Patrick Cox's Tech Digest

DARPA, Hurricanes, and the Zika Virus

September 25, 2017

Zika eradication programs seemed to be working. That was before Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria wrecked infrastructures in Florida, Texas, and Puerto Rico. Now, all three regions are water-logged mosquito nurseries, and Puerto Rico may not have basic services for months. That means that mosquito control efforts will suffer.

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The Two-Fold Importance of the Super-Food Coffee

September 18, 2017

As hurricanes go, Irma wasn’t that bad. Though the eye of storm passed close to my home in Naples, Florida, I was never very worried. Flooding is the killer, not wind, and I’m not on the beach. What worried me was that I might run out of coffee in the aftermath.

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Japan’s Economic Sun May Rise Again Thanks to Anti-Aging Medicine

September 11, 2017

The Japanese people are well-educated and industrious. In the 1960s, Japan’s economic growth rate was often over 10%, rising to an astounding 13%. By the 1980s, pundits and economists were telling us that the US should be copying Japanese economic policies. I knew people who studied Japanese because they were convinced that it would be the international language of business.

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Caution: Caution Can Kill You

August 28, 2017

One of the most encouraging trends in health care is the emergence of the “Right to Try” movement. This is an effort to change FDA policies that keep dying patients from getting access to investigational drugs. These are drugs that have gone through initial safety studies but not the entire series of clinical trials.

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Falling Sperm Counts Could Wreck Your Retirement

August 21, 2017

For decades, studies have been showing sperm counts falling. Not everyone believed them, and that includes me. But a new study provides powerful evidence that male fertility is, in fact, falling fast all over the world.

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Is Jim Mellon the Bill Gates of BioTech?

August 7, 2017

If you live in the US or Canada, you might not know who Jim Mellon is. But in Great Britain, Mellon enjoys the kind of respect American investors had for Warren Buffet in his younger days.

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Repeal and Reform Don’t Really Matter

July 31, 2017

A lot of people are disappointed that Congress failed to repeal or replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Others are angry they even tried. My advice is not to worry too much about this particular fight. We’ve got much bigger problems.

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Coffee, Sunshine, and the Elite Healthcare Mandarins

July 24, 2017

It’s summer here in South Florida. Nearly every day, thunderstorms roll in around noon. Power surges and temporary outages caused by lightning are so frequent, I’ve stopped resetting the clock on the microwave.

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A Short Non-Update on the TAME Trial

July 17, 2017

Quite a few people have asked for an update on the Targeting Aging with Metformin (TAME) trial. If you’ve been reading my digest, you know that TAME is the effort to get metformin (the common diabetes drug) approved by the FDA as an anti-aging drug.

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