Allow me to lapse into first-person singular as to not tar my colleagues' collective basketball wisdom with the brush of my own ignorance. Living in the UK, I no longer get to watch enough college basketball to have any solid inkling of which teams and players are likely to have a great March (as if i ever really did). But by most people's reckoning that should put me in good stead for the office pool--he or she who knows least has a great shot at winning--as I select teams based on past allegiances, a 25-year-in-the-making unified theory of NCAA tournament upsets, a deeply ingrained belief that the Big East is overrated, and my two-and-a-half-year old's affection for birds and extreme dislike of "scary monsters." In other words, lots of guessing and prejudice. Its a lot like drug development. Hey-O!
Anyway watch out for the West's 14 Seed, if Cornell's shooters get open from beyond, it's curtains for Missouri ... Meanwhile, while you were filling out your bracket ...
- Astellas takes its directors, its lawsuit and its cash, and goes home: "Astellas is a disciplined acquirer and does not see value for Astellas stockholders in CV Therapeutics at the price level of the sale announced on March 12."
- Headline of the day: "Chuck Norris sues, says his tears no cancer cure" at Reuters. (Seven companies to announce today they are no longer pursuing drugs based on Norris' bodily fluids.)
- The "day of reckoning" has arrived for Massachusetts health care costs, says the NYT. Part of the solution: to revamp the way doctors and hospitals are paid by the state. "They want a new payment method that rewards prevention and the effective control of chronic disease, instead of the current system, which pays according to the quantity of care provided." This would be a first.
- MRSA is living high on the hog, says Nicholas Kristof, who asks of POTUS and his Ag secretary: "So Mr. Obama and Mr. Vilsack, will you line up to curb the use of antibiotics in raising American livestock?"
- Elsewhere in Op-Ed land, David Shaywitz writes in the Washington Post about the need for better understanding of academic science, or at least for politicians to gain an understanding of how that particular sausage is made. "University research is not a pure enterprise; its researchers have feet of clay and are subject to an array of professional biases," he says. "Consequently, our myopic obsession with industry conflicts of interest may have the unintended consequence of distracting us from some of the more important sources of prejudice and concern."
- One last nugget from the NYT (hey there just aren't that many papers left, OK?): reporting from the annual meeting of the Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology, the paper describes a new and promising (not to mention tasty) treatment for peanut allergy: a daily (and medically supervised) small dose of peanuts. The race for the pegylated peanut is ON!