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It’s been said that if you spend at least ten-thousand hours working in a certain subject matter, whether that be playing an instrument or studying a foreign language, you will be an expert. The rule, conceptualized by Malcolm Gladwell, was slightly misquoted, but the notion remains the same. If you remain consistent with a particular hobby or subject for at least ten years (10,000 hours), you will be considered a phenom in this subject. I’ve often spent many a night contemplating how I’ve spent the last ten-thousand hours of my life, and if I would go as far to consider myself an expert in any matter. In my opinion, to be an expert is to have nothing left to learn, and one of the greatest joys in life is learning something new. Based on that concept, I hope that I never master anything. 

Think about what you are an expert on as you read what you missed in the news yesterday. 

Until There’s A Cure 

Today, it was reported that there may be a second patient who was cured of his HIV virus. According to Vox, the new patient, who has remained anonymous, had a form of cancer and underwent treatment involving chemotherapy to clear his immune system and, through a stem cell transplant, receive cancer-free donor cells. Back in 2017, nearly a year after his transplant, the patient stopped taking his antiretroviral drugs for HIV and miraculously tested negative for HIV. Outside of the incredible fact that this man was cured, the question remains whether the disease can ultimately be cured. 

According to Vox, of the dozen patients with HIV who received a similar transplant like the London patient and the Berlin patient, eight individuals died from transplant-related side effects. No matter how you look at it, its clear that medical experts are still eons away from finding a mass-production cure for the HIV virus, especially because, in the two cases where the two men were cured, the treatment nearly killed each of them. 

“At the moment the only way to treat HIV is with medications that suppress the virus, which people need to take for their entire lives, posing a particular challenge in developing countries. Finding a way to eliminate the virus entirely is an urgent global priority, but it is particularly difficult because the virus integrates into the white blood cells of its host.”

Professor Ravindra Gupta, University of Cambridge 

A Twister

We cannot explain why mother nature reacts the way she does, but we are often forced to handle the consequences of natural disasters. Presently, there has been an outbreak of tornadoes ripping across the state of Alabama, which unfortunately took the lives of twenty-three people on Tuesday. According to reports from local officials in Alabama’s Lee County, up to eight invidious remain missing. 

No one can predict the devastating effects of a natural disaster, but it is our responsibility as Americans to offer our support to the people of Alabama in their time of need. If you would like to help people affected by disasters, consider donating to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief. 

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