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Everything posted by CharonY

  1. Slightly beside the point, but in some ways this thread seems like a microcosm of what postmodernist philosophers have predicted since the 80s. Instead of a common meta-narrative, knowledge is fragmented and used as a commodity by various actors (Lyotard refers specifically the issues of computerization and who determines which information is stored and disseminated- a thought that can be easily extended to tech companies as the new gate-keepers of knowledge). While we are dealing with exactly the same event, the associated strands of knowledge appear to be very different, resulting not only a different viewpoints, but in fact in parallel strands that do not cross over. It reminds me a bit on the concept of Language games where players agree to use certain rules to create meaning from uttered words. In the postmodernist world, according to Lyotard, we have created many parallel language games, each of which are legitimized by their respective institutions. So we may have politically affiliated language games, in which certain fragments of information carry entirely different meanings and which are self-referenced and amplified by the use of different communication channels (say, social media). Even when we discuss the same things on this board, we arrived to our conclusions using different lines of information. There is ultimately not thinking for oneself, unless one plays the solitaire equivalent of a language game.
  2. Perhaps you are not familiar with the concept of "conflict of interest" and how these issues are normally navigated. Let's assume for a moment that the allegations are credible. A normal (assuming that this also means non-corrupt) President (or other person of power) who has a conflict of interest would step away from such investigation and would task the respective organization (e.g. DOJ) to run point. Ideally with someone heading the investigation who is sufficiently removed so that the investigation is not tainted by the conflict of interest. An example of a similar situation was appointing Robert Mueller, for example. Key point here is that one is removed from direct interference to resolve the conflict. Especially considering the scope of the Presidency, investigation of individuals is generally not something that a President would personally be involved in, instead the respective branches of law enforcement should have taken point (which they would not do, if there was no real reasons to do so...) A number of things that you would not do would include for example: - circumvent normal communication channels and get folks involved that are more loyal, but normally not part of the process - get folks involved that work for you directly (say, personal attorneys) and not for the organization you work for - fire folks who warn you of a potential conflict of interest - hide evidence for a conflict of interest. - demand persecution of political rivals or persons connected to them, if there are investigations, they should be handled as independently as possible (see above, and also note the lack of interaction between the Obama WH and FBI). As you can see, it is not an either or situation. There are, in fact, a lot of things one might do and many more things one should not do in cases of conflict. And you may take a guess or two to what Trump decided to do in this matter.
  3. Indeed, and it would probably achieve fairly little. Selective pressure on a given antibiotics often also increase resistance for others. Most obviously, there are unspecific resistance mechanisms, such as efflux pumps, which are also one of the big issues with regard to multiple resistances. There are a number of additional uncertainties and issues. Unknown interactions with the immune system is one, resistance to viruses is a real concern, viruses have very specific activity, so applying therapies are going to be more complicated and more limited, pharmaceutical development is tricky, phages can contribute to the further spread of AB resistance (via transduction) and so on. It is likely going to have a place, but its scope is probably going to remain more limited than traditional ABs. I think it is not necessarily an either or situation. The critical point is that ideally the treatment has a sufficiently high concentration and lasts just long enough to clear the infection, but does not provide a continuous selective environment. Medical guidelines provide estimates, but realistically, each infection is different. Actually, in North America that is widely used in public buildings. In many universities you will see them everywhere near doors, for example. While it helps, there are also other measures that hospitals need to take into account. One important bit is proper isolation of stations (e.g. that folks do not freely move from high to low risk environments and spread bugs). Often, clothes are underappreciated as a source of carrying bugs for example. Another now common source are cell phones (it is actually also an issue in our labs and part of an ongoing culture fight).
  4. Unfortunately it is often difficult to predict how different cell lines react to certain chemicals. There are certain cell lines which are considered more hardy, and often e.g. primary cell lines are more sensitive than many carcinomas. HepG2 is often used as it is a bit less resilient (and probably less full of viruses) compared to e.g. HeLa, but there are folks who prefer to use primary cell lines, as the results are probably closer in vivo conditions. But there is no simply way to extrapolate those values (to my knowledge) and most data is obtained empirically. In other words, HepG2 data can not be easily translated to other cell lines. Using whole animals things are getting more complicated. Remember, the dose you use directly at the cell is independent on the animal (as we work on the cellular level). However, during in vivo experiments you will need to account for the interaction of the chemical with the body (ADME- absorption, distributon, metabolism, excretion). I.e. if you apply the chemical to a rat, depending on how you apply it (e.g. orally, intravenously), the bioavailability of the chemical and how it is metabolized will determine how much will actually end up in the liver to do damage. Moreover, metabolization can inactive it (e.g. making it more hydrophilic and eliminate from the body quicker than the original compound) or conversely make it more toxic. There is a reason why in many cases we still rely on animal data, rather than solely on cell lines to assess human toxicity.
