Monday, May 23, 2011

A sad reading on cancer research, but is this still the current state of things?

I chanced upon an article here, which probably gotten its source of information from here.

This saddens me. This is an area of research that I wanted to do - cancer drug discovery using computer simulations. Anyhow, reading this article saddens me because it did reveal the capitalistic mindset of the 'real world'. Though, this is the nature of the 'real world' from a research company point of view, I am wonder are government bodies also doing something on this - i.e. capitalize on the research done and allow the public to benefit from it?

Extracting from the article (italics by me):

The DCA compound is not patented and not owned by any pharmaceutical company, and, therefore, would likely be an inexpensive drug to administer, says Michelakis, the Canada Research Chair in Pulmonary Hypertension and Director of the Pulmonary Hypertension Program with Capital Health, one of Canada's largest health authorities.

However, as DCA is not patented, Michelakis is concerned that it may be difficult to find funding from private investors to test DCA in clinical trials. He is grateful for the support he has already received from publicly funded agencies, such as the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR), and he is hopeful such support will continue and allow him to conduct clinical trials of DCA on cancer patients.

At the end, our research should drive to save lives, that's why we studied and worked so hard in research. It has a social responsibility component.

Is it possible to alter Ant properties after they've been initialized?

I was working on an Ant script (yes, I am using maven2 too for other projects, but in this case I just want to use plain vanilla Ant script) and along the way came upon this need to change an Ant property after it has been initialized.

Did a bit of googling and came upon this forum discussion. Not a very bright and encouraging note at the end - essence being "No; property values, once set, cannot be changed. Attempts to do so will fail silently."

Well, guess what? I am not the kind who give up that easily.

Here are the steps (for contribution back to the community) to change an Ant property after it have been initiatlized. Snaplets of code for illustration purpose only.

Before we dive into codes, just some overview of the approach. I am using javascript within the Ant script to accomplish this. So, you will need to download dependency libraries. The one that is really needed is js.jar from from Mozilla and don't forget to grab also the bsf jar too. For more information, you should check the Ant user manual here (scroll to the table containing js.jar and follow the link). For my side, I have both bsf-all-3.1.jar and js-14.jar within the lib directory of ant. I am running Ant version 1.7.1 for this example.

OK, now that we have covered the basics, here goes:

<project name="myProject" default="myTarget">
<property name="message" value="Hello, me!"/>
<target name="myTarget">
    <echo message="${message}"/>
    <script language = "javascript"><![CDATA[
           myProject.setProperty("message", "Hello world!");
     <echo message="${message}"/>

The portion of code that changed the property value is highlighted. The output should be similar to this:

Buildfile: build.xml

          [echo] Hello, me!
          [echo] Hello world!

Total time: 0 seconds

Never give up so easily in life.... that's the lesson. Have fun!