Monday, May 16, 2022

The dangers of the COVID-19 spike protein

The dangers of the spike protein.

"SARS-CoV-2 Spike Proteins Disrupt the Blood-Brain Barrier, Potentially Raising Risk of Neurological Damage in COVID-19 Patients"



"Recent publications provide new findings that may help decipher the pathogenesis of long-COVID. One paper reported perivascular inflammation in brains of deceased patients with COVID-19, while others showed that the spike protein could damage the endothelium in an animal model, that it could disrupt an in vitro model of the blood-brain barrier (BBB), and that it can cross the BBB resulting in perivascular inflammation. Moreover, the spike protein appears to share antigenic epitopes with human molecular chaperons resulting in autoimmunity and can activate toll-like receptors (TLRs), leading to release of inflammatory cytokines. Moreover, some antibodies produced against the spike protein may not be neutralizing, but may change its conformation rendering it more likely to bind to its receptor. As a result, one wonders whether the spike protein entering the brain or being expressed by brain cells could activate microglia, alone or together with inflammatory cytokines, since protective antibodies could not cross the BBB, leading to neuro-inflammation and contributing to long-COVID. Hence, there is urgent need to better understand the neurotoxic effects of the spike protein."

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12035-021-02696-0

"A lot of people think of it as a respiratory disease, but it's really a vascular disease," says Assistant Research Professor Uri Manor, who is co-senior author of the study. "That could explain why some people have strokes, and why some people have issues in other parts of the body. The commonality between them is that they all have vascular underpinnings."

"If you remove the replicating capabilities of the virus, it still has a major damaging effect on the vascular cells, simply by virtue of its ability to bind to this ACE2 receptor, the S protein receptor, now famous thanks to COVID,"

https://www.salk.edu/news-release/the-novel-coronavirus-spike-protein-plays-additional-key-role-in-illness/

COVID-19 spike proteins may cause neurological issues

"Researchers from the University of Bristol have found that, in cells in a dish in the lab, the spike protein binds to cells called pericytes which line the small vessels of the heart. This binding triggers a cascade of changes which disrupt normal cell function, and can lead to the release of chemicals that cause inflammation. This happened even when the protein was no longer attached to the virus.

There is some previous evidence to suggest that following Covid-19 illness, the spike protein can remain in the bloodstream after the virus has gone and travel far from the site of infection. This research could help explain and ultimately treat some of the effects of severe Covid-19 infection, where levels of the virus are particularly high. "

https://www.bhf.org.uk/what-we-do/news-from-the-bhf/news-archive/2021/august/covid-19-spike-protein-binds-to-and-changes-cells-in-the-heart


 "while other papers showed that the spike protein by itself (without being part of the corona virus) can damage endothelial cells and disrupt the blood-brain barrier. These findings may be even more relevant to the pathogenesis of long-COVID syndrome that may affect as many as 50% of those infected with SARS-CoV-2. "


"Very recently, Tavassoly et al. proposed a view that seeded protein aggregation by SARS-CoV-2 could be attributed to long-term post-infection complications including neurodegeneration [4]. They suggested that SARS-CoV-2 spike protein S1 region binds to heparin and heparin binding proteins (HBPs) present in brain which are prone to self-assembly, aggregation, and fibrillation processes. They also showed that the peptide from S protein (S–CoV-peptide; ∼150 aa) has more aggregation formation propensity than the known aggregation-prone proteins, suggesting that this peptide is prone to act as functional amyloid and form toxic aggregates. Thus, the heparin binding and aggregation propensity of S1 protein has been suggested the ability of S1 to form amyloid and toxic aggregates that can act as seeds to aggregate many of the misfolded brain proteins and can ultimately leads to neurodegeneration. It has been suggested that SARS-CoV-2 infection invades the CNS by controlling protein synthesis machinery, disturbs endoplasmic reticulum and mitochondrial function and increases the accumulation of misfolded proteins, thereby activates protein aggregation, mitochondrial oxidative stress, apoptosis and neurodegeneration [3,5,10].

Interestingly, it has been shown that HSV-1 spike protein binds to heparin and increases the aggregation of amyloid β (Aβ42) peptides on its surface spikes [11]. This study suggests that the heparin-binding site of the spike protein might act as a binding site for Aβ42 peptides and thus could dock to the viral surface and catalyze aggregation of Aβ42. As the receptor binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2, which is located within the S1 subunit of spike glycoprotein has several heparin binding sites [[12], [13], [14]], the same mechanism of aggregation of neurodegeneration causing proteins such as Aβ, α-synuclein, tau, prions, and TDP-43 can be observed in COVID-19 infection in the brain."





The vaccine spike protein is different.


In actual fact, the two spike proteins behave very differently in the body. According to Health Feedback, the spike proteins generated by Covid-19 vaccines differ in three key ways to those attached to SARS-CoV-2. Firstly, in the case of the vaccines, the cells mostly break down the spike proteins into fragments. Secondly, the spike protein generated by a Covid-19 vaccine doesn't assemble into new viral particles, unlike the spike protein from SARS-CoV-2. Thirdly, the spike protein in Covid-19 vaccines is genetically modified to enhance the immune response and to stop it binding to cell receptors in the same way the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein would.


