Thursday, March 31, 2016

Blood Money

It's Blendled with my coffee:

"Inside the race to diagnose cancer from a simple blood draw" by Megan Scudellari, March 21, 2016

BOSTON — It’s a medical puzzle that has snagged the attention — and the money — of Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and venture capitalists across the nation: Is it possible to diagnose cancer from a simple blood draw?

Surgical biopsies are the norm, but they’re invasive, expensive, and carry the risk of infection. So investors have poured hundreds of millions into the goal of developing “liquid biopsies” diagnosing incipient cancer from a vial of blood drawn from a patient who looks and feels perfectly healthy.

Some 38 companies in the US alone are working on liquid biopsies. Most are trying to analyze blood for fragments of DNA shed by dying tumor cells. Gates and Bezos recently teamed up with Illumina, a leading DNA sequencing company, to launch yet another liquid biopsy startup — this one ambitiously called Grail.

The Illumina(ti) looking for the (Holy) Grail, huh?

“It is the one area of oncology you see featured at every single conference,” said Dr. Jorge Villacian, chief medical officer at Janssen Diagnostics, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, which has the sole FDA-approved liquid biopsy on the market. “There’s a great deal of enthusiasm.”

Then why do I feel depressed?

If liquid biopsies work as hoped, the market in the US alone is projected at $29 billion, according to a 2015 report from investment bank Piper Jaffray. 

It truly is a blood $port.

Meanwhile, in a lab overlooking Boston Harbor, an unlikely duo is taking a different path....


Sometimes I think the cancers are caused on purpo$e and treated rather than cured. Sure $eems that way sometimes when I read my pre$$. 

I suppose life is a gamble at best:

"Casino’s online slots may mislead by being easier to win" by Sean P. Murphy Globe Staff  March 23, 2016

PLAINVILLE — With just a few clicks or swipes, a digital slot machine pops onto the screen, bringing all its clamorous, garish allure as it simulates a jackpot win.

It’s almost as if you’re at the casino, instead of playing online on your phone or laptop, and that’s pretty much the point. Think of it as a dry run — designed to lure more customers to Plainridge Park Casino to play for real money.

The online game, which Plainridge recently unveiled, is troubling to critics of problem gambling. The game has a major difference with the slot machines: Players who spin the wheels on the online game are far more likely to win — and win big — than they will if they go to the slots parlor and wager real money.

That could give players a false sense of confidence when they play at the casino, where slot machines are programmed to take in more than they pay out, gambling specialists say.

The games are purely for fun, with no chance to win or lose money. Players can win credits, which mimic the thrill of a cash win and unlock new levels of the game, but cannot redeem them at the Plainville casino.

Instead, the games are designed to introduce players to the excitement of gambling and whet their appetites for the chance — however slim — at real winnings.

“It’s marketing and advertising to get people to come to your casinos,” said Jason Elison, who works for a Las Vegas-based game testing laboratory that state regulators, including the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, use to ensure that slot machines are compliant....

Who cares if they are “misleading to expand [their] customer base?”


That was when I cashed out.

Maybe you could sue them.


Gangster’s interest in Everett casino land can be used in fraud case, judge rules

Advocates, opponents meet in Brockton over casino

I'll bet they didn't have much to say to each other.


“This represents just another effort for a failing company to cover up bad press for a technology that is not ready for prime time.” 

They pricked your finger, 'eh?