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Everything posted by CharonY

  1. It is generally a immunological effect that is not due the disease per se (there are exceptions and certain diseases can effectively wipe out your adaptive memory, but this is not one of those). Roughly speaking it is the reaction of your body to the antigen that determines how long your body remembers it. However, there are a lot of unknowns regarding what precisely makes a response long-lasting. It is not my area of specialization so I cannot really say how far the research in the area has progressed, but from discussions it appears to me that the field is still wide open in that regard.
  2. No, that study was just looking at antibody levels of patients. Especially when they are asymptomatic they vanish (i.e. they become seronegative). But even symptomatic folks had a drastic reduction of antibody levels within two months. It is theoretically possible that vaccine-induced immunization could be more effective, but it certainly is making folks more cautious.
  3. I think one could make a short update here. While most countries stumbled at the beginning, with different outcomes arguably also dependent on how lucky they got with initial infections, we can also start to see consequences if shutdown was not or only partially enacted. The US has re-openened without pushing the levels down sufficiently and we start seeing new cases surpassing the numbers in March. Of course, those numbers were most likely too low as too few tests were available. Nonetheless, in other countries the numbers were pushed way down. Other countries in denial include Brazil as well as other South American countries were reports indicate that numbers are continuing to rise. India is in a similar spot and who knows what is happening in Russia (excess deaths seem to paint a different picture as what is being reported). Considering recent reports that immunity only lasts for a relatively short amount of time, it could mean that vaccinations, once available, would need to be timed in an unprecedented manner, otherwise there will be plenty of pockets where new outbreaks can start and spread. Good times.
  4. Not sure what you mean precisely, but the first step in my mind is to revise policies that result in racially divergent outcomes. I doubt that we can get to a level where everyone is truly raceblind and I see little value in pretending that the society is. One important reason for the push for reforms is that traditionally racial inequalities were equated with qualities of the race itself (there is a shift from the purely racial argument to a cultural one, but it amounts to the same thing with different words). With mounting evidence, there is now more scrutiny on policies, laws and their interaction with day-to-day decisions and how those may create segregation and racial inequality. This may range from how schools are funded to criminal justice, law enforcement and so on. There is, however, also a strong pushback from certain circles which often feels like being borne of a desire to deny systematic inequalities (and thereby putting the burden back on minorities again).
  5. Society at large. This includes researchers to identify the sources of disparities and potentially proposing solutions, lawmakers trying to address them and folks voting those folks in that intend to make the right changes. If we vote in folks that intensify the war on drugs and have racial biases, chances are that segregation will continue further, for example. That is a key element. Now many policies designed in the past may be based on bad and/or racist information. And those need to be reformed.
  6. Of course, but the racial divide is something that sticks out in research again and again. And the reverse is also true, non-racial motives can result in racial disparity. All of them have to be addressed. Only focusing on motives and not looking at outcomes is not helpful to solve the issue.
  7. Even so, we have a bias in the system. White collar crimes are punished less severe than what you cal street crime and the latter are typically also subject to more policing. That is a good starting point, and therefore whenever we see disparity, we need to look into factors causing observed differences. With regard to that specific point, it depends a bit on the data set, as different areas show different outcomes, indicating complex factors are at play. Some studies suggest that local inequality are associated with higher crime rate (e.g. if one part of town drops economically). This does seem to be more frequent in white neighbourhoods, potentially because black areas start off fairly low to begin with.
  8. Then you are wrong in your assumption. Systemic refers to a system as opposed to just parts. Following your definition there is no room for things like systemic racism as you will find hardly any system in which everyone is racist. You also might want to explore the difference in acting racist (consciously or not) vs following an ideology. For example there is a prominent series of experiment just looking at reaction times when folks learn to associate a picture with certain words. Some of these words were for example "gangster" or "thug". And perhaps unsurprisingly folks had better reaction times for associating a picture of a black man with these negative words than a white man. Does it mean that the person is a white supremacist? Not it means that they have been exposed to a system (for example media) that have been priming them. If one does not acknowledge that these mechanism exist (as they are very well researched) then it follows that one will fail to understand important mechanism leading to racial inequalities. Another good example I think is unequal medical treatment based on race and the failed attempts to address that using a race-neutral approach, but I am running out of time here.
