Friday 28 April 2017

Neuralink our Brains?

  As I was just dropping off to sleep the other night, listening to the audio version of the highlights of the Wall Street Journal, (it often puts me to sleep quite quickly) I was jolted into full consciousness by an item about Facebook's 'Building 8'.   Building8, in case you have never heard of it, is a secret project team Facebook has put together.  It is a very science - fictiony sort of cabal with numerous esoteric projects, many to do with developing exotic hardware but the one that jolted me into wakefulness was one led by a Johns Hopkins neurologist, who had helped to develop a mind controlled prosthetic arm.  There is speculation that before long Facebook will have us 'hands-off' typing.  You'll just have to think it and voila - there it is on your screen!   It is a little frightening to an old paranoid curmudgeon like yours truly, who probably read too much science fiction in his youth.  Of course initially we will be reassured that only thoughts that we want to transfer to the screen will be accessible.  However, it won't be long before the international security services everywhere will recognize the potential and get their best brains working on it.  With much of the population 'Trudoping' it shouldn't be difficult to get them thinking out loud. 
  Once I started exploring this phenomenon with Mr. Google, it didn't take me long to find out that Facebook was not the only menace out there.  Facebook, of course, has a head start, because they have already conditioned their slaves to indiscreetly broadcast many of their intimate secrets.  Still that will make it easier for those who follow.  None other than Elon Musk.
   Mr. Musk has founded a new company, called NEURALINK,whose mission  is to link the human brain to the computer, by using micro chip devices.  Apart from restoring function in such conditions as stroke, cancer and brain  injuries of various kinds, Mr. Musk further predicts implanted devices that would enable telepathic communication between healthy individuals, as well as enabling people with brain disorders to function more efficiently.  The device to achieve these ends, he calls a 'neural lace', a concept devised by a science fiction writer.  The 'lace' integrated into the brain, could wirelessly transmit signals to external devices, much more efficient than keying in on a keyboard or even dictating.  We'd just have to think the message.  In effect, the lace directly communicates with neurons, so thoughts could be communicated in either direction.  Musk says it might even be possible to inject the neural  lace into the blood supply to the brain and establish direct contact with the cortical neurons.  Ultimately, Musk feels, if we don't seriously increase our intelligence, artificial intelligence is what will dominate the world - and where would poor humans be then, and who's going to ultimately control our brains?

Thursday 20 April 2017

Life imitating Art.

    As Oscar Wilde said in 1899, Life imitates art far more often than art imitates life.
When, as a newly qualified physician, I started watching Star Trek, in the sixties, I was naturally particularly intrigued with the character of 'Bones' - Dr. Leonard McCoy, (Deforest Kelley) and his magnificent 'Tricorder', which always revealed the diagnosis promptly and resulted in his life-saving interventions. This was the twenty-third century and the Tricorder as seen in 'Star Trek: the Original Series', is a black rectangular device, with a top that pivots open and a small screen and control buttons. There were varieties for different function, and of course the one that 'Bones' used was the medical variety, which had a removable sensor probe, that was made out of a salt cellar.

The word 'Tricorder' is an abbreviation for "Tri-function recorder". Sensing, computing and recording are the three functions.

The Qualcomm Tricorder X Prize was launched in January of 2012. The $10,000000 prize was to be awarded to the developers of a real life version of the Tricorder. Two and a half of that ten million was won by a team of scientists and engineers from Pennsylvania's Final Frontier Medical Devices with their 'DxtER' machine. A Taiwan group, Dynamical Biomarkers Group, won one million. The DxtER, by the Final Frontier Medical Devices Group is an artificial intelligence based machine that learns to diagnose medical conditions by integrating emergency medical data analysis from actual patients. It gathers the data from a group of non invasive sensors that collect data about vital signs, chemistry and biological functions. The 'Tricorder' then synthesizes the data it has collected to make a diagnosis. One major deviation from the Star Trek Tricorder is that the Tricorder competition aims to take the Tricorder out of the hands of health care professionals and put it in the hands of patients. The objectives of this exercise is to make available to the population the monitoring of systems that would otherwise be difficult for a myriad of reasons, such as expense, location, scarcity of physicians and health care workers and patient time. The transmission of this data will help physicians and nurses determine the urgency or lack of urgency of the situation.

 DxtER by Basil Leaf Technologies.

  This is a hand held object that is connected to a tablet which will collate the data collected and hopefully arrive at a diagnosis.

   The DxtER, developed by the Harris brothers, one of whom is an  emergency room physician and their team started with an iPad in the development of their units.  They have applied for a number of patents,including a device that can numerous blood and blood chemistry test without breaking the skin.  Apparently DxtER can diagnose considerably more conditions than the test called for.  The machine also asks patients questions and analyses the answers.  The patient has control and can present the information to their doctor for further interpretation.  Other finalist groups are working on their own 'Tricorder' projects and we will look at them later. 
   Meanwhile,thanks tp Star Trek there is little doubt that we are going to have 'Tricorders' long before the twenty-third century!

Friday 14 April 2017

Second class drugs.

Second class drugs

  The Ministry of Health and its administridiots are not  looking after Canadians the way they should.   They are subjecting us to unnecessary risks to save money, when they may be costing us more as a result of the harm  from ineffective medication.

