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Supersonic/Electronic Weapon 不特定多数による長期にわたる原因不明の嫌がらせ(6)

2012年3月16日

http://www.nature.com/nature/podcast/v482/n7384/nature-2012-02-09.html

スミスソニアン博物館はグローバル化により失われる言語・文化を収集・保存中。
Cristian Samper: So, it’s the real thing, it’s not just the information. It is in many ways a 21st century museum catching up with genomics and the third initiative that we’re focusing on is something called recovering voices. As you know, one of the major crises that we’re facing right now other than biodiversity crisis is the lost culture and diversity because of globalization. So, it’s estimated that of the 7000 or so languages that are spoken in the planet, probably 80% will disappear by the end of century and the challenge is not just losing the language but everything that goes into that language and it’s all that knowledge that has been accumulated over thousands of years in many cases. So, we feel that as a museum we have a role to play in helping document those languages but also using those to support research and to support some of the communities.

地殻変動により各大陸がつながってできる巨大大陸をアムネシアと呼ぶ。
Geoff Marsh: For this next story we’re going to Amasia, not really.
Kerri Smith: Amasia is the name of the next predicted supercontinent, an amalgam of all the current continents all squished together. The last one of these was Pangaea about 300 million years ago. The Saga of the super continent’s impacts for life on earth, giant reptiles, for example would have had the whole of Pangaea to roam, modern day species are separated by oceans and super continent clashing and drifting could alter the climate too. Amasia is still 50 to 200 million years away and it’ll come about when the Americas and Asia bump into each other but where will it form, Ross Mitchell and his colleagues at Yale University have developed a model to tell us. Here’s Ross. Nature 482, 208–211 (09 February 2012)
Ross Mitchell: According to the orthoversion model we would predict that the present day Arctic Ocean and Caribbean seas would probably be the first ones to close, if the Caribbean and the Arctic are able to vanish first you would fuse the Americas together, the north and South Americas, those would mutually migrate northward leading to collision with Europe and Asia more or less at the present day North Pole. Australia would also according to our model most likely continue its northward motion and snuggle up next to India.
Kerri Smith: And Ross you know will be neighbours in the new world?
Ross Mitchell: Oh, that’s the funny thing about super continent that even though it’s far away off it is interesting to think that in the past super continents we were neighbours and in the future it’s also a possibility.

天然ガスは採掘時に漏れるメタンにより温暖化を助長する可能性がある。
Geoff Marsh: Now first story on your list is the natural gas isn’t it clean as it supposed to be?
Richard Van Noorden: Right, natural gas which is methane is supposed to be cleaner burning than coal in that there is fewer greenhouse gas emissions when you burn in a power plant but the worry is that when you’re extracting the natural gas from the ground originally what about if some methane, some nature gas leaks out as you’re doing that and goes into the atmosphere. Well, methane is 25 times more efficient than carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere, maybe the natural gas isn’t as clean as you think when it comes to climate emissions. Now this week our top story is it appears we’ve got the first hard evidence to suggest that natural gas might not be much better than coal.
Geoff Marsh: Now is this just a sort of technical worry, could we overcome this by using different extraction methods?
Richard Van Noorden: The problem is it is feasible to capture and store gases that are being vented as this natural gas is being extracted but unfortunately industries says the measures are very costly to adopt and the USA Environmental Protection Agency is trying to regulate emissions from gas field and really trying to clean up this sector and that will mean that natural gas becomes more expensive and therefore less attractive for companies to move to. So it is possible to do when environmental groups are pushing the EPA to strengthen pollution controls. But on the other hand, the industries pushing to relax these requirements because it says they’re costly and burdensome.

インドネシアで発見されたホビットとあだ名される小さなヒトに似た生き物は、ヒトが病気によって小さくなったものではないことが判明した。
Corie Lok: The discovery of an ancient human-like dwarf species made big headlines around the world in 2004. The little creatures even earned the nickname hobbits. The finding kicked off a fierce debate over whether the hobbits were a new hominid species or just modern humans suffering from a growth stunting disease called cretinism. Peter Brand at the University of New England in Australia analyzed the hobbit remains looking at traits such as brain mass and skeletal proportions. He compared these traits with those of people with cretinism and found no signs in the hobbits of delayed growth that are normally linked to the disorder. This supports the idea that the hobbits were indeed a separate species. This paper published in the Journal of Human Evolution was interesting to us in Nature because it goes a long way to settling the debate, but that won’t resolve it completely. Nature 482, 135 (09 February 2012)Switching our focus to cancer, here’s a paper that raises the possibility of long-term effects of chemotherapeutic drugs. Experiments in mice show that three common cancer drugs cause DNA mutations in not just the treated mice but also in their offspring. Mutations in a specific region of the genome were twice as common in the offspring of treated males, than they were in either parent. The researchers from the University of Leicester in the UK suggest that the drugs cause destabilization in the mouse genome that lasts long after the mice were exposed to the drugs. We flagged up this paper because transgenerational effects of cancer drugs are entreating, even if they’re not yet fully explained. The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Nature 482, 134–135 (09 February 2012)