  9. Nope, you do not seem to get the systemic part of it. What you claim is quite a difference to what I said. Specifically the system creates folks with warrior mentalities and especially following they repeated and adversarial exposure to certain groups, it becomes more and more common, it will affect behaviour. Add to that peer pressure (and other factors, there is plenty of lit out there, if one is interested) and the result is that certain folks (say suburban WASPs) are treated quite differently from Afro-Americans. It does not mean that everyone going through the system will become like this, but it does mean that these traits will be overemphasized. And that is why increasing the number of minorities in the police force only had a moderate effect. I should add that is some areas especially community oriented policing and by hiring (minority) locals, there have been positive effects to this systemic issue. And again, it is a failure of assuming that the system is created because of the attitude of the actors- a systemic issue is based on the system itself. It can include hiring practices but it also includes rules, regulations, training, creating a certain atmosphere and so on. An individual exposed to a given system is then consequently more likely to behave a certain way. If a system is corrupt, for example and/or lacks accountability, folks are probably more likely to behave like they are not accountable. If it hits a certain threshold then even folks against it may be pressured into joining in. Can you see the difference now? To make another example, let's say following school curriculum a generation of students learn that Leopold II has civilized the Congo and thereby glorify colonialism. Then, if they go out and think that Leopold's actions were just and that black folks needed to be civilized, do you think the issue is with the student or with the school system? Do you think removing students or teachers would do anything without changing the curriculum? The rest of your post just elaborates on the failure to spot that difference and verges way into strawman county. As such I do not see a good reason to engage with that part.
  10. This kind of implies that screening for racist officers is at the root of the problem. However again, it is not. The US policing system is set up to protect the status quo and has traditionally taken an adversarial stance towards group that were perceived a threat. It has created a warrior mentality where things can get deadly rather fast. Coupling this with low accountability, lower level of training and a systemic disdain for certain groups just creates a breeding ground for deadly encounters. Of course it is a fertile ground for white supremacists, (some anti-gang units like the Lynwood Vikings were actually neo-Nazis) it is not that these guys causes all the needless deaths. In most European countries drunk brawls with the police do not end in deaths, though in perhaps more importantly, most police would not escalate the situation to that point, either.
  11. The origins are not the issue with the sole police officer. If it was the solution would be trivial and enacted decades ago. The issue is the system, which requires reform. The individual is symptom, not the cause.
  12. No, if evolution is true that is exactly what you do not expect. One aspect of evolution is that selective pressures shape the evolution of genes. I.e. you can have maintaining presssures, forcing genes not to changes. This is true for example true for essential genes, say for respiratory genes. OTOH, areas that are under weak or no selective pressure are expected to diverge more strongly. They are likely to be reasonably close among close lineages but the farther you go the more uncertainty you get. IOW if you build phylogenetic trees using conserved sequences, you get a tree that will follow lineages very closely. If you use areas that are highly variable, you will other shaping factors (such as drift). Again, this is what we expect if evolution happens. Your scenario (i.e. that phylogenetic trees will also resolve the same way regardless of loci being analyzed) will only happen if there is in fact no evolution, i.e. the genomes are either static or all change at exactly the same rate.
  13. I think it will be hard to find total numbers. Phylogenetic trees are a standard technique used for tons of different questions . But I think that is beside the point. First the assumption that all trees must be the same is not true. If it was the case reconstructing them would be a waste of time in many cases. Rather, what you expect to see is that for example in very conserved genes (i.e. genes that highly selected for, because they are fundamental) the trees will more closely follow species relationship (as we assume even pressures). On the other hand, genes that are not under strong pressures we expect to see higher divergence. I.e. because there is no strong selection to maintain them, they are more prone to mutations.
  14. Some potential challenges with regard to immunity. Most patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 showed diminished IgGs (antibodies produced against the virus) after ~2 months of after discharge from the hospital. About 40% became seronegative (no antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 detected). https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-020-0965-6 This might put a dent into hopes that infected folks remain immune for an extended amount of time and could make vaccinations more critical. The study was based on 37 symptomatic and 37 asymptomatic patients, so more studies are going to be critical.
  15. ! Moderator Note The discussion has been going off-topic a fair bit. As such it is closed. If a more focused discussion is desired, a new thread may be a better home.
  16. That is difficult to say. There are openstax books that you could check out first, as they are free. While I do use them occasionally for some topics (I do not teach human physiology) most I found not to be too much to my liking. But that does not mean that expensive books are automatically better, of course. My suggestion is to look into books that are for non-biology majors (e.g. for nursing) which tend to be written more fundamental and read some chapters if available. That alt east gives you a sense whether you would be interested in reading the rest.
