End the Cynicism.

So with all the bad news flow lately, I have noticed a theme on this blog…while I am predominantly an optimist, I could not help but feel incredibly frustrated with the quantity and variety of man-made headline risks.  In the same week that the BP spill became a catastrophic environmental disaster, we saw a luckily failed bombing attempt in Manhattan and the passage of a blatantly racist and downright disgusting Arizona immigration law, not to mention the fact that I left behind the mid-20 age group for the late 20s.  I will talk about the immigration law in the near future, as it is something that strikes a nerve with me.  I am the son of a first generation American from Eastern Europe.  I am no different than a Jose or Juan, other than in my skin color, yet someone from a different skin color would be treated less favorably than I in Arizona.  What is happening in Arizona is EXACTLY the type of persecution that my mother sought to escape from when she left Poland as a political refugee four decades ago.  I promise a more thorough discussion of the issues, but in the meantime, I will leave you all with this link of companies to boycott who call Arizona their home.  Please join me in using democracy and capitalism to take a stand against this hate!

Initially, the headline news leaves nothing to get excited about and much to fear.  It just so happens that beneath the surface something incredibly good is happening.  Just last week marked what I believe to be the most significant biotechnological advance in my lifetime.  Dendreon (DNDN, disclosure: I am long DNDN) received FDA approval to market Provenge, a groundbreaking immunotherapy to treat prostate cancer.  The science works using dendritic cells, first discovered by Dr. Ralph Steinman at Rockefeller University, in order to manipulate the body’s immune system to attack the cancerous tumor itself.  While the application itself is very much in the early stages, the potential is enormous for treating some of our most threatening diseases and ailments including various kinds of cancers, HIV, lupus, etc.

This is an amazing breakthrough for science and something which should bring a good deal of renown to Dr. Steinman and investment in the future of this technology.  With this initial approval, Dendreon will now have much better access to capital–both human and monetary–to develop further applications for Provenge and to continue to tinker with and expand the existing use of immunotherapy in fighting prostate cancer.  I look forward to the growth and development of this technology and fully believe in its potential to change the way that humans and science fight some of our most dangerous ailments.  All of my readers unfamiliar with this technology should take a moment, click on some of these links (here’s another one) and learn about it.  Furthermore, try to find stories that are not from “business” sites, as this story is far larger than a stock-specific one–it is a monumental achievement for humanity.

Disclosure: I am long shares of DNDN.

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