nucifera: 美国大选和马来西亚或新加坡人可能全然没有直接关系,但是纽约时报的这篇社论无疑是值得任何一个民主国家的子民去认真阅读。理由很简单,这篇社论展示了一个有素质的选民该如何去选择他们国家未来的领导人,所依据的、所应有的思维素质应当是哪些。

事实上,纵观纽约时报对两党代表人物的评析,可以看见他们是支持Hillary Clinton入主白宫。而nucifera也希望,美国未来白宫的主人是Hillary Clinton。但在这重要的时期,我们还得希望美国前总统Bill Clinton少做些傻事。

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Editorial
Published: January 25, 2008

This generally is the stage of a campaign when Democrats have to work hard to get excited about whichever candidate seems most likely to outlast an uninspiring pack. That is not remotely the case this year.

The early primaries produced two powerful main contenders: Hillary Clinton, the brilliant if at times harsh-sounding senator from New York; and Barack Obama, the incandescent if still undefined senator from Illinois. The remaining long shot, John Edwards, has enlivened the race with his own brand of raw populism.

As Democrats look ahead to the primaries in the biggest states on Feb. 5, The Times’s editorial board strongly recommends that they select Hillary Clinton as their nominee for the 2008 presidential election.

We have enjoyed hearing Mr. Edwards’s fiery oratory, but we cannot support his candidacy. The former senator from North Carolina has repudiated so many of his earlier positions, so many of his Senate votes, that we’re not sure where he stands. We certainly don’t buy the notion that he can hold back the tide of globalization.

By choosing Mrs. Clinton, we are not denying Mr. Obama’s appeal or his gifts. The idea of the first African-American nominee of a major party also is exhilarating, and so is the prospect of the first woman nominee. “Firstness” is not a reason to choose. The times that false choice has been raised, more often by Mrs. Clinton, have tarnished the campaign.

Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton would both help restore America’s global image, to which President Bush has done so much grievous harm. They are committed to changing America’s role in the world, not just its image. On the major issues, there is no real gulf separating the two. They promise an end to the war in Iraq, more equitable taxation, more effective government spending, more concern for social issues, a restoration of civil liberties and an end to the politics of division of George W. Bush and Karl Rove.

Mr. Obama has built an exciting campaign around the notion of change, but holds no monopoly on ideas that would repair the governing of America. Mrs. Clinton sometimes overstates the importance of résumé. Hearing her talk about the presidency, her policies and answers for America’s big problems, we are hugely impressed by the depth of her knowledge, by the force of her intellect and by the breadth of, yes, her experience.

It is unfair, especially after seven years of Mr. Bush’s inept leadership, but any Democrat will face tougher questioning about his or her fitness to be commander in chief. Mrs. Clinton has more than cleared that bar, using her years in the Senate well to immerse herself in national security issues, and has won the respect of world leaders and many in the American military. She would be a strong commander in chief.

Domestically, Mrs. Clinton has tackled complex policy issues, sometimes failing. She has shown a willingness to learn and change. Her current proposals on health insurance reflect a clear shift from her first, famously disastrous foray into the issue. She has learned that powerful interests cannot simply be left out of the meetings. She understands that all Americans must be covered — but must be allowed to choose their coverage, including keeping their current plans. Mr. Obama may also be capable of tackling such issues, but we have not yet seen it. Voters have to judge candidates not just on the promise they hold, but also on the here and now.

The sense of possibility, of a generational shift, rouses Mr. Obama’s audiences and not just through rhetorical flourishes. He shows voters that he understands how much they hunger for a break with the Bush years, for leadership and vision and true bipartisanship. We hunger for that, too. But we need more specifics to go with his amorphous promise of a new governing majority, a clearer sense of how he would govern.

The potential upside of a great Obama presidency is enticing, but this country faces huge problems, and will no doubt be facing more that we can’t foresee. The next president needs to start immediately on challenges that will require concrete solutions, resolve, and the ability to make government work. Mrs. Clinton is more qualified, right now, to be president.

We opposed President Bush’s decision to invade Iraq and we disagree with Mrs. Clinton’s vote for the resolution on the use of force. That’s not the issue now; it is how the war will be ended. Mrs. Clinton seems not only more aware than Mr. Obama of the consequences of withdrawal, but is already thinking through the diplomatic and military steps that will be required to contain Iraq’s chaos after American troops leave.

