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Sorry, anti-vaxxers. If you're hoping to find some bad news about the COVID vaccines, you've come to the wrong site. Perhaps you should try AlienDNA.com, or I'm out of my F#####Mind.org. I've got nothing but good news. 

The good news comes to us thanks to a new paper in JAMA Insights. Tom Shimabukuro, MD, MPH, MBA, at the CDC  Immunization Safety Office, and colleagues evaluated the chances of vaccine recipients developing anaphylaxis following a shot. It should put you at ease; anaphylactic reactions to both the...

By Josh Bloom, PhD; Alex Berezow, PhD; Chuck Dinerstein, MD, MBA; and Thom Golab

ACSH was founded in 1978 by a group of scientists, including a Nobel Prize winner named Norman Borlaug, who were fed up with the misinformation being spread in the media in regard to important scientific and health topics, particularly nutrition, toxicology, and chemistry. In other words, ACSH was fighting “fake news” long before the term was invented.

Whenever you speak the truth, this automatically creates enemies. While people say that they want the truth, when confronted with something that goes against their own beliefs or self-interest, they often (metaphorically) shoot the messenger. Today, the most widely used weapons are defamation, character assassination,...

(March 5, 2020)

Riding the New York City subway is a rather gruesome experience on a good day. And there is no such thing as a good day. They are all bad or worse.

I've managed to avoid the wretched thing since the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak, but today I had no choice. Following is my trip report. I hope it goes viral. 

 

1. The Dreaded 6 Train

Stepping onto a 6 is like stepping into some kind of Alice In Wonderland portal where everything’s a little smaller and pushed closer together. Every New York City Subway Line Ranked

New Yorkers have long been passionately arguing about which of the 36 lines that "serve" the...

Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR)

Long-term rapid weight loss programs can have a profound negative effect on your resting metabolic rate. The resting metabolic rate is the body’s total caloric requirement over a 24-hour period to sustain all its functions at rest, including vital organ functions, maintaining body temperature, thought processes, and respiration. In 1993, researchers examined 328 healthy men (17–80 years old) and 194 women (18–81 years old) volunteers who were characterized for RMR, body composition, physical activity, peak oxygen consumption (peak VO2), anthropometrics, and energy intake. Measured RMR was 23% higher in men, approximately 1750 kcal/day, than in women at about 1350 kcal/...

Misinformation and disinformation have emerged as two of the most important threats in the world today.

The difference between mis- and disinformation is intent. When somebody is "misinformed," they hold and perpetuate false beliefs, mostly innocently. Disinformation, on the other hand, is sinister. It involves the spreading of "fake news" to inflict some harm. Usually, disinformation is aimed at a particular target -- an individual, an organization, or even an entire nation.

This phenomenon isn't new, of course. The old-school term for it is propaganda. What makes it uniquely powerful today is the speed with which a lie can circle the globe. Phony information can destroy reputations, careers, and lives in a matter of seconds. Frighteningly, nobody is immune.

If...

For all you stoners who didn't pay attention in organic chemistry, here's a second chance to learn how to do something that you would have already known if you'd stayed awake. I'm not recommending you do this. And it's not like the Manhattan Project; this information is online in various forms. Rather, it's simple organic chemistry - called a cyclization - where a molecule of CBD oil, aka cannabidiol, under certain sets of conditions, can be coaxed to forming an entirely different chemical compound - THC, one of the psychotropic chemicals in marijuana. 

Admit it, the only reason that you guys are all reading this is that you think I'm going tell you how to convert CBD oil, which is not illegal or psychotropic (1,2) and can pretty much be obtained in...

Vaccine Administration is Much Harder Than it Seems -- On January 14, Drs. Alex Berezow and Chuck Dinerstein co-authored an opinion piece in USA Today. In it, they analyzed the logistical headaches that have arisen so far, while highlighting vaccine refusal as another significant issue. As for streamlining the delivery process to the individual awaiting protection, they wrote that "The best way to accomplish this would be with a COVID vaccine app. At least ...

It is phthalates, a group of chemicals that are used to soften plastic. These chemicals are one of the most studied groups of chemicals in use today. Since they are very stable and bound tightly into vinyl’s structure, they do not readily migrate out of the product.

Phthalates are present in consumer products, medical devices, including IV storage bags, wire, cable, and outdoor products, such as garden hoses.  The FDA already has carried out risk assessments on the release of phthalates from medical devices and has provided guidance to industry on the acceptable levels of phthalates in these products. The EPA is currently carrying out multi-year risk assessments on several phthalates under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). 

Scientific Conclusions...

Back in April, I wrote about EIDD-2801, now called molnupiravir, (1) at which time I wrote "This drug seems to have a lot going for it." My opinion was based on the potent in vitro inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 as well as its ability to protect infected mice. Furthermore, molnupiravir inhibits the virus in a novel way called viral error catastrophe – inducing so many errors in RNA replication that the virus becomes so damaged just "gives up." (Given this property, it is not surprising that there was concern that the drug would be mutagenic (2), which is normally a giant red flag in drug discovery.) 

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In our studies, we present COVID-19 findings in terms of counts per million population; to convert, it is easy to remember that the U.S. population is about 330 million, New York City comprises 8 million, and the smallest states about half a million.

 

  

Long-term trends. 

The pandemic began in the Northeast when public health agencies were largely unprepared, leading to surges in cases and deaths.  Cases increased in the other regions at similar rates from June to August and from October to December; corresponding rates of decrease were similar. Considerable regional variations...