Curious about many things, some of which I write about — usually health care, innovation, technology, or public policy. Never stop asking “why” or “why not”!


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Taro Kono, Japan’s Administrative Reform Minister. Credit: EPA

I missed it when it was first announced in Japan, but fortunately the U.S. mainstream media has finally picked up on the story, with articles in both The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal: Japan’s new Administrative Reform Minister Taro Kono has “declared war” on fax machines, among other paper-based traditions.

Wait, what? “Administrative Reform Minister?” The U.S., or at least the U.S. healthcare system, has to hear about this.

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Mr. Kono is a well known Japanese politician, including stints as Defense Minister and Foreign Minister. He is thought of as something of a maverick, at least by Japanese political standards. New Prime Minister Suga installed Mr. Kono in mid-September, making overhaul of bureaucracy a top priority: “Wherever there are problems, I want all of them brought to Mr. …

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Tincture may be (mostly) on a hiatus, but the coronavirus pandemic calls for special attention. We highlight any COVID-19 perspectives that Tincture published last week, as well as other non-Tincture COVID-19 articles that founder Jordan Shlain and editor Kim Bellard thought you should see.

Jordan’s Takeaways

Context is everything during covid. Quantifying the impact of quarantine duration on COVID-19 transmission

Blood Types & COVID. Reduced prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in ABO blood group O

Winter is coming. Japan supercomputer shows humidity affects aerosol spread of coronavirus

So the situation, for now, seems to be that yes, re-infection is possible. …

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Sacha Vega/TED

We’re in the midst of a major U.S. election, as well as hearings on a Supreme Court vacancy, so people are thinking about litmus tests and single issue voters — the most typical of which is whether someone is “pro-life” or “pro-choice.” Well, I’m a single issue person too; my litmus test is whether someone believes in evolution.

I’m pro-science, and these are scary times.

Within the last week there have been editorials in Scientific American, The New England Journal of Medicine, and Nature — all respected, normally nonpartisan, scientific publications — taking the current Administration to task for its coronavirus response. …

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