This scientist wants to crowdfund a cure to the common cold

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Well good luck with that… also only $100,000? If you are gonna fleece the suckers go for broke man.


how fast evolve* viruses? generous use of (not only broad-spectrum) antibiotics had some ugly consequences.

* is this even the correct term? I think the jury’s still out if they are even alive


Looks like the indiegogo campaign ended a few of months ago. At least according to :

According to Wikipedia (FWIW), it’s the right term:

Viruses are considered by some to be a life form, because they carry genetic material, reproduce, and evolve through natural selection. However they lack key characteristics (such as cell structure) that are generally considered necessary to count as life.


I think funding research like this is a wonderful idea, as long as there’s clear guidelines about how the results are licensed. I have no interest in funding something where the IP is just going to be sold to Martin Shkreli so that he can charge hundreds of dollars per pill.


The problem with antibiotics is that they have no effect on virus. But if you go to the doctor and they tell you to take Advil and stay in bed for a week, you feel cheated. So they (used to) give you a prescription for Penicillin because everybody knows that’s the stuff. In this case, it has only negative consequences.

5 Likes is where you can donate

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He needs to get with the people from this story

I don’t know enough microbiology to tell if this is realistic (resident bio nerds?), but I’ll certainly admit to liking the idea of crowdfunded cures. Though, as @Chesterfield said, I wouldn’t want to springboard a patentable medicine right into the mitts of Pfizer, or worse still any of the legions of patent trolls like Shkreli. But my limited understanding is that it takes millions to see a drug through a full set of clinical trials and the FDA approval process.

Now if I can cultivate this drug on that desktop apothecary BoingBoing was pushing a few days ago (can’t find it now, BoingBoing is incredibly opaque to searches both from within and from Google), then we’re cookin’.

I thought of antibiotics use in livestock breeding but you have a point, incorrectly prescribed drug are a problem, too. and then there’s the “I feel better now, why should I take the pills anymore?” issue


What could possibly go wrong? Kellis-Amberlee-Rider?

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Hm, I wonder, if he is really on to something as enormous as he makes it out to be, why was he unable to secure any “traditional” research funding (which would likely be much, much more)? I tried to find some information or discussion on him but all I found (in a ten minute search, anyway) was an AMA on r/science and the people on there ranged from very enthusiastic to maybe mildly sceptical but never outright dismissive. According to Google Scholar, he doesn’t seem to publish much. Why isn’t this bigger in the research community?


That’s the big problem. Specifically, antibiotic use in livestock in the United States of America.   The FDA has known about it since the 1970s, but the agency is so completely corrupt it’s never going to do anything about it. Too busy trying to keep prostate cancer vaccines off the market, I guess.

As usual, Washington places corporate profits above both science and basic human decency.


how fast do viri evolve?

The do-auxiliary is an odd trait of English, Scots, and Gullah-Geechee. I think it’s absent from Frisian.

thanks for the correction. I would hunger to death if my means of livelihood were coupled to my linguistic proficiency

I believe the correct plural form of the English word for a biological virus is viruses.

Many computer scientists like to use virii to pluralize a computer virus so that search engines can distinguish the two different kinds of virus.

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The problem with broad-spectrum antibiotics is that they make themselves useless because bacteria evolve resistance. This is a nice problem to have, trying to hold onto an existing cure. Let’s get there first, then worry about the evolution of resistance.

Shouldn’t it be a cure FOR the common cold? Lately everyone seems to be using “to” where we usually said “for”. Is this new grammar? Am I being an old fogey?

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The language is undergoing mitosis. “To” is now “for” and “For” has been replaced by “Ate”.

It take for long be-ate we’ve all been sixteened.