One third of homes have a cat. There are 600M globally. A study @NEJM confirms cats spread #coronavirus to each other & may spread it between family members. I’m concerned it could mix with a fatal cat coronavirus... 1/n
Some say “Well, the virus has not been proven to spread from cat to human.” As @StevenAustad has pointed out, this hasn’t been tested or disproven either. It is like saying in December 2019 that a virus in China hasn’t been proven to spread to the US. 2/n
Is no one but me concerned about viral genetic mixing & a new strain emerging from cats? Cats have their own #coronaviruses. They can cause one of the most fatal cat diseases known by destroying white blood cells (HIV-like). 3/n
2/ Having started a now public company that makes vaccines (thanks to my cofounder Darren Higgins and to @gatesfoundation), I can tell you many people don't appreciate just how long it takes to develop a drug.
3/ Vaccines often take longer. Of every drug that is picked to go into humans, less than 5% will ultimately be approved. Luckily, the outbreaks of SARS and MERS in 2004 and 2012 have given us a head start (SARS and SARS-CoV-2 are ~80 percent identical).
Outlook for this decade: POOR 1. 85% of economic impact is caused by fear of the virus not by stay-at-home. 2. WHO says the virus may never leave, like HIV. If true, we are in serious trouble. 1/n
Let’s not ignore the likelihood that survivors “will be left with chronic kidney & heart problems”, something the pro-herd immunity folks don’t consider. If you think spending 17% of US GDP on healthcare is bad now...2/n
We have also seen that leadership matters. NZ & Australia stopped movement, enforced it & tested and traced asymptomatics. They couldn’t even buy a coffee & are now essentially covid-free. US & Britain waited, let people travel & didn’t test & trace. We see the consequences. 3/n
Finally had time to carefully read the new preprint that claims to reverse the age of rats by 54%. I spoke to the first author & in this thread ask whether the results are believable and what if it is true? tinyurl.com/yapwdy87 1/n
The result is so literally incredible that even the first author, Prof. Steve Horvath, didn't believe it at first. I suggested he check if the rats were mixed up, but he assured me he checked their genomes. The rats weren't mixed up and the data is the data. 2/n
Being from a commercial operation called Nugenics (sounds like eugenics?) and calling the blood plasma fraction "Elixir" doesn't inspire confidence. But let's dig in...3/n
Important! Largest study yet on #Covid_19 fatality shows top risks: 1. Age, BY FAR the highest 2. Cancers of the blood 3. Male 4. Obesity 5. Diabetes
I will say it again: Aging is a disease & it is treatable. Yes, treatable. 1/n #healthcaretinyurl.com/yahsd3vq@bengoldacre
Striking finding: smoking makes little difference to #Covid_19 fatality, so it can’t explain bias in male deaths (What can? Hint: males age faster). 2/n
For smoking, error bar on the hazard ratio chart is close to zero, so smoking is probably not protective either, as some have speculated. tinyurl.com/y8l2qpom 3/n
1/ There's no disagreement between scientists and doctors that vitamin D is important for the immune system, especially for people who are unable to go outside (even for a five-minute social distancing stroll), like the elderly, or during the winter for those in higher latitudes
2/ Our immune cells depend on vitamin D to function properly. When we have inadequate levels of the sunshine vitamin, our immune systems can take quite a hit. SARS-Cov-2 virus enters cells via ACE2 receptors.
3/ Viral replication downregulates ACE2 dysregulating the renin-angiotensin system and leads to a cytokine storm in the host, causing Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS).