 

'Toxic' spike protein claims misinterpret vaccine study

"There is no spike protein in the vaccines first of all. The amounts that are made after the mRNA is injected are very small and it almost exclusively stays locally. It is nowhere near the amount he was talking about," Dr Ratner said.

US fact checking website Health Feedback, which uses experts to verify claims about health science, said Dr Bridle's statement "rests on the assumption that if the viral spike protein causes cardiovascular toxicity in COVID-19 patients, the spike protein produced in vaccinated people should be toxic as well".

However, Health Feedback said this assumption was incorrect: "While both mRNA vaccines and viral vector vaccines carry the instructions to produce the entire spike protein, the cells break down much of the protein into small fragments. Furthermore, unlike infection, the spike protein from COVID-19 vaccination doesn't get assembled into new viral particles."

Prof Munro told AAP FactCheck that mRNA vaccines were "proving to be incredibly effective and safe" in protecting both the recipients and others from COVID-19, backing up clinical trials which "consistently demonstrated an excellent safety profile".




Will spike proteins generated through COVID vaccines cause illnesses to spread in schools?



"Vaccine skeptics have seized on the study to cast doubt on the safety of vaccines. But a review of the study's findings shows that the concerns raised by vaccine doubters are much ado about nothing.

The Study

The vascular endothelium is an important player in the illness and death associated with COVID-19. The endothelium is a system of cells that line and protect the inside of blood vessels. SARS-CoV2 injures the endothelium leading to blood clots, heart attack, pulmonary embolism, and stroke. Despite the established link between COVID-19 and these cardiovascular complications, the mechanism by which they develop is unknown.

Researchers from Jiaotong University; the University of California, San Diego; and the Salk Institute used a pseudovirus coated with spike protein to investigate the effects of the viral protein on endothelial cells. Pseudoviruses – which were first developed over 50 years ago – contain the outer shell of the virus, but they lack the viral genes needed to reproduce.

Hamsters treated with the spike protein coated pseudovirus showed lung damage similar to that seen in humans infected with SARS-CoV2. When researchers added pseudovirus to cultured endothelial cells they found that the mitochondria inside the cells were injured. Since mitochondria are responsible for providing energy to cells, their dysfunction can cause cell death.

When isolated pulmonary arteries were exposed to the spike protein carrying pseudovirus there was some disruption in the ability of the blood vessels to dilate. The decreased ability to expand blood vessels that serve the lungs could impair the ability of the body to take up oxygen from lungs that are damaged by the virus.

The novelty of this study was the discovery that the spike protein itself causes damage, and that the pathway triggered by the spike protein could explain the widespread cardiovascular complications that develop in COVID-19 patients.

A Twisted Tale

Shortly after Lei and colleagues published their study, vaccine skeptics touted the findings as proof that newly developed COVID-19 vaccines are dangerous. Afterall, if COVID-19 vaccines produce spike protein to trigger immunity, and that same spike protein causes injury, then vaccines are really no different than the disease they are designed to prevent.

The problem with these claims is that science doesn't support their arguments.

The Long Road to Perdition....

In order to damage the endothelium of blood vessels, COVID-19 vaccines have to enter the vascular system and infect cells that circulate in the blood. Data collected by the European Medicines Agency shows that no significant amount of vaccine enters the circulation (3). The confinement of the expressed spike protein away from the circulatory system significant prevents it from causing damage to the vascular endothelium.


Redesigning the Spike Protein

The spike protein attaches SARS-CoV2 to cells through a receptor called ACE2. In order to fully interact, the spike protein must undergo a conformational change.

A research team lead by Dr. Barney Graham from the Vaccine Research Center at the NIH National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases created an engineered form of the spike protein that is unable to make the shape change required to effectively bind to cells (5). The Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, Novavax, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines all use this inactivated spike protein, which means any spike protein that is produced by the vaccine is not able to be activated. This safety-switch limits the ability of the spike protein to bind ACE2 and limits its ability to cause damage.

Stuck in a Hole

In addition to engineering the spike protein so it can not be fully activated the protein is tagged with an extra piece called a "transmembrane anchor" (6). The transmembrane anchor allows the spike protein to appear on the surface – or membrane – of the cell, but it is held in place by the anchor. This prevents the spike protein from drifting away and creates a fixed target for the immune system to recognize the foreign protein."

https://covid19resources.ca/2021/05/13/the-thorny-problem-of-covid-19-vaccines-and-spike-proteins/

So far, there is no scientific evidence available that suggests that spike proteins created in our bodies from the COVID-19 vaccines are toxic or damaging our organs. COVID-19 vaccines are relatively new and long-term side effects are yet to be known. However, the vaccines have met the safety standards of many government and international safety agencies.

Several systems help us monitor vaccine safety. In the United States these include the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), The Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD), the Post-License Rapid Immunization Safety Monitoring (PRISM), and the Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment Project (CISA). These systems are used by scientists to monitor side effects and any other patterns of risks from vaccines.

