## Monday, October 04, 2010

### Nobel prize in medicine: Robert Edwards

The 2010 Nobel prize for physiology or medicine was awarded to
Robert Geoffrey Edwards of U.K. (Wikipedia)
for in vitro fertilization. Here, in vitro means "in the glass": compare with vitrines and vitrages. ;-)

The egg is taken out of a woman, fertilized externally, and returned to the woman. In this way, sex may be avoided. ;-)

Of course, aside from the possible elimination of this sin :-), the controversial advance is useful in the case of various infertility situations. Today, about 1-2% of people are born in this way so this guy is responsible for millions of new lives every year, nicely extending the mankind's carbon footprint.

It is not 100% comprehensible to me what was hard about this procedure and why it took 20 years of his work but I hope that some commenters may offer a comprehensible explanation.

The identity of the new winner was leaked a few hours before the announcement. I don't know why they present it as such a problem - the leak didn't get anywhere, anyway.

TRF congratulates the laureate and wishes him good health - which, I hear, is not great right now. Patrick Christopher Steptoe, who contributed to the invention, has made a mistake that has cost him 1/2 of the most recent Nobel prize: he died in 1988.

Some sports news

This is completely off-topic. But congratulations to the American readers who watch basketball. In the women's world championship in Czechia, the U.S. women defeated the Czech women in the finals. The massacre in Carlsbad, Bohemia was calmly watched by our basketball-player-in-chief, President Václav Klaus.

Meanwhile, the soccer in my hometown of Pilsen has provided us with another proof of global warming.

After 11 rounds of the main Czech soccer competition, the Gambrinus league (sponsored by the canonical Pilsner beer for the masses, Gambrinus, named after a Scandinavian God of beer), aptly named FC Viktoria Pilsen has 31 points - 10 victories and 1 tie. One can calculate that among the 16 teams, the Pilsner soccer is 3.1 standard deviations above the mean. It is 12 points ahead of the second team that has 19 points. Well, there are 3 of them: SK Sigma Olomouc, FK Mladá Boleslav, and AC Has-Been Sparta Prague. ;-)

The probability that a particular team is 3 sigma above - but not below - the mean is 1 in 600. The probability that any team among 16 satisfies this condition is above 1 in 40. At any rate, this is unlikely to occur by chance, so at a 95% confidence level, there has to be a reason. Global warming is the only possible reason why Pilsner soccer could suddenly be so good: we have never been any Real Madrid; we were at most Rational Madrid. The Gambrinus league table therefore proves that global warming is real and it will soon kill us.

Acknowledgements: the discoveries above are not purely mine. They are essentially rephrased from the insights by the IPCC, James Hansen, and others.