Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 8/24 - Good News Friday: Corn That Could Transform Agriculture, Researchers Find Gene Therapy For Blinding Disease

Friday, August 24, 2018, 8:24 AM

This is Good News Friday, where we find some good economic, energy, and environmental news and share it with PP readers. Please send any positive news to [email protected] with subject header "Good News Friday." We will save and post weekly. Enjoy!

Economy

How a Transplanted Face Transformed Katie Stubblefield’s Life (tmn)

As we scrutinize our own faces for wrinkles and flaws, we can fail to notice what a marvelous organ the face is. Our faces are the most distinctive part of our visible body, a mysterious mosaic of the physical and the psychical. Faces are the body’s workaholics: They confer and confirm identity, express emotion, communicate meaning, perform basic functions necessary for life, and enable us to experience the world through our senses.

Billionaire Ken Langone: Free medical school tuition is my way of sharing the American dream (Thomas R.)

"If you look at my life and Elaine and you look at the opportunities we've had and you look at where we are, there's no place on this Earth better than America," Langone said in a "Power Lunch" interview. "I think everything you can do to continue to be a great country, we all win."

Researchers find potential new gene therapy for blinding disease (Thomas R.)

Retinitis pigmentosa refers to a group of rare genetic disorders that damage light-sensing cells in the retina known as photoreceptors. Rod photoreceptor cells enable vision in low light and require a protein called rhodopsin for their light-sensing ability. People with adRP caused by mutations in the rhodopsin gene usually have one good copy of the gene and a second, mutated copy that codes for an abnormal rhodopsin protein. The abnormal rhodopsin is often toxic, slowly killing the rod cells. As the photoreceptors die, vision deteriorates over years or decades. Scientists have identified more than 150 rhodopsin mutations that cause adRP, challenging efforts to develop effective therapies.

boeing and JetBlue just invested in a tiny electric-jet startup that could revolutionize air travel (Paul D.)

Zunum's proposed regional aircraft would hold 10 to 50 passengers with a range of up to 1,000 miles. According to Kumar — whose résumé includes leadership stints at Dell, Google, and McKinsey and a Ph.D. from Cornell in mechanical and aerospace engineering — the jet will be powered by a battery first series hybrid propulsion system. This calls for the aircraft to run primarily on battery power with an aviation diesel or turbine range-extending power generator on call if necessary.

10 Dow Jones Stocks to Buy Before They Rally (Thomas R.)

It’s a premise that appears particularly pertinent right now, with the Nasdaq running out of gas and investors starting to sniff around for safer havens. Many of these safe havens are, of course, blue chip Dow Jones stocks. Not every Dow name has been testing record highs just yet though. Indeed, several of them have more or less remained stuck in neutral, biding their time. Bullishness is brewing though. These stocks just need a little time, and the right catalyst.

California’s strict net neutrality bill is close to final passage (jdargis)

The bill prohibits Internet service providers from blocking or throttling lawful traffic. Requiring fees from websites or online services to deliver or prioritize their traffic to consumers is also banned. It also imposes limits on data cap exemptions (zero-rating), and says that ISPs may not attempt to evade net neutrality protections by slowing down traffic at network interconnection points.

No, The Internet Has Not Destroyed Our Attention Spans (jdargis)

A team of researchers at Princeton University and the University of California-Berkeley studied the brains of humans and monkeys and found we concentrate in 250 millisecond blocks. The authors of the study use a metaphor to provide a clearer picture of how attention is possible when the bursts are so short: The brain is like a theater with a spotlight and house-lights, and it cycles between spotlight mode (attention focused on a single point on the stage), and house-light mode (attention is diffused over the audience). The constant transition from spotlight to house-lights creates a pulsating, strobe-like effect.

Corn grown in Oaxaca, Mexico, could transform agriculture industry (David B.)

The process is part of a cycle. The bacteria live on carbon, which the plant supplies in the form of sugar. The sugar is produced through photosynthesis. Through this odd trade agreement, the plant gets usable nitrogen, the bacteria get necessary carbon and both parties are happy.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 8/23/18

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

Article suggestions for the Daily Digest can be sent to [email protected]. All suggestions are filtered by the Daily Digest team and preference is given to those that are in alignment with the message of the Crash Course and the "3 Es."

