Adonis Diaries

Archive for May 17th, 2018

Tidbits and notes posted on FB and Twitter. Part 198

Note: I take notes of books I read and comment on events and edit sentences that fit my style. I pa attention to researched documentaries and serious links I receive. The page is long and growing like crazy, and the sections I post contains a month-old events that are worth refreshing your memory.

Obama was awarded Peace Nobel for his “good intentions to peace“. Wars are worse after 8 years. Time to revert to facts on the ground. Not likely to do same mistake with Donald Trump

Sexual abuses are pretty common everywhere around the world. In many societies, the abuses are not made public for the sake of Honor in the communities, and much less taken to court. In India, occasionally, the community orders a gang raping ritual to salvage the community honor.

Commonly, it is the victim of sexual abuse who carries the brunt of the burden to “prove” the case, given that the victim is willing to have her life-style and history (sexual and other crimes) divulged and thoroughly cross-examined by the defense lawyers…

Why family violence and of the very serious kinds, like beating, bruising, breaking of bones, raping… get a slap on the wrist on the ground of “family matters” and no one has to interfere and the cases are hushed up and not disseminated by the media?

It is about time that these “sexual abuses” allegations be defined operationally, every term of the dozens of innuendos related to sexual abusesharassment, molestation and their various synonyms.

The need for an exhaustive taxonomy of “Family Violence” is becoming an urgent matter, and sex abuses to be a subcategory. Factors like level of seriousness of the abuse (physically, mentally, socially, legally), frequency and duration of the abuse, idiosyncrasy of the community…

If 90% of all liability cases (work related safety and health, car accidents, business related charges…) are settled out of court, why should sexual abuses Not be at the negotiation table by sex “forensic experts“?

Teams of Medical professionals, jurists, social workers, politicians, judges and representatives of communities… must be given the task of operationally defining the kinds of sexual abuses, such as frequency, duration, long-term consequences, cost of trials and recovery, community idiosyncrasies… and admitting the opinions of Sex forensic experts in court

The expert opinions of Sex forensic experts, and who is knowledgeable in a particular community idiosyncrasies need to be recognized in court to save the victims from public harassment, settle 90% of cases out of court, and cut court costs

Bass mou7akaat Red Cross activities, chemical bomb, atomic bomb, white helmet faked videos… yalleh biyet kharraj min Johannam al ard, ma ello jalad tefnissaat johannam al aakherat

Is Lebanon internal force Officer Khashmi Houshaymeh sleeping well? Saf3at hal 3ameed la mouwaten youtaleb bi 7okkou, min 3awaared 7okm al militia. E3laan kouwa al amen ma bi shaje3 le radd al saf3a

Writer and activist Said Takki Din: an article on his 114 birthday (Sa3eed Takkiyel Deen)

في ذكرى ميلاد سعيد تقي الدين
الظاهرة السعتقية في الاحزاب العقدية

توفي سعيد تقي الدين في جزيرة سان اندروز _كولومبيا، عن عمر لم يتجاوز السادسة والخمسين.وسبق لي وكتبت عن سيرته وادبه عدة مرات،وبخاصة بمناسبتي ولادته في 15 ايار 1904 ،ورحيله في 9 شباط 1960. لذلك لن اكرر
في ذكرى ميلاده ال 114 ما نشرته في الدوريات ،ناهيك بما ضمنته كتبي الستة عنه..بل ساضيء على ناحية جديدة وهامة في حياته وادبه،ما جعله ظاهرة phenomene على صعيد الادباء المنضوين في الاحزاب العقدية.

بعث سعيد من مغتربه الفلبيني الذي امضى فيه 23 سنة، برسالة الى صديقه ورفيقه في الجامعة الاميركية محي الدين النصولي،طلب منه فيها تاسيس حزب بقيادة تسعة رجال لا يخافون الموت، على ان يكون هو عاشرهم.