On domestic policy, both candidates would turn the government onto roughly the same course — shifting resources to help low-income and middle-class Americans, and broadening health coverage dramatically. Mrs. Clinton also has good ideas about fixing the dysfunction in Mr. Bush’s No Child Left Behind education program.

Mr. Obama talks more about the damage Mr. Bush has done to civil liberties, the rule of law and the balance of powers. Mrs. Clinton is equally dedicated to those issues, and more prepared for the Herculean task of figuring out exactly where, how and how often the government’s powers have been misused — and what must now be done to set things right.

As strongly as we back her candidacy, we urge Mrs. Clinton to take the lead in changing the tone of the campaign. It is not good for the country, the Democratic Party or for Mrs. Clinton, who is often tagged as divisive, in part because of bitter feeling about her husband’s administration and the so-called permanent campaign. (Indeed, Bill Clinton’s overheated comments are feeding those resentments, and could do long-term damage to her candidacy if he continues this way.)

We know that she is capable of both uniting and leading. We saw her going town by town through New York in 2000, including places where Clinton-bashing was a popular sport. She won over skeptical voters and then delivered on her promises and handily won re-election in 2006.

Mrs. Clinton must now do the same job with a broad range of America’s voters. She will have to let Americans see her power to listen and lead, but she won’t be able to do it town by town.

When we endorsed Mrs. Clinton in 2006, we were certain she would continue to be a great senator, but since her higher ambitions were evident, we wondered if she could present herself as a leader to the nation.

Her ideas, her comeback in New Hampshire and strong showing in Nevada, her new openness to explaining herself and not just her programs, and her abiding, powerful intellect show she is fully capable of doing just that. She is the best choice for the Democratic Party as it tries to regain the White House.

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NYTimes: Tuna Troubles

一月 24, 2008

nucifera: 或许远处的环境污染和海洋污染还真不关我们家的事,但是请三思。前些时日在纽约许多sushi店售卖的金枪鱼sushi的调查显示,这些美味的食物含有过量水平的水银。换句话说,环境污染这么个战争已经打到我们的餐桌上来了。

归根究底原因很简单——因为我们的海洋遭到了严重污染。我们排出流入海洋的渣滓,很不幸地正在以另一种方式回到我们的身体中来。是时候我们再一次重视环境的问题。

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Editorial
Published: January 24, 2008

Here is a simple rule for life: the food you eat is only as safe as the environment it comes from. This is narrowly true, in that food from a dirty kitchen is likely to be unsafe. But it’s also true in the broadest sense. A good example is the tuna in sushi. Many New Yorkers have come to love the convenience, taste and aesthetic appeal of sushi. But as The Times reported Wednesday after testing tuna from 20 Manhattan stores and restaurants, sushi made from bluefin tuna may contain unacceptable levels of mercury, which acts as a neurotoxin. Every piece of that tuna, glistening on its bed of rice, is a report on the worrisome state of the oceans.

Bluefin tuna contain higher levels of mercury than other species of tuna because they live longer and, like humans, accumulate more mercury in their body tissues. The trouble for sushi-lovers is that it is very hard to tell what kind of tuna you’re getting, whether you’re dining at an exclusive restaurant or picking up some sushi at the market on the way home from work.

The owners of the establishments whose tuna was tested, including some very familiar names, said they would talk to their suppliers, and the suppliers will no doubt talk to their fishermen. For all this talk, no one is going to be able to find a mature bluefin tuna that is mercury-free, at least not until the oceans are mercury-free.

It’s easy enough to understand the transfer of mercury from fish to diner. If you regularly eat as few as six pieces of tuna sushi a week, you may be consuming more mercury than the levels considered acceptable by the Environmental Protection Agency. What is harder to keep in mind is how mercury is transferred from the environment to the fish themselves.

Though some mercury in the atmosphere occurs naturally, roughly two-thirds is produced by industrial sources — especially coal-burning power plants. It settles into the water in a form called methylmercury, is absorbed by bacteria and then makes its way up to the very top of the food chain — to humans. It is a reminder of how interconnected all life on earth really is. The mercury that worries us in the tuna we eat is the very residue of the way we live. The only way to reduce the one is to improve the other.

