aethicglass's recent activity

  1. Comment on What common wisdom/advice do you disagree with? in ~talk

    aethicglass
    Link Parent
    That's likely the case responsible for the overall effect. And I'm sure there are or biases at play with how I observe it. But I have marked quite a few occasions of seeing neighbors put a bunch...

    That's likely the case responsible for the overall effect. And I'm sure there are or biases at play with how I observe it. But I have marked quite a few occasions of seeing neighbors put a bunch of large pieces of furniture out on the street just as storms are rolling in. These few occasions stick in my mind more than others because to me it seems ridiculous. There's more rain coming in the next few hours than we've seen in six months. Someone would be able to use that furniture, but instead they're just gonna let it get wrecked. However, to them, they're just throwing some stuff out. Doesn't really matter what happens with the stuff when they're done with it. They're throwing it out.

    Anyways, it's all kinda tongue-in-cheek. Just a thing I muse about from time to time, so I thought it might be worth passing along for others' amusement.

    (edit: also it's worth nothing that with the current state of homelessness here, pretty much nothing stays on the curb long. Even the stuff that gets rained on gets snatched up pretty quickly.)

    2 votes
  2. Comment on What common wisdom/advice do you disagree with? in ~talk

    aethicglass
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    If it ain't broke, don't fix it. It's not that I fully disagree with this. It requires a closer examination than people generally account for. Things can seemingly function fine, but some aspect...

    If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

    It's not that I fully disagree with this. It requires a closer examination than people generally account for. Things can seemingly function fine, but some aspect of their function may not be optimal or desirable. This would then render its categorization as "broken," even though by most accounts it would seem to be functioning just fine. So just because something seems to be working fine, doesn't mean it ain't broke, and that don't mean it ain't needa fixin.

    If you wash your car, it's gonna rain.

    This is specific to Los Angeles. It's a general rule. However, I can verify that I have attempted this car wash rain dance numerous times this year and it has failed at least 50% of the time. I think a better rule is If it's gonna rain, someone's gonna put a nice piece of furniture out on the curb. Because without fail, every single time I see some actually decent furniture getting tossed to the curb, it's already soaked in gutter sludge. They never toss the nice stuff when it's dry, and it's dry most of the year here. They wait for the one day of rain and everybody covers the curbs with glorious solid wood furniture and nicely upholstered couches. Rest of the year it's just ikea, the couch someone must have died on, and gross mattresses.

    Don't wash chicken before using it.

    The conventional wisdom goes something along the lines of, "If you wash the chicken in the sink before preparing it, it can aerosolize the bacteria and spread it to other surfaces. You're better off just prepping as is and throwing it in the pan where the heat kills the bacteria."

    That's all fine and good. So... do I also not wash the cutting board? Or the knife? What about the packaging the chicken came in? Should I not rinse that off because I don't want my trash can to wreak within a few hours? No. No one's advocating for any of that. Why? Because it's a garbage concern than salmonella would be aerosolized and somehow contaminate every surface of the kitchen if and only if tap water comes into contact with a piece of raw chicken.

    I think my chicken tastes better if I wash the slime off of it before cooking it, so I'mma wash the dang slime off.

    I could understand the concern if you had a pile of lettuce you were going to make a salad with right next to the sink while you're spraying down raw chicken with a pressure washer. But that's more of a tale of why not to prep raw veggies and leave them laying around while you prep raw meat. Meat first. Veggies later. Clean between. Easy peasy. Enjoy your chicken sludge. Ugh.

    4 votes
  3. Comment on Oxford University vaccine is highly effective in ~health.coronavirus

    aethicglass
    Link Parent
    Most likely also different testing methodology.

    Most likely also different testing methodology.

    3 votes
  4. Comment on Privacy is a lonely bastion. Anyone know how to meet friends online these days? in ~talk

    aethicglass
    Link
    Discord is my social platform of choice currently. I know a lot of folks don't like it for a variety of reasons. Personally, I feel like they're fairly non-threatening as far as social platforms...

    Discord is my social platform of choice currently. I know a lot of folks don't like it for a variety of reasons. Personally, I feel like they're fairly non-threatening as far as social platforms go. They don't make money off of ads (there are no ads to make money off of), it's investor backed plus whatever they make off of their nitro subscriptions (basically user donations that come with a few perks).

    One thing that bugs security minded folks is the game hook. Personally, this doesn't bother me. They don't seem to do much of anything with the information (from what I can tell anyways), and the hook itself is particularly useful when it comes to streaming.

    You can read through their ToS yourself and probably get a decent enough idea of whether or not the trade-offs are worth it for you.

