The Apogee of Evil…

Credit: Erik English. Topics: Biology, Biosecurity, Civilization, COVID-19, Democracy, Existentialism Weaponizing a pathogen sounds like something out of an archetype Bond villain, minus the wrapped-up plot twists by the time the credits roll, and the obligatory fawning of a stereotypical bikinied woman over the intrepid MI-6 spy. Real life doesn’t conclude so cleanly. Before everyContinue reading “The Apogee of Evil…”

Perils of Privilege…

Topics: Civics, Civil Rights, COVID-19, Dark Humor, Existentialism, Fascism, Human Rights Steven Bannon’s “medieval,” take-no-prisoners defense rested yesterday. The three-shirt Troglodyte didn’t take the stand in his defense on advice from counsel. He said more outside the courtroom than he did inside. Today is closing arguments. The January 6th Committee ended “season 1” yesterday asContinue reading “Perils of Privilege…”

Zombie Apocalypse…

Topics: Biology, COVID-19, DNA, Economics, Environment, Evolution, Existentialism Ed Rybicki, a virologist at the University of Cape Town in South Africa, concentrated his article in Scientific American on the viruses dominating the news cycle in the early 2000s: Ebola, Marburg, and HIV. Not comforting, but he said, “HIV, which is thought to have first emergedContinue reading “Zombie Apocalypse…”

Factions, Fascism, Dystopia…

Topics: Civics, Civil Rights, COVID-19, Existentialism, Fascism, Human Rights The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanentContinue reading “Factions, Fascism, Dystopia…”

Dystopian and Unthinkable…

Topics: Civics, COVID-19, Epidemiology, Existentialism, Politics With all due respect to the recently departed former Secretary of State Madeline Albright, she started using the phrase “indispensable nation” after political reporter Sydney Blumenthal coined it. From Foreign Policy Magazine: In his memoir of the Clinton presidency, The Clinton Wars, Blumenthal elaborated on what the phrase was intended to represent: “OnlyContinue reading “Dystopian and Unthinkable…”

Things We’ve Lost…

Topics: COVID-19, Existentialism, Physics, Research An excerpt. The longer article piece is at the link following. The COVID-19 pandemic has not only killed a large number of people—approximately 5.5 million worldwide at the time Physics Today went to press in mid-January—it has also disrupted life in a fundamental, nonperturbative manner, forcing large-scale changes in human behavior fromContinue reading “Things We’ve Lost…”

RNA and Covid-19…

Topics: Biology, Biotechnology, COVID-19, Diversity in Science, NIST, Research, Women in Science Scientists track and monitor the circulation of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, using methods based on a laboratory technique called polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Also used as the “gold standard” test to diagnose COVID-19 in individuals, PCR amplifies pieces of DNA byContinue reading “RNA and Covid-19…”

ACE2 Gum and Covid…

Topics: Biology, Biotechnology, COVID-19, Research To advance a novel concept of debulking virus in the oral cavity, the primary site of viral replication, virus-trapping proteins CTB-ACE2 were expressed in chloroplasts and clinical-grade plant material was developed to meet FDA requirements. Chewing gum (2 g) containing plant cells expressed CTB-ACE2 up to 17.2 mg ACE2/g dry weightContinue reading “ACE2 Gum and Covid…”

Your Brain on Covid…

Topics: Biology, COVID-19, DNA, Research Note: I have friends who thankfully survived infection now affected by this phenomenon. The article thus grabbed my attention. SARS-CoV-2 appears to travel widely across the cerebral cortex “Brain fog” is not a formal medical descriptor. But it aptly describes an inability to think clearly that can turn up inContinue reading “Your Brain on Covid…”

This Dragon…

Topics: Civics, Civil Rights, COVID-19, Existentialism, Fascism, Human Rights The Brainwashing of My Dad is a 2015 American documentary film directed by Jen Senko about her father’s transformation from a nonpolitical Democrat into a political Republican. The film was mostly funded by a Kickstarter campaign. Synopsis As Jen Senko tries to understand the transformation of her father from a nonpolitical Democrat to an angry Republican fanatic, sheContinue reading “This Dragon…”