The COVID-19 vaccine has been administered to 135 million people in the United States. As expected with any vaccine, some fully vaccinated people still got sick, hospitalized, and/or died. These "breakthrough cases" are a very small percentage of those vaccinated (<0.001%) and are being studied to detect any relevant patterns.

So far no scientific evidence is available that gives credence to claims that spike proteins created from vaccines travel in our bloodstreams. Research shows that spike proteins stay stuck to the surface of the cells around the vaccine's injection site. They are not known to wander around to other parts of the body.

A very tiny dose of the vaccine does make it to the bloodstream (about 1%), but as soon as it gets to the liver, the enzymes there destroy it completely. The U.S. CDC refers to the spike protein made from the vaccine as "harmless."



But researchers and health officials told FactCheck.org there is no "mistake" and that there is no evidence to support Bridle's claims.

There is no evidence that the spike protein in vaccines "is toxic or that it lingers at any toxic level in the body after vaccination," an FDA spokesperson told us in an email.

Jason McLellan, a structural biologist at the University of Texas at Austin who has been studying spike proteins in other coronaviruses for years and whose work was fundamental for the development of COVID-19 vaccines, said Bridle's statements are not correct.  

"The spike protein is not pathogenic. It is not a toxin," McLellan told us in an email. "I have not seen any data to support what Bridle claims."




How long does the mRNA vaccine stay in the body?
https://youtu.be/dTXnCcBHGDM?t=58

"The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines work by introducing mRNA (messenger RNA) into your muscle cells. The cells make copies of the spike protein and the mRNA is quickly degraded (within a few days). The cell breaks the mRNA up into small harmless pieces. mRNA is very fragile; that's one reason why mRNA vaccines must be so carefully preserved at very low temperatures."


Does the COVID-19 vaccine cause Prion disease?




Safety of the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines.

"The clinical trials for the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines found both to be safe overall. When serious side effects did occur, they happened at comparable rates between people who had received the vaccine and those who had received a placebo injection."


"Notably, the study identified 34 cases of heart inflammation in patients aged 12 to 39 years. 85% of these cases occurred in males. 82% of these people were hospitalized for a median of 1 day. The authors calculated that among patients aged 12 to 39 years, there is a slight risk of 6.3 additional myocarditis cases per million doses during the first week after vaccination.

However, a separate study recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that heart inflammation events are far more likely after COVID-19 infection than vaccination."







"But because reinfection is possible and COVID-19 can cause severe medical complications, it's recommended that people who have already had COVID-19 get a COVID-19 vaccine. A recent study showed that unvaccinated people who already had COVID-19 are more than twice as likely as fully vaccinated people to be reinfected with COVID-19.

Recent research also suggests that people who got COVID-19 in 2020 and then received mRNA vaccines produce very high levels of antibodies that are likely effective against current and, possibly, future variants. Some scientists call this hybrid immunity."

Sunday, May 1, 2022

The Man Who Accidentally Killed The Most People In History

Stars in the sky

According to what I read, we can only see about 5,000 stars with the naked eye, out to a distance of only about 4,000 light-years.  That is in a galaxy with 100 to 400 billion stars and a diameter of 100,000 light-years.  

The Milky Way Galaxy is only about 1,000 light-years thick.  That seems pretty thin compared to its diameter.  So a distance of 4,000 light-years would represent a volume of 50+ billion cubic light-years for just 5,000 visible stars.  That is roughly 10 million cubic light-years per star.

--

Friday, April 29, 2022

The Autochrome; Color photos? Just add potatoes.

Fact-Checking this Viral Bottle Trick

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbgvQNhFDTo

A couple of decades ago there was some research into using somnolescent bubbles to try to make nuclear fusion happen.


I always assumed that there was something to this, but apparently not.  

Watch "The mathematics of weight loss | Ruben Meerman | TEDxQUT on YouTube

I was confusing this video with a similarly titled video that I saw years ago that claimed that the mathematics of weight loss was just calories out versus calories in.  Although technically true, weight loss is more complicated, with certain foods like sugar being worse than others.  Sugar actually stimulates appetite.   In addition, our gut flora send signals to our brain to stimulate our appetite for specific foods.  Those bacteria get hungry, and different bacteria prefer different types of nutrients.   Eating healthy foods adjusts your gut bacteria to that diet.

This is where probiotics might be helpful.




In addition, I just read about "obesogens", which at first sounded like a joke to me, which are chemicals in the environment that promote obesity.  https://www.ehn.org/chemicals-in-everyday-products-are-spurring-obesity-warns-a-new-review-2657191067.html

In terms of the chemistry of metabolism, this video is scientifically interesting.  However, it isn't really news that we lose mass as we breathe out carbon dioxide.


On Tue, Apr 26, 2022 at 5:07 AM Albert > wrote:
Hands down the best scientific explanation of weight loss. The bottomline: eat less and move more.



