Seattle’s Leaders Let Scientists Take the Lead. New York’s Did Not
-an old read but was still on my phone. This in particular..
"the researchers, in quiet violation of C.D.C. guidance, had jury-rigged a coronavirus test in their lab"… via @NewYorker
As Australia gets closer to setting up its own CDC it should be written into its DNA that it will never, NEVER be able to prevent or overrule or control the abilities of regional expertise to rapid, flexibly & independently develop & use tests.
That agile independence was one of the key first tools that set successful countries like us apart from others. That changed shortly after as other things distinguished us. But one of the first and best successes was our expert lab network's ability
to quickly and independently develop tests for the virus and to talk about them. That must never be endangered by any centralised control. Seriously. I'm not kidding. No overarching person or few people in one Org should ever have that power in Aus.

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More from @MackayIM

26 Jan
On this "Australia" day I'm extremely grateful for the jurisdictional across which advised State leaders on COVID-19. I'm also grateful that State leaders listened & acted on that advice. I'm grateful for our established health systems that could support that advice.
We never have openly chased down eradication (local elimination) of SARS-CoV-2 transmission, but in saving lives, reducing fear & protecting livelihoods, Australia got to the same point just via a different route.
By aiming to address fear, prevent illness and support jobs, Australia's leaders really couldn't have ended up anywhere but eradicating SARS-CoV-2 from within its borders. That's what was needed to meet those goals. We've seen that "living with the virus" is actually
Read 16 tweets
24 Jan
The world seemed to have a time in 2020 when it's message was unified: "flatten the curve".
But with the benefit of hindsight, we should have been saying "crash the curve". Instead we all kinda went our separate ways after Wave 1.
Some of us got back to baseline, or very close, before "opening up". Others instigated a percent positive threshold below which it was magically okay to get back out & about (as if 1 case wouldn't start it all again) but that left lots of virus spreading throughout the community.
Others encouraged everyone to get back out & save the economy.
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Wonder Man
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2800 (address & watch also at 1000(m) 2, 8 = 2800?)…
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2 Jan
What is a PCR cycle? 🧵
We sciencey types throw in words that we use for a specific purpose, but which also have other everyday meanings among most of the people on the planet.
We don't see that we do this ALL. THE. TIME.
"Cycle" is one of these words.
Here we're using "cycle" as it relates to the PCR = Polymerase Chain Reaction - a small, enzyme-driven cyclical DNA amplification reaction that we use to detect virus & do other sciency things (longer story)
When we do PCR to detect an otherwise undetectably teensy amount of DNA, we run 40 to 50 cycles of PCR. These 40 to 50 cycles (precise number varies by lab & kit) = the whole experiment (or "PCR run"), all of it.
Read 13 tweets
30 Dec 20
Anatomy of a real-time PCR or RT-PCR (PCR or RT-rPCR) curve.
Two things to highlight using these stylised rPCR curves.
The yellow arrows highlight threshold cycles.
These are the "results". The number from the point at which each curve crosses that arbitrary horizontal threshold are recorded by the lab and reported as "detected"
These values are *not* the same numbers as the TOTAL number of cycles that the rPCR is run for (you can read about cycles here if of interest…)
Read 5 tweets
21 Dec 20
This morning, my early 🎄 present was showing signs of life!
#AussieMushrooms ImageImageImage
And tonight...I'm starting to feel in mildly alarmed Image
Far out! Image
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