  5. Thinking the same. I am wondering how a secret vote in the senate would look like, though.
  6. In various threads we have (albeit briefly) touched on the fact that resistant bacteria are starting to overwhelm our ability to treat them. Now the CDC has issued a new antibiotic resistance threat report, Basically every 4 hours a new resistant strain is detected and about 35k people die every year due to resistant strains. Countermeasures that have started since the last report came out (2013) were less effective than hoped. Among the biggest threats currently are resistant Acinetobacter, Candida auris, Clostridioides difficile (formerly Clostridium), carbapenem resistant Enterobacteriaceae, and resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae. There are a lot of issues that have to solved outside the clinical environment, such as reducing or stopping the massive use of antibiotics in agriculture. There, antibiotics are routinely used to fatten animals which results in massive amounts of antibiotics released into the environment and enter the human food chain. Another aspects are procedures in health care (including elderly care) which are often not up to par to limit microbe spread. The challenge is that a single failure can lead to spread through the health care services. There are folks still hoping that we will find an alternative treatment that will be as useful as antibiotics (which we messed up badly) but so far not alternative golden bullet is really in sight (yes there are some developments which can be useful but for the most part they have potential and/or have not shown to be effective in vivo). As a result, it seems that we are indeed moving straight toward the projected post-antibiotic era. Personally (and of course biased by my own research), I think we need to accelerate our understanding of bacterial physiology in order to develop effective countermeasures from the bottom up, as in most cases we only have a very rough understanding how antimicrobial substances actually kill bacteria (which to some extent is also true for antifungals and fungi).
  7. All impeachments are based on the actions in office. Of course there is political spin but if folks cannot get public support, it will be difficult to proceed beyond the commitees. In fact, McCain and Boehner opposed impeachment proceedings against Obama as they consider it to be a risk to for the 2014 elections. Likewise, I suspect that Pelosi was opposed to starting the inquiry after the Muller report, as she feared it negatively affecting the elections. If revenge was the motive rather than conduct (in terms of political fuel for elections) why the delay? The senate composition has not changed since then. In other words, it is not necessarily only about judging on the facts, but considering what the voter base would do if they vote one way or another after hearing the evidence. Of course, in the age of social media public opinion has become more isolated from each other, which makes it easier to vote along partisan lines. However, there the fact that among independents the support for impeachment is increasing could affect future elections. Just to given an example, the support for impeachment of Obama was also split among partisan lines, though as a whole was quite lower than for Trump currently. Wait, so you do not have access to the secret server yet? You should complain to the IT department.
  8. Oh, OK. I assumed that what they moved to the servers was different from the summary they released.
  9. Maybe I just lost track, but wasn't a transcript moved to a secret server at some point?
  10. How about a livefeed? I could put it in a screen and watch while pretending to listen to students!
  11. Attempts of impeachment have been conducted for all modern-day US presidents,starting with Ronald Reagan (over the contra-affair), though they proceeded to different levels before they died. As such impeachment is nothing new per se (though polarization of politics could affect outcome), nor is it really tied to Clinton in any way. It does not make a lot of sense to refer to SCOTUS to allow these proceedings to happen, as the stages are political in nature and are as such resolved by congress and senate (and respective committees).
  12. Of course not. But it means that there is actually evidence of efficacy, even if only for select folks. And it is those trials were efficacy is actually being tested. I.e. if they show that they work (even if only for a subset) it becomes something worthwhile to pursue. I have a professional background in microbiology (with a current focus on infectious diseases) though I have been branching out in aspects of public health . However, I am not a medical professional (such as a dermatologist). But as a whole I am aware that hair loss related to infections is rarer than androgenic alopecia. And within the realm of infections, fungi are more common than bacterial infections. Ketoconazole, as well as other anti-dandruff components can address fungal infections, and have demonstrated relief from hair loss. Perhaps somewhat surprisingly ketoconzole was also shown to be somewhat effective for addressing androgenic hair loss, though only in a subset of people (there are also mice studies, but I am not sure whether it is clear why precisely it works, I have not followed up on that) . But ultimately, the important bit is that there are quite a range of different mechanisms of hair loss and with associated diagnosis (though some can be related). Dermatitis related hair loss requires a different treatment than androgenic hair loss. Both again are different from certain forms of diffuse hair loss, such as telogen effluvium. To have a targeted treatment, proper diagnosis should come first. Edit: I should add that in some studies related to androgenic alopecia folks also often found an increase in certain fungi and it has been suggested that treatment with with antifungal in addition to finasteride or minoxidil (the two components mentioned to treat androgenic hair loss) can be more effective in some patients. However, is not clear what the cause and what the effect is.
  13. ! Moderator Note Thread locked, there is nothing to discuss here and quite a bit is either wrong or misleading. If you want to participate please start something that can be discussed. This is not a blog.