Saturday, April 23, 2022

Study reveals some brain changes, even in mild COVID-19 | CIDRAP

The study authors noted that the imaging differences between the two groups were modest, at about 2% of average baseline values. The typical annual loss of gray matter each year due to aging, the researchers said, is 0.2% to 0.3%.

Cognitive tests identified differences between COVID-19 survivors and controls, including a significant increase in the time taken to complete Trails A (numeric; 7.8%) and B (alphanumeric; 12.2%) of the Trail Making Test in COVID-19 participants. These results held true when excluding the 15 hospitalized patients (Trail A, 6.5%; Trail B, 12.5%).

"The infected participants also showed on average larger cognitive decline between the two timepoints," the study authors wrote. "Importantly, these imaging and cognitive longitudinal effects were still seen after excluding the 15 cases who had been hospitalised."

Not all COVID survivors have brain changes

In addition to the modest COVID-19 effect, the study authors noted that the statistics represent an average effect, meaning that not every COVID-19 survivor will experience brain changes.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

How Loud Can Sound Physically Get?

What If You Never Turn Off Your Computer?

Climate Change Is NOT An Emergency — Here Are The Facts

It missed us by 9 days

Fwd: Carl Sagan Predicts Our Countries Future

FYI.

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: John Coffey <john2001plus@gmail.com>

I had seen this.  He has a point that if people don't understand science then they don't know the difference between real science and fake science.

However, most people have very little need or ability to understand science.

Back when they announced that they were going to try to find the "Higgs Boson" using the "Large Hadron Collider", the naturally curious person that I am asked the questions, "What the hell is a 'boson'?", and "What the hell is a 'hadron'?"   I have since learned enough physics to understand these concepts.  It has become a hobby of mine to study physics.  As a result, I have the kind of knowledge that 99% of the population would find useless.

Carl Sagan's show was really good.

However, I don't fully trust him as a source.  In his show, Cosmos, he said that free-market capitalism was dangerous.  He later bragged about smoking marijuana.

On Tue, Apr 19, 2022 at 5:33 AM Alber wrote:
>
> Carl Sagan's Warning 25 years ago : "We are up for grabs" - YouTube

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Saturday, April 9, 2022

Solving The Problem Of Human Perception | Jordan Peterson Lecture at The University of Cambridge

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5HgSnS-z4JU

Jordan Peterson went through at least 18 months of suffering because of illness, so he often gets emotional in his lectures when previously he was cool as a cucumber.

He talks at such a high intellectual level that it takes effort to keep up.  He covers many topics and jumps around so much that sometimes you wonder if you are listening to a crazy person.  He does a halfway good job of tying it all together, but I feel like he could be more succinct. 

He quickly gets to the point before moving on to related topics.  Then he wraps it all together with a conclusion.

His claim is that we perceive the meaning or the utility of objects rather than just the objects.  Since we are talking about automatic mental processes, it is hard to say in what order the brain processes information.  Maybe we first recognize the object and then its function.  Maybe function is so tied to our perception that we perceive it simultaneously.  Since it is hard to know, does it really matter?

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

The Day We Almost Set the World on Fire

The Castle Bravo Disaster - A "Second Hiroshima"

Infamous Disasters: The Tacoma Narrows Bridge

How long do mRNA and spike proteins last in the body?

10 Years On Mars: Curiosity Finds Plastic Debris!

https://youtu.be/wZr9Nnw5Hlo

How ironic it would be if Curiosity were to find plastic on Mars not caused by humans. They say plastic can last forever. How about a billion years?

Best wishes,

John Coffey

Sunday, April 3, 2022

Little Cobra Gets Sips Of Water From A Sprite Bottle During His Rescue

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=db9MgEfHLgY

It is next to impossible for me to feel compassion for a creature that is poisonous enough to kill an elephant.  It might make sense for a snake collector, but to release this monster back into the wild is to risk the lives of others. 



Saturday, April 2, 2022

Law of averages

I tend to assume that if something hasn't happened for a while that it is more likely.  This is a gambler's fallacy.  

If you roll dice a million times then the numbers that come up will resemble a bell curve with 7 being the most likely result, but past events don't predict future random events.  The law of averages works because large samples hide short-term aberrations.

The exception might be when dealing with human choices that otherwise would be random.  Some people might have tendencies to do or not do particular actions.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_averages

Re: 50 CAL VS TRAIN TRACK RAIL

https://youtu.be/W57EjnIJu7Q

I'm impressed.  Railroad tracks are made from hot-rolled steel and are designed to be tough.

This type of weapon must have considerable power.  I'm thinking of the third law of motion, where every action has an equal and opposite reaction.  The weapon must be able to deal with recoil.


Best wishes,

John Coffey


Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Re: Second COVID-19 booster shot authorized for Americans 50 and older - NBC News

I may consult with my physician before I get the fourth dose.  I would like to know what the evidence is on the 4th shot?

I had the booster six months ago.  I am wondering what the ideal time frame would be for the fourth shot?

On Tue, Mar 29, 2022 at 8:30 PM Albert wrote:
You can get your 4th shot now.

