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Rishi
 India
In Aid of AIDS Printer Friendly Version
A condition called Graft Versus Host Disease (GVHD) was foud among some immune deficient persons, who received bone marrow transplants. Later this condition came to light among certain patients, who were immune incompetent and who were transfused with blood products, which had immune competent cells. GVHD is not very common. But when it does happen it is often fatal. There seems to be no cure for this. Only prevention. Prevention is by using irradiated blood products.
Haemo-dialysis is a common procedure for alleviating kidney malfunction. The affected person's blood is pumped out, filtered, and put back into the patient online.
The virus causing HIV is not very hardy and is easily deactivated once it is outside the person.
The idea being proposed now combines the above three factors. Put an AIDS person on a dialysis type of machine, deactivate HIV by irradiating his/her blood to the currently practised doses of Gamma Irradiation, and put it back into the patient. Monitor the progression of AIDS and repeat the procedure.
At the least this may arrrest the progression of AIDS, and significantly improve the quality of life. At best it may effect a complete cure.
An adult has about a gallon and half of blood. With the blood irradiators currently available it should be possible to irradiate this quanity of blood to the prescribed dose of Gamma Rays in about half an hour. Since blood circulates through every nook and corner of the body, HIV lurking anywhere should get flushed into blood. The procedure is painless and can be repeated as often as haemo-dialysis, which is often done thrice a week.
The irradiator is rather expensive. But the running costs are negligible. The procedure does not conflict with any ongoing Anti Retroviral Treatment. Many can be treated in a day.
There is nothing out of the way in the proposal. All the procedures and equipment are known, available, and in routine use. The only new thing is the suggested application.
Unfortunately there does not seem to be a suitable animal model for trials. The trials probably have to be done on humans only. There is one soft option. Initially blood can be drawn from an AIDS patient and irradiated offline. Deactivation of HIV can be checked. If enough data points to this primary objective being met, the irradiated blood could be transfused to the same patient and monitored for any adverse reaction. If this also passes then a full scale online trial as suggested above can be done.
Reward: It is a crime to expect to be rewarded in this kind of case. 

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old_kyle_w
 USA
Improved freight transit Printer Friendly Version
This idea is directed at the USA but might have application elsewhere.
I am proposing an idea to our government to promote the creation of a nationwide, privately run, rail shipping system that could significantly affect the energy cost and number of interstate trucks. The idea is a cross between the Interstate highways and Federal Express. The infrastructure would be developed and paid for by both the federal and local governments just as the Highways were. Initially it would only connect major transport hubs. Over time it would be extended to cover the same sites our current interstate system covers, possibly by using land contiguous with the highways. A major rail yard being set up outside each transport hub. The trains would only carry truck trailers that would be picked up at the rail yard and delivered to their final destination.
Where the Fed Ex idea comes in would be in the charter under which the schedules were run. Trains would leave on-time, whether fully loaded or not. Delivery at the rail yard would be guaranteed by the private firm running the system. This private firm would gain the concession to run the service by bid from the Federal government. They would be held to their schedules, rates and penalties by the terms of their contract and federal law, the ultimate penalty being loss of the concession and a fine. Payment for the concession would be used for repayment of the construction costs. Private trucking firms would supply the delivery to final destination and from source to the rail yard.
I suggest this idea for two reasons, although it may have several others. After talking with some friends who were truckers but have left the business, I found they were driven out by rising fuel costs and flat charge rates. The rates set by the major trucking firms make it impossible for small contractors to compete. This is the way capitalism works and eventually, when the competition is reduced, rates will rise again. This proposal would reduce the amount of fuel used for long distance transportation while overcoming the chief objection to rail transport, untimely delivery. Secondarily, it would decrease the number of heavy trucks on the interstates which would increase the safety and structural life of those roadways. I would appreciate your thoughts both on the feasibility of the idea and a method of presentation that might gain some considered thought by our government.
Reward: Fewer trucks on the Interstate and less air polution. 

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