The reason for moving to single doses of covid vaccines are simple. They are the same as the reason we have single doses of flu vaccines. EVERYONE has immune memory except babies, be it from infection or a previous vaccine. Once you have that established memory, doubling up additional doses doesn’t accomplish much.
The proposed legislation regarding gain-of-function research is meaninglessly vague and pointless.
Additionally, seriously, stay the hell away from Ebright and everyone and everything he amplifies. He is a deeply unserious crank who constantly points at other cranks liars and who I am yet to see say anything sane or interesting.
The Bloom lab thread about how elderly may not improve in terms of mortality while the younger population does could be at least partially confounded.
It uses graphs from the 1918 H1N1 flu, and the 1968 pandemic invasion of H3N2 into the human population.
The work of Michael Worobey and company strongly suggests that the first flu you are exposed to, and to a lesser extend the whole ensemble of immune memory you have built up, strongly affects your response to other novel flus for the rest of your life. Specifically, they have evidence that the odd age distribution of deaths in the 1918 pandemic was because people in their 40s onwards had pre-existing immune memory to H1 flu viruses from their childhood while younger adults did not, and so to those young adults it was a high severity novel virus while to the elderly cohort it was much more like an ordinary seasonal flu.
They have weaker evidence from serum samples rather than viral genomes that between 1890 and 1900 H3 flu viruses circulated in the human population. People older than 68 thus would have at least some immune memory against the new virus, which could skew their initial mortality downwards compared to something completely novel. Note that the split used is for those under/over 65.
In short, in both of these circumstances the young population was definitely seeing a novel virus they had never seen before, but in probably one and quite possibly both of them the elderly population was already prepared by immune memory from childhood and you would expect it to be much more like ordinary seasonal flu.
The 2009 swine flu was another relevant circumstance—it was a new H1N1 flu invading the human population from pigs, with a common ancestor with the H1N1 already in humans a century in the past so the drift was more than enough to make sure that we were all very easily infected. This lead to bizarre disease dynamics for more than a year, people getting sick all out of season in multiple waves. But deaths were barely above a normal flu season, because even though the similarity was not enough for immune memory to reliably prevent infection, it held off severe disease.Unlike all of these circumstances, no one of any age who didn’t already have SARS had any relevant immune memory to SARS-2.
The 1951 Liverpool virus described is fascinating.
A significant fraction of the climate impact of gas is actually ubiquitous fugitive leaks rather than the CO2 produced, as several percent is lost somewhere between production and final combustion or while appliances are turned off. Multiplied by a greenhouse effect dozens of times as strong as the CO2 it combusts into, that builds up. It is at least theoretically conceivable if the parameters were just right that the same gas running through fewer, shorter, larger pipes with a lot less leakage to centralized power plants driving electric heating could actually produce less impact per unit useful work (especially given that gas heat has a smaller fraction of the heat actually go into the thing being heated). I am utterly unprepared to do numbers on this though and this would be completely dependent on actual leakages and where they occur and the difference in the fraction of useful work.
I independently have been casually suggesting getting the vaccine to several of my friends and family.
Immunity against any orthopoxvirus is immunity against all of them. From monkeypox to cowpox to horsepox to camelpox to Alaskapox to half a dozen things that only virologists have ever heard of to God knows what relatives are floating around the virosphere under the radar. Between their exceptionally low mutation rate, their huge genomes giving a large attack surface to T-cell reactions, and the fact that there’s more than a dozen surface proteins any one of which getting neutralized kills it dead, these viruses simply can’t evolve around immune reactions even on timescales of tens of thousands of years. The monkeypox outbreak probably was able to finally take off human to human in 2017 in Nigeria because of the combination of an ever growing population that has never been vaccinated against smallpox and the aging population that did get it having effectiveness against infection slowly fade on a timescale of decades. I think this pre-emption of other potential orthopoxviruses rather than smallpox or necessarily even monkeypox is the strongest argument. There is an open immunological niche left behind from the eradication of smallpox and the cessation of vaccination, just waiting for something to fill it.
It should be noted that what is being offered is the third generation smallpox vaccine, also known as modified Vaccinia Ankara. It is a live attanuated vaccine, unlike the first and second generation vaccines which are just giving you a localized vaccinia infection. Ten years of passaging in chicken cells has left the attanuated virus unable to successfully replicate in mammalian cells—it invades cells, and turns them into virus factories, but the resultant virus particles fail to successfully go through the final maturation step and are sterile. Since it doesn’t establish actual replicating infection it is much much safer, but is a bit less immunogenic than the old school version. Has to be propagated in primary chicken fibroblasts, making production annoying compared to mammalian culture of ordinary vaccinia.
