America: Land Of The Idiots
In the midst of blogging and shouting and bumper stickers, we are often left with the impression that America is no longer home to the types of minds that thought of the polio vaccine and the space program. (Even though much of the space program's early brainpower was imported from Germany.)
Test scores are lower and no child is left behind, even when they don't learn anything.
But occassionally, quietly and in the background, there are Americans who are doing great things.
Two of them just won the Nobel Prize for Medicine.
Americans Andrew Z. Fire and Craig C. Mello won the Nobel Prize in medicine Monday for discovering a powerful way to turn off the effect of specific genes, opening a potential new avenue for fighting diseases as diverse as cancer and AIDS.
The process, called RNA interference, also is being studied for treating such conditions as hepatitis virus infection and heart disease. It is already widely used in basic science as a method to study the function of genes.
Hope maybe quiet, but it's out there.