7 Comments

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
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Posts: 4237
Chicago's New Idea to Fix Its Pension Deficit: Take On More Debt

Treasury to Sell $217 Billion in Debt

Wall Street Journal-20 hours ago
The U.S. Treasury Department will auction $217 billion in securities next week, comprising $104 billion in new debt and $113 billion in previously sold debt.

Recession looms as Argentina economy shrinks 6.7%

MarketWatch-16 hours ago
Earlier this month, the Central Bank of Argentina lifted its interest rate to 45% from 40% in an unexpected meeting aimed at stemming pressure on the nation's ...
 

Chicago's New Idea to Fix Its Pension Deficit: Take On More Debt

Wall Street Journal-19 hours ago
Chicago tried to lower its pension deficit with budget cuts, benefit reductions and tax ... When voters in Houston approved issuance of a $1 billion pension ...

Leveraged loan boom is storing up nasty problems

Financial Times-3 hours ago
Today, more than half of loan issuers have zero “unsecured” debt that could insulate lenders from the pain of a debt default, AllianceBernstein pointed out in a ...
 

 

sand_puppy's picture
sand_puppy
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Posts: 2035
Dumb brute with a bulldog clamped to his nose

In the extremely colorful style of James Howard Kunstler...

Kunstler: "The Financialization Rackets That Replaced The Real Economy Have Come Unglued"

The Dogs Of Vengeance

History has a velocity of its own, and its implacable forces will drag the good, the bad, the clueless, the clever, the guilty, the innocent, the avid, and the unwilling to a certain fate. One can easily see a convergence of vectors shoving the nation toward political criticality this autumn.

Mr. Trump is like some unfortunate dumb brute of the ancient Teutonic forests with a bulldog clamped to his nose, the rest of the pack close behind snapping at his hamstrings and soft, swaying underbelly. His desperate bellowing goes unanswered by the indifference of the trees in forest, the cold moon above, and all the other furnishings of his tragic reality.

As these things tend to happen, it looks like the exertions of Robert Mueller have turned from the alleged grave offenses of a foreign enemy to the sequela of consort with a floozie. Down goes Mr. Trump’s private attorney, Michael Cohen, in his personal swamp of incriminating files and audio recordings. Enter, stage left, one David Pecker, publisher of the venerable National Enquirer — the newspaper of wreckage — on his slime-trail of induced testimony. And there is your impeachable offense: an illegal campaign contribution.

One way or another, as Blondie used to sing, I’m gonna getcha, getcha, getcha.

Some in this greatest of all possible republics may be asking themselves if this is quite fair play, given the hundreds of millions of dollars washed-and-rinsed through the laundromat known as the Clinton Foundation, and related suspicious doings in that camp of darkness. But remember, another president, Jimmy Carter, once declared to the shock of official Washington that “life is unfair.”

What I wonder is what these dogs of vengeance reckon will happen when they achieve their goal of bringing down the bellowing bull and pulling his guts out. Perhaps a few moments of tribal satisfaction, one last war dance around the fire, and when the fire dies out, they will find themselves under the same cold indifferent moon with blood on their snouts and an ill wind blowing in the tree tops.

After two years of fomenting hysteria, the “winners” will discern the reality behind all the melodrama: the financialization rackets that replaced what used to be the economy have come unglued, and institutions begin to fail left and right: banks, pension funds, corporations, state and municipal governments, federal promises to pay this and that, and, in general, the ability of the USA to carry on anything approximating what might be considered normal life.

It will be interesting to see how the impeachment of Donald Trump plays as all this goes down. My guess is that the people warning about a second civil war are not far off the mark. The final consequence of a political-economy based on the proposition that anything goes and nothing matterswill be the rueful discovery that consequences actually exist, and consequently that anything can’t go and some things really do matter: like whether or not money is actually worth what it says it’s worth.