In addition to the benefits of the third generation smallpox vaccine in and of itself, it should also make any future doses with the old-school smallpox vaccine (which is more effective and might work for longer and is easier to grow in culture and thus more likely to be widely deployed in a future biosecurity scenario) no longer dangerous. Any immune memory to orthopoxviruses nearly eliminates the possible systemic Vaccinia infection outcomes that can happen your first time getting it. One course of what they’re giving out now should be very effective against bad outcomes to any orthopoxvirus for a very long time, but I know that after a few decades regular vaccinia got a bit leaky at preventing infection outright and they regularly revaccinated doctors. In this monkeypox outbreak vaccines that were 50 years old were only somewhat effective against infection risk.
I got the vaccine this summer, as did two people I know who like me actually did qualify according to the letter of the local rules. No interesting reactions. With the local rules slackening and demand falling and monkeypox all but eradicated in North America such that getting a dose now is not taking protection from someone who may have needed it this last summer, I have already been suggesting getting it for more people I know. Of course, I am a bit of an antibody hoarder with multiple elective vaccinations in my history and even more I wish I could get, who thinks about resilience a lot.
The third-generation vaccine being given now was specifically developed in order to have a smallpox vaccine that was safer especially for people with health problems, and so has much less of a trade-off with conjectural benefits.
But we also can’t pretend that this place is anything but a less extreme spiraling cult of its own, rather than a place that has anything to do with the real world
I have been following this group for ten years. It is just another doomsday cult.
Any post on the Ziz cult that does not engage with the already explicitly cultic mileu of singulatarian thought from which they emerged (that is, here) is utterly incomplete.
See I just think it means he’s a shortsighted greedy moron
They are perfectly characteristically shallow, as usual for him.
Because it is an apocalyptic cult and don’t you dare let them pretend otherwise.
I am unconcerned enough about hospitalization that even if the RNA shots gave me anything but a sore arm that wakes me up the night after the shot when I roll over onto it, I would be analyzing it in terms of days of feeling cruddy from shot versus days of feeling cruddy from an infection, and timing them accordingly to maximize the odds of preventing feeling like crud for a week in a given year.
That IS evidence.
I have not.
As a biologist, my mind goes elsewhere. Specifically, to how viruses are by far the most common biological entity on Earth and how most coding sequences in your genome are selfish replicating reverse transcription apparatuses trying to shove copies of their own sequences anywhere they can get into. Other examples abound, including how the very spliceosome itself in the eukaryotic transcription apparatus seems to be a defense against invasion of the eukaryotic genome by reverse-transcribing introns that natural selection could no longer purge once eukaryotic cell size rose and population size fell enough to weaken natural selection against mild deleterious mutations, but in the process entrenched those selfish elements into something that could no longer leave.
Ever read the various fiction by Peter Watts? In any of his work set after the mid 21st century the descendant of the internet is called the Maelstrom, completely overrun with self-replicating spambots and advertisements and ‘wild’ mutated descendants thereof, with actual messages making up <0.001% of the traffic and needing to be wrapped in endless layers of authentication and protection against modification
I can’t even imagine what it would be like for thoughts to be in the form of words before I have to verbalize them, and I don’t know what words I will use to express something until moments before I speak or write at most.
I subvocalize, but not while reading and it’s almost always just repeating the last thing I said or cursing at something or myself. I think it is notable that expletives don’t use the same brain pathways as ordinary speech and are frequently preserved when strokes destroy speech.
It is typical of the intellects that hang out here, honestly.
As someone who only sticks around here out of morbid fascination, congrats on realizing that all of this is not okay.
I wish I had recorded my thoughts the week before they removed most of their remaining restrictions. They were something like “only 20% of adults haven’t been vaccinated, they’re working down the age distribution, and they’re infecting as fast as the winter. At some point, they just have to run out of people.” I thus vaguely expected things to drop, especially as they had turned around before.
One, they’re just running out of susceptibles, two, a shorter serial interval means that everything up and down happens faster and the R value is likely not as higher as it would be if you did not take this into account, and three… a good bet has been to expect authorities to be wrong.
I don’t even understand what Thiel is trying to say, which is pretty typical.