  I recently had a letter from one of my blog followers complaining that a generic replacement of one of the medications that she had been on for a long time, that had always seemed to be effective was replaced by a generic that not only seemed ineffective, but that actually made her feel worse, due to side-effects that she had never experienced before.  Here is part of her letter:
   "Unfortunately since Teva and other big pharma (but mostly Teva in Canada) has acquired many of our Canadian pharmaceutical companies,many of our generics are no longer made in Canada.  Now they are manufactured in places like India and others. There have been a lot of generic recalls due to poor quality control.  Too much of a dose or too little being delivered and no regulation on what fillers or binding agents are used.  A few years ago in Canada MOST of our generics were made here, but now I believe the quality of some generics is in question and should be investigated further.  I personally have experienced this with two completely different types of medication.  Is this perhaps that they are being manufactured in one of these countries with poor controls.  Health Canada seems to have very lax regulatory standards, the bar is pretty low.  I believe most Canadians are not aware of these changes and assume their medications are still manufactured here..
   Of course the large amount of merger and acquisition activity among the big generic companies has caused this.  Are Big Generic Pharma sacrificing quality and safety  for profits these days?  I think there is a lot of material to cover here.  As an example, the beleaguered Teva is suffering under the weight of it's HUGE debt ,according to the financial experts, and they have had quite a few generic drugs recalled due to poor quality.  Also their CEO stepped down  a couple of weeks ago as he was pressured to resign  and I'm sure there is a lot more to this story."  
   Her allegations are correct; here are some of the facts.
The overwhelming majority of generic drugs are now manufactured abroad, many in India and China. Some Indian pharmacies such as Megafine have been banned from importing to the US, apparently for manipulating the results of required tests.  Forty-five other Indian pharmaceutical and API ( Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients ) manufacturers are currently included on import list alerts and are required to provide evidence of upgrading to meet the standards required by the FDA.  Apparently Health Canada has an even lower bar in screening and arel less restrictive in requiring imported drugs to meet the standard.  Some of these recalled drugs are vital  to  a patient's health and welfare.  Divalproex sodium is an anti-seizure drug (Depakote) the formulation of which was too strong, while a generic heart preparation was not strong enough.  Last year, Dr.Reddy's Laboratories (India) had a major recall of metoprolol, a cardiac drug that many patients are put on after a heart attack.  Their preparation failed to dissolve appropriately.  Other drugs have been recalled, as well as numerous warning letters to companies regarding concerns about their manufacturing process, without actual suspension.  This information is not readily available.
  There are literally hundreds of drug manufacturing companies in India, China, Europe and S.America.  The FDA has very few investigators so it is impossible to thoroughly check even a reasonable cross-section. There have been concerns regarding the Research  organizations testing the products, ranging from outright fraud to incompetence.  GVK Bio-sciences in India conducted many of the studies despite the fact that the World Health Organization discovered major problems with their operation.  Poor as the FDA screening is, Canada's is almost non existent.  Generic drugs are often just as good as the brand names, but before authorizing their use their production and performance must be scrupulously examined.
   Bottom line - the government of Canada is spending extravagantly on all sorts of non essential services.  That money could be directed towards providing safe health care and safe drugs for Canadians.  

Comment if you care! 
Forty-five other Indian pharmaceutical and API manufacturers are currently included on the import alert list, including Ranbaxy, Wockhardt and Ipca Laboratories. - See more at:

Forty-five other Indian pharmaceutical and API manufacturers are currently included on the import alert list, including Ranbaxy, Wockhardt and Ipca Laboratories. - See more at:

Thursday 6 April 2017

Child Abuse - Normalization of abnormality by the liberal government.

Normalizing abnormality.  The devious social engineering of the Liberal government. 

   A short time ago I posted a note on face book regarding the outrageous sex education program for children proposed by the Left Wing Luneys of the provincial government and ultimately implemented by the government of the province.  The man under whose direction the curriculum was written is presently in jail for child pornography and pedophilia related crimes.
   I started talking to folks I know about this flagitious situation and to  my great surprise they had little or no knowledge of this situation at all.  Some looked askance at me, as though I had made the  whole thing up or as if I was some  sort of bigoted chauvinist.  Some knew there was some sort of sexual education in schools, but if I  inquired further, none had really looked into the situation.  As one person who had no idea of the content of the program said, "well I  suppose it is better than nothing, which is what I got."  But no, it isn't, misinformation is more dangerous than no information at all.
  So, let's take a look at the content of the program that our incompetent premier and her lwls think appropriate for our youngsters.
   Grade 1- age six: genitalia, naming the penis, vagina etc.  This is okay, though I certainly think it would be more appropriately taught by parents than by strangers whose background and qualifications are frequently questionable for one reason or another.

   Grade 3- age eight: GENDER IDENTITY THEORY.  
This is DEFINITELY not alright.  This is a political agenda supported and put forth by the the premier and those close to her, like the deputy minister of education, Benjamin Levin, now behind bars for child pornography and pedophilia related crimes.  Not quite the sort of curriculum developer for sexual education that most parents would approve of.  The content of the gender identity theory suggests that whether you are male or female is unrelated to your anatomy and is just an imagined "social construct", so you can chose what you want to be. This is a theory for which there is no scientific basis whatsoever. My opinion is that teaching this sort of unsubstantiated theory and the consequences that it gives rise to, is child abuse, an opinion shared by the American Pediatric Society.  As a physician with close to sixty years experience I have no doubt that the treatment some of these children is criminal abuse and I am distress that there are some of my colleagues who are so indoctrinated as to facilitate such pseudoscience.  They truly fall into the category that the great George Bernard Shaw described as "pseudo-scientific simpletons". 
   A Swedish study revealed that ten to fifteen years after sexual reassignment surgery the suicide rate was twenty times that of their peers.

   Grade 6- age eleven, seems designed to encourage masturbation, something for which most folks didn't need much encouragement.

   Grade 7- age twelve.
Devoted to teaching about anal intercourse, oral sex and general sexual pleasures!

   Grade 8- age thirteen.
Children are instructed in making a personal sexual plan.
 There is no discussion of love or marriage.

   If you are at all interested in this topic and in knowing what action responsible parents are taking, go to:  We are allowing the liberal government to do great damage to normal children.

Comment if you care.