Friday, February 04, 2005
I don't get physics. I may lack some instinct or insight, and I certainly lack talent in mathematics; I just don't follow so much of it, and am mainly just in awe of physicists. I know, I know, we mustn't encourage them, but still. So they've discovered a bunch of the 'missing' matter in the universe, which sounds very cool and important but I am not sure really why. How did we know it was there if it was missing? I mean, gravitational pulls, et cetera, I get that, but what is so special about these baryons and why they were missing in the first place.
Something I do get, however, is the importance of vaccines, and of the scientific process. And while I was disappointed to read that VaxGen's rgp120 HIV vaccine has not succeeded in its trials - meaning, of course, that it didn't work, and people who probably unwisely thought they had a better chance got sick - it's encouraging to see that the process works. Also, methodological data from this trial will inform and improve future trials, and even vaccine designs. Here's to the next one!