A Merck Nobel Prize — For River Blindness Cure; Pacific Trade Pact Reached

Delivered in round-up fashion — the bigger news first: Dr. William C. Campbell (depicted at right), during a 33 year Merck career as a bio-science researcher (since retired), along with two others, has won a Nobel Prize in Medicine — for work on Ivermectin, the drug largely responsible for nearly eliminating river blindness in sub-Saharan Africa. Kudos!

In addition, as we mentioned late on Friday, the Trans-Pacific Trade treaty has this morning been agreed by all involved nations. Now begins a 90 day waiting period in the US, while Congress studies the pact. Then (because Congress cannot prevent it), Mr. Obama will sign it.

Here is the bit on Dr. Campbell — via the Gray Lady:

. . . .William C. Campbell and Satoshi Omura won for developing a new drug, Avermectin. A derivative of that drug, Ivermectin, has nearly eradicated river blindness and radically reduced the incidence of filariasis, which causes the disfiguring swelling of the lymph system in the legs and lower body known as elephantiasis. . . .

So much is new — and to be hopeful for — just as though new life. . . is arriving. Onward!

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