By SETH SCHIESEL
Published: January 21, 2008

Ever since John Riccitiello took over last year as chief executive of Electronic Arts, the video game industry bellwether, he has promised to revitalize the company with new games and new ways of reaching consumers. Now, that may be happening.

In a major departure from its traditional business model, E.A. plans to announce Monday that it is developing a new installment in its hit Battlefield series that will be distributed on the Internet as a free download. Rather than being sold at retail, the game is meant to generate revenue through advertising and small in-game transactions that allow players to spend a few dollars on new outfits, weapons and other virtual gear.

At a conference in Munich, the company intends to announce that the new game, Battlefield Heroes, will be released for PC this summer. More broadly, E.A. hopes the game can help point the way for Western game publishers looking to diversify beyond appealing to hard-core players with games that can cost $60 or more.

E.A.’s most recent experiment with free online games began two years ago in South Korea, the world’s most fervent gaming culture. In 2006, the company introduced a free version of its FIFA soccer game there, and Gerhard Florin, E.A.’s executive vice president for publishing in the Americas and Europe, said it has signed up more than five million Korean users and generates more than $1 million in monthly in-game sales.

Players can pay not only for decorative items like shoes and jerseys but also for boosts in their players’ speed, agility and accuracy. Mr. Florin said that while most users do not buy anything, a sizable minority ends up spending $15 to $20 a month.

With Battlefield Heroes, E.A. hopes to bring that basic system of “microtransactions” to Western players, along with increased advertising. Mr. Florin said the licensing agreements around the soccer game prevent E.A. from inserting in-game advertisements from companies that are not already sponsors of FIFA, the international soccer federation. By contrast, E.A. already owns the Battlefield franchise and will be free to insert whatever advertising it wants.

The game industry is booming worldwide, largely on the strength of two trends: a demographic expansion of the gaming population beyond the traditional young male audience and the rising popularity of online play.

Electronic Arts, once the industry leviathan, has not taken full advantage of those shifts. Meanwhile, one of E.A.’s main competitors, Activision, is riding high on the strength of the mass-market Guitar Hero series and has agreed to merge with Vivendi’s games division, which makes the world’s most popular online game, World of Warcraft.

With Battlefield Heroes, E.A. is trying to capitalize on both trends at once. Not only will Heroes be distributed online, but also it is meant to provide a simpler, more accessible entertainment experience than the relatively complex earlier Battlefield games. The combat-oriented series has sold about 10 million copies since the 2002 debut of the franchise’s first game, Battlefield 1942.

“The existing Battlefield games are fairly deep; you have to be pretty good or you’ll die pretty quick,” Mr. Florin said Friday in a telephone interview from Geneva. “Now we’ve toned down the difficulty, shortened each game session to 10 or 15 minutes and made the visual style more cartoony.”

Strategically, Mr. Florin said the game was a step toward figuring out how to generate multiple revenue streams from a single intellectual property, a maneuver Hollywood has mastered.

“I’ve always envied the movie industry when they put a film out in the cinema, then they go to retail with a different business model and then to pay television and then free TV,” he said. “They have the same content reaching different audiences with different models, and we could never figure out a way to do that. Now with higher broadband penetration, we can use the technology to reach a broader audience.”

Not to mention the fact that popular games distributed online can be more profitable than games sold at retail, a prime driver of the Activision-Vivendi deal. Across China and South Korea, where online games dominate the market, game companies are generating profits far beyond their Western counterparts’ returns.

“The Activision-Vivendi deal changes the landscape for how investors will look at game companies, and that puts pressure on everyone else,” Ben Schachter, an Internet and game company analyst at UBS Securities, said Friday.

“Before it was a battle for a few operating margin points here and there,” Mr. Schachter said, “but when you look at the Asian companies like Shanda or something like World of Warcraft, you talking about a 40 percent operating margin business, which is just in a different league from the U.S. companies. So the U.S. publishers like E.A. have to be looking at those models with envious eyes, and those companies will have to experiment.”

Mr. Florin declined to name names but did say that if Battlefield Heroes is a success, E.A. would soon look to create free downloadable versions of some its other marquee games as well.

Perhaps the prime candidate would be the company’s flagship Madden series, for which sales have slowed. Traditional versions of Madden are extremely complicated, but a simplified downloadable version would be expected to appeal to millions of more casual players.