وعاد سعيد الى عاصمة (بعقلين) بيروت على حد تعبيره، في ربيع 1948 ،فنصحه صاحب جريدة (بيروت) الوزير النصولي،بالترشح لرئاسة (جمعية متخرجي الجامعة الاميركية)حيث يفوق عدد اعضائها عدد اعضاء اكبر حزب في لبنان.وفاز بثلثي الاصوات ضد شقيق الوزير غبريال المر. ولشدة ثقته بنفسه وعدم معرفته بالانتخابات اللبنانية، تساءل:”ولو، ثلثان فقط”؟

وخلال قيادته للجمعية،اكتشف ان معظم اعضائها “اشحاء في العطاء” وبعضهم شمادصة جهاجهة.

فعاد يفكر بالحزب الذي يقوده رجال يعتبرون الحياة كلها وقفة عز.وفي ذلك الوقت،اعتقل انطون سعاده وحكم بالاعدام واغتيل رسميا في نهاية محاكمة صورية،تسنى لسعيد رؤيته قبيل الشروع ب “المحاكمة”.

وخلا ل تنفيذ حكم الاعدام، في 8 تموز 1949,واجه سعاده الموت بشجاعة،ما اوحى لسعيد بان الحزب الذي يحلم به،موجود.وبعد اشهر ،وصلته رسالة من الشاعر الشعبي عجاج المهتار الذي كان سجينا،وقد علق فيها على عبارة وردت في كتابه (غابة الكافور) يشكو فيها من معاملة امه له وكانه طفل،رغم بلوغه ال45 ،بقوله”ليس المهم ان تقنع امك بانك لم تعد طفلا.الاهم ان تقنع امتك بانك صرت رجلا”.

فابدى سعيد رغبته بالاطلاع على مبادىء حزب سعاده. وسرعان ما زاره المحامي عبدالله قبرصي واهداه كتابي سعاده(نشوء الامم) و(الصراع الفكري في الادب السوري).ثم لخص له بعض مبادىء الحزب ومنها “فصل الدين عن الدولة” ،”والغاء الاقطاع”.

ولما كان سعيد مؤمنا بهذين المبداين اصلا. وقد ضمنهما بعض مقالاته وكتبه ،وبخاصة مسرحية (نخب العدو)،فقد قال لعبدالله:الظاهر اني منكم قبل اتصالي بكم .

وفي 15 تشرين الاول 1951 انتمى سعيد الى حزب سعاده وهو في السابعة والاربعين ،وفي ذروة الشهرة.شكل انتماؤه ظاهرة فريدة.ذلك ان الادباء عندنا ينتمون الى الاحزاب العقدية في مطلع شبابهم،حتى اذا ريشوا وانشهروا، طاروا من “اقفاص” احزابهم العقدية.والحزب القومي ،الغني بالادباء والشعراء،لم يشذ عن القاعدة.ولنا من تجربة الشاعر ادونيس اسطع مثال.

طبعا،احدث انتماء سعيد لحزب سعاده ردة فعل غاضبة لدى بعض اصدقائه الذين اكدوا انه “انتهى اديبا”.رد سعيد،مداورة، على” المبشرين” بموته كاديب، بتكثيف نتاجه.

وهكذا، خلال السنوات الثماني التي بدات بالانتماء وانتهت بالوفاة، انتج ثلاثة اضعاف ما انتجه من 1921حتى 1951،

رغم انه تولى اعلى المسؤليات واخطرها خلال حياته الحزبية،منها تاسيسه وترؤسه ل( لجنة كل مواطن خفير) التي كشف بواسطتها عشرات العملاء للعدو الاسرائيلي.واصبح مرشحا للاغتيال.

