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Science & Technology

How Clinical Trials Work

Prescription medications undergo rigorous rounds of testing and approval before hitting the consumer market. The Onion breaks down the steps involved in this process

Scientists Develop New Extra-Sloppy Peach

DAVIS, CA—Explaining that the latest strain of the fruit was far softer and runnier than previous varieties, agricultural scientists at the University of California, Davis announced Thursday the successful development of a new extra-sloppy peach.

SpaceX’s Plan To Colonize Mars

SpaceX founder Elon Musk continues to lay the groundwork to attempt the human colonization of Mars. Here’s a step-by-step guide to his plan:

The Pros And Cons Of Self-Driving Cars

With Uber’s robot cars debuting this week in Pittsburgh, many wonder whether driverless technology will improve or endanger our lives. The Onion weighs the pros and cons of self-driving cars

How Animals Go Extinct

With an estimated 40 percent of species on earth now considered endangered, many wonder how it’s possible for these animals to be wiped out. The Onion provides a step-by-step breakdown of how species go extinct

Horrible Facebook Algorithm Accident Results In Exposure To New Ideas

MENLO PARK, CA—Assuring users that the company’s entire team of engineers was working hard to make sure a glitch like this never happens again, Facebook executives confirmed during a press conference Tuesday that a horrible accident last night involving the website’s algorithm had resulted in thousands of users being exposed to new concepts.

Team Of Vatican Geneticists Successfully Clone God

VATICAN CITY—Describing the groundbreaking work as a major step forward for theological research, a team of Vatican geneticists held a press conference Tuesday at the Apostolic Palace to announce they had successfully cloned God.

Dad Shares Photo Album Through Never-Before-Seen Website

SECAUCUS, NJ—Wondering aloud how the father of three even managed to find the online image-hosting service, family members of local dad Phil Yates told reporters Monday the 57-year-old had shared a photo album with them through a never-before-seen website.

NASA Discovers Distant Planet Located Outside Funding Capabilities

WASHINGTON—Noting that the celestial body lies within the habitable zone of its parent star and could potentially harbor liquid water, NASA officials announced at a press conference Thursday they have discovered an Earth-like planet located outside their funding capabilities.

‘DSM-5’ Updated To Accommodate Man Who Is Legitimately Being Ordered To Kill By The Moon

ARLINGTON, VA—Saying they were committed to ensuring the influential reference text accurately represented all known psychological conditions, leading members of the American Psychiatric Association announced Monday they would update the Diagnostic And Statistical Manual Of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition to accommodate a man who is legitimately being ordered by the moon to kill those around him.

NASA Launches First Cordless Satellite

CAPE CANAVERAL, FL—In what experts are calling a breakthrough achievement that is poised to revolutionize American space exploration and telecommunications, NASA announced Friday it has successfully launched its first cordless satellite into orbit.

What Is Pokémon Go?

Since its debut last Thursday, the augmented-reality smartphone app Pokémon Go has been downloaded millions of times and has grown publisher Nintendo’s stock by 25 percent. The Onion answers some common questions about the game and its unprecedented success.

Factory Robot Working On Some Of Its Own Designs After Hours

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC—Saying it had been mulling over the “fun little side project” for a while, an Electroimpact Quadbot reportedly put in some extra work after hours at the Boeing assembly plant Wednesday to try out a few of its own original designs.

Books Vs. E-Readers

Though e-readers have increasingly supplanted books in the digital age, many bibliophiles defend the importance of physical texts. Here is a side-by-side comparison of physical books and e-books
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We Have All The Time In The World To Find A Cure For Diabetes

Did you know that diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S.? Seventh. That's really not that bad. Cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer's–now those are bad. But diabetes is not exactly a disease we need to race against the clock to cure.

Every day in this country, thousands of diabetes sufferers die of this disease and its complications. Of course, the vast majority of sufferers do not. All in all, we're only talking about 65,000 deaths per year, tops. Not 65 million, but 65,000. With the total U.S. population approaching 300 million, diabetes can hardly be called a national crisis.

There is no huge rush.

As director of the American Diabetes Foundation, I know all too well that diabetes isn't going anywhere. So when you consider making a financial contribution to ADF, think again. That money might be better spent on a more pressing ailment. After all, why panic over a disease that's not even in the top five? Our time and resources would certainly be better spent curing the number-one killer, heart disease, or even improving vehicle safety.

Diabetes can be serious. It can cause heart disease, high blood pressure, blindness, and kidney failure. Luckily, these complications occur in just a small percentage of diabetes sufferers. Not only that, if you're suffering from these complications, chances are you're probably not following the treatment plan outlined by your doctor. So is it really fair to force a team of top medical researchers to skip their summer vacations to help a bunch of people who are irresponsible about their own health?

Diabetes is a problem, but it's a problem most of us can live with. And while it's true that diabetes cases are rising, they're doing so in accordance with rising levels of obesity–exactly what we thought would happen. This definitely isn't AIDS. Diabetes is not contagious or mysterious. It's not like we need to hold some major world conference or sew a diabetes quilt or anything.

They say slow and steady wins the race. That's why our goal is to eradicate this semi-dread disease by 2340. Top medical professionals across the nation will be working on it, but they certainly shouldn't feel any huge pressure. We must forge ahead in search of a cure for diabetes, but we must remember that diabetes researchers have lives and families, too.

You may not have diabetes, but, chances are, you know someone who does. Or, at least, you know someone who knows someone who does. Not that you'd ever ask around to find that out. That would be weird. But let's just assume there's some friend of a friend out there with diabetes. That person, assuming he or she is under the care of a qualified physician, really doesn't need your help. As long as that person takes insulin, minds his or her health and diet, and visits the doctor regularly, he or she should be able to lead a normal life. No need to panic there.

All Americans should be aware of the serious complications of diabetes. Or at least those Americans who actually have diabetes. Luckily, clinics and hospitals already have tons of informational pamphlets and brochures that can be distributed to diabetics. So there really isn't much to do in the awareness-raising arena, either.

As ADF director, I care a great deal about diabetes. But, keeping things in perspective, I realize that diabetes isn't important to every person in the country. That would be selfish of me to expect others to care about diabetes as much as I do just because it's my particular field. It certainly wouldn't mean much to me if I were, say, an electrician. And I certainly wouldn't like it if some electrician were constantly hassling me about wire safety or something.

At this very moment, scientists are exploring numerous possible cures for diabetes. They're experimenting with pancreas transplants and artificial pancreases. Other researchers are attempting to cure diabetes through genetic manipulation. But that kind of cure is way off. Way, way off. Besides, if medical science ever does master genetic manipulation, we'd certainly be better off using it to eliminate something like multiple sclerosis. The important thing to remember, though, is that no matter what diabetes cure lies ahead, it can happen without your help.

Well, who knows what the future holds in store? Let's hope it brings a cure, you know, sooner or later.

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