1. My husband called my attention to some offensive, entitled, and childish comments about an alleged "failure" of the scientific community to come up with other vaccines, since the SARS-Cov-2 vaccine was achieved so fast.

2. The comparisons were with HIV and cancer. They left out malaria, several other lethal bacterial and virus-caused diseases. This entitled attitude, as well as hatred for science, used to be a feature of American culture, part of its "exceptionalism".

3. Unfortunately, the US has exported this damaging historical trend together with its evangelical fundamentalism and the right wing terrorist threat they represent. So maybe we should make the war on the war on science global.
4. Let's think about AIDS. I was a young molecular parasitologist, studying Trypanosoma cruzi, the causing agent of Chagas Disease, when AIDS was identified. Like everyone my age, I was scared. It was 1981.

5. We followed every line published on AIDS and how Luc Montagnier's team identified the HIV virus. What most people don't know, but we did, is that several other labs were on the same track, as is the rule in important scientific quests.
6. Once the virus was isolated, it was *everyone's* hope in the scientific community that a surface protein binding to the human cell receptors would be identified. Forty years and billions of dollars later, we are still not there.

7. Meanwhile the epidemic took its natural route and new strains of the virus emerged, making the task harder. There is still hope.

8. Whether the scientific community can or cannot solve a vaccine problem depends only in part on how much money and institutional weight is invested in the quest. Most of the factors are molecular in nature and they defeat the best scientific efforts.

9. The protozoan Plasmodium, the causing agent of malaria, was discovered in 1897. The full cycle of the protozoan was only finally elucidated in 1982 and we are still learning.


10. As far as I can remember, labs in the most well-funded health research centers were after the vaccine. The malaria vaccine was the Holy Grail of molecular parasitology. Yet, no vaccine.

11. Malaria kills every year around 400,000 people and there are an estimated 229 million cases of malaria worldwide. It is not a minor disease.

12. I can go on and on, adding items that both educate and reveal the deep disrespect and disdain that anti-intellectualism spreads with its ugly tentacles. The reason vaccines against one pathogen can be developed faster than others depends both on the investment...
13. ... and on the molecular nature of the challenge, as has been hopefully shown in this thread.

As for cancer, the childish question is even more baffling. Cancer is a product of the organism's own cells' transformation by genetic mutation or chromosomal anomalies.
14. The term "cancer vaccine" refers to cancer immunotherapy and can hardly be compared to vaccine development against external pathogens.

15. If one is uneducated in a scientific matter, one needs to *ask* and learn how to learn, which starts by respecting those who give their lives to shed light into the darkness and generate knowledge.
16. It is not one's place to throw irresponsible allegations in the wind and move on to the next bitching context just because one is bored, frustrated and entitled.

In the war against obscurantism, there is a place for battles against this attitude.
17. If that hypothetical "one" is you, you are part of the problem, you are on the side of obscurantism and well, you are our enemy.

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More from @mariliacout

19 Feb
1. About the seriousness and importance of GOP neglect in natural disasters - #TedCruz and beyond

Adding another tweet about how much of creep Cruz is adds zero content to the conversation.
2. The growing consensus that he was a creep, is a creep and will continue to be one is established.

3. The jokes about Cruz inverting roles with Mexican refugees is fine but inaccurate: he doesn't come from a privileged Mexican family. He comes from a privileged Cuban family, Batista people, complicit with the murder of the Cuban people.
Read 10 tweets
18 Feb
@fvckinashman @KarlitoRichII @JoLuehmann 1. Thanks, Jay. Yeah... the Gracies have had connections with oppressive violence in Brazil from day one. Their recent interaction with the fascist dictatorship (1964-85) is still not sufficiently told. @UrbanAntonio has been collecting pieces here and there.
@fvckinashman @KarlitoRichII @JoLuehmann @UrbanAntonio 2. There is another phenomenon that grew as an offshoot of Gracie-inspired BJJ: the neonazi BJJ groups in large cities like Sao Paulo, Rio and Brasilia. Their shady relations with the repression institutions is still not sufficiently documented, as a lot about ....
@fvckinashman @KarlitoRichII @JoLuehmann @UrbanAntonio 3... what happened in the dungeons of the dictatorship. Anyway, they have established a strong tradition of fascist support in BJJ. They openly support Bolsonaro and we believe (but have no hard evidence) that several MMA ...
Read 10 tweets
8 Feb
1. There is something stuck on the back of my mind since center-right economists like @paulkrugman started insisting that stimulus checks/universal income were not as important as unemployment benefits: the size of the labor force versus the size of the population.
2. The official employment/unemployment data provided by @BLS_gov the misses the chronically unemployed. This segment is larger than the officially unemployed. Unless the individual officially checks in their job seeking efforts, they are not counted as part of the labor force:
3. That means that they are not counted as unemployed either. Several segments of the population have not been counted for a long time:
- over 50 yrs of age who lost hope of finding a job and live in the secondary/informal economy or marginal employment
Read 8 tweets
12 Jan
1. This is an interesting development.

I say that as one who is radically critical of patriotism in general, who was not and will never be a patriot to any nation-state, and who, as a social scientist, ...
2. understands nation-states are artificial constructs maintained by dominant segments of society through certain superstructures such as nationalism.
3. But it is quite an interesting development. There is an actual state of cold war inside the US, unlike other countries in which the far right seized power, such as Brazil, Poland or Hungary.
Read 7 tweets
23 Dec 20

If the trump base donates $20 each, they can raise 1.4B overnight. That's a hypothetical to point out that:
- the Trump cabal doesn't really have financial problems: they have practically unlimited resources with the base
- the American legal system doesn't have unbailable offenses. That means the worst murderers will be bailed out by the base because of the hate/resentment/racist mindset, and that will never change.
3. Look at Derek Chauvin: he looks defiantly at the camera as he executes George Floyd. That's murder with all aggravating circumstances. Yet, the judge has set a bail! The democratic world watches in horror because he was obviously going to be bailed out by the 70M fascists.
Read 5 tweets
30 Nov 20
1. I have compiled a collection of online supplements-in-bulk retailers since @BulkSupps doesn't seem that interested in fixing the bugs on their website. They seem to be moving to a mobile-device-only store - I don't do phone stuff, ever, like most researchers.
2. Here are some sites that compiled online #supplement store competitors:

Read 9 tweets

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