    I should probably mention the positives as well. I probably got kinda lucky in my own experience with exploring discord servers. The first public server I joined, I immediately fell in love with. I'm still there after two years, and have made some great connections with people who I now consider good friends. I haven't had that kind of online experience since back in the days of MOOs and MUDs.

    Streaming/Voice Chat in discord can be an absolute blast. I'm set up to be able to do sculpting in blender, put on some tunes in spotify, and talk on the mic with friends and strangers alike while I'm streaming the sculpt with a small webcam window down in the corner (using OBS and a GoXLR to make that all possible). I can play jackbox with my irl friends I haven't seen since lockdown started.

    The community aspect of discord is what I really dig. Some servers just feel like home. Other servers can be an absolute clusterfuck. That's why I think I got lucky with finding such a good server right off the bat. Sometimes you just have to dig around for a while to find one that's the right level of activity, the right flavor of memes, political slant, or whatever other factors come into play. There are tons of interest-based servers that can be quite good, but I personally recommend looking at ones with fewer than 1,000 users. Just finding 2 or 3 good servers can fulfill quite a bit of interaction. Other people prefer the anonymity of getting lost in the noise of 10k+ servers, but to me that's just too much noise and grotesque attention seeking.

    Can't think of too much more to say about it. It's worth checking out if the security of the platform falls in the acceptability range for you. As far as quality of interaction goes, I've found it to be quite satisfying with the right people, and those people almost always end up becoming good friends to have around for me.

    11 votes
  5. Comment on Covid-19 vaccine candidate is 90% effective, says manufacturer in ~health.coronavirus

    aethicglass
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    One factor I'm kinda confused by is this "rate of infection per week." I'm assuming it's based off of population as a whole, but I still feel kinda lost reading through it. Are you familiar with...

    One factor I'm kinda confused by is this "rate of infection per week." I'm assuming it's based off of population as a whole, but I still feel kinda lost reading through it. Are you familiar with R-eff? It seems much more useful in the use-case of determining increase/decrease in rate of infection, and the factors that play into it.

    Edit: I'm also going to add that using the mortality rate to extrapolation actual infection numbers isn't particularly useful, as you probably already noticed. The mortality rate isn't an absolute and is affected by too many other factors (treatments available/comorbidity prevalence in the population/hospital capacity/patient willingness to undergo therapy/testing rate/positivity rate/failure to classify mortalities as covid-related).

    One thing I'll add to the overarching subject is that despite risks from a vaccine, risks from covid are high. It's not just a matter of mortality. Covid can cause extremely high rates of oxidative stress even in asymptomatic carriers, which in turn causes a whole slew of secondary conditions. I'm anticipating seeing a marked increase in those conditions through the population as a whole within the next year. Including thrombosis, diabetes, cancer, stroke, and a wide range of organ failure.

    The vaccines are getting pushed through at an amazing pace, to be certain. But they're also under a high degree of collective scrutiny. These trials are likely to be the largest "peer review" in history, as they have the eyes of the world on them. While that doesn't eliminate complications entirely, it does significantly increase the odds of finding problematic factors in advance. It also increases the odds of problematic factors being blown out of proportion. It's necessary to weigh the risks, but equally important in that is to factor in the risks of covid beyond just mortality, because they are many, more common, and in many cases severe.

    2 votes
  6. Comment on It’s 2020. Why do printers still suck? in ~tech

    aethicglass
    Link Parent
    The rapid advancement of 3d printing is what boggles my mind about paper printing. Physical machine, check. Complex process, check. Many points of failure, check. Fine detail, check. They fail, to...

    The rapid advancement of 3d printing is what boggles my mind about paper printing. Physical machine, check. Complex process, check. Many points of failure, check. Fine detail, check. They fail, to be sure, but when they do, you're far more likely to be able to repair it yourself instead of chucking the whole thing and starting from scratch.

    I tried a few months back to find some kind of diy platform for paper printing. Unfortunately, the only market section in which self maintenance opens up is with industrial printing. I would absolutely love to see a diy explosion of paper printers like we've seen with 3d printers. There would still be nightmares, but the nightmares would be my own, and the method to resolve the nightmare would be attainable through other means than well crap, time to get a new printer.

    23 votes
  7. Comment on Electric shocks to the tongue can quiet chronic ringing ears in ~health

    aethicglass
    Link Parent
    They don't all seem negative. I just scanned through most, as many of the accounts are more highly detailed than I'm willing to absorb at the moment. But the 14% improvement figure seems in line...

    They don't all seem negative. I just scanned through most, as many of the accounts are more highly detailed than I'm willing to absorb at the moment. But the 14% improvement figure seems in line just from reading through a few of these.

