SARS-COV-19 MUTATION RATES AND VACCINES

HOW DIFFICULT WILL IT BE FOR THIS VIRUS TO BE SUBDUED WITH VACCINES?

The currently most hunted quarries in the entire globe are not the reprobates listed on the FBI’s Most Wanted, but a chemical or biological (or both) formulation that can confer a lasting immune response against SARS-CoV-2 in human beings. Worldwide there are as much as 70 research groups working to secure either a vaccine or drug treatment (link). Continue reading “SARS-COV-19 MUTATION RATES AND VACCINES”

Herd Immunity as COVID-19 Strategy and the Right Wing Sentiments Driving It

SCIENTIFIC MISINFORMATION IN THE AGE OF COVID-19

There is an Irish blogger, Rowan Croft, active on You Tube, who goes by the handle of Grand Torino (link). An ardent supporter of the herd immunity school of thought, despite having no obvious scientific or medical expertise in his background, he posts videos of himself on his Grand Torino channel demanding the removal of all lockdown measures with immediate effect. They are, he states with breath-taking bravado and a dense Dublin brogue, an affront to human rights and the Irish constitution. His videos give me a headache; today he sang for the first section of his 1 hour long post – I had to watch this for my research. Continue reading “Herd Immunity as COVID-19 Strategy and the Right Wing Sentiments Driving It”

Tuberculosis Vaccinations and COVID-19 Protection – It’s all in the Stats (Currently)

A recent paper has been pre-published, albeit it has not yet been peer reviewed, that suggests correlations between tuberculosis (TB) vaccination policies and death rates due to COVID-19 (link). The conclusion is that it is possible that vaccination against TB may confer some protective properties against COVID-19 infection. Its findings are interesting. Continue reading “Tuberculosis Vaccinations and COVID-19 Protection – It’s all in the Stats (Currently)”

The Origins of The Covid-19 Virus

Submit to Yahoo the search phrase “origins of Covid-19” and the following comes back:

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It’s a list of the various conspiracy theories emerging on the origins of the Covid-19 virus. This is what the algorithms return as most likely to “match” for what I need to know. To find the informed, logical and scientific explanations on the origins takes some digging. Among that list is a chat board where commentators argue vociferously that Covid-19 was created at CERN in Switzerland. Another, in a blog written by a guy with zero scientific training whatsoever, argues at length that the virus originated in US bio-weapons laboratories. And was deliberately released into China. The mind boggles. Continue reading “The Origins of The Covid-19 Virus”

The Bacterial Growth Curve & Petri Dish Earth

In 1993 when I was a first year biology student I first became aware of what is known as the bacterial growth curve. It is a cornerstone theory of microbiology, one that every microbiology student learns probably on their first day. Best described by a simple graph (see figure below) it describes the population trend of bacteria in an enclosed petri dish, with a finite food source (in the form of fortified agar) at constant temperature, and no inputs from exterior environments post inoculation, i.e. nothing further is added to the petri dish once the bacteria of choice are introduced. Continue reading “The Bacterial Growth Curve & Petri Dish Earth”

Climate Debate Should Finish. The Case is Closed. The Debate Must Now Solely Focus on Mitigation

Proof that there are still many who doubt science backed warnings about impending human influenced catastrophe, despite overwhelming evidence, was apparent recently in the Irish editions of the Sunday Times. It is a reminder that these deniers hold prominent positions in media, politics and business. And they are supported by an army of lay believers in the general population who are misguided and confused.  Continue reading “Climate Debate Should Finish. The Case is Closed. The Debate Must Now Solely Focus on Mitigation”

THE DEATH OF DINOSAURS AND SCRAPPING SCIENTISTS, AND A NEWBIE IN THE MIDDLE

There is a significant moment in history that interests you, one that occurred well before any humans were around to record it by word of mouth, carving in stone, or in cave paint, scrolls, pamphlets, books, lithographs, photographs or iPhones. Wouldn’t it be great if we could invent some machine to reach into time and pull out an image of that exact moment? Continue reading “THE DEATH OF DINOSAURS AND SCRAPPING SCIENTISTS, AND A NEWBIE IN THE MIDDLE”

Watching Evolution in Real Time

Every now and then, in music, an album comes along, or I find an old one, that contains songs that seem so perfect in concept, arrangement, execution and delivery, that for the entire package to exist seems so obvious. As in, why didn’t anybody think of that before?. Nirvana’s Nevermind is one example; such a full-on blast-out of messy rock (albeit highly produced) that dealt with young adult alienation so perfectly that the singer, in a fog of an undiagnosed mental illness, succumbed to the misery and despair of his lyrics and committed suicide. Continue reading “Watching Evolution in Real Time”

The Web of Life

Apologies for silence for the past while. Work and life are busy, and I bought an electric guitar. There’s nothing like sitting around crunching power chords (badly) when looking to waste time.

Anyway, I digress. Moving away from my usual rants about the science of climate change and biodiversity loss, this post will deal with a scientific theory that I personally find intriguing – horizontal gene transfer, specifically between prokaryotes and eukaryotes. A nice new paper has emerged, though not without contest, that further supports it. Continue reading “The Web of Life”