  17. There is absolutely no symmetry in the usage of these words. Words such as 'thugs', the n-word and other slurs are designed to dehumanize folks and are part of a larger effort (knowingly or not) to dismiss concerns of minorities (it is not the system, it is their culture), explain away disparities (we gave them all the opportunity but they just failed to make the right choices), justify uneven application of the law (they need more policing, they are superpredators) and thereby create a system that at best is "just" unfair but more commonly (and especially in the US) creates a form of indirect subjugation where even things like health are racialized. Because the effects of racism are baked into the system and perpetuated enormously by the use of racial stereotypes, the weaponization has huge effect beyond mere hurt feelings. It is OK to overpolice certain areas, because they are thugs and drug dealers. We do not need to look into the body count because "those folks" are violent and criminal- there is obviously no solution to it so one does not need to address it. "They" are obviously unable to govern themselves or make the right decision, therefore there is no need to address injustice, broken treaties or any other range of measures that could have been employed. It is OK to sterilize them, it is for their own good. This mindset is fairly common and many folks having them would balk at the idea of being racists. Yet this mindset does perpetuate these issues from which certain minorities are suffering from by denying the inherent injustice of the system. In order to perpetuate systemic racism one does not need to be a full fledged member of a white supremacist group, although many feel that this is the minimal threshold before one should call out racism. So to add insult to injury we are now kind of beginning to accept that there is systemic racism (to absolutely no surprise to any minority) but then we put such a high threshold on it that it becomes impossible to actually point it out. The concept of minority stress, i.e. the stress resulting from conflict between minorities and dominant values has been well documented for a few decades. Especially immigrants learn to not rock the boat and take abuses with a smile to be successful. These attitudes do result in chronic stress, which have been measured in the blood. But not surprisingly some of the highest levels have been found in African Americans, i.e. folks who are a minority but are actually part of the population since pretty much nation existed. If it really was just folks hurling insults at each other, the world would be objectively a better place. But one form of abuse has resulted in huge, huge damages to a large swath of the population, which does include worse health outcome and even death. There is no symmetry.
  18. 1) The best thing to read are entry level textbooks. They provide a broader overview but more importantly, also provide context which you generally do not find from from short videos. I generally found that the latter make you feel that you understand a topic, but they usually do not convey actual understanding. 2) Typical websites to use are Pubmed. Web of science is also good for specific searches, but you generally need to access them from the uni. Google scholar also works but if you are not sure with the keywords can take a while to look through.
  19. This discussion is depressingly familiar. Society demands a huge burden of proof before the label "racist" is allowed to be used. If someone demonizes a whole group of people wholesale while alluding to racial stereotypes it is not racist. Even if such attitudes lead to unjust laws it is not systemic racism. Even if someone uses precise language by folks who at some point were deemed racist, it is not racism. That is not new, few folks really think that they themselves are racist. Heck, even during Jim Crow most folks found racism distasteful. Sure, folks think that it is a way of shutting down conversation, but on the same note they do not realize that by using such labels, those folks are invalidating other folks. Moreover, it plays to the assumption that the society as a whole is actually egalitarian and that there are only few if any systemic issues. This, results in significant challenges for those folks that feel differently (say having worse evaluations despite similar peformance, less or no callbacks relative to comparative peers and so on) as it invalidates their experience and speaking out is quickly construed as playing the race card. This historically results in shutting down as obviously no one feels racist, therefore no one is racist. And if something does slip out which goes beyond the acceptable level, it is easily excused with phrases like, "well I do not mean you, you are one of the good ones." Sure, there may be value in engaging racists IRL, but a forum is usually just used to propagate these views and to paint them in reasonable colour (i.e. shifting the overton window). It is only recently that the ones on the receiving end are getting a platform. But then just look at the demand of treading careful lest someone might get offended.
  20. The role of MCPH1 is far more complicated (i.e. no relationship between the gene locus and cognitive abilities have been found). But in this context I am fairly sure that while it was speculated to have originated by interbreeding with neanderthals, the draft genome of neanderthals has refuted that notion (or at least did not support it).
  21. They do not utterly random of course, but since they are hybrids they are not necessarily stable, either. I.e. pollen from one plant is taken and transferred to a different plant. The resulting seeds can either have both genotypes (i.e. duplicating their genome) or have some other mix of their parents (plants are less fuzzy about retaining genome integrity than animals). Heirloom seeds AFAIK do not have strict definition, but typically are from established line which could have started as hybrid, from what I understand.
  22. It should be noted that the drug is a steroid, which are used to manage inflammation and are not antivirals.
  23. If it is part of a lab, I would expect that folks will let you know which what the standard procedures in the lab are. If it is a theoretical course, or if you need to establish protocols as part of your thesis, I would probably start with transfection kits from the usual manufacturers (again, ask you supervisor regarding suppliers in your region). While they often do not have too much details on optimization strategies, their protocols are usually very detailed and are a good starting point. In parallel I would look into papers doing these types of transfections using your cell line- I am not familiar with it, but optimization is often cell line dependent.
  24. Vilifying folks that are victims of a system is a common tactic to invalidate experiences especially of poor folks. It is the cheapest way to use moral outrage to create an us vs them stance in order to wipe away legal or moral standards. It has been used to justify holding folks in blacksites, it is being used to explain deaths during police encounters which should not and in other countries would not have ended up deadly. It is as if only perfect human beings should be protected by the law, which is of course a ridiculous stance.
  25. It also requires a significant lack of empathy, as it also requires ignoring someone who is begging for their life.
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