Vita: Gordon McKay
Brief life of an inventor with a lasting Harvard legacy: 1821-1903

by Harry R. Lewis

One day in 1858, Gordon McKay paid cobbler Lyman Blake $70,000, mostly in promises, for the patent on a machine Blake had devised to stitch the uppers of shoes to the soles. Shortly afterwards, a group holding a prior option appeared with $50,000 cash and contested the sale. The matter was litigated for years before being settled in McKay’s favor.

McKay’s name today graces 40 Harvard professorships, numerous fellowships, and a building. He made a fortune in shoe machinery and gave it all (now grown to half a billion dollars) to support applied sciences at the University. His inventiveness, shrewdness, cultural ambitions, and complex love life all helped shape the foundations of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

McKay was born in Pittsfield, in western Massachusetts. He was a fine violinist as a boy, and his taste for high culture stayed with him for life, but he was trained as an engineer. He worked on a railroad and on the Erie Canal before acquiring a machine shop. His first patented invention perfected Blake’s stitching machine.

Ingenuity is good, but nothing beats good timing. When the Civil War began, the government suddenly needed lots of cheap, sturdy boots. In 1862, McKay filled an army order for 25,000 pairs.

Yet he realized the real money lay in shoe machinery. From 1862 to 1890, alone and with others, McKay patented some 40 sewing, nailing, tacking, lasting, and pegging machines for mass-producing shoes. Rather than sell his machines, he leased them for royalties—a few cents on every shoe made (anticipating the way Bill Gates supplied Microsoft’s operating system to computer manufacturers, with payments per unit shipped). The shoe machines kept tallies of their output, and manufacturers had to buy stamps to match, redeemable for shares in Mc Kay’s company. Later they had to buy his nails and wire, too. Thanks to such anticompetitive (and now illegal) practices, McKay’s machines by the late 1870s produced half the nation’s shoes—120 million pairs, yielding $500,000 a year.

McKay lived on Arrow Street, near Harvard Square, and got to know Nathaniel Shaler, the eminent geologist, who interested him in Harvard’s scientific affairs. Shaler also advised him to invest in a Montana gold mine, a venture that in time contributed about 10 percent of McKay’s wealth. (He never visited Montana, but his last patented invention was a mining dredge.) Thanks to Shaler’s friendship, and his own hopes for broadly educated engineers, McKay left his fortune to Harvard, rather than to MIT.

But his millions did not come all at once. Because his will provided lifetime payments to various individuals, the principal was not fully Harvard’s until 1949, when all annuitants had died.

And so we turn to McKay’s women.

McKay first married in 1845. That marriage ended 22 years later in a messy divorce. To counter an allegedly libelous pamphlet, he published his own 30-page account of his wife’s desertion, his payments and gifts to her, and her mother’s meddling.

Later he married Minnie Treat, reportedly his house keeper’s daughter. She was 21; he 57. A week before the wedding, he told a cousin that Minnie was “the prettiest and sweetest young lady the world has produced.” They moved to Florence, bought a pal ace, and lived the high life. Minnie bore two sons, in 1886 and 1887.

Three years later the marriage was over. McKay was publicly gracious, but his 1887 will was blunt. After providing for his wife, he gave each boy $500 per year until age 21, stiffly referring to them as “her two children.” A draft has more detail than McKay’s lawyer apparently thought appropriate: they “are not my children—but are the result of the infidelity of my wife with Arturo Fabricotti of Florence, Italy.” He had had “no sexual intercourse” with his wife for some time, and had “incontestable proof”of Fabricotti’s paternity. Minnie, in turn, alleged that her health had been injured by the strain of frequent posing so McKay could admire her beauty. She charged him with adultery and divorced him.

McKay’s will provided for Minnie, the boys, and 13 others—all women. Cousins to whom he was close got nothing, to their surprise. His wife’s mother and sister were beneficiaries; the others seem not to have been relatives. Six codicils added seven more women to the list and crossed off five. An 1897 letter to “My Dear Edith” suggests how such business was done. “You asked me,” wrote McKay, “to let you know what I could do for you, and you asked me not to write you a terribly cruel note.—I’ll try to do the one and avoid the other.…You will remember when this commenced I asked you how much you would require a month. And your mother answered (you being present and not dissenting) $300. This was about the undertaking I thought I was engaging in.”

