Today's New York Times
Everything you need to know about today's paper!
First, a brief tour of the How Are We Oppressing Black People and Aren’t Black people the BEST? stories, featured on the Times’ homepage:
Second, here are the interesting stories in the Times today — there are 3:
Dermatologists who specialize in hair loss say that the key ingredient in a topical treatment worked even better when taken orally at a low dose.
But that was not the reason the low-dose pills were discovered. Instead, the discovery occurred also by accident 20 years ago.
Dr. Rodney Sinclair, a professor of dermatology at the University of Melbourne in Australia, had a patient with female pattern baldness. The hair on top of her head had thinned, and she hated the way it looked. Unlike what happened with most of his patients, Rogaine worked for her, but she developed an allergic rash on her scalp from the drug. Yet if she stopped taking it, her hair would thin again.
“So I was stuck,” Dr. Sinclair said. “The patient was very motivated, and the one thing we knew was that if a patient has an allergy to a topically applied medicine, one way to desensitize is to give very low doses orally.”
To do that, Dr. Sinclair tried cutting minoxidil pills into quarters. To his surprise, the low dose made her hair grow but did not affect her blood pressure, the original purpose of the higher-dose drug.
He subsequently lowered the dose more and more until he got down to effective doses of one-fortieth of a pill and began routinely prescribing the drug. That first patient still takes it.
At a meeting in Miami in 2015, Dr. Sinclair reported that low doses of minoxidil prompted hair growth in 100 successive women.
Without a rigorous trial leading to F.D.A. approval, though, the use of minoxidil pills for hair loss remains off-label. And, dermatologists say, it is likely to remain so.
“Oral minoxidil costs pennies a day,” Dr. King said. “There is no incentive to spend tens of millions of dollars to test it in a clinical trial. That study truly is never, ever going to be done.”»
This is a perennial problem in medicine: There’s no incentive to find a cure, least of all an inexpensive cure, because then pharmaceutical companies can’t recoup the billions of dollars spent inventing it. Capitalism is great for almost everything — except new drugs that cure, rather than treat. Long, expensive treatments make money! Inexpensive cures don’t. Chemo vs. curing cancer. In order to find a CURE for cancer, we need to offer a bounty, perhaps the $50 billion we’ve already sent to Ukraine for a war that will have no effect on any American’s life.
The country’s tax agency, hoping to reverse the alcohol industry’s pandemic doldrums, is holding a contest to encourage more drinking among the young.
TOKYO — Among the casualties of the pandemic is one that many young people in Japan say they do not miss: the drinking culture.
Sobriety, they have decided after two years of less socializing and nightcrawling, has its advantages. And that’s why a new message from the Japanese government — drink up! — seems to be putting few in the spirit.
With Japan reaching new highs in coronavirus infections, including over 255,000 new cases on Thursday, many young people are wondering why the government is now saying it’s OK to go out and drink.
“The media is announcing record Covid cases, while restaurants are like, don’t talk while eating, wear a mask,” said Chika Kato, a 27-year-old consultant in Tokyo. “But the government is at the same time asking us to go all out and drink.”
“It’s an awkward situation,” she added. “Who do I listen to?”»
Another casualty of the shutdowns! Young Japanese aren’t drinking anymore.
On one hand, Americans reacted better to the ridiculous, pointless shutdowns, vax and mask mandates by resisting — protesting, refusing and, finally, moving to Florida. The Japanese submitted.
On the other hand, Japanese young people stopped drinking and probably studied more, while American young people started consuming massive amounts of pot and opioids.
We need a wall; and
How about we admit more Japanese and fewer Mexicans? Because …
The authorities said for the first time that the state had been a key player in the likely massacre of students from a teachers’ college in 2014.
By Oscar Lopez
Aug. 18, 2022
MEXICO CITY — The disappearance of 43 Mexican students in 2014 was a “crime of the state” involving every layer of government, an official inquiry reported on Thursday, in the most profound admission to date of government responsibility for one of the most notorious atrocities in Mexico’s modern history. …
The students are among more than 100,000 people who have gone missing or are considered disappeared across the country, testament to the brutality of organized crime groups that are known to dissolve bodies in tubs of acid or burn corpses to ash.
In 2015, after a few months of investigation, Mexico’s attorney general reported that the students had been taken by the municipal authorities at the behest of a local gang, which then killed them and incinerated their bodies in a trash dump.
But that conclusion has been almost unanimously disputed by international experts, who have found numerous inconsistencies in the official conclusions.
On Thursday, Mr. Encinas doubled down on that criticism: That investigation “was a concerted action from the organized apparatus of power from the highest level of government, which obscured the truth.”»