The mouse that “can’t get cancer”. Another example of free-market science success that won’t be available on the NHS in England.


David Davis 

The Daily Mail, in its rather sad “two sensational-health-scares plus two sensational-advances (and all for women mostly) per week per front page” editorial policy, trumpeted today;

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/health/healthmain.html?in_article_id=496751&in_page_id=1770&ito=1490

“The mouse that can’t get cancer”.

I object to this popularly-journalized demonization of cancer – not because it’s an often painful and sometimes currently incurable condition – but because news about our progess towards its being made nugatory, such as with colds and flu for instance, has fallen into the hands of those who drive popular culture and popular-use-of-popular-media.

Molecular biophysicists have known for some years that there are genes which act, sort of like a “dead-man’s handle”, in cells which become what we call “neoplastic”; that is to say, cancerous. these cells have “lost” the ability to respond to ordinary chemical signals from their host body, telling them all the while “don’t divide”. So? They divide. Then they do it again…..and again, and again, and again, and…… the result is? Cancer. Some genes exist in multicellular organisms exactly to respond to this scenario, and they shut down any such cell line. Sometimes, tragically, these genes can become broken, in the course of many many cell replications in one’s life. (That’s why cancers are often conditions of middle or old age.)

But “The mouse that can’t get cancer” is I think a premature stab for us at some confidence in the future. Let’s not get too excited in England in 2007….for…………

Gordon Brown still wants you to die painfully, for a few decades more, like his political forebears still rationed foods and petrol and clothes (even CLOTHES for f***’s sake?) for years after the War. After all, if such was available on the NHS, then rich-people would queue up for it first, and we can’t have that. 

There is no doubt that Man will beat cancer generally and in detail. It may even happen in our lifetimes. But there is also no doubt that, as soon as such treatment whatever becomes available, it will “not be available on the NHS in England”. Probably in Scotland. Most probably in Poland too.

A freer market in university research in the USA has brought this new insight about. isn’t it interestingly tragic that a thingy called “NICE” (the national institute for clinical excellence) often forbids stuff automatically to England, which is permitted to be “funded” elsewhere. Well, there’s socialism for you.

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One response to “The mouse that “can’t get cancer”. Another example of free-market science success that won’t be available on the NHS in England.

  1. Rationing of clothes ended in 1949!

    1945 World War Two Ends. Rationing continued on many items until 1954.
    5th July 1945 Election of Labour Government
    1948 The end of rationing begins. It is another 5 years before rationing of all products is stopped.
    25 July 1948 End of flour rationing
    15 March 1949 End of clothes rationing
    23rd Feb 1950 Election of Labour Government
    19 May 1950 Rationing ended for canned and dried fruit, chocolate biscuits, treacle, syrup, jellies and mincemeat.
    September 1950 – rationing ended for soap
    25th Oct 1951 Election of Conservative Government
    3 October 1952 – Tea rationing ended
    1953 – Sweet and sugar rationing ends
    4 July 1954 – Food rationing ends