“Of his personal character all his friends speak in highest praise,” said one obituary. But in 1900 an anonymous letter, decorated with skull and crossbones, warned, “You are a disgrace to the community and they don’t propose to stand it much longer, you miserable old whore master. Why don’t you take some poor little waif and educate them—do some good in this world instead of filling your house with loose women under the noses of respectable people?”

McKay’s machines transformed the manufacture of shoes, and his grand bequest still renews engineering education at Harvard. However he may have lived, his life can be remembered with thanks for what it has made possible.

Harry R. Lewis ’68, Ph.D. ’74, is Gordon McKay professor of computer science and a Harvard College Professor.

给老蔡去留的理由

一月 18, 2008

蔡细历先生的偷情事件已发生了许久,要不是小周的《蔡跟谈》我也不会在这里再多说废话。我要关注的重点很简单:作为一个国家的选民,我们应当调用那些恰当的原则和分析判断来决定一个高官在这种事件上的去留问题?

在这老蔡问题所引发的连锁现象上,其实有个很吊诡的环节是为大家所漠视。我们国家伟大的子民在打压这种不忠行为的时候,另一方面又一窝蜂的跑去争看那个性爱光碟。无数kopi 店里男女老少交头接耳的交谈中,年度最受欢迎的句子就是“你有老蔡做爱的video吗?”。

这种“可爱”的情形,英文叫prudish。

蔡希里先生的行为作为一个政府要员以及公众人物当然是极为不正确,但是,要他辞职是否是唯一的或者说是最好的处理办法?人们说政府大官做出这种这么见不得人的事当然要受处分,可是为什么就一定是辞职?当我们深入探讨那种见解背后的逻辑时,人们所担忧的无非是这种例子对大众社会在未来所可能有的深远影响。不过,在他的去留上我们的判断上若是就只调用了“可能的、深远的影响”的原则而漠视了其他方面的考量,我们是否会有些不成熟,或者是过于急躁了些?

医疗保健不是一个容易处理的小问题。在美国如今health care reform时不时就出现纽约时报社论的呼吁和讨论中,我们邻国新加坡的许文远部长也在这问题上下了巨大的功夫,但是问题还是一罗罗。除了那“可能的、深远的影响”,在考虑到蔡细历先生的去留时我们是否是也应该考虑到另一些长久深远的问题?

比如说,蔡细历先生的辞职对于我们马国那很不成气候的医疗体系会有怎样的影响?在医药设施全球高涨的气候下,许多国家都需要面对巨大的成本和相关问题。那么,蔡细历的离去导致卫生部长的换任是否会给那严峻的问题雪上加霜?

要衡量蔡细历是否是应该辞职,我们应当作的是衡量他的那种行为、他的继续当任对社会风气所有的可能影响,还有他继续当任对我国医疗体系的贡献以及若是没有他的贡献我们可能所招致的损失。这才是关切人民福祉的真正考量。

要把自己心中理想的道德价值观(注 1)强加在他人的身上从来就不是什么困难的事,但是不经全面考量而如此行事从来都不会对谁有好处。可能最后吃亏的还是我们自己。

注 1:我用“理想的道德价值观”,因为人们在道德上总是要求别人多过要求自己。若是人们要求自己道德的程度多过要求他人道德的程度,那么年度最受欢迎的句子就不会是“你有老蔡做爱的video吗?”

By ALEX BERENSON
Published: January 17, 2008

For decades, the theory that lowering cholesterol is always beneficial has been a core principle of cardiology. It has been accepted by doctors and used by drug makers to win quick approval for new medicines to reduce cholesterol.

But now some prominent cardiologists say the results of two recent clinical trials have raised serious questions about that theory — and the value of two widely used cholesterol-lowering medicines, Zetia and its sister drug, Vytorin. Other new cholesterol-fighting drugs, including one that Merck hopes to begin selling this year, may also require closer scrutiny, they say.

“The idea that you’re just going to lower LDL and people are going to get better, that’s too simplistic, much too simplistic,” said Dr. Eric J. Topol, a cardiologist and director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute in La Jolla, Calif. LDL, or low-density lipoprotein, is the so-called bad cholesterol, in contrast to high-density lipoprotein, or HDL.