痰が固まる奇病の遺伝子治療薬は開発年数に対し患者数が少ないため非常に高価になる。
Richard Van Noorden: Yes, so back in 1989 researchers said that they’ve discovered the cause of cystic fibrosis. It’s a mutation in a key protein channel, that channel’s chloride ions from the inside of a lung cell to the outside keeping mucus thin and watery and basically keeping it fluid now when that channel that protein channel goes wrong and the chloride ions aren’t transported the mucus becomes thick and accumulates and people with cystic fibrosis cough up this mucus and it also leads the way to bacterial infection. So back in 1989 we discovered the secret and we’d found that what’s going wrong now fast forward to 2012 and we know there are more than 1500 different mutation in this protein, so very complicated and we have just approved the first drug to kind of tackle one of these problems and it’s called Kalydeco made by Vertex Pharmaceuticals in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Geoff Marsh: So nearly 300,000 dollars a year and how many people are realistically going to be able to afford this treatment?
Richard Van Noorden: Exactly if we all take those 1200 maybe only a handful can actually pay for that themselves, it’s going to come down to insurance companies coming up with creative ways to help people pay for this and this really is speaking for one of the main problems of, you know, the new era in drug discovery, you find a specific mutation that helps a very small specific number of people, it’s going to be very, very expensive, because the drug company in this case Vertex wants to recoup the money that they put in to get to this treatment I remember it’s taken more than 20 years. On the plus side of course these patients won’t be paying for the generalized treatments that didn’t really target the cause of their problem which has helped to sweep away the mucus, so they won’t be wasting money on treatments that don’t help very much.

南極の氷底湖ボストークを覆う氷に穴をあけて中を調べる計画の穴あけほぼ終了。
Richard Van Noorden: I am happy to say this is literally a breakthrough. These are the Russians drilling down 3750 metres through the Antarctic ice sheet down to Lake Vostok which is laying there undisturbed for millions and millions of years could be harbouring prehistoric life forms contains climate records of what Antarctica’s life before the ice caps arrived. It’s very, very exciting. Now I’ve got to tell listeners that we’ve just spoken to the Director of the Russian Antarctic Program, who has just flown back from the Antarctic and he says to us as I speak that they cannot yet be confirmed that they’ve broken through that pretty sure and that’s two people at the bore hole tracking the monitoring data and perhaps by the time you listen to this it will all be confirmed.
Geoff Marsh: Now why is not just obvious that they’ve broken through to a lake?
Richard Van Noorden: Well, because the bore hole is 3750 metres down, they can’t actually just look and just talk, they’ve got to use sensors to collect data about, you know, what is the surface down there like. Now the question really everyone was wondering about as if they broke through whether they’re going to contaminate the water they’re supposed to be sampling so what they’re actually doing is letting the whole thing refreeze, whether or not they confirm they have been broken through, the drilling has now stopped. The Antarctic summer operations are closing and they’ll go back in December and then they’ll be having very thin sheets of ice that will have reformed, they will drill through again and then they will start to the analysis, so though they probably broken through right now we won’t really hear anything more exciting from the lake until December.
Geoff Marsh: When we do start to hear back from them what’s been the most fanciful ideas about what might be lurking down there?
Richard Van Noorden: Well, I will just quickly pass over the possibility that the Nazis might have put U-boats there, which is a popular conspiracy theory, the more interesting scientific questions is that ill we find life forms that somehow existed there prehistoric apparently out of range of the sun, what are they going to look like, if we don’t find life forms are we going to find trapped gas bubbles or analyze the water to find out what the climate was like way back before the ice caps arrived, those of the kinds of exciting research questions that we’re looking at.

第二次世界大戦中、米政府認可のもと、グァテマラの弱者に対し、性病を意図的に感染させる等の反人道的な研究がなされた。
Matthew Walter: The people who are involved in this experiment, you know, prisoners, orphans, people who were going to a mental institution these are what we would call vulnerable populations and so as you can imagine most of these people have lived their lives in poverty, the person who we discuss in this story, his name is Federico Ramos, he is 87 years old now and has lived his life with symptoms of venereal disease ever since he left military service over 65 years ago.
Geoff Marsh: Needless to say more than a thousand of these people were infected. How was this justified at that time?
Matthew Walter: There was great concern about the number of soldiers who were contracting venereal diseases and the cost that the military was bearing from having soldiers unable to serve because they were infected. The scientist who designed and ran the study his name was Dr. John Cutler. The government reports on this study make it pretty clear that he wasn’t always conducting good science. It was clear that he would sometimes do things out of sequence or possibly cut corners and in the end, none of the studies were ever published or submitted for peer review.
Geoff Marsh: Now these experiments came to light in 2010 and President Obama issued a formal apology and set up an investigation by ethics committee, what did they find out, was this Cutler was here alone rogue scientist?
Matthew Walter: Yeah, what’s interesting about the case is it was sort of hidden in plain sight; it was not a secret study. This was an experiment that it received approval from the top officials in the US Public Health System. The surgeon general signed off on it. It received government funding and it was even clear that public health officials in Guatemala knew about and cooperated in the study. So, they clearly believed that the science was important enough. Clearly they thought there were things they could do in Guatemala that they couldn’t in United States.
Geoff Marsh: Does it have any relevance to practices today?
Matthew Walter: It does in the sense that this experiment in an under-developed country that really was just building up its Public Health infrastructure. The country was unequipped to enforce even its rule and that’s an interesting thing to note, because lots of researches done today in emerging market countries were there’s uneven enforcement of regulation or maybe regulation isn’t even in place and you know there’s good reason to do experiments abroad that reduces costs and that you know allows scientists to conduct their research but it is important to think about these issues.

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