How much is used of what we know?

As I started writing to share my thoughts with you, another email invaded my inbox. That’s right: INVADED! I did not ask for it, I do not know whether following-up on it will be a waste of my time, and it is uncertain if the one receiving my reply will give a damn

on it or not. Ok, my first version wasn’t “give a damn”, but I changed it because it’s engrained in my brain the fact that I have to act professional at all the times – even in my dreams, even in my thoughts and the combination thereof. Not to get deterred by my thoughts about that email, but it starts quite enticing for a scientist: along the lines of “questions matching your expertise; 3 researchers are waiting for someone with your skills and expertise to answer these questions”. Yeah, that’s ResearchGate.

ResearchGate – a result of your investment

If you are not a scientist or a published professional, you may not know what ResearchGate is, although it is very likely that the evidence and knowledge shared on ResearchGate is paid by YOU. About 90% of the internet surfers will not develop any interest in joining ResearchGate, despite of the fact that they pay either directly or indirectly for the science shared there. They pay for the ones networking there through paying taxes, donating for a cause that requires more research into a niche or buying a medication that was developed and/or produced by one of the employers paying the scientist networking there. If you watch advertising for a – say – heartburn relief and then you go BUY it and it works for you (or not), then you PAID for a slice of the ResearchGate content.

PubMed is YOUR milestone for man-kind

PubMed is a free search engine accessing a collection comprising of more than 25 million citations of biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. For the vast majority of the internet surfers, these sources of information mean NOTHING – and here I mean “hieroglyphs-scribbled somethings” for which there is no current dictionary to help the common human being understand the good from the bad (or the false from the true) once reading them. You get it… Now, let’s be clear here: I do not pick on ResearchGate or PubMed! In fact, I believe that their creators were great minds. I say so because they enabled a track for good thought and ideas to meet and “have sex together” (thank you, James Altucher – you are an innovator thinker of your time! I owe him credit for that quote). Well, ideas having sex and generating more and brilliant baby-ideas is spectacular in anything that one may imagine, but it is amazing beyond belief when idea-sex happens in biomedical research, chemistry, or engineering…

Think of it like dog breeding: the resulted puppy is cute, photographed, advertised, and then wanted by everyone. The puppy then sells for lots of money to only be abandoned soon in a pet shelter because the adopters cannot keep-up with maintenance, and can’t understand any longer the poor puppy’s purpose, behavior and needs. Because life changes and it’s ok to change your mind. Something similar happens to the most spectacular “newly-bred” idea(s) in biomedical sciences, chemistry, or engineering: they get abandoned in a shelter called “Patents & Trademarks Office”. We even kill many of them. By this I mean some people buy them (e.g. the patents) to only lock them in drawers until most people forget they even existed. Why? Well, it is both intentional and unintentional. Often the inventor does not know how to further make use of the idea or waits too long for the right moment to bring it to the world (e.g. commercialize). Other times, the inventor sells it with the hopes of seeing it used for the better, but fails to recognize the conflict of interest of the buyer who, in fact, wants to remove potential competition from further development.

If you don’t believe it, go check the number of patents filed with the United States Patents and Trademarks Office. Behind each of these filings is a great idea with a remarkable potential to help the world. That’s free information, go ahead, get adventurous and read a few! Try to remember if you ever crossed paths with that idea. Someone gave birth to it FOR YOU, for your life to get better, easier, more enjoyable, for you to live a longer, healthier, better life.

Did you know that?

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Dr. Alice

I teach people how drugs work, when they are needed, and why. My expertise as a pharmacist and researcher allows me to determine whether taking or not taking a drug will pose any risk given all current circumstances that apply at this moment. Many times we don't know unless we try, but other many times walking the extra mile pays off giving in return more wonderful moments and more to give to others.

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