Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Teen discovers potential therapy for AIDS-associated disease

A 17-year-old Indian-American student at the Mississippi Institute of Mathematics and Science has identified a molecule that can inhibit the growth of a bacteria that causes a disease which can be deadly to people who have AIDS, cancer, or cystic fibrosis, according to a story posted at VOA News. According to the article, the student intends to publish her results to the public rather than seek a patent on her technology. The article quotes the student as follows: "If I were going to patent this, the rights would have to be sold to a pharmaceutical company, and that would greatly increase the cost of the drug once it's developed. So to prevent that from happening, by publishing it, the information becomes readily available and any company that wants to manufacture it, would be able to. So the price would be much lower due to competition and the people who need it most will have access to it."

Since Ms. Gavini has made her findings publicly available, I suppose there is nothing stopping any person from using her results to test the treatment on themselves. Now that I consider it, she could still earn some money from this work by coming up with a delivery system for this treatment and publishing a book on how to isolate the correct molecule and make a usable drug from it. I believe that a lot of folks would be willing to self-medicate if standard medical procedures aren't helping them.

This story is a nice reminder that you don't have to climb the academic ladder and get a position at a leading research institute to produce meaningful research. I suppose most Technocrat members have had some idea or other that you've dabbled with that you think might possibly become successful; I know I have a few projects on my wish list. Let's get doing something on those projects :).....

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