To learn more – find out what doesn't work

Besides an earlier entry on finally eliminating the use of a long-standard treatment for traumatic head injuries (more people died with it than with nothing), here comes a study testing the use of antibiotics (azithromycin) to treat coronary patients.

Scientists have long thought that a certain bacteria has something to do with causing arteriosclerosis. This test measured results from treating people who’d had some form of a heart attack. The hope was that antibiotic treatment would help prevent secondary coronary events. “The Azithromycin and Coronary Events Study (ACES) enrolled 4012 participants…in [locations across] the United States” and followed them for four years. After a year of antibiotic treatment, there was no difference in incidence between them and the control group.

This is like Thomas Edison and trying the what-was-it? three thousand things that didn’t work before he invented the light bulb. Research is a slow and painstaking process. This may have something to do with why investors are so nervous about getting into the bioscience area. High-risk, high-return–because it something hits, the payback can be enormous (ask any pharmaceutical company), but you might have to wait a lo-o-o-ng time for that to happen.