وفيما يلي عناوين كتبه التي الفها وهو “يصارع التنين” على حد تعبيره: (انا والتنين) مذكرات.(المنبوذ) مسرحية.(رياح في شراعي)مذكرات.(كل مواطن خفير)

المسالة الفلسطينية. (كيف حال جنابك) ،المسالة الفلسطينية.(يدي الى قلبي),

رسائل.(عبوس الالهة) ادب سياسي .(جسر تحت الماء)ادب سياسي، الفه بالانكليزية).(جامعة بعقلين الاميركية) ادب اجتماعي وتربوي الفه بالانكليزية .

(شمدص جهجاه) نقد اجتماعي وسياسي ساخر .(رفة جناح) اقوال ماثورة.ويصدر له قريبا كتاب بعنوان 😦 سقط سهوا) الذي سيضم مقالات ادبية وسياسية ورسائل.وبالمناسبة،

فخلال احدى زياراتي الدورية لجريدة (الاخبار),طلبت من مخرجها الزميل اميل منعم،تصميم الغلاف اسوة بتصميمه لسائر كتب سعيد التي اصدرتها،فسالني عن اسم الكتاب.وحين علم اني افتش عن الاسم ،اقترح (سقط سهوا)لان محتوياته متنوعة،وقدعثرت عليها بعد صدور اخر كتاب. وبارك انسي الحاج الذي كان “مترئسا” الجلسة،الاسم السعتقي.

ولنختم بهذه الرفة التي ابدعها سعيد،اثر طفره واضطراره الى الهجرة مرة ثانية،وهو الذي عاد من هجرته الاولى متابطا 400 الف دولار اميركي : “في الشارع اعمى يدير ارغونا ويكسب ما لا اكسب. ساشتري ارغونا وسعدانا،ولكن بي عاهة،لست اعمى”. وهذه الرفة وحدها تسفه المتنبئين بموته الادبي بسبب انتمائه الحزبي.

Blood, sweat and tears in biotech — the Theranos story

Eric Topol, May 14, 2018

Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup John Carreyrou Knopf (2018)

Few scandals have so gripped both the health-care and technology industries as the seismic rise and fall of blood-testing company Theranos.

In Bad Blood, acclaimed investigative journalist John Carreyrou, who broke the story in 2015, presents comprehensive evidence of the fraud perpetrated by Theranos chief executive Elizabeth Holmes.

Specifically, Holmes and the company’s former president Ramesh ‘Sunny’ Balwani raised more than US$700 million through “elaborate, years-long fraud in which they exaggerated or made false statements about the company’s technology, business, and financial performance”, as the US Securities and Exchange Commission put it in March this year.

By the time Carreyrou’s Wall Street Journal story and a long chain of follow-ups had led to regulators closing down Theranos’s labs in 2016, nearly 1 million lab tests had been run in California and Arizona.

A significant proportion of these were erroneous; all had to be voided. An untold number of people were harmed by the erroneous results: some underwent unnecessary procedures, received misdiagnoses of serious conditions and experienced emotional turmoil.

Carreyrou presents the scientific, human, legal and social sides of the story in full. Although some of it was previously reported in his extensive coverage, he unveils many dark secrets of Theranos that have not previously been laid bare.

The company’s alluring goal, which changed as it evolved, was to quickly analyse a drop of blood for hundreds of different assays, at a fraction of prevailing costs. Collected in ‘nanotainers’ and allegedly tested in a diagnostic ‘miniLab’ the size of a microwave oven, the method was publicized as revolutionizing an industry that hadn’t changed for decades.

Holmes, who idolized Apple entrepreneur Steve Jobs, called it “the iPod of health care”.

As a child in the 1990s in the United States, Holmes declared that she wanted to be a billionaire when she grew up. By age 30, she had achieved her goal.

Highly intelligent, she had been accepted in 2002 to study chemical engineering at Stanford University in California as a President’s Scholar, a prestigious programme that comes with a grant. She dropped out in her second year to start Real-Time Cures, the Palo Alto-based company that became Theranos and operated for 15 years.

Carreyrou explores Holmes’s talents and liabilities.

