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  1. #1531

    Re: Let's Discuss Science

    Henrik Salje @hsalje
    Despite 20,000+ COVID19 deaths, we find only ~5% of France infected. The lockdown, eased on Monday, reduced transmission by 80%, however R still close to 1 (~0.7) with 3-6k daily infections, leaving little room for post-lockdown increases @ScienceMagazine

    Jarosław Węglarz
    @AwWeglarzReplying to @hsaljez@RafalMostowyzand @ScienceMagazine
    " with 3-6k daily infections"

    May 12 - 802
    May 11 - 453
    May 10 - 312
    May 9 - 579
    Ganesh Kadamur@iamgkadam

    Those are only *detected* cases. We know there's more cases out there. I haven't read the paper in detail, but presume they have some basis for assuming ~10x more *actual* cases.
    Pierre @HOME@PetV

    I'm assuming Henrik means room until R hits 1 and we're seeing exponential spread again.

    All this tragedy from an infection of just 5% of pop is not good news. I know many were hoping for 20% or more.
    zeynep tufekci

    Today both France and Spain (two badly hit countries) have come out with seroprevalence numbers. (France is a model, paper linked below. Spain was representative sample/survey of 60K; I don't have the paper yet). Both are ~5 percent. If that holds up, that is very very bad news.
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.

  2. #1532

    Re: Let's Discuss Science

    There is some circumstancial evidence (clinical trials underway) that tuberculosis vaccine makes this disease less severe and that is the reason why Asia and Eastern Europe where this vaccine is/was universal is doing better than Westerm Europe where people are not vaccinated against it anymore.
    Roger forever

  3. #1533

    Re: Let's Discuss Science

    The Federalist
    Science is worshiped by a religious fundamentalism that, contrary to evidence, believes it will guide us into all truth. This is an objectively irrational, unproven and unprovable belief.

    Why Science Is A False God That Will Sorely Disappoint You
    Science is worshiped by a religious fundamentalism that, contrary to evidence, believes it will guide us into all truth. This is objectively irrational.
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.

  4. #1534

    Re: Let's Discuss Science

    Over 400 years of almost linear growth in the understanding of nature and truth and this is objectively irrational?
    Plus: find me one scientist that will tell you Science KNOWS IT ALL. You will not be able to. We know how much there is to investigate and learn. But the process is much better than the other one.
    Face it. It's the apocalypse.

  5. #1535

    Re: Let's Discuss Science

    Glenn: I sing in a chamber choir, I was supposed to perform (singing/dancing) in a professional immersive theater production next month, and my plans for next summer still tentatively include two early music festivals. But...

    During the winter, I'd also started preparing to audition for another chorus in hopes of finally singing Beethoven's 9th, as I've never been in the right place at the right time. But they just announced that they won't be holding tryouts this year, and that's fine. Seeing my Monday nights shift from multiple conflicts (Pound/Dance Blast at the Y vs. English country dancing vs. chorus rehearsals vs. music film series at the art house theater...) to none for the foreseeable future (*) is ... weird.

    (* At least two and possibly three will likely resume by this fall, but I don't see myself going back or going out on a routine basis.)

  6. #1536

    Re: Let's Discuss Science

    Ribbons, I am sorry you are going to be missing all that. We know a voice faculty member at another university very well. He has said that they are already facing the reality that choral ensembles are probably no less than a full academic year away from resuming, maybe more.

    I saw a video discussion of the exact results from that article you posted. This was by a voice faculty member at a North Carolina school (I don't know her at all). She basically went over all the points in that article.

    I'd like to mention specifically one part of that article. At the end when they give 3 possible scenarios for resuming choral ensembles, the 3rd one is "Countermeasures mixed with scientific investigation." This is the one place where that article went away from realism into some flight of fancy. Picture in your mind what they are talking about: wind players in hermetically sealed booths as one specific example. The cost of having a rehearsal alone would be astronomical. And can you picture the concert? Visually it would be the weirdest thing going.

    So live concerts by large ensembles may not happen any time soon. An option would be doing it all in very safe music studios, with individuals recording by themselves. Then the most important work would happen by the sound mixers. We would get good recordings (like we already get), but the thrill of live performance, both for the performers and the audience, would be lost.

    That doesn't help the ensembles with which you perform, Ribbons, and it certainly won't be realistic for college and community orchestras and bands either.

    Another comment: If any of those singing options do resume in the autumn, I would avoid them for sure. Every day there is more evidence of how unsafe that would be. I know that you live in a state led by an administration that is not acting in the best interests of the population. I'll have to hope that at least not many artists die because they follow inappropriate guidelines from above.


  7. #1537

    Re: Let's Discuss Science

    Ti-Amie mentioned this company, but in the wrong thread. So let's look at it again from a scientific point of view via my favorite med chem blog.

    First Results from Moderna’s Coronavirus Vaccine

    This morning brought news from Moderna of the very first human results from trials of their closely-watched mRNA vaccine candidate (mRNA-1273) against the coronavirus. Here’s Stat on the news, and here’s Endpts – the results can be summed up pretty quickly, because it’s all just at the press-release level to start with.

    The trial was dosing volunteers in Phase I at three levels 25 micrograms, 100 micrograms, and 250 micrograms of the mRNA species. First off, immunogenicity (whether or not these doses caused people to produce antibodies). The good news there is that every participant at every dose level began producing antibodies (in other words, they “seroconverted) by day 15 after the first injection. The actual amount of antibodies produced went up in the higher-dosage group, and for the 25 and 100 µg folks, it went up after the second “booster” shot of mRNA as well. (The high-dose 250 µg voluteers seem to have maxed out after the first shot, actually).