For patients and drug companies, the stakes are enormous. Led by best sellers like Lipitor from Pfizer, cholesterol-lowering medicines, taken by tens of millions of patients daily, are the largest drug category worldwide, with annual sales of $40 billion.

Despite widespread use of the drugs, though, heart disease remains the biggest killer in the United States and other industrialized nations, and many people still have cholesterol levels far higher than doctors recommend.

As a result, drug companies are investing billions of dollars in experimental new cholesterol-lowering medicines that may eventually be used alongside the existing drugs. If the new questions result in slower approvals, it would be yet another handicap for the drug industry.

Because the link between excessive LDL cholesterol and cardiovascular disease has been so widely accepted, the Food and Drug Administration generally has not required drug companies to prove that cholesterol medicines actually reduce heart attacks before approval.

They have not had to conduct so-called outcome or events trials beforehand, which are expensive studies that involve thousands of patients and track whether episodes like heart attacks are reduced.

So far, proof that a drug lowers LDL cholesterol has generally been enough to lead to approval. Only then does the drug’s maker begin an events trial. And until the results of that trial are available, a process that can take several years, doctors and patients must accept the medicine’s benefits largely on faith.

“You’ve got a huge chasm between F.D.A. licensure and a clinical events trial,” said Dr. Allen J. Taylor, the chief of cardiology at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Nonetheless, the multistep process has worked well for several cholesterol drugs — including Lipitor and Zocor, which are in a class of drugs known as statins. In those cases, the postapproval trials confirmed that the drugs reduce heart attacks and strokes, adding to confidence about the link between cholesterol and heart disease.

Doctors generally believe that the amount by which cholesterol is lowered, not the method of lowering it, is what matters.

That continues to be the assumption of Dr. Scott M. Grundy, a professor of medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center who was the chairman of a panel in 2001 that set national guidelines for cholesterol treatment.

“LDL lowering, however it occurs, delays development of coronary atherosclerosis and reduces risk for heart attack,” Dr. Grundy said this week. In atherosclerosis, plaque builds up in the arteries, eventually leading to blood clots and other problems that cause heart attacks and strokes.

In the last 13 months, however, the failures of two important clinical trials have thrown that hypothesis into question.

First, Pfizer stopped development of its experimental cholesterol drug torcetrapib in December 2006, when a trial involving 15,000 patients showed that the medicine caused heart attacks and strokes. That trial — somewhat unusual in that it was conducted before Pfizer sought F.D.A. approval — also showed that torcetrapib lowered LDL cholesterol while raising HDL, or good cholesterol.

Torcetrapib’s failure, Dr. Taylor said, shows that lowering cholesterol alone does not prove a drug will benefit patients.

Then, on Monday, Merck and Schering-Plough announced that Vytorin, which combines Zetia with Zocor, had failed to reduce the growth of fatty arterial plaque in a trial of 720 patients. In fact, patients taking Vytorin actually had more plaque growth than those who took Zocor alone.

Despite those drawbacks, that trial, called Enhance, also showed that patients on Vytorin had lower LDL levels than those on Zocor alone. For the second time in just over a year, a clinical trial found that LDL reduction did not translate into measurable medical benefits.

The Enhance trial was not an events trial and was not intended to study whether Zetia or Vytorin were effective at reducing heart attacks. But the growth of fatty plaque is closely correlated with heart attacks and strokes.

Without data from events trials for Zetia and Vytorin, no one can be certain if the drugs help or hurt patients. But Merck and Schering did not begin an events trial for the drugs until 2006, nearly four years after the F.D.A. approved Zetia. That trial will not be completed until 2011.

Dr. Robert M. Califf, the vice chancellor for clinical research at Duke University, and a co-lead investigator on the Zetia trial still under way, said companies should have started the trials more quickly. “Outcome trials ought to start when you know you’re going to get on the market,” he said.

On Tuesday, the American Heart Association called for the Zetia outcome trial to be completed as quickly as possible.

Merck has asked the F.D.A. to approve its drug Cordaptive, which raises HDL cholesterol and lowers LDL, without waiting for the results of an events trial. Merck has begun an events trial for Cordaptive, but data will not be available until 2013.

Merck has submitted the application for Cordaptive and has said it expects an answer from the F.D.A. before July. Doctors, patients and the drug industry will be waiting to see whether regulators are still willing to accept the theory that lower cholesterol is always a good thing.