A new headline-grabbingreport from the White House claims that swine flu could plausibly infect up to 50% of Americans, causing flu symptoms among some 60 to 120 million of them, and leading to as many as 1.8 million hospitalizations and 30,000 -90,000 deaths.
Where, exactly, do numbers like these come from? The new report was put together by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. It turns out the predictions are based on just a couple key facts:
The virus seems to be transmitted from person to person at the same rate as in previous flu pandemics — a rate that’s much higher than that of the regular seasonal flu. Rapid transmission suggests that the total number of infections could be very high.
The death rate for people who catch H1N1 seems about the same as that for seasonal flu. The White House advisors estimate that, so far, between 1 in 1,000 and 3 in 1,000 people who have needed medical help then end up dying. Assuming that this normal death rate continues during flu season, the total number of deaths is projected to be much higher than normal because of the higher number of infections.
And that’s basically it. The Council’s report notes prominently and often that, even though the up-to-50%-infected scenario is plausible, it is by no means certain. That’s because both of the basic facts above — the infection rate and the case fatality rate — are still a little fuzzy. They’re hard to measure in the first place, and it’s not totally clear whether they’ll change as the pandemic progresses.
So why all the fuss if the estimates are still murky? As Homeland Security head Janet Napolitano put it yesterday in a statement: "It is not possible to predict how the 2009-H1N1 influenza virus or the upcoming influenza season will play out, but it is best that we plan and prepare for a resurgence of H1N1 flu." Things may not develop the way the White House advisors suggest, in other words, but given available evidence it’s still a fine idea to brace ourselves.
There’s one other very good reason that this year’s flu pandemic has experts unnerved. Seasonal flu typically kills only the elderly, with 90%…
Addressing issues ranging from national security to trade to their personal controversies, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump squared off in the first presidential debate Monday. The Onion takes a look at the validity of their bolder claims:
"I don’t believe she does have the stamina. To be president of this country, you need tremendous stamina.” -Donald Trump
Stamina is actually one of Clinton’s highest attribute categories in terms of skill points, after agility and metallurgy.
By The Foundation for Economic Education. Originally published at ValueWalk.
Imaginary Lines Are Irrelevant To The Economics Of Trade
In most cases people recognize that increasing productivity is a good thing. If we develop new technologies or make organizational changes that allow us to produce more output with the same inputs, we celebrate. If people acquire education or experience that allows them to produce more with their human capital, we regard this payoff as wholly beneficial. And so forth.
Yet in regard to one extremely important means of increasing our productivity, many people actually object strenuously. This bizarre case pertains to open international trade. Such trade is the simple and obvious means by which, for thousands of years, people have produced A, B, and C and exported it to buyers in other lands, using the proceeds to purchase X, Y,...
“The narcissist devours people, consumes their output, and casts the empty, writhing shells aside.”
I make it no secret that I find Hillary Clinton to be both morally repugnant and appallingly dishonest.
The manner is which she secured the Democratic nomination is a signature of the Clinton style. The Clinton 'charitable foundation' is a beacon for everything that is wrong with the American economic and political system today.
But that does not mean that I am blind to what is being offered by The Donald.
China has stanched a string of defaults and speculation authorities will continue to stave off failures is leaving investors the most bullish on local junk bonds in five years, despite record maturities.
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"When you let the free market take over, the little people get screwed and bankers get rich. Chile tried privatizing retirement plans and surprise, surprise, fund manager ate the profits… Pretty sure the results would be the same here..." ~ Jean-Luc
I was so pleased yesterday by the announcement that I have joined the Research team at GoldCore as it meant that I could finally start talking about it and was back in a role that lets me indulge in my passion by researching and geeking out on all things gold, silver and money.
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Epizyme was founded in 2007, and trying to create drugs to treat patient's cancer by focusing on genetically-linked differences between normal and cancer cells. Cancer areas of focus include leukemia, Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and breast cancer. One of the Epizme cofounders, H. Robert Horvitz, won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2002 for "discoveries concerning genetic regulation of organ development and programmed cell death."
Before discussing the drug targets of Epizyme, understanding epigenetics is crucial to comprehend the company's goals.
Genetic components are the DNA sequences that are 'inherited.' Some of these genes are stronger than others in their expression (e.g., eye color). Yet, some genes turn on or off due to external factors (environmental), and it is und...
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