Driven, and with an exceptional gift for selling ideas, she built up a board of high-level political figures, such as former secretaries of state George Shultz and Henry Kissinger, former secretary of defence William Perry, Marine Corps general (now secretary of defence) James ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis, and former senator Sam Nunn.

Investors included media magnate Rupert Murdoch; partners numbered supermarket giant Safeway and pharmacy chain Walgreens.

Channing Robertson, a professor of Holmes’s at Stanford, was a board member and adviser to the company.

In 2015, Holmes was recognized by then-president Barack Obama as a US ambassador for global entrepreneurship. The same year, vice-president Joe Biden sang her praises at a launch of the miniLab (which Carreyrou uncovers as completely fake; the lab was not operational at the time).

All the while, as Carreyrou reports, Holmes was lying about the nanotainer, contracts with the pharmaceutical industry and assay validation. She made false statements to the US Federal Drug Administration (FDA) and to the US government agency that regulates blood-testing labs, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

And she claimed that Theranos was being used on the battlefield in Afghanistan, saving soldiers’ lives.

Holmes described the miniLab as “the most important thing humanity has ever built”.

But at best, the lab could do immuno-assays using micro-fluidics. The tiny blood sample had to be diluted extensively (for which there are no reference standards or precedents), leading to artefacts and spurious results.

Later inspections by the FDA demonstrated poor quality control of multiple lab tests using Theranos equipment, and several examples of failed proficiency testing.

The rest of the hundreds of routine assays the lab was supposed to deliver would require cytometry, general chemistry and DNA amplification. These were done using routine commercially available lab equipment, or were hived off to other facilities. That was the well-kept secret inside the toxic work environment that Bad Blood exposes.

Carreyrou describes firings and legal threats to and serious intimidation of employees, as well as industrial espionage involving spying on employees’ social-media accounts. The book even goes into the suicide of a former leader of the company’s chemistry group.

I met Holmes twice and conducted a video interview with her in 2013, for the medical-information website Medscape. At the time, I gave a fingerstick nanotainer blood sample and within 30 minutes received my results for many routine tests — allegedly showing, for instance, normal glucose and lipid levels in accordance with previous testing.

Little did I know that they were run on a standard Siemens machine (I was not allowed to see the lab area) in the back room of Theranos, and had nothing to do with the miniLab.

Like so many others, I had confirmation bias, wanting this young, ambitious woman with a great idea to succeed. The following year, in an interview with The New Yorker, I expressed my deep concern about the lack of any Theranos transparency or peer-reviewed research.

Near the end of Bad Blood, Carreyrou describes how, in 2015, litigator David Boies — then Theranos’s legal counsel — attempted to prevent The Wall Street Journal from publishing Carreyrou’s reportage. For instance, Boies accused the paper of publishing Theranos trade secrets and making false and defamatory statements.

Despite the $125 million invested in Theranos by Murdoch, the newspaper’s owner, the pieces were published. We also learn about Carreyrou’s tipster, a pathologist and blogger, along with so many employees who were rightfully afraid of hurting patients with fraudulent lab results.

The combination of these brave whistle-blowers, and a tenacious journalist who interviewed 150 people (including 60 former employees) makes for a veritable page-turner.

My only criticism is the book’s lack of reflection about lessons learnt from this debacle.

How did a company rise to a valuation of $9 billion in a network of so many influential people, even as people were endangered? In my view, letting this technology loose (despite grand claims) without a single publication by independent scientists, never mind replication, was a recipe for jeopardy.

Had the medical community and regulators held the company accountable, this could have been pre-empted. There have been other examples of Silicon Valley companies that rose meteorically, but none has put patients’ health at risk. Hopefully, the evidence in Bad Blood will stop it happening again.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

Blog Stats

  • 1,427,938 hits

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.adonisbouh@gmail.com

Join 775 other followers

%d bloggers like this: