Excerpts: The Profits of Nonprofit

The Profits of Nonprofit

The surprising results when drug development and altruism collide

By Megan Scudellari | January 1, 2011

“In 2002, the company identified a promising off-patent antibiotic once cast aside by a large pharmaceutical company for its lack of profitability. Since the drug had been previously approved and marketed in the late 1950s as a broad-spectrum antibiotic, iOWH was able to skip directly to a phase III clinical trial to test the drug as a treatment for visceral leishmaniasis. The trial commenced in 2003, and just three years later—record time in the drug development world—paromomycin was approved for sale in India…”

“Though the idea of a nonprofit pharmaceutical company is still new, nonprofit foundations and institutes have long been a staple in biomedical research funding in the United States. But they too are breaching the barriers between profit and nonprofit, adopting best practices from the for-profit business world…”

“Victoria Hale has also made a move toward borrowing business strategies, this time not only to enable nonprofits to develop drugs, but to make and market them without Big Pharma’s help. In 2008, she left iOWH to found a “second-generation” nonprofit pharmaceutical company called Medicines360. With a focus on women and children’s health, Medicines360 aims to become self-sustaining over time, using revenue from sales of its products at a premium price in the West to subsidize the same products for those who can’t afford them in developing countries. The company is currently developing an intrauterine device (IUD) for contraception…”

“In the United States, L3Cs, low-profit, limited-liability companies, now bridge that gap. Eight states have passed legislation that permits the creation of L3Cs—defined as socially beneficial for-profit ventures. Many companies have adopted the status, including alternative-energy companies, newspapers, and food companies, but no pharmaceutical or biotech company has yet attempted the model, according to L3C experts. That’s not to say they won’t, however.”


The Scientist: The Profits of Nonprofit

Best Data Science Courses Online

The Best Free Data Science Courses on the Internet

Data science is blossoming as a field at the moment. Popular jargon from traditional statistics to new machine learning techniques are used colloquially in both online articles and day-to-day exchanges. One of the excellent things about data science, noted by David Venturi, is that by nature the field is computer-based. Why not learn about it all for free online then? Venturi has written several articles enumerating lists of massive open online courses (MOOC) relevant to someone interested in only a single highly-ranked data science class, or a complete masters degree in data science for the more dedicated individual. One of the benefits of these courses is they are more poignant and focus on only the knowledge relevant to applying data science skills. Another perk is the nonexistent price tag, as opposed to the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars of student loans one could thrust themselves into while pursuing a data science masters at a formal institution. Venturi explains why he left grad school to learn about data science before finishing his first semester. If nothing else, some of these courses may be useful to supplement a graduate school education.


FreeCodeCamp.org: David Venturi

FreeCodeCamp.org: The best Data Science courses on the internet, ranked by your reviews

FreeCodeCamp.org: If you want to learn Data Science, take a few of these statistics classes

Medium.com: I Dropped Out of School to Create My Own Data Science Master’s — Here’s My Curriculum

Stomach Vacuum Exercise

How to Perform Stomach Vacuum

  1. Stand upright and place hands on hips or behind neck
  2. Exhale all air from lungs completely
  3. Expand chest, bringing stomach in as much as possible
  4. Hold for X seconds (visualize touching naval to lumbar spine)
  5. Bonus: flex groin muscles (as if stopping flow of urine)

Training Guide

3 days each week:

  • Week 1: 3 sets of 20 seconds
  • Week 2: 3 sets of 40 seconds
  • Week 3: 3 sets of 60 seconds

Alternative positions

Lying prone, kneeling, seated

Image result for stomach vacuum standing sitting kneeling

Transversus Abdominis and Multifidus Muscles

Stomach vacuuming strengthens transversus abdominis and multifidus muscles.

Image result for multifidus transversus abdominis

Image result for transversus abdominis adam

Strengthening transversus abdominis (TrA) and multifidus muscles has been reported as a treatment for lower back pain. However, a systematic review was inconclusive and provided mixed results; strengthening these muscles may prevent back pain, but a strong statement for or against this causal relationship cannot be made without better evidence. Ideally large, prospective studies would be used to investigate the association of TrA and multifidus strengthening exercises with reduced lower back pain.


BodyBuilding.com: The Stomach Vacuum Exercise

NCBI: The relationship of transversus abdominis and lumbar multifidus clinical muscle tests in patients with chronic low back pain.

NCBI: Do various baseline characteristics of transversus abdominis and lumbar multifidus predict clinical outcomes in nonspecific low back pain? A systematic review.

Vitruvian Physique: How to Stomach Vacuum

Importance of Stupidity in Science

The Importance of Stupidity in Scientific Research

“Science makes me feel stupid too. It’s just that I’ve gotten used to it. So used to it, in fact, that I actively seek out new opportunities to feel stupid. I wouldn’t know what to do without that feeling. I even think it’s supposed to be this way.”

The more comfortable we become with being stupid, the deeper we will wade into the unknown and the more likely we are to make big discoveries.

“Productive stupidity means being ignorant by choice. Focusing on important questions puts us in the awkward position of being ignorant. One of the beautiful things about science is that it allows us to bumble along, getting it wrong time after time, and feel perfectly fine as long as we learn something each time. No doubt, this can be difficult for students who are accustomed to getting the answers right. No doubt, reasonable levels of confidence and emotional resilience help, but I think scientific education might do more to ease what is a very big transition: from learning what other people once discovered to making your own discoveries. The more comfortable we become with being stupid, the deeper we will wade into the unknown and the more likely we are to make big discoveries.”


The Journal of Cell Science: The Importance of Stupidity in Scientific Research

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