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Brian Aldrich
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Brian Aldrich

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A woman opened up her new package of her favorite spread to find the visage of Donald Trump molded into a block of butter.
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Oh snap!
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The tables were turned on Sacramento Police officers as they became carjacking victims out on patrol on Tuesday.
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“If you turn that squad car off you’re not going to have the same functions as it would if it were running,” she said.

That may be the most obvious statement of the year right there lol.
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Bam!
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RIP
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I can't even...
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😂😂😂😂
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Game changer.
 
When you get a virus, your immune system develops a response to it. This response goes away over decades, or never, and it's why you're generally immune to any virus you've survived. (There are two important exceptions. "The flu" keeps coming back because it isn't actually a single virus at all: it's an entire family of related viruses. Each year's flu tends to be 1-3 separate epidemics. Colds and other "recurring illnesses" are like that, too: a single name for a huge bestiary of different illnesses. And a few viruses like HIV are so hard to treat because they can rapidly edit themselves, changing their outer structure until your immune system can't recognize them.)

This means that your immune system ought to contain a record in it of every virus you've ever had. And that's exactly what this research team showed. Not only did they show it, but they figured out a way to build a test which, from just a small sample of your blood, can produce a list of every virus you've ever had -- whether you showed symptoms or not. 

At least, that's the short version that the press seems to have gotten. If you read the article itself (http://www.sciencemag.org/content/348/6239/aaa0698), you'll see that it's a bit more subtle. What they actually do is set up a collection of known viruses -- 206 different viruses and over 1,000 different strains -- and can automatically scan a tiny (1µL) blood sample against all of them, seeing which ones its immune system responds to. So this won't detect any viruses or strains which they didn't put into the test; it won't pop up and say "oh hey, there's some completely unknown virus in here, too." 

This is one of those discoveries that could really change the way we do many kinds of science -- it's a big enough change that it's hard to predict what it might mean. For example, imagine if we got a viral history of a million people. We might discover that some particular pattern of viruses was connected with something seemingly unrelated: a kind of heart disease, perhaps, or Alzheimer's. It's quite likely that there are many connections like this; for example, the relationship between HPV and cervical cancer is the reason so much effort went in to making an HPV vaccine. Prior to that discovery, thousands of people were dying every year and nobody knew why.

One important question is whether a very broad survey of people's viral histories ("viromes") is a good idea, or whether it might have dangerous consequences for the people involved -- in much the same way that people have reason to fear widespread genetic testing.

I suspect that it will prove safe, because a person's virome doesn't appear to be strongly personally identifying: if you had certain strains of the flu, and a certain strain of chicken pox, then someone could probably guess which general area of the world you grew up in, but not much more.

On the other hand, viruses such as herpes-2 and HIV carry strong social stigma, and this would be reason for people not to want to broadly publicize their personal viromes. So some care will have to be taken with large-scale studies. However, the potential health benefits to this are enormous; enough that we should find a way to do it.
The test, which is still experimental, can be performed for as little as $25 and could become an important research tool for tracking patterns of disease in various populations.
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Have him in circles
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Brian Aldrich

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Dear +Southwest Airlines​, thanks for doubling ticket prices in 2 days. I hope your mid-day, mid-week flight arrives safely 1/8th full.
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One of the issues is that SW has the only non-stop from Sactown to Orange County and San Diego.
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Drinking in the new/old West.
It's not that the buzz for Poor Red's is back. It never left.
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Quaint..._😂
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Color me intrigued.
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Winning like a 1:9 favorite should...
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+Brian Aldrich that's just a lot of juice for the value. I rarely give anything over -145 a second glance. 
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Well, can he win it?
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Boy I hope so!
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Vote for +Kitten Holiday​...she's great peeps!
Our Blog Awards are one of our favorite times of the year. We love shining a light on the web's writing talent. Come and vote for your favorites.
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Geek who is always striving to become just a little geekier.
Introduction
Hi...just another FB refugee...finding new, intelligent life on G+.

Interests:

Horse Racing
Reading
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SAP
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Business Intelligence

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You have an open mind

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You work in the same space (and aren't a recruiter or salesperson)

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You came from Facebook and you think G+ is a ghost town

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under wraps




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