Second COVID-19 booster shot authorized for Americans 50 and older - NBC News


https://apple.news/AILkUQy3WQ-6spkICRlZNAQ

Monday, March 28, 2022

Fwd: Shanghai

From: John Coffey 

It seems unlikely that you could suppress Omicron.  Best to let it run its course.

I'm hoping that my booster from six months ago will still protect me, but if not, I would be willing to have another booster if the evidence supports it.

On Mon, Mar 28, 2022 at 8:46 AM Larry wrote:
Shanghai a city of 26 million shuts down tunnels, bridges and highways in a covid lockdown to begin mass testing.
Oil dropped almost 3% in response.


Friday, March 25, 2022

Re: High Resolution Sun images

When I contemplate all the ways the universe can kill us, I feel that we are extremely lucky.  At any moment a gamma-ray burst could set the world ablaze, but it is not likely to happen.  We detect around 1 gamma-ray burst every day, but fortunately, the universe is vast, and most of these bursts are in other galaxies.  Some have suspected that an event like this might be responsible for one of five mass extinctions in Earth's history, but there isn't good evidence for it.

We know that at least one mass extinction was caused by an asteroid, although a massive outbreak of volcanoes at the same time was equally responsible.  In the event of a supervolcano eruption today, this would create a worldwide catastrophe.

In 1859 a Coronal Mass Ejection from the sun collided with the Earth's magnetosphere causing sparking and fires at telegraph stations.  Such an event would be much more damaging today because we are much more wired than we were then.

It turns out that in early solar system development, gas giants tend to fall into lower orbits likely displacing the smaller planets.  However, the gravitational tug of Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune kept Jupiter in place.  It is also suspected that the Earth started at a different orbit than where it ended up, where it got pulled around by the gravity of the other planets and other objects.  This is called planet migration.  The other planets still affect the Earth's orbit, in something called the Malankovich Cycles, but fortunately, the solar system long ago settled into a stable configuration.

There are likely many more rogue planets traveling between the stars than there are planets orbiting the stars, making these like gravitational missiles.  However, interstellar space is also vast.

About 4.5 billion years ago, a Mars-sized planet collided with the Earth, causing the ejection of enough material to form the Moon.

Supernovas can destroy life up to 50 light-years away. 

It is suspected that there are many black holes between the stars in our galaxy that we don't know about.

It might be that the reason why we haven't detected alien life is that the universe is a very hostile place.    

Just as a side note, in the "known space" series of science fiction novels, there were a dozen alien species living within a 60 light-year radius of Earth.  On the galactic scale, this is minuscule, but might be plausible.  I would expect to find maybe one because a sphere with a radius of 60 light-years is a pretty big volume.

--





Covid booster restores vaccine protection lost against omicron variant, U.K. study finds

High chance of new COVID variant that's worse that Omicron in 2024, says UK CMO

European wave of Omicron sub-variant BA.2 foreshadows US surge | Financial Times

COVID-19 vaccine prior to infection may reduce long COVID symptoms

Saturday, March 19, 2022

Hummingbird Waits Outside The Window For His Favorite Guy

This Cat's Favorite Word Is Exactly What You'd Expect

COVID update

It is helpful to see where we are at.  

We have gone from 1 out of 11 people being infected to roughly 1 out of 15.  Still, that seems high to me.  The number of new cases is surprisingly low.  The number of deaths is approaching a million, but the daily deaths have dropped quite a bit.

I think that we got lucky with the Omicron variant.  I've been saying that it is like a different disease because it has slightly different symptoms.  Reportedly it is ten times more infectious but ten times less deadly.  It is like comparing cowpox to smallpox, where cowpox acts as a natural vaccine to smallpox.

This video is predicting a surge of the BA 2 variant...






--

Friday, March 18, 2022

Fwd: Overwhelmed by Omicron, Hong Kong Runs Out of Space for Its Dead - The Wall Street Journal

FYI

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Albert 
Date: Fri, Mar 18, 2022 at 1:31 PM

It's not over until it's over. We should be cautious about putting our guard down on covid. Mainstream news has been avoiding covid stories because the Russo-Ukraine War brings more viewers and clicks. Nevertheless, as you and I know, the covid story will continue long after the Russo-Ukraine War is over.

Overwhelmed by Omicron, Hong Kong Runs Out of Space for Its Dead - The Wall Street Journal

https://apple.news/A4yDI5zQhTHKEqEV1zU4dkw

--

Monday, March 14, 2022

Fwd: Solid State

In the endless quest to pack more energy into batteries without increasing their weight or volume, one especially promising technology is the solid-state battery. In these batteries, the usual liquid electrolyte that carries charges back and forth between the electrodes is replaced with a solid electrolyte layer. Such batteries could potentially not only deliver twice as much energy for their size, they also could virtually eliminate the fire hazard associated with today's lithium-ion batteries.

But one thing has held back solid-state batteries: Instabilities at the boundary between the solid electrolyte layer and the two electrodes on either side can dramatically shorten the lifetime of such batteries. Some studies have used special coatings to improve the bonding between the layers, but this adds the expense of extra coating steps in the fabrication process. Now, a team of researchers at MIT and Brookhaven National Laboratory have come up with a way of achieving results that equal or surpass the durability of the coated surfaces, but with no need for any coatings.

