"It is true, and thus the question of whether it is sad or happy has no meaning whatever."
Bernhard Schlink

Science is best when discussed: leave your thoughts and ideas in the comments!!

Friday, May 19, 2006

More Monkey Business, and the FDA 

Researchers have observed apes performing future-planning tasks, an ability thought unique to humans. The experiment is really interesting to me, just because it's fun to think about how you could test something so abstract. It seems to me like the only reason we might think this ability was unique to us is because we just don't (can't) know what other animals think...they may be planning all the time, but we don't know the codes, etc. I would be surprised if cetaceans didn't plan for things as well, but of course what they'd plan for is probably so different from anything we think about, so it'd be hard to recognize.

But speaking of monkeying around (and creatures of dubious intelligence), an FDA panel has endorsed Merck's HPV vaccine, paving the way for full approval next month. That is, of course, unless the moron squad blocks it on political grounds. The FDA is also in talks with Sanofi-Aventis over its antibiotic, Ketek, which has been linked to severe liver failure. The talks are about Sanofi not wanting to put a warning label on the drug, which of course is the rational and responsible thing to do. Sadly, those arguments seem to hold little water in any aspect of pharmaceutical industry or regulation around here

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