Researchers using a computer model say that hepatitis C could become "rare" — affecting no more than 1 in 1,500 people — in the United States by 2036.
Right now, roughly 1 in 100 people have hepatitis C in the U.S., but newer medicines and expanded screenings for adults born between 1945 and 1965 could make the number drop. A study conducted by Jagpreet Chhatwal of The University of Texas MC Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and colleagues modeled the effect the medicines and screenings will have on hepatitis C, and found that it would become rare by 2036, and could even reach that goal by 2026 if there were stricter guidelines for screenings.
The researchers wrote in Annals of Internal Medicine that the screening regimen now would identify close to 487,000 cases of hepatitis C infection within the next 10 years, and using current conditions, 124,200 cases of liver cirrhosis, 78,800 cases of liver cancer, 126,500 liver-related deaths, and 9,900 liver transplants could be prevented by 2050.
"We were pleasantly surprised that in the next 22 years we could make this a rare disease," Chhatwal told Reuters.
Hepatitis C is a viral infection of the liver that, if left untreated, can lead to liver damage, liver failure, and cancer. The researchers say it costs $6.5 billion a year to care for the 3.2 million people in the United States with hepatitis C. Catherine Garcia
For the past three years, Daily Show host Jon Stewart has been quietly running five-week-long boot camps aimed at getting interested war veterans into the television industry. On Monday, The New York Times made the program public, publishing an interview in which Stewart explained why he hasn't been touting the program — he didn't want Daily Show fans as much as vets looking to break into Hollywood, for example — and why he is talking about it now: He's retiring, and he wants other TV shows to create similar programs.
"This is ready to franchise. Please steal our idea," Stewart told The Times. “It isn't charity. To be good in this business you have to bring in different voices from different places, and we have this wealth of experience that just wasn't being tapped." Stewart said that veterans face a special challenge when it comes to getting jobs in the TV business:
There are well-worn channels into this industry that are closed off to veterans.... You get into the television industry generally by going to certain colleges known for having good television programs, getting internships, and getting to know people who work in the industry. A lot of veterans never had that opportunity because they were busy at war. This is a way to give them that chance. [Stewart]
Stewart has hired at least two vets for the show, and says they are “way less whiny” than most of his employees. Read more about the program at The New York Times.
Islamic State controls a chunk of territory about the size of Belgium, and that territory doesn't govern itself. You probably already know about the self-proclaimed "caliph," Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, but if you've ever been curious about the rest of ISIS's organizational chart, BBC News tries to fill in the blanks. Given the nature of ISIS, the BBC isn't able to provide a complete chart — al-Baghdadi's "inner circle is secretive and keeps changing as members are killed," BBC News notes — but it's an interesting look at the big picture, and in just 90 seconds. Watch below. —Peter Weber
If you are wondering how Art Garfunkel feels about erstwhile musical partner Paul Simon, Nigel Farndale at Britain's The Telegraph has a pretty candid interview with the singer-poet. "He's a hard man to get the measure of, Art Garfunkel," Farndale writes. "On the one hand he still seems eaten up by bitterness about his divorce from Paul Simon, yet he also talks about his old friend (they were at school together) with deep affection."
"I want to open up about this," Garfunkel told Farndale when he asked about Simon breaking up Simon & Garfunkel in 1970, at the height of their popularity.
I don't want to say any anti–Paul Simon things, but it seems very perverse to not enjoy the glory and walk away from it instead. Crazy. What I would have done is take a rest from Paul, because he was getting on my nerves. The jokes had run dry. But a rest of a year was all I needed. [Garfunkel]
Later in the interview, Garfunkel said that he is absolutely willing to tour with Simon again, as he has been since 1971. Then he seemed to rhetorically address Simon: "How can you walk away from this lucky place on top of the world, Paul? What's going on with you, you idiot? How could you let that go, jerk?"
Read the entire interview for Garfunkel's jaundiced views of Paul McCartney, his 1970s math-teaching career, and his fail-safe pickup line, among other revelations. But Garfunkel ended with a bang, suggesting that Simon has a Napoleon complex, that he befriended him in grade school because he felt sorry for his short stature, and that "that compensation gesture has created a monster." Peter Weber
"It tastes like beer," is pretty high praise for a non-alcoholic brew. It's also the surprise verdict of The Wall Street Journal's Emma Moody, when presented with Clausthaler's new Amber Dry Hopped near-beer. Reporter Charles Passy presented the non-alcoholic beer to show Memorial Day weekend drivers that there are alternatives to sparkling water or DWIs, but beer without a buzz is useful for people who aren't able to drink alcohol for whatever reason, like pregnancy or a desire to enjoy the day but drink beer with breakfast.
The usual problem with non-alcoholic beer is that it tastes awful, or at least nothing like beer. The addition of delicious Cascade hops (from Yakima, Washington, which Passy mangles — it's pronounced YEAH-kih-ma) appears to solve that problem. It isn't exactly an IPA, but it's pretty close, and "it's definitely drinkable," Moody says. "I think it's refreshing for a summer day," Passy adds. That's more than can be said of most alcohol-free beer. —Peter Weber
Conservationists have a dire warning: Maui's dolphin, the smallest and rarest of the world's dolphins, could be extinct within 15 years if they are not better protected.
— Liliana (@lilianacostas) May 26, 2015
There are fewer than 50 Maui's dolphins left in the wild, researchers say, found only in the waters off New Zealand. The German conservation group Nabu said that fishing must be banned across their habitat so they won’t get caught in nets, or else their extinction is a "matter of when, not if," leader Dr. Barbara Mass told BBC News. These figures are a "loud wakeup call," she said. "New Zealand has to abandon its current stance, which places the interests of the fishing industry above biodiversity conservation, and finally protect the dolphins' habitat from harmful fishing nets, seismic airgun blasts, and oil and gas extraction."
Scientists estimate that five Maui's dolphins are killed every year by gillnets or trawling, and a spokesman for New Zealand's minister for conservation said the office would not comment until recommendations are made in June by the scientific committee of the International Whaling Commission. Catherine Garcia
You've never heard "Roxanne" performed like this, probably. You can judge whether or not that's a good thing after watching the video below, from last Friday's Tonight Show. Barbershop is a new direction for the musically adventurous Sting, but when Jimmy Fallon gets a bit randy during the song, Sting showed that he, at least, is familiar with the genre. And if you don't like a barbershop treatment for The Police, well, at least it has Sting's stamp of acceptance. —Peter Weber
If you've ever wanted to own your very own historic ghost town, act now: Johnsonville, Connecticut, is back on the market for $2.4 million, just a few months after it sold at auction for $1.9 million.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 25, 2015
Listing agent Jim Kelly said the buyer's financing fell through, and now there are several interested parties, from individual investors to a solar power company to a religious summer camp. The town is spread across 62 acres, and in the 1830s was a hub of the twine industry, CBS News reports. Although twine was still produced in Johnsonville during World War I and II, by the 1960s, the town was deserted and millionaire Ray Schmitt purchased it with the intent of turning it into a tourist destination.
Wanting to make the town feel authentic, Schmitt dipped into his personal collection of Victorian items and placed them around town, and even bought buildings like a 19th century Quaker meetinghouse and brought them to Johnsonville. The tourist trap never took off and after Schmitt died in 1998, the plan changed to turn the town into a residential community for seniors, an idea that was eventually dropped. Whatever Johnsonville turns into in the future, buyer beware: It's rumored that the town is now haunted by the ghost of Schmitt. Catherine Garcia