Current Events April 24

Can Genes Be Patented?


Period 4/7/8

Mr. Healy

In reply to the article on if pharmaceutical companies should have the right to patent human genes, in reality, they should, but not too strictly. They have the right to make money out of it, but not gobs and gobs of money from just one test of two human genes. If the price of purchasing one test to see if you have cancer decreased, then more and more people will buy it, thus gaining more money.  4000 dollars for just two genes seems a bit too much. 2000 dollars will be better as more and more people will be willing to test to see if they have cancer or not. When the price is lowered, then more doctors and researchers will be willing to buy the test, and possibly work with Myriad.

Another reason why Myriad should have the right to patent 2 genes in our bodies is because they spent 500 million dollars to develop the BRCA testing, and was accomplished by the 18000 researchers that were involved. That is a lot  of money and work to develop a test for just 2 genes in us. They deserve their money back. Steve Jobs did not make the iPhone to give it out for free. The developers of both companies worked extremely hard to make their separate breakthroughs.

But then think about the millions of people who need to check if they have cancer or not. This is not the iPhone. This may be life and death for some people. This is one reason why the price, as stated in the article, should not be as high as 4000 dollars. It is like saying that the super0rich can live while the normal cannot. Lowering the patent price will allow more people to have access to the test, making more money and saving more lives.

Many great arguments are coming from both sides. The article states that the plaintiffs challenged:

“Under this rationale, a kidney ‘isolated’ from the body would be patentable, gold ‘isolated’ from a stream would be patentable, and leaves ‘isolated’ from trees would be patentable.”

This is a great argument, but it is also saying that Myriad cannot make profit from something that they spent 500 million dollars to research. They should get their money back for all the hard work that they did, but not too expensive so that only the rich can afford it.

In conclusion, Myriad should be able to take at least some profit form their 500 million dollar break through, but to not make it too expensive. This is the “crystal ball” for possible cancer patients, and will save thousands of lives, if only more people can afford it. 4000 dollars for just testing 2 genes is way too much, and not many people in America can afford it. Lower it, and more people will buy it. The argument continues.

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Articulo: ¿Qué Pasa Con Anita?

La entrevista con Anita

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SARS Coronavirus Report

Daiki Shinomiya

Mr. Healy

Period 4/7/8

March 21~22

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome System Report

The SARS coronavirus, or the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus is a virus that killed hundreds around the globe, and infected thousands more.  It was one of the most deadly modern viruses, but yet was missed by many until multiple deaths started to occur. The virus was deadly, as we did not realize the true deadliness of the disease, until it was too late.


The theorized cause of the SARS is the infection from a cat like animal called Civets. In the Guangdong Province of China, right next to Hong Kong, animals roamed freely in and out of the farmer’s homes, as the farmers were friendly to the animals. What they did not realize is that some of the animals had viruses, and that virus could be fatal. Now, scientists believe that the SARS virus originated from multiple animal viruses into one deadly virus that can be easily passed on, or in other words, highly contagious. How did the multiple animal viruses form together into one big and deadly virus? The farmers allowed multiple of animals into their homes, as they did not care. It did not matter, and they basically lived in harmony with the animals. That was the mistake that killed over 700 people worldwide.

A coronavirus is a type of virus that can be easily transmitted, as the virus “clings” on to the host cell, infecting the cells one by one, until the entire host is infected. The replicating system of the coronavirus is different from many other viruses, as coronaviruses have multiple genes, and one is passed on to the host cell, multiplying the virus. The SARS coronavirus was extremely dangerous, and contagious, as a simple hug, or a sneeze, can transmit the virus from one person to another. The virus can spread also by water droplets. If an infected person sneezes, and just one cell reaches another person, that person will be infected as well. On February 1st, 2002, the start of the SARS pandemic, Liu Jianlun from the Guangdong province of China visited, Hong Kong, which is right next to his province. He checked into a hotel, and got sick. He was already infected, but the infection intensified by the time he got to China, without knowing that he was highly sick. In the end, 80% of the Hong Kong infections could be traced back to him.