The new method simply requires eliminating any carbon dioxide present during a critical manufacturing step, called sintering, where the battery materials are heated to create bonding between the cathode and electrolyte layers, which are made of ceramic compounds. Even though the amount of carbon dioxide present is vanishingly small in air, measured in parts per million, its effects turn out to be dramatic and detrimental. Carrying out the sintering step in pure oxygen creates bonds that match the performance of the best coated surfaces, without that extra cost of the coating, the researchers say.

Toward batteries that pack twice as much energy per pound | MIT News | Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Doubling the range of electric vehicles would make them more practical.  However, I remain skeptical of electric vehicles because of the cost.  Seems like hybrids are the way to go.


Friday, March 11, 2022

Re: The Monty Hall problem and IQ

FYI.  

Conscientiousness is as much a predictor of success as IQ scores.  There are many smart people who are failures for various reasons.


---------- Forwarded message ---------
On Fri, Mar 11, 2022 at 8:26 AM Al wrote:
This video shows the very well known "Monty Hall Problem". Monty Hall was the game show host of Let's Make a Deal. At the end of each show the winning contestant chose door #1, door #2, or door #3. So, if Monty Hall says there are goats behind 2 doors and the grand prize behind one door. So, let's say you pick door #1. Monty now says I'm going to help you by letting you know that door #3 has goats.

So, speaking mathematically, should you keep your original pick of door #1. Or should you change your pick to door #2?

Btw, normal IQ falls between 85 to 115.



From: John Coffey

I've been aware of the Monty Hall Problem and its controversy for some time.

It is the best illustration that intuitive notions aren't always correct.

IQ scores of 85 to 115 represent one standard deviation from the norm.  One standard deviation will include 68% of the people usually regardless of what it is measuring.

Mensa is a social organization that only accepts people with IQ test results two standard deviations above the norm, which is the top 2%.   However, different IQ tests have different ranges producing different numbers.  The Mensa website currently lists different scores on different qualifying tests ranging from 130 to 132.  However, when I took the Mensa test in 1986, they were using different numbers.  They gave me two tests and I only had to pass one of them with either a score of 136 on the standard test or a score of 148 on the California test.  I scored 136 and 147, just barely passing.

I actually thought that I could do better.  Roughly twenty years ago I took an online test that claimed to be scientific and accurate.  I scored 138.  I waited a few years and took the same test again and scored 141.  This test factored in the age of the person, but I haven't seen any other test that does that.

Last year I took a short 20 question IQ test advertised on Facebook, which claimed to be scientific, but I have my doubts.  I took it three times because I kept scoring in mid 120s.  I was not able to improve my score.  I'm not sure how much of this result is due to my age, or just the result of this particular test.

Many people think that IQ is a difficult thing to measure and does not take into account all the ways that people can be intelligent.  If a test only measures analytical and spatial reasoning, which is what these tests usually measure, I suspect that I would do well.

Best wishes,

John Coffey

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

The Pfizer documents. Adverse effects and death


Normally I have been a fan of Dr. John Campbell's videos, but here he takes a more anti-Pfizer vaccine position with a conspiracy theory tone.  I'm kind of disappointed because I took him to be a reliable source of information.

In response to his video, I wrote the following comment:

It is irresponsible to say that the 1,223 deaths were due to vaccination. Reportedly, anyone can submit an adverse event whether it was caused by the vaccine or not. Two out of every 100,000 vaccinated people got myocarditis, but 20 to 30% of the people hospitalized with COVID-19 developed heart problems.

The purpose of the adverse event reporting system is to determine if adverse events occur beyond what would be normal.    During the vaccine trial, 6 people died, mostly from cardiac events, and 4 of those deaths came from the placebo group.  https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-factcheck-pfizer-health-concerns/fact-check-clarifying-claims-around-pfizer-vaccine-deaths-and-side-effects-idUSKBN28K2R6

However, let us take the 1,223 death number at face value for a moment.  From what I can tell, by the end of February 2021, 20% of American adults were vaccinated. That's around 51 million people, mostly older people from which we could expect some deaths regardless.  If 1,223 died from vaccination, then that is 1 out of 41,700.  However, the risk from COVID is greater with 1 out of 333 Americans dying from the disease.

It appeared as if my comment to the video was posted and then deleted within seconds.  I don't understand this unless some automatic filter is eliminating my comment.  I tried a couple of more times and got the same result.










Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Even Mild Cases of COVID Can Cause Brain Damage and Shrinkage

Those who had COVID-19 had significantly more brain tissue loss and shrinkage, the researchers found. People typically lose around 0.2-0.3% of gray matter each year with normal aging, and those who had COVID-19 were losing far more, up to 2%. They also lost more overall brain volume and had higher amounts of tissue damage.

The damage was equivalent to at least an extra year of aging, Gwenaëlle Douaud, an associate professor at the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences at Oxford and the paper's lead author, told NBC News.