That issue will surely be determined by whether the borrowers of money can possibly pay back what they owe. The discovery that it’s impossible will coincide with whatever the legal fate of Donald Trump’s presidency might be. The result of all this is apt to be a political nightmare of bankruptcy and bloodshed that makes the first civil war (1861-1865) look like a tale of knighthood in flower.

Our national living arrangements are far too fragile. The players on both sides of this dire game must assume that the trappings of American life are sturdy, and they are quite wrong about that. Personalities are not in control anymore. Murphy’s law rules, and we’re about to find out how that law differs from the federal election statutes and the humdrum business of indicting ham sandwiches just because they’re out there on the table.

 

sand_puppy's picture
sand_puppy
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 13 2011
Posts: 2035
The Creepy Line

A 2 minute dystopian vision of media analysis (facebook)  and its potential.

newsbuoy's picture
newsbuoy
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Posts: 324
10 Stocks to Buy [suckers]

I'm confused, is this satire?

A side from AMX one would have to be ethicallly and morally corrupt to invest in most of the rest.

But add Canopy (CGS) if you want to get in early(ish)

https://twitter.com/Greg_Palast/stats/1032754594579922949

thc0655's picture
thc0655
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 27 2010
Posts: 1712
Ebola, again, and we’re still unprepared

He uses a lot of “adult” language but he’s right: we’re woefully unprepared. In spite of all the happy talk from PR people masquerading as medical experts, we can’t handle an outbreak here. 

http://raconteurreport.blogspot.com/2018/08/you-dont-like-fustercluck-this-is-how.html

https://m.sfgate.com/news/article/Ebola-outbreak-now-at-105-cases-and-bordering-13181274.php

davefairtex's picture
davefairtex
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Posts: 5686
took my eye off the ball

Thanks Tom.  I took my eye of the "ebola" ball for a month and look what happens.

I definitely got the sense we were on the edge last time around, but I didn't know the details.

I'm hoping the vaccines work.  They seemed to work during the most recent outbreak.

And now there are treatments - all experimental.  Maybe they work too.

It sure beats what we had last time around.

You should ask your cranky-nurse source about the efficacy of the vaccines.

thc0655's picture
thc0655
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 27 2010
Posts: 1712
Ebola vaccines

This article from the World Health Organization has zero data but plenty of feel good talk.  I'll look for more.

http://www.who.int/news-room/feature-stories/detail/ebola-vaccine-provides-protection-and-hope-for-high-risk-communities-in-the-democratic-republic-of-the-congo

This is from 2016 and briefly discusses the development of the vaccine, how it works, and that early testing was "promising." No data about the experimental uses in 2018 in the Congo.

https://www.niaid.nih.gov/diseases-conditions/ebola-vaccines

Two studies of trials in late 2016 (when the outbreak burned out) indicate 70% - 100% effectiveness:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5364328/

https://www.cnn.com/2016/12/22/health/ebola-vaccine-study/index.html

An update in The Lancet as of June 18, 2018:  There is hope.  There may be substantial value in the vaccine. More study and analysis is needed.  It's too early to draw conclusions from the current outbreak.

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(18)31710-0/fulltext

As of June 18, 2018, 36 completed trials, seven active and not recruiting, and seven recruiting Ebola vaccine studies are registered on ClinicalTrials.gov. The only study that has been able to provide data on clinical efficacy is the Ebola Ça Suffit vaccination trial in Guinea. This open-label, cluster-randomised trial evaluated vaccine effectiveness in case contacts, where clusters of contacts of Ebola cases were randomised for immediate or delayed vaccination with the recombinant, replication-competent, vesicular stomatitis virus-based vaccine expressing the glycoprotein of a Zaire Ebolavirus (rVSV-ZEBOV). Although the authors estimated the vaccine efficacy to be 100% (95% CI 68·9–100, p=0·0045) in individuals vaccinated in the immediate group compared with those eligible and randomised to the delayed group, the extent of this efficacy has been debated. A report by the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine stated that “the results suggest that the vaccine most likely provides some protection to recipients—possibly ‘substantial protection,’ as stated in the final report. However, we remain uncertain about the magnitude of its efficacy”.

FWIW

"Welcome to the Hunger Games. And may the odds be ever in your favor."

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