Patents were intended to encourage innovation. How's that working out?
This article originally appeared on 09.06.17
Being married is like being half of a two-headed monster. It's impossible to avoid regular disagreements when you're bound to another person for the rest of your life. Even the perfect marriage (if there was such a thing) would have its daily frustrations. Funnily enough, most fights aren't caused by big decisions but the simple, day-to-day questions, such as "What do you want for dinner?"; "Are we free Friday night?"; and "What movie do you want to see?"
Here are some hilarious tweets that just about every married couple will understand.
They seem to be attracted to viruses.
As much as I love summer, there is one thing I could do without: bugs. More specifically, mosquitoes. Those pesky little buggers can wreak havoc on a beautiful summer day. Who hasn't spent time outside in summer and then come in all itchy and covered in bites? There are multiple reasons why some people are more susceptible to mosquito bites than others, but there's a new one that likely isn't on people's radars. Mosquitoes could be attracted to the odor certain viruses create in the body.
There is evidence that mosquitoes are attracted to the odor given off by mice infected by the parasite that causes malaria. Now, a team is looking at how the scent of mosquito-borne viruses such as dengue and Zika would attract mosquitoes to people rather than mice.
For those who may be unfamiliar with the two viruses, the most important thing to know about them both is how dangerous they are to humans. Some effects of dengue include vomiting, aches and pains, and in severe cases, internal bleeding, according to the CDC. Zika virus is best known for being dangerous for pregnant women, as it can cause certain kinds of birth defects in fetuses, per the CDC.
Because both viruses rely on mosquitoes for transmission, it begs the question: Do people infected with either viruses give off extra tasty odors? That's what the team was looking to discover.
"I mean, the infection just increase[s] the chance to be located by a mosquito," Penghua Wang, an immunologist with University of Connecticut Health, told NPR.
Wang and the rest of his team set out to find out if it's true that infected people become mosquito chow, and undertook a study, which was recently published in the journal Cell. In the study, they blew two different types of air: one infected with either of the two viruses and one without, over two different groups of mice. As to be expected, the mosquitoes buzzed around those infected mice like they were a buffet dinner.
"These two viruses can alter a person's body odor to be more attractive to mosquitoes," Wang said. What happens is that the smell alters the skin's microbiome to make it more appetizing to the blood-sucking little critters. Wang explained to NPR that he was "excited" by this new development as it could lead to a lot of understanding of virus transmission by mosquitoes.
While this is an incredibly positive prospect, it's important to keep in mind that experimenting on mice isn't really the same as experimenting on people. And just because this is going well with mice doesn't mean it will go well with people. But, during the study, the team discovered that people infected with dengue had similar attention from the mosquitoes.
The other promising thing? Since they've discovered the attraction, they were also able to find a possible treatment plan. They discovered that when they gave the sick mice a vitamin A supplement, the mosquitoes lost interest. Knowing this information can help researchers explore how Zika and dengue spread. According to Wang, in some of the areas where dengue and Zika are most common, many people are vitamin A deficient.
The nicest guy in Hollywood strikes again.
Passing around your yearbook to have it signed by friends, teachers and classmates is a fun rite of passage for kids in junior high and high school. But, according to KDVR, for Brody Ridder, a bullied sixth grader at The Academy of Charter Schools in Westminster, Colorado, it was just another day of putting up with rejection.
Poor Brody was only able to get four signatures in his yearbook, two from what appeared to be teachers and one from himself that said, “Hope you make some more friends."
Brody’s mom, Cassandra Ridder has been devastated by the bullying her son has faced over the past two years. "There [are] kids that have pushed him and called him names," she told The Washington Post. It has to be terrible to have your child be bullied and there is nothing you can do.
She posted about the incident on Facebook.
“My poor son. Doesn’t seem like it’s getting any better. 2 teachers and a total of 2 students wrote in his yearbook,” she posted on Facebook. “Despite Brody asking all kinds of kids to sign it. So Brody took it upon himself to write to himself. My heart is shattered. Teach your kids kindness.”
Parents saw the post and told their kids the heartbreaking story. So a group of kind upperclassmen at the school stood up for Brody by tracking him down and signing his yearbook.
“We walked in and we were like where’s Brody at? Is Brody Ridder in here? And they’re like yeah he’s in the back and we’re like Brody! We’re here to sign your yearbook bud,” Simone Lightfoot told KDVR. In a quick reversal of fortune, Brody had a line around him to sign his book and he received more than 100 signatures.
After Rudd heard Brody’s story he called him on the phone.
"I heard about you and I’m like, 'I gotta talk to this kid, because this kid sounds like my kinda guy,'" he said in a recording posted to Facebook by Cassandra. "He likes chess, he likes fencing, he likes dinosaurs. Am I right?”
Rudd also sent him a letter that read:
“It’s important to remember that even when life is tough that things get better. There are so many people that love you and think you’re the coolest kid there is — me being one of them! I can’t wait to see all the amazing things you’re going to accomplish.”
He also sent a gift, an Ant-Man helmet for when Brody decides to take on “the WORLD!”
Rudd’s gesture was a wonderful example of someone using their celebrity to uplift others. It’s no wonder that Stephen Colbert once called him “the nicest person on the planet.”
The outpouring of support from his classmates and people from around the world was encouraging for both mother and son.
“It just made me feel better as a person. I don’t know how to explain it. It just makes me feel better on the inside,” he told KDVR.
“It made me feel like there’s hope for the school, there’s hope for humanity and there’s a lot of good kids in this world,” his mother added.
If you would like to send Brody a letter, mail it to:
PO Box 99
Henderson, CO 80640