"It is brain damage, but it is possible that it is reversible," she said. "But it is still relatively scary because it was in mildly infected people."

https://people.com/health/even-mild-cases-of-covid-can-cause-brain-damage-and-shrinkage-study-finds/

This is like the mother of all diseases.

Ivermectin, more evidence


I'm neutral on this.  It might take more studies to verify this.  Too many times we have seen the results of studies that were refuted later.

Saturday, March 5, 2022

COVID Cases and Deaths

Whereas the new cases have dropped considerably, the number of active cases is still lingering, going from about 1 out of 11 people to roughly 1 out of 13. The daily death rate remains fairly high, but what I can tell is about half of the recent peak






Thursday, March 3, 2022

New Study Finds COVID-19 DNA Linked to Moderna Patent Filed in 2016, Sparks Discussion on Lab Leak Theory

"We're talking about a very, very, very small piece made up of 19 nucleotides," Professor Lawrence Young, a virologist at Warwick University, was quoted as saying to Daily Mail.

"So it doesn't mean very much, to be frank, if you do these types of searches, you can always find matches.

"Sometimes these things happen fortuitously, sometimes it's the result of convergent evolution (when organisms evolve independently to have similar traits to adapt to their environment).

"It's a quirky observation, but I wouldn't call it a smoking gun because it's too small.

"It doesn't get us any further with the debate about whether COVID-19 was engineered," Young said.

A statement from the US drug maker Moderna is awaited, the report said.

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Pfizer Vaccine Becomes DNA in Liver Cells. (In-vitro Swedish Study)



I'm sure that the anti-vaccine people will have a field day with this.  I think that it is helpful to have some perspective...

1.  This was an in vitro study testing liver cells outside the human body.

2.  The injections are not given to the liver.  It is thought that the injections stay in the muscles unless the injection hits a blood vessel, and this is thought by some to be responsible for the relatively rare cases of myocarditis.  Some have advocated that the procedure should be to aspirate the injection, which is to first pull back on the plunger to make sure it does not draw blood, so as to not accidentally inject into a blood vessel.

3.  The human body has around 37 trillion cells.  Viruses modify the DNA in our cells all the time.  The immune system finds these cells and destroys them.

4.  A change to the DNA of a few of our cells does not mean that our DNA is permanently altered.

5. The liver cells with the modified DNA exhibit the spike protein on their surface, which means that if this were to happen in the human body then these cells would be targeted by the immune system.

6.  Hypothetically, if some liver cells were to have their DNA altered and start producing extra spike proteins, then this would add to our immune response to the spike protein.


8.  The COVID-19 disease can have serious long-term side effects. 

9. Liver damage is one of the major symptoms of the COVID-19 disease, so pick your poison.   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8192279/

Related:


Best wishes,

John Coffey





COVID-19 by County

Thursday, February 24, 2022

How long does a COVID booster shot offer protection against omicron?

Specifically, the researchers found that after a third shot of Pfizer, protection against hospitalizations starts out above 95% (two weeks after the shot) and remains around 80% even after four months.

By comparison, with only two shots of any vaccine, protection against severe disease declines to 40% after six months.

The researchers only have short-term data for the Moderna vaccine, but the results are likely to echo the Pfizer numbers given the similarities of these mRNA vaccines and their comparable behavior with the delta variant.

The findings from the study raise the question of what the future holds for these vaccines, says immunologist Deepta Bhattacharya at the University of Arizona.

"I don't think it's a sustainable strategy to ask people to get boosters of the same vaccine every two months or three months. People just aren't going to do it," he says. "I myself felt awful after I got the second shot."

Perhaps, instead, the goal may need to shift from stopping infections to making sure everyone is protected against severe disease over the long-term.

"Could we get to the point where public health officials recommend a shot once a year," Bhattacharya says. "I think that's fairly likely. Now, whether everyone will absolutely need that shot to prevent severe disease each year, that's a different question, and we'll have to wait for the data

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

COVID still threatens millions. So why are so many Americans eager to move on?

"I'm that disgusted. The lack of care for each other, to me, it's too much," said White, 30, of Los Angeles. She has multiple sclerosis and takes a medicine that suppresses her immune system. "As a Black disabled person, I feel like nobody gives a [expletive] about me or my safety."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a strict definition of who is considered moderately or severely immunocompromised, such as cancer patients undergoing active treatment and organ transplant recipients. Still, millions of other people are living with chronic illnesses or disabilities that also make them especially susceptible to the disease. Though vulnerability differs based on each person and their health condition — and can depend on circumstances — catching COVID is a risk they cannot take.

As a result, these Americans who are at high risk — and the loved ones who fear passing along the virus to them — are speaking out about being left behind as the rest of society drops pandemic safeguards such as masking and physical distancing.

Their fears were amplified this month as several Democratic governors, including the leaders of California and New York — places that were out front in implementing mask mandates early on — moved to lift such safety requirements. To many people, the step signaled that "normal" life was returning. But for people considered immunocompromised or who face high risks from COVID because of other conditions, it upped the level of anxiety.