    I think one thing that's important to bear in mind is the hyperbolic nature of science articles. They're very geared towards phrasing things as exciting and game changing, even if it's just incremental progress. 14% improvement is not a surefire cure by any means, but a marginal improvement. However, it does show that the mechanism had an effect, and that gives future researchers further foundation to build off.

    8 votes
  8. Comment on For those of you who have had COVID-19, what was your experience like? in ~talk

    aethicglass
    Link Parent
    Ah good to hear! 95-97 is indeed in the green. I notice that I rarely go above 97% personally, with the exception of for a day or two after doing a high intensity interval workout it'll...

    Ah good to hear! 95-97 is indeed in the green. I notice that I rarely go above 97% personally, with the exception of for a day or two after doing a high intensity interval workout it'll occasionally jump up to 99%. And don't worry too much about the content being "outside your line". This certainly isn't my lane either. I'm a construction worker and a glassblower. The dude is just really good at explaining the stuff. It might give you a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms behind how you're feeling, and I sincerely hope it helps!

    3 votes
  9. Comment on For those of you who have had COVID-19, what was your experience like? in ~talk

    aethicglass
    Link Parent
    Just wanna chime in real quick, and I'll preface this by saying I'm in no means qualified to give medical advice. I'm only recommending you look into it if you haven't already, and to go over it...

    Just wanna chime in real quick, and I'll preface this by saying I'm in no means qualified to give medical advice. I'm only recommending you look into it if you haven't already, and to go over it with your doctor if at all possible.

    That said, it might be worth checking out N-Acetyl Cystine (or NAC). I originally learned about it from MedCram, and I highly recommend watching through their videos, particularly episodes 59, 61, 63, 65, 67, 69, and 70. I know that's quite a list, but he has been the single most reliable source of information I've found through all of this and he's really amazing at explaining the concepts involved.

    That said, I'll try to do a TL;DR. COVID causes a high amount of oxidative stress, which basically boils down to a bunch of reactive oxygen species floating around wreaking havoc with whatever they contact. With the localized nature of COVID infections, the type of havoc varies depending on the locality. Loss of smell is likely due to localize infection in the sinuses, which damages the nerve clusters for instance. In lungs, it results in damage to the endothelial cells, leads to a release of Von Willebrands Factor (a clotting agent), which in turn causes microthrombosis in the lung vasculature, in turn causing the oxygen diffusion problems. (Side note about oxygen diffusion is that bradykinin storm may also be involved in some people with a genetic predisposition. NAC is somewhat, but maybe not entirely, irrelevant for that.)

    NAC is a known, frequently used antioxidant with a very good safety profile. Very minimal adverse reactions. The thinking is that it has a very good chance of decreasing the amount of oxidative stress caused by COVID. Another thing NAC is used for is as a mucolytic as it's capable of cleaving disulfide bonds, the type of bonds that hold together Von Willebrands Factor which seems to be the major cause of thrombosis. It's important to note, however, that this aspect in particular is currently only hypothetical. However, it is also worth noting that NAC has been shown to significantly improve the severity of symptoms from strains of influenza.

    So a TL;DR for the TL;DR would be that NAC might help ease up some of the aftereffects of your infection, and it's worth looking into (and cheap, as well as readily available).

    Zinc is also important in the chain of oxidative stress, as it's used to make one of the types of superoxide dismutase.

    Vitamin D is another big one that has been talked about frequently, so you probably are already aware of its importance to the immune system.

    I hope you feel better soon. Sounds like going through one heck of a wringer. Best wishes, dude.

    Edit: One last thought, you might want to look into grabbing a pulse oximeter. They're cheap ($20-40) and give you a quick read on your SpO2 levels. Below 95% is not good. Below 90% is usually a strong indication that you need supplemental oxygen.

    5 votes
  10. Comment on If you could completely refresh something and rebuild it from the ground up, what would it be and why? in ~talk

    aethicglass
    Link Parent
    The first thing that came to mind with the original prompt was something very similar so I'm gonna piggyback on your post. I want to completely rebuild my shop. It's a carport, so right off the...

    The first thing that came to mind with the original prompt was something very similar so I'm gonna piggyback on your post. I want to completely rebuild my shop. It's a carport, so right off the bat it's not an ideal shop space because it lacks four walls. It was used by my stepdad as a woodworking shop prior to him actually getting a shop. I've kind of inherited the permanent fixtures along with a good deal of old clutter.