2002~2003, the almost pandemic SARS coronavirus killed over 700 people globally, and infected over 8000 people world wide. In the past, there was no such thing as mass transportation, and people couldn’t travel across the world in a day. There was no possibility of flight transportation, and cars. The outbreak of the SARS corona virus was during 2002~2003, which is a time when air travel is popularized, and people travel by air to get to places quickly. This was a good thing, but also a bad thing. The virus had potential to spread even more. in the 1300’s, there was no possibility of traveling from europe to america in 24 hours. It took days to travel by boat. That is why the Black Plague only stayed in Europe and Asia. It was virtually impossible to travel to places other than land travel. The SARS virus was released in the modern times, so it was easier to spread.  Being in the modern times means that we are most likely to be able to find a cure, but at the same time, the virus has the chance to spread even more. The SARS virus spread across the globe while the Black Plague spread only mainland. On the other hand, the SARS virus was halted quicker than the Black Plague, resulting in less deaths than the Black Plague.

Now, the SARS virus has been halted, but a cure has not been found yet. The source of the disease has been theorized, and one that is gone, we can ensure that future outbreaks will not occur. A recent article on reviving extinct animals shows that one the gene or the DNA in an animals cell that causes a virus is found, it can be eliminated, and making the DNA cell immune. Once the cell is immune, the immune cell can be inserted into the animal, making the animal immune. Then, the animal can reproduce, making all of the animals of the species immune to the virus, so that another coronavirus similar to the SARS virus cannot form again, resulting in another pandemic, and this time, transportation is improved, and better than 2002 transit. Planes can fly further without refill, trains can go faster, cars can go further. What we need to do to prevent another SARS-like virus from forming is pinpointing animal diseases, and halting the disease in an animal to make sure that we do not get infected.




•WHO (World Health Organization,

•Wikipedia (

•Disaster Center (

Note: You cannot click the links above. No matter how hard you press on the paper.

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Current Events March 21

Current Events March 21


Mr. Healy

Period 4/7/8


Reviving Extinct Species: Is It Really Worth It?

The article of if extinct species, and reviving them is really a good idea is a very interesting article, not only because you can hear that the wooly mammoth can be revived and brought back to life, but also is a way to restore ecosystems, introduce possible ways to prevent epidemics, and clone people.

There is always room for failure, like it or not. The reviving process will be extremely difficult, time-consuming, and risky. There is no 100% guaranteed sticker on the idea. It may just work. Or may just be another fluke, and waste millions of dollars. Many things can go wrong. The animals may never be able to fit back into the ecosystem. The animals may immediately die.

This idea of bringing back creatures back from the dead would have been diminished as a child’s dream, but there is a greater reason behind reviving extinct species. It will preserve and/or bring back ecosystems that the animal once lived in. It will not only bring back the animals and their ecosystems, but also will allow the scientists to learn what went wrong, and how we can prevent that from happening to the same, or different     species.

Another advantage, ore use, for reviving species is that you can repopulate endangered species, like sharks. The method to revive extinct species can be implemented to clone and repopulate endangered species.

As the article says, the Tasmanian Devil have a disease, and it is possible to locate the source of the disease. The disease can then be removed, making the DNA cell immune to the disease. The DNA can be inserted into the animal, and soon, the immune population will out number the infected population, making the whole population immune.


The article relates to what we are just learning in Humanities, as the process to revive extinct species can be used to cure diseases, and make people immune. The DNA of the disease can be “deleted”, as mentioned above, and can be inserted into a human as a cure.

The process in the article can be altered, to serve different purposes. For example, the process can be used to save the human population and other animals by removing diseases. Take the SARS virus for instance. Scientists say that the SARS virus originated from many animal diseases, and “mutated” into one disease. If the method of the article is used in the animals that have a disease, then the SARS virus will never have happened, and similar ones will not happen again in the future. If one finds that an animal has a disease, then the animal can be made immune, preventing spread of the disease, and preventing major magnification, like the 2002~2003 SARS virus that led to world wide infection.



In my opinion, the article can be expanded to many ideas, and solutions related to genetics and DNA. Like I explained earlier, the method of removing a virus, then making an animal immune to that virus could have been used to prevent the SARS virus.

