Discussion in 'Community' started by Darth Punk
, Jan 21, 2020.
For Rand Paul the apple falls on the tree. Not far from it directly on it
@Vaderize03 Understood, you're far more knowledgeable in this field than I'll ever be, so I'm grateful for your info. I'm just trying to get some grasp on things, so if you don't mind can I ask a few things?
I understand that the point of gain-of-function research is to improve epidemiology, to learn about evolution of viruses in order to better understand and prevent pandemics. At the same time, isn't the creation of "super viruses" an intrinsic part of that kind of research, or at least a likely outcome? In reading EcoHealth Alliances grant proposals, they describe their ability to increase "pathogenicity" and presented data that the viruses they used in mice created increased viral load after modification. I understand "super virus" is not an academic term, but isn't that kind of describing one aspect of the research?
I understand that the specific viruses EHA identified in their (rejected) grant proposal that described modifying furin sites were not related to COVID, but is such a modification possible, and could it have been conducted in Wuhan? From what I've read about research campuses, there is a lot of overlapping and sharing of work/discoveries, and so I started to suspect that EHA wouldn't be the only people there to have this idea, just the most easily scrutinized because of American FOIA.
Whenever I sit down to read about these topics, genetics is usually the part where I have trouble keeping up. Are you saying we know that the specific viruses in EHA's proposals/reports were genetically dissimilar, or that all viruses being studied by all parties at Wuhan were dissimilar? The main source I've been following for the past few months on this is Richard H. Ebright out of Rutgers, and he seems convinced that SARS-CoV-2 *could* have been created in the course of gain-of-function research in Wuhan.
@harpua I honestly think it has to do more with lack of help then COVID protocols at least by us. If you are vaccinated, wearing masks, using gloves etc I think cleaning towels while a nasty job (whoever does it please give them a raise) is pretty low risk. At our gym the towel service is "limited" due to staff being light, not COVID. Then again our gym is completely open other then masks have to be worn unless you are showering, swimming or exercising while keeping social distancing/outside. Even the little protein Cafe is open though I noticed shorter hours due to once again staff shortages. Too bad the boys are too young or encourage to get a job there.
So the Delta Summer Surge in the US peaked on August 30th with 185k cases. Since then it's steady dropped for the past two months. If the two months up/two months down pattern holds we should see cases start to creep up in the next few weeks particularly around Thanksgiving week. How much I think really depends on a lot of variables including well the booster + kids rollout goes along with just how much of the unvaccinated as some previous infection immunity.
It’s not that the research doesn’t strengthen viruses, it’s that the term ‘superviruses’ implies that we’re doing something outside of what nature is already doing. Gain-of-function research generally involves allowing the virus to pass though successive generations in cell culture, seeing which strains have mutated to obtain a selective advantage, then breeding them further and studying them to see what nature has done. Yes, genetic engineering is often performed, but this is usually done with the intent of learning how to fight pathogenic mutations, not creative monster bugs.
That being said, I can’t answer your specific question about Wuhan because when it comes down to it, no-one really knows. The Chinese have been far from transparent on all things COVID, and that includes the full sharing of data from their virology labs. So while it’s certainly possible SARS-CoV-2 came from the Wuhan Institute, the general consensus is that a natural mutation of the original SARS viruses via one or two mammalian intermediaries is a more likely explanation.
Not sure I answered your question, but I hope this helps.
DeSantis giving a $5000 bonus to all unvaccinated police who move to Florida:
(Cross posting because it’s ridiculous)
Pandemics in the Age of Americentrism
In New Zealand, today we had 79 new community cases. Auckland remains largely cut off from the rest of the country, though restrictions are slowly being eased (still not sure how wise that is). Vaccine mandates have been announced for more workplaces that are in close contact with customers.
The Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency, representing community health providers, has argued in the High Court for the Ministry of Health to share data with them to aid in their efforts to raise Māori vaccination rates. At the moment Māori are significantly less likely to have been vaccinated, and the Labour government has been criticised for choosing not to specifically prioritise increasing those rates before relaxing restrictions. Instead, an overall rate of 90% is the aim for each District Health Board, before transitioning to the new "traffic light" system.
Today Sweden passed a grim milestone; 15,000 people with covid have died since the start of the pandemic.
FDA meet today about 5-11 year old vaccines:
November 5th is being thrown out as a date that it could authorization. Going to sleep so much better when the kids start their vaccination process.
At this rate, Florida is simply transforming itself into one enormous Jonestown.
Brought to us by The People's AggroCultureWar Project.
Need for liver transplants due to heavy drinking soared during the pandemic, study finds.
I am Jack's complete lack of surprise.
it's the classic pandemic economy dilemma. Everyone wants a liver, so demand is through the roof, but also supply bottlenecks: no one wants to sell their liver. The perfect recipe for runaway liver price inflation.