    I used it as a glass shop for a while, but the lack of walls means lots of dust, and dust + glass + heat doesn't work too well. Everything is always covered in at least a few layers of dust. So I want to completely clear it out, reroof it (a 15 year roof that's gone 30 years, and it's definitely not leak-free), and redesign my work stations from the ground up. I want to be able to store everything in dust-free conditions, minimal horizontal surfaces (they're a magnet for clutter) that aren't contained, and a bit of modularity. Glass isn't the only thing I want to work on, so it'll be super useful to have the ability to convert workspaces depending on what I'm working on. And most importantly, space to do things. It's so confined right now that I can barely move around in there without bumping into stuff.

    I don't care if it takes me the rest of lockdown. I can't afford to rent shop space in this area, it's just too expensive. This is the only solution I can think of to actually be able to make things again.

    6 votes
  11. Comment on Monterey bans gas leaf blowers in residential areas in ~enviro

    aethicglass
    Link Parent
    I despise leaf blowers. Not just for the noise, but for the dust they kick up. They're ubiquitous here. Every day, a different leafblower. Friday morning at 7am, the neighbor's gardeners blast a...

    I despise leaf blowers. Not just for the noise, but for the dust they kick up. They're ubiquitous here. Every day, a different leafblower. Friday morning at 7am, the neighbor's gardeners blast a leafblower 10 feet away from my window. If I neglect to close my window in time, I'm pretty much guaranteed to have a bedroom full of allergens and everything gets covered in dust. I could understand the necessity of using them from time to time. Sometimes ya just gotta get all those nooks and crannies. But every. dang. week. is just excessive. As a hermit, my room is my environment, doubly so through this lockdown. Please save my environment. I would welcome a leafblower ordinance with open arms.

    2 votes
  12. Comment on Your coronavirus test is positive. Maybe it shouldn’t be in ~health.coronavirus

    aethicglass
    Link Parent
    There have been some really awesome interviews with Michael Mina about this on This Week in Virology and MedCram on youtube. MedCram also did a shorter explanation of the concepts involved, and...

    There have been some really awesome interviews with Michael Mina about this on This Week in Virology and MedCram on youtube.

    MedCram also did a shorter explanation of the concepts involved, and they did a really good job of explaining it imo.

    Coronavirus Pandemic Update 98: At Home COVID-19 Testing - A Possible Breakthrough

    1 vote
  13. Comment on 97,000 people got convalescent plasma. Who knows if it works? in ~health.coronavirus

    aethicglass
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    Nice article! That actually cleared up some of the uncertainty I had about why they issued the retraction of use. Looks like it was just easier for people to sign up for it out of trial, and there...

    Nice article! That actually cleared up some of the uncertainty I had about why they issued the retraction of use. Looks like it was just easier for people to sign up for it out of trial, and there wasn't any good information being collected on efficacy in the form of randomized controlled trials. Except there was some good data being collected in the form of a large scale retrospective. That study came out just after the announcement, and it seems they're putting a hold on the retraction for now.

    The whole pandemic has opened up a lot of cracks in the veneer. This is definitely one of them. It can be difficult to coordinate between what's best for humanity and what's best for the person in front of me. The discussion of the importance of both approaches has opened up and there is a lot to be sussed out about how be to cooperate in efforts.

    3 votes
  14. Comment on Weekly coronavirus-related chat, questions, and minor updates - week of August 10 in ~health.coronavirus

    aethicglass
    Link Parent
    Yea, Michael Mina did an OpEd in the NY Times a little over a month ago, I believe. I wasn't the one who posted it here, but I believe that article kinda got the ball rolling on the idea. Well, I...

    Yea, Michael Mina did an OpEd in the NY Times a little over a month ago, I believe. I wasn't the one who posted it here, but I believe that article kinda got the ball rolling on the idea. Well, I guess the preprint itself is really what got things started, but it seems like the guy has really been devoting himself to spreading the word about it.

    And I couldn't be happier to hear someone else enthusiastic about this!

    This is what I wrote to the mayor here in LA... (it's a little more ass-kissy than I would normally be inclined to do, but something something flies and sugar)