The cloning and reviving species is still in the Stage 2 of an idea, and is extremely expensive, but when further developed, it has the potential to work. Recently, I received a news article on scientists successfully cloning rats. It was stage 2 few years back, but now it is almost ready, and has worked in small scale. The reviving of extinct species should be postponed till a higher chance of success.

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Robotics FLL 2013 Senior Solutions Reflection

The highlights of the robotics tournament include being able to complete the stove challenge once, (Better than none!) and also attempting our first “battle” against another team.

I think that we did pretty well in the robot game, as we came in 5/6th place. Our place was boosted up by the presentation that Alessio and Jonathan did, which was also very intriguing and interesting. I really think that we can start a club in the future. Our Core FLL Values were pretty good, as we let the other teams practice by moving out of the way. I also asked the team that had the quilts if another team could borrow them because that team was pointing and asking where the blue quilt was. Even with the language barrier, I was able to communicate with them, and help them. I wondered where all the rest of our 10+ robots went. Maybe if we brought more, then every one could have participated. Some people were looking bored and not participating.

I have improved a lot in the robotics club, as I was new to the programing language in the very beginning. I had never touched a NXT before that. I have spent my time learning the language, and studying. It is like learning a new language. Study and practice is the only way you learn a second language. Now I can program, build, and read the NXT. I still find programing challenging, as there is still the advanced programing left to master. This is also the area that I would like to have more challenge.

My goal for the Green City is to be able to use at least one advanced program block, (with the “wires”) to complete at least one challenge.

To reach my goal, I need to look at more videos, especially from Youtube, as the videos in the index.html don’t have enough information. Only the basics. I will need to find a more sophisticated video to teach me the advanced programming of the NXT.

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La Infographía De Sam Temple

La infographía de Sam Temple

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¿Vas A Viajar A Kaeng Krachan?

¿Vas A Viajar A Kaeng Krachan?

¿Si? Entonces, miras mi presentacion de la viaje de Kaeng Krachan!

Viaje A Kaeng Krachan 2013 pdf.

El Link Está Aquí. No puedo poner en mi blog :(

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Robotics Reflection

Robotics FFL Challenges Reflection


During the rushed preparation for the competition, I feel that actually almost completing the challenge, like when we test the robot, is the most fun, and is defiantly a highlight to the prep that we did. The robot, in the very beginning, before the prepping for the competition, was very hard to understand, especially the programming language, as it is the first time that I used Mindstorms NXT. It was all very new to me, but after a while, programing different things, I got used to the programing, and learnt it almost as another language. It is not perfect, but now the robot (finally) can understand me. The competition was a bit rushed, as we had limited time to prepare for the competition. We have not completed many challenges, and we have to work way more in order to catch up, and have any opposition for the other schools. We have 2 1/2  minutes to do as many challenges as we can, and we need to make up that short amount of time as much as we can.

Next time, I think we could have a bit more time in advance about the competition so that we could have more time to prepare for the challenge. Otherwise, it was ok, and fun, as it was the first time for me.

If I had to inform new FFL students, I would tell them to not give up, as it is almost like a new language, and it is hard to learn any language that you have never studied. It is also a very fun and challenging experience, and has many applicants to life.

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Reflexión Del Entrevista

En el entrevista con el autor de muchos poemas, dice poco preguntas. Antes de la entrevista, yo pienso el autor es el hermano de Señora Jiménez, pero no es en su familia. Señora Jiménez y Ramiro Jiménez encuentran en una escuela en el américa del sur.

El entrevista está una buena experiencia por que no hay tiempo para conversar en español. Hablo español solamente en la clase de español. No con mis amigos porque mis amigos no hablan español.

Yo contribuyo en el entrevista porque yo preguntar tres preguntas para ganar mas información del autor.

Yo pienso qué es poco extraño que señora Jiménez conocen los autores diferentes!

Me gusta el experiencia del entrevista. Es poco difícil, pero es muy divertido!