    That’s promising on the relative amounts of antibodies: everyone responded, and the response was dose-dependent (both in amount and across time, with the booster shot). As for a comparison to the outside world, the company says that the lowest-dose (25 µg) cohort (15 people), two weeks after the second dose, showed levels of binding antibodies that are the same as seen in the blood of people who have recovered from the coronavirus on their own, as tested in the same assay. And the medium-dose group (ten people), tested at the same time, showed antibody levels that “significantly exceeded” the levels seen in recovered patients. The company says that it doesn’t have the numbers yet for the rest of the trial participants; presumably we’ll be seeing those soon.

    Now that’s good, but it only measures binding antibodies. What you want are neutralizing antibodies, ones that not only bind but do so in a way that shuts down the virus entirely (background here). Moderna says that they only have data to this level on the first four participants in the 25 µg and 100 µg groups, but the good news is that those results are consistent with the overall binding antibody numbers: all of these people developed true neutralizing antibodies, and the company says that these were “at or above” the levels generally seen in the blood of recovered coronavirus patients.

    What about safety and tolerability? There were no adverse reactions in the lowest dose group, and one in the middle 100 microgram group – a so-called grade 3 erythema (redness) at the site of injection. In the high-dose group, there were three participants with systemic reactions, and the company doesn’t go into the details, but those would generally be fever, flu-like symptoms, perhaps body rash. All of these resolved themselves, the release says, and it mentions that there were no serious reactions. That’s important – as you might guess, the language here is pretty precise. “Serious” is a regulatory term, meaning hospitalization, perhaps permanent damage, etc., as opposed to “severe” which is a broader term (and which Moderna doesn’t use in their press release at all, either).

    So these results have led to some clarity on the Phase II trials, as they should. The 250 microgram dose is being dropped – it seems to be more than is needed, with a greater chance of adverse reactions. The company is now going with 50 and 100 microgram dosing, and the 50 microgram dose is going to be tried out under these Phase I protocols right now. The Phase II trials should be starting soon, and the plan is to use that data to narrow down on a single dose for going into Phase III, which is now set to start in July. That will be somewhere below 100 µg; we’ll see how the Phase II pans out.

    Now if you read the post here earlier this morning, you’ll wonder about how the Moderna vaccine compares to the Oxford and SinoVac ones. We don’t know: Moderna hasn’t run a rhesus monkey challenge test, and as you can see from that post, even when two different organizations have done that there’s still plenty of arguing room. What Moderna has done is a mouse challenge, also mentioned for the first time in today’s press release. All we have is that “vaccination with mRNA-1273 prevented viral replication in the lungs of animals challenged with SARS-CoV-2“. No further data on the dosage, challenge method and amounts of virus, etc., but they say that the amounts of neutralizing antibodies seen in the mice is consistent with the human results.

    I’d characterize today’s results overall as “limited but promising”, and in other words, so far, so good. This is what you’d expect to see from a vaccine that works, and although it looks that way we don’t have enough information yet to quite say that it works, or how well. That is what Phase II and Phase III trials are for, and waiting for those results, from Moderna and from everyone else, will make the latter part of the summer and the fall interesting indeed. Won’t it, now?

    There are two more groups which are about as far along the road to the vaccine - one associated with Oxford University and another based in China (Sinovac). Few others also not too far behind. Reading the latest semi technical literature on imunology of the virus I'm more confident that there will be a vaccine fairly soon than I was a month ago. Soon however means next year and not before US elections!!!
    Roger forever

  8. #1538

    Re: Let's Discuss Science

    Thanks for the details Suliso. Sadly I just saw that Tiny is back to pushing hydrochloroquinine (sp).
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.

  9. #1539

    Re: Let's Discuss Science

    I am definitely becoming encouraged about the prospects of an effective vaccine. But I'm agreeing with those who say it won't be available to the public until at least well into 2021. There is far too much more work to be done, followed by the mass production issues, to expect it this calendar year. There will be about 7 billion people, at least, who will need it by then. GH

  10. #1540

    Re: Let's Discuss Science

    Who wants to bet that it will take shorter to develop the vaccine than to deal with the commercial aspects? The patents, the marketing, the distribution, the price, who gets how much...
    (Even though they will have the incentive of supplying the vaccine to 7 billion people)
    Face it. It's the apocalypse.

  11. #1541

    Re: Let's Discuss Science

    Quote Originally Posted by ponchi101 View Post
    Who wants to bet that it will take shorter to develop the vaccine than to deal with the commercial aspects? The patents, the marketing, the distribution, the price, who gets how much...
    (Even though they will have the incentive of supplying the vaccine to 7 billion people)
    I'd not risk money on that. In this particular case no marketing needed, patents will not be followed and the largest vaccine manufacturers are already gearing up for mass production. Of course will still take half a year or so to reach every corner of the World. We in the West are likely to be among the first to get hold of it unless maybe Chinese get there first. India also in good position due to domestic industry.
    Roger forever

  12. #1542

    Re: Let's Discuss Science

    Generally you see how fast the pharma industry can actually move in an emergency when it's allowed to cut some corners. One might ask why are we not moving as agressively to cure cancer or Alzheimer's? The situation there is different - we don't really understand scientifically well enough what's going on on a molecular basis. Viruses (espcially after HIV) and bacteria are fairly well understood.
    Roger forever

  13. #1543

    Re: Let's Discuss Science

    And now something lighter than Covid-19... People think logarithmically

    Roger forever

  14. #1544
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    Re: Let's Discuss Science

    Thanks for posting that, suliso. Another type of unconscious bias.

  15. #1545

    Re: Let's Discuss Science

    So. We will feel the difference between Covid-19 and Covid-20, but we will not feel the difference between Covid-119 and Covid-129?
    (I got it, right? )
    Face it. It's the apocalypse.

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