What really is remdesivir? It’s chemical delivery vehicle for the active form: a variant of the letter A in the RNA code. Remdesivir interferes with the viral RNA copying enzyme, like a bit of plastic caught in a zipper. 1/n
The mechanism of action is called “delayed RNA chain termination”. Here’s what the natural A in the RNA code normally looks like. Remdesivir’s extra arm sticking out of the hip with the nitrogen atom at its end (N) is what gums up the zipper. 3/n
Chloroquine is an inhibitor of autophagy, the mechanism a celll uses to clear proteins it doesn’t want. What’s novel here is what happens when you combine it with immune checkpoint inhibitors, but I couldn’t resist 😉
Autophagy is the means by which pancreatic cancer cells limit the amount of MHC class I molecules on their surface, so they can hide from the immune system. Inhibiting autophagy exposes the the cancer cells, like lifting an invisibility cloak 👍
There are currently 300+ different genetic versions of #coronavirus. Here's my take on a new study that investigates if they multiply at different rates, at a way to help explain regional & individual differences in #COVID19 ... tinyurl.com/y7bgzvse
Summary: scientists from Zhejiang University studies 11 strains of SARS-CoV-2, from early in the pandemic. They identified mutations, mapped them to protein structures, tested how the #coronavirus multiplied in & killed cells, & compared to patient outcomes... 2/ #COVID19
19 of the 31 identified mutations were novel, despite the relatively early sampling dates, indicating that the true diversity of the viral strains is still largely underappreciated. That's an interesting finding right there... 3/ #COVID2019
Statistics lie and so do patients. Other classic lies include:
* 43% about exercising
* 38% about not drinking alcohol
* 29% about the number of sexual partners
Studies based on questionnaires are flawed...2/3
The #coronavirus is part bat & part human virus. A new study says the Frankenstein event happened well before its transmission to humans. Wait, what? Humans first infected bats?... 🦠🧍🦇🧍🐈 #COVID19#CoronavirusPandemic
The intermediate Frankenstein #coronavirus has part human/part bat versions of the spike protein (the knobs on the outside of the virus & what #COVID19 vaccines target). Coronafrankenstein is formally called RaTG13, the name, rank & serial # of a horseshoe bat 💩 sample...
...If we gave bats #coronavirus first, then people, including scientists, should stay away from bats especially if they don't feel well. That's why, as much as I like #cats, I don't like how they can catch it from us. It's a potential vicious cycle... tinyurl.com/tsnj65g
1500 feet down in a French cave, the #dinosaur footprints are some of the largest known, made by titanosauriforms 167M years ago. Tracks show impressions of digits, digital pads, and claws - from a new species they name Occitanopodus gandi. #ScienceFromHome...
States that didn’t lock down have low death rates. This doesn’t mean #stayathome is wrong, healthwise. AR, UT, ND, SD & WY are relatively unpopulated & behind in their time-courses. Besides, the goal is to reduce total deaths, not just the rate. Ask anyone who’s lost a loved one.
The study @scientific reports conducted by @Columbia Medical Center showed far-UVC light destroys aerosolized H1N1 influenza particles 🦠...
Scientists have known for decades that UV light is highly effective at destroying viruses by destroying their DNA & RNA 🧬. However, its widespread use is limited because conventional UVC can cause skin cancer & cataracts...
Lucretius, the first century BC Roman philosopher, said humanity’s fear of death drives irrational beliefs & actions that harm society. And as COVID-19 sweeps across the globe, his key predictions are coming true...
1. Some imagine an eternal afterlife, or an immortal soul that is more important than the body and the material world...
2. When people are afraid of dying they might think that withdrawing from others will help keep danger, disease and death away. Witness divorces up 60%...
@NEJM Advisory: Blood clotting in small blood vessels is a symptom of severe #COVID_19. It can be detected by a rise in D-dimer, a protein fragment not normally in blood, but is released from degrading clots... 1/6
How does the #pandemic end & how do we prevent a deadly resurgence of #Covid_19 later in the year? Release young people back into society first, a new paper says...
Bad situations occur if there is too little #socialdistancing (upper panel) or too much, causing a second wave of deaths (lower, an extreme case). Total mortality = TM; Green curves = #infections; blue = #ICU cases...
Here’s what happens if you release under 39 year-olds first. Here, either 2/3rds are released (assuming 1/3 live with older relatives; upper panels) or ALL of them are let out (lower panels). Total deaths drop from 1.5M to 900K to 390K...
A: Results from preclinical studies and observations in relevant patient populations support the protective potential of statins in ALI, paving the way now for definitive clinical trials. /2.2 ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/P…
Getting back to normal life will require knowing who is immune to #coronavirus and who isn't. Here's a thread on how #COVID19 tests work, how long after a #Covid_19 infection are they still valid, how to get one & what government can do to help get us back to work... 1/8
1. Viral genetic material (RNA) is amplified by RT-PCR (real-time polymerase-chain-reaction). More virus, more fluorescence
2. Genetic material is read by a DNA sequencer to detect its abundance & genotype (~10 clades/types) 2/8
There's a 3rd type of RNA test being developed @mason_lab called RT-LAMP (Reverse Transcription Loop-mediated Isothermal Amplification). Advantages are simplicity, low cost, and insensitivity to contaminants from blood🩸or sputum 👄 tinyurl.com/tdsza5n 3/8