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Current Events Jan 31



Current Events Jan 31


Mr. Healy

Period 4/7/8

2013 is a Game Changer On Climate Change

The United Nations focuses their meetings on current events, and mainly climate change. We have already experienced the jobs and daily life of a UN delegate talking about climate change affecting their country. An article that was just posted on CNN describes the future in terms of climate change in 2013. The writer, Andrew Steer describes the highs and lows that are to come this year. This article would have been great support for the climate change speeches that some people made.


In the 3.2 page article filled with Andrew Steer’s predictions and comments of the year, he quotes that good things have occurred in the year already, and the year before. The economy is rising, and by 100 million per year in middle class countries. Also, the QOL in undeveloped countries are growing rapidly. But it is not the time to party and cheer that the worst is over. It has just begun. The biggest issue of the 21st century has finally reached the top priority in business, which is long over due. A poll from the WEF shows that climate change was in the top 3 most stated top issues. In addition, President Obama stated that climate change is a top priority in his Administration. The temperature is hitting records all over the world, and it shows no sigh of slowing down. Obama addresses climate change as top priority as the US economy was badly damaged, as the costs of climate change droughts and Hurricane Sandy, take up approximately 1.5% of the country’s GDP. Globally, climate change is affecting 1.6% of the global GDP.

Coal is a major factor in the climate change issue. 40% of global co2emitions are from co2. The coal demands in the United States are lowering, but 1,200 more coal plants are bound to be made around the globe. Suicide! Stopping coal may be soon impossible, but alternatives may be used. Shale gas is starting to be a perfect alternative. The co2 emissions are halved, as shale gas emits less co2 than coal. Helpful, but not good enough. Greenhouse gas must decrease by 80~90% by 2050 so that the globally feared doomsday will not occur for real. God news? Andrew Steer has 3 points to help solve the climate change issue.


Incentivizing Renewable Energy Investment.

More than 1000 renewable energy plans are made, and could really held end the doomsday that is bound to occur in 2050. China has also launched a national project, with a goal of a national program by 2025.


Removing Market Barriers.

Renewable energy is currently possible, if there were no market barriers. People believe that it is not worth it to spend millions of dollars in renewable energy if may only just scar their business.


De-risking Investments.

For many reasons, there are higher risks of problems in renewable energy than coal. Fixing the risks will help remove the market barriers, which will allow people in businesses to use renewable efficiently without the fear of affecting their business.


In my opinion the article could have been a wonderful solution in climate change in the MUN. Also, I like how the article is based on opinion. Not just a person’s opinion, but also an opinion with a strong voice. It might have been the actual UN proposed solution to climate change. The article tied together the points and pieces of a very possible solution into the article, which seems pretty hard as I have only heard of bits of the article’s solution, not all combined into ONE vey plausible solution. I also like the fact that there is a lot of specific numbers, like the fact that we need to decrease the carbon emissions by 80~90% by 2050. Also, it is telling the almost absolute truth about the future. There will be an actual doomsday by 2050 if the carbon emissions do not fall.


In the MUN that I was in last week, I find that talking was a bit rushed because of the lack of time. It would have been formal if we had a bit more time. Also, there were not enough chairs to sit on in the Friday session. Figuring out where to sit wasted 10 minutes of our time of discussion. Otherwise, I found the MUN a very fun and exciting experience, voting and disagreeing on other people’s speeches. It was fun hearing the results of speeches. I was glad that UNESCO’s climate change speech passed. It was very good and truthful. We could have added some of the article’s ideas for an even more solid conclusion to our proposal. I hated that USA vetoed almost everything, (luckily not us!) They did not make any sense! They vetoed a proposal for a 5% tax increase, but agreed to a 20% tax increase proposal. They said that 5% was too much! Over all, the MUN was a very new experience, unlike any other.


In conclusion, the article connects to the MUN that we just did, as it is a great solution to climate change, added on to our solution. I have learnt many things from the article, and it would have been a great addition to UNESCO’s climate change proposal. One thing in specific that I learnt was that climate change is more serious that we think. We think it is bad enough, but in reality, it is worse. The globally feared dooms day will come unless something is changed.

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