  14. There is a reason for that. They actually require data indicating efficacy, whereas in a forum you will have a collection of anecdotes. Folks may think they have found a way, but more likely than not it is not the case. There is a huge industry and if someone came up with something that worked more effectively, they would make a killing. The fact that it is not there is more of an indication that these homemade remedies are not generally effective in the broader population. As mentioned, there are only few cases where microbes play a role, and specifically fungi are more common in those cases, which are not bacteria. It would require antifungal activity, of which there are quite a few brands already in use. However, the most common form of hair loss in men is not fungal or bacterial in nature. However, a medical professional can diagnose what kind type of hair loss you got.
  15. That is indeed a problem, many folks prefer just to deal with the symptoms and ignore the underlying problem. It addresses the need for instant relief without the changing lifestyle (which, admittedly, can be hard to do). Props to you for dealing with it. In the long term, it can lead to GI issues, many of which (including changes in the microbiome) we only start to understand or even investigate now.
  16. That is a great point. Body weight is probably the leading cause. Diet can also aggravate symptoms (say excessive alcohol or, ehem, coffee consumption). Weight reduction is probably the best treatment (especially considering other benefits) as chronic use of the mentioned medication can cause quite a range of other issues.
  17. Not to mention that it is being done, and some are offering it optionally. But I seriously doubt that it would address the issues that OP has with peer review.
  18. Most drugs counteractic acid reflux target the acid production, either being antacids, H2 receptor blockers or proton pump inhibitors. Another approach is to use a drug to reduce muscle spasms (such as Baclofen) which reduces the rate of lower esophageal sphincter relaxation (I suppose that is what you think of when you say cap as actual blockage would be quite problematic) . For the former there is the long term risk of bacterial infections as the stomach acid may be reduced too much and promote bacterial overgrowth and infections.
  19. Inhibit generally means that no growth is observed. That being said, I do not think that antibacterial properties are related to hair loss, except in rare circumstances, which should be properly diagnosed. Inflammatory causes for hair loss are more commonly caused by fungi. While there are studies with essential oils, mostly targeted at stimulating hair follicles, but the effects were often minor and not very reproducible. As such, effectiveness of such treatments to slow hair loss, specifically androgenic alopecia.
  20. Viruses are not considered to be alive, and are not classified as species. The health burden of the mentioned diseases vary vastly. Malaria, certainly up there, surpassed by a range of respiratory and digestive diseases. The latter is mostly not that critical (some somewhat costly) in developed countries. However, worldwide ca. 800-900k children die each year of diarrhea. To put in perspective, ~400k deaths are attributed to Malaria. Syphilis is a bit different, as it is more commonly to cause deaths by causing miscarriages (so it depends on which effect you are looking at). Leprosy generally does not cause death at all. Regarding the impact, most of these parasitic interactions (if we are talking obligate endoparasites) are fairly specific and basically only affect their host. As a matter of fact, smallpox is virtually eradicated due to successful vaccination campaigns, but a similar success will only be possible for certain obligate parasitic bacteria. Bacteria causing diarrhea, for example live happily in the environment (such as contaminated water) and are difficult to kill. As for potential vectors, eradicating mosquitoes (and ticks) have been discussed, but I have only seen limited information on potential ecological impacts and only for a handful of systems.
  21. Well, there different forms of banking with varying purposes. In the Chinese Song Dynasty a system of low-interest lending was backed by the state was introduced to allow farmers to take on debts for spending during winter and planting seasons, which was repaid during harvest seasons. It was also used as an insurance against crop failure. What we know about the Mesopotamina system, it appears to be centered around royal houses and temples where commodities were safeguarded.
  22. The discussion has changed from timely response of review requests to competition within the scientific community. With regard to the former I can give a fairly simple reasons why a 1-week turnover is very difficult for most academics. Usually, a given work week is fully planned and stuffed with hard appointments (e.g. lectures, meetings) as well as time that has been chiseled out for e.g. writing or (if you are lucky) reading. If a request for a review comes in, one cannot simply drop commitments to address them. At earliest, one can schedule them for on of the following weeks and reserve time for that then. With regard to competition, in certain field it is certainly a problem. However, peer-review is a bit like democracy. It is far from perfect, but so far no one has found a convincing alternative (swansont has outlined while some of the proposals in this thread are unrealistic, for example).
  23. I have not checked whether the study was actually paid the indicated amount, though the paper indicates that it was NIH funded. I was mostly referring to Elite Engineer's speculation that it was somehow related to appease donors, since that is not how the system would work.
  24. That is not how it works. It looks like it was funded by a NIH grant, i.e. they have submitted a proposal to the NIH, from where it was sent off to reviewers and apparently they found it convincing enough to finance it. A quick search indicates that there has been some work on the effects of strong magnetic fields on mammalian health. The effects range from beneficial effects in certain instances to potential harm. What is lacking is a cohesive theoretical framework to explain the observed outcomes (though there is some evidence that very strong fields could effect circulation to some degree). It is a pretty large jump from these observations to potential medical utility, though it is not pseudoscience in the common sense.
  25. It is a rough layperson's description as from an outside observer it appears as if the patient is unable to distinguish real stimuli from something that is not there (i.e. hallucinations). I think my wording might be ambiguous in that regard.
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