FDA board recommends covid-19 vaccine for 5-11 year olds:
Governor Prizker (Illinois) says about 500k doses are coming for the kids so this looks like it's ramping up fast.
Side note we got a QR code from the pharmacy we got our booster shots from that includes our vaccination info. Pretty amazing they have something like that but the US government doesn't.
The federal government's inability to better support the vaccine rollout with a way to make it easy to verify vaccinations is a major embarrassment. This either needs a federal response, or the ability to prevent/regulate interstate travel
Do we have data on how long it takes immunity levels to peak after the booster shots (particularly Pfizer)? I'm wondering how much longer I have to wait before I can be slightly less paranoid, because my current level of paranoia is not good for my mental health.
I'm not quite at six months since I had dose #2 (May 15th) so I'm not eligible as of yet. However, and I'm sure it's been asked many times itt, should I get the booster right at the six month mark or should I wait longer?
I believe closer to eight months is thought to be more ideal. @Vaderize03 would know better than I would (and probably has an answer for my own question above as well). I chose to get it right at six months solely because of my current situation with trying to graduate college in December without disruptions, so I personally preferred maximum protection over the next two months (when a single day of quarantine could be disastrous) at the expense of possibly less protection later (when I'll have an industry job with paid time off and possibly work-from-home capabilities).
I read a lot about gain of function over the summer. It’s fascinating. I’ve posted on here before there are two schools of thought on it. 1) viruses forced to evolve in a lab into their most deadly forms are far to dangerous to allow this research. 2) That a virus this deadly will eventually be created by nature means it’s too dangerous not to conduct this research.
I saw interview clips with Dr. Fauci from the early 00s where he is talking about gain of function research ultimately breaking down all the major virus types on Earth and having a system in place that would allow for the creation of a successful vaccine within 24 hour when a new variant emerges. There is potential for infinite possible virus variations, but there are a finite number of virus families. Gain of function could help find general vaccines for all of those.
The big push for gain of function research has it’s origins in the war on terror. In the days after 9-11 anthrax was sent to news outlets and politicians. Gain of function research can be low tech enough to be carried out in very remote places. There was fear a terrorist group might be able to evolve viruses in a cave to use a bio weapons. So in that time period there was a driving factor of if the US doesn’t figure these things out first they will be used against the US.
The big twist is the anthrax mailed after 9-11 was sent by a senior bio defense researcher in the US specializing in anthrax - Bruce Edwards Ivins. His research was on the verge of being shutdown before 9-11 and he was sure he’d loose funding in the wake of the terrorist attacked. So he mailed the anthrax to bring attention back to bio terrorist attacks. It took the FBI some time to find this out because he and his lab were helping them with their investigation. Bruce killed himself in 2008 after learning the FBI was closing in on him.
Six months is fine. I got my booster at 7 months, and they were saying 8 at the time (mid-August).
In regards to the debate over gain-of-function research, I'm reminded of Laurence Fishburne's comment to the head of the Department of Homeland Security from the movie Contagion:
"Did someone weaponize the bird flu?"
"Someone doesn't have to. The birds are doing that."
It's something we should be doing to prepare for what nature is going to throw at us. That being said, we should also be *really careful* about it. China may very well have not been, but without their full co-operation, we'll never know.
The Florida SG had his PR person come up with an explanation for his actions: he didn't want to wear a mask because he wanted to have a conversation with the Senator, and was afraid he wouldn't be able to communicate.
... yet he couldn't relay that at the time. I'm thinking a mask isn't the issue with his inability to communicate.
Also, the spokesperson said it was no one's business if he was vaccinated, so it's pretty clear he's not.
But are the consequences of a lab leak too great? And is gain-of-function the best or only way to prepare?
So I've been coughing and sneezing , feels just like a typical cold , but I figured now's a good time to take one of those home covid tests .
So I read all the instructions (has there ever been a good instruction manual ?) , did all the biz , then ... wait 30 minutes ... kind of exciting ... and ... I'm not pregnant , I mean I don't have Covid .
@Vaderize03 Any information on this? My mental health needs to know.
I'm less concerned about a lab leak than I am about scrambling to understand a novel virus after-the-fact. It's not the only way to prepare, but it is one of the best. The alternative--deliberately introducing genes into viruses to make them more pathogenic via splicing--is far more subject to potential abuse.
@jcgoble3 you're considered fully protected 7 days after your second dose. Immunity wanes at 6 months (on average) for the mRNA vaccines, hence the need for booster.
Also, research was announced today suggesting those who are "moderately-to-severely immunocompromised" may need a 4th-dose of an mRNA vaccine 6 months after the 3rd. I'll be looking to get mine in February.
Right, I knew that. I was asking about when full protection is achieved again (i.e. when protection "peaks") after the booster itself. In other words, since I got my booster on Friday of last week, when is my protection from that booster considered to be "full" (or as full as it can be with Delta)?