Pandemic ends Thursday (UK)

The UK is dropping its mandates.  One out of 25 people in the UK is currently infected with COVID-19.  In the United States, it is one out of 12.

The Omicron variant is becoming endemic, where it is far less deadly but far more infectious.  It probably is here to stay.  Possibly everyone will be exposed to it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOUHSg81HMU

Interesting chess games

Friday, February 11, 2022

Risks of myocarditis, pericarditis, and cardiac arrhythmias associated with COVID-19 vaccination or SARS-CoV-2 infection | Nature Medicine

Discussion

This is the largest study to date of acute cardiac outcomes after SARS-CoV-2 vaccination or infection, the first to compare the risk of cardiac events between different vaccine products and SARS-CoV2 infection and the first to investigate the association between cardiac events and the ChAdOx1 vaccine.

Our findings are relevant to the public, clinicians and policy makers. First, there was an increase in the risk of myocarditis within a week of receiving the first dose of both adenovirus and mRNA vaccines, and a higher increased risk after the second dose of both mRNA vaccines. In contrast, we found no evidence of an increase in the risk of pericarditis or cardiac arrhythmias following vaccination, except in the 1–28 days following a second dose of the mRNA-1273 (Moderna) vaccine. Second, in the same population, there was a greater risk of myocarditis, pericarditis and cardiac arrhythmia following SARS-CoV-2 infection. Third, the increased risk of myocarditis after vaccination was higher in persons aged under 40 years. We estimated extra myocarditis events to be between 1 and 10 per million persons in the month following vaccination, which was substantially lower than the 40 extra events per million persons observed following SARS-CoV-2 infection.
 
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-021-01630-0

Sunday, February 6, 2022

Number of active cases



The number of active cases has remained flat for a few days.  Still, with roughly 30 million cases, this means that one out of eleven Americans has COVID-19 right now.  That seems like an astonishing number.  This only includes people who report being infected.  There could be many more who don't.

About a month ago, we were setting records for daily new cases and this continued for a while.  Now it is dropping.  Maybe the virus is running out of people to infect.

I feel like Omicron is a different disease.  It is 10 times less deadly but at least 10 times more infectious.  Hospitalizations did not go down with Omicron but peaked around January 20nth.

Whereas the vaccines were 80% effective against Delta, according to a couple of different articles, the booster vaccine is either 34% or 80% effective against the Omicron variant, but it wanes maybe after 3 months.



--

Saturday, February 5, 2022

This Mushroom Starts Killing You Before You Even Realize It | Deep Look

Science News: Electromagnetic radiation

Electromagnetic radiation


I just heard the claim that using 5G or a cell phone is equivalent to an X-Ray.  People make these claims because they don't understand how the electromagnetic spectrum works.

Frequencies higher than Visible Light, including Ultraviolet Radiation, X-Rays, and Gamma Rays, are ionizing radiation, which means that they have the power to dislodge electrons from atoms. This can lead to genetic damage inside your cells.  Too much exposure can kill you.  Gamma Rays are the most dangerous.  

We don't get much ionizing radiation naturally.  The Earth's ozone layer blocks most of the UV radiation from the sun.  On the other hand, radioactive substances can give off dangerous radiation.  Nuclear reactions give off a great deal, such as gamma radiation, but also particle radiation such as alpha, beta, and neutron particles.

Visible light is not ionizing.  The frequency is not high enough.  Radio waves and microwaves are way below visible light, which means that they are not ionizing either.

A Microwave Oven emits a frequency of 2.4 GHz inside a Faraday Cage to keep the electromagnetic radiation from getting out.  A small amount does leak out through the window in the door.  This happens to be the frequency best absorbed by water, which causes the water molecules to vibrate creating heat.  I have a Wi-Fi router that can operate either at 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz.  I only use the 5 GHz band.  The difference between the router and the Microwave Oven is that the router emits a tenth of a watt and the Microwave Oven emits 1100 watts.  That is enough to cause burns and heat damage.  A tenth of watt is not likely to be noticeable even if you were standing next to the transmitter.  Imagine having a light bulb that only uses a tenth of a watt and standing next to it.  You might not feel anything.

The human body gives off about a hundred watts of infrared radiation.

Mobile phones emit between a tenth of a watt and 2 watts.  Most mobile phones use frequencies between 800 Mhz and 1.9 GHz.  The 5G frequencies are between 24 and 54 GHz.  On the other hand, visible light, which is not high enough to be ionizing, goes from 400 to 700 terahertz. 

There was a fake video that was temporarily popular showing people using multiple mobile phones to make a kernel of popcorn pop.  This doesn't actually work since the frequencies are wrong and the power levels are too low.

Power lines give off 60-hertz radiofrequency.  This is classified as extremely low and therefore is not ionizing.

I don't know if it is safe to stand for any length of time next to a 50,000-watt radio transmitter, which is the most power that AM radio stations can use.   Perhaps the worst that would happen is that some of the energy would be transferred to you causing you to feel slightly warmer.  Maybe nothing at all would happen.