Friday, December 15, 2006
On the other hand, sometimes an old technology turns out to have previously-unknown utility. We've been hearing for some time that male circumcision might reduce HIV risk, but the NIH announced yesterday, in a fairly dramatic press conference, that they have ended two major trial early due to overwhelming positive results. So there you have it: circumcision dramatically decreases HIV transmission. (Jews and Muslims around the world rejoice that there may have been a reason after all!)
Much of our technology, in science at least, goes towards figuring out How We Got Here. Investigation into the origins of life on Earth may have just gotten a big boost from outer space: organic molecules found on comets look like the kind of stuff that, if it had crashed on Earth a few billion years ago (roughly), may have helped catalyze the first chemical reactions of life. "We are ET."