovascular cells needed to repair the heart and blood vessels.

The discovery could one day lead to clinical trials of new treatments for people who suffer heart attacks, have atherosclerosis or are in heart failure, said Dr. Robb MacLellan, a researcher at the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research and senior author of the study.

There is more on this at the link, including additional links to a number of related articles.