    I recently learned of the potential viability of low cost rapid PCR testing. I'd like to preface this before going further by commending your efforts alongside those of the governor. I have been regularly reassured of the competence of our local government in the face of utterly bewildering actions from those leading nationally. And I think you, Mr. Garcetti, may be positioned uniquely to drive progress forward on this front.
    Low cost, rapid result paper tests open the door on the possibility of reining in the infection rates in a way that nothing else shy of a vaccine will be able to. The aversion to these cheap tests until now has been "lack of sensitivity." However, it is becoming apparent that infection potential exists mainly above a certain threshold of viral load. And these cheap tests are sensitive enough to pick up on infection in individuals above that threshold of viral load. Meaning if they're infectious, the test will be able to find the virus. And these tests are cheap and easy enough to use at home on a weekly or even daily basis. This has potential to be an absolute game changer. People being able to test themselves regularly would open the door on reopening so many sectors while still being able to maintain a degree of caution that we've not been able to exercise until this point.
    I come to you with this because it is apparent that the federal government has little interest in pursuing this avenue of testing, or of even helping to make RT-PCR testing more readily available. The actual leadership during this crisis has come from local leaders such as yourself. While there are many locations on the rise with outbreaks lately, the local leaders in those areas seem unlikely to recognize the importance or potential value of this type of testing. Many seem to be more inclined to hide the statistics than to learn from them. But you were at the forefront to make RT-PCR testing available to the public as quickly as possible and is no small quantity. Even though our numbers here in L.A. have been steadily increasing the entire time, we have indeed managed to flatten the curve, and I believe that your actions played no small part in that. But it's our current high numbers that also give more weight to your position to be able to influence those necessary to encourage the FDA approval and availability of these paper tests. They need to be implemented in high-infection areas to be able to illustrate to others that as a system, it can work. And when I look around at all the other hotspots right now, I can't think of anywhere else that would be better suited to lead the way forward than us here.

    I don't imagine it was actually read by the mayor. Best I can hope for is that the general message was passed along. But I kinda doubt even that. So as to not waste a bit of perfectly good letter, I figured maybe someone here might get some use out of it.

    4 votes
  15. Comment on Weekly coronavirus-related chat, questions, and minor updates - week of August 10 in ~health.coronavirus

    aethicglass
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    Not sure if it has been talked about at all here on tildes, but This Week in Virology did an interview with a Harvard doctor named Michael Mina about the possibility of cheap daily tests and how...

    Not sure if it has been talked about at all here on tildes, but This Week in Virology did an interview with a Harvard doctor named Michael Mina about the possibility of cheap daily tests and how such a thing could be the most effective means of combating the spread, pre-vaccine.

    The interview itself is the first hour or so. MedCram (an amazing resource for learning about COVID, see my other post here if you haven't yet) did a 20 minute recap on the interview and offers some clarification on the technical details of Ct values and transmission thresholds.

    Coronavirus Pandemic Update 98: At Home COVID-19 Testing - A Possible Breakthrough

    A few days ago, MedCram themselves interviewed Michael Mina about these paper tests, talking about what needs to happen for these to be approved, how they could potentially change the lockdown landscape, and going over some of the more technical details. Again, it's about an hour long. They made a 5 minute summary video of the interview that goes over the highlights, but it appears youtube flagged it for some reason.

    So I'll offer my own take on it. Take it with a grain of salt if you wish, but if nothing else go watch MedCram ep.98 at the very least if you'd like to know more.

    My take on it is basically: This is how to reopen. Not with fuzzy guidelines and fingers crossed, hoping for the best out of desperation. But with billions of cheap tests made available so that people can test themselves at home, at work, at school, however frequently is needed. It doesn't require blood, it doesn't require skewering your brain with a swab, and doesn't require equipment or machinery. Somewhat similar to a pregnancy test, you'd have to spit in a vial and drop a piece of paper in.

    In a perfect work, everybody could be testing themselves once or twice a week. But with the current political landscape, we would still have people who refuse to do it. But even taking that into account, this could drop the R-effective in a major way. There would likely still be outbreaks because people are idiots, yes, but this would enable sectors across the board to reopen with a level of assurance of safety that is currently completely absent.

    I already wrote to Mayor Garcetti here in LA about it, and it seems I'm not the only one. The only thing that will get the ball rolling on this is the political will. But this is exciting news. I would love to be able to take a test, have a few friends do the same, and be able to tell each other we can hang out for the first time in ages. Or to be able to see my dad without worrying about the possibility that I could potentially be an asymptomatic carrier. We're still a minimum of six months out from a vaccine, assuming moderna or chadox pass phase 3, and even then rollout will be slow. We need something in the meantime in we have any hope of regaining a foothold of normalcy.

    6 votes
  16. Comment on Weekly coronavirus-related chat, questions, and minor updates - week of August 10 in ~health.coronavirus

    aethicglass
    Link Parent
    MedCram has done a few episodes on vitamin D, most recently this one. The tl;dr is that vitamin D is a bit of a heavy lifter when it comes to immune response and in helping to regulate vasculature...

    MedCram has done a few episodes on vitamin D, most recently this one. The tl;dr is that vitamin D is a bit of a heavy lifter when it comes to immune response and in helping to regulate vasculature and endothelial health. But if you haven't watched any of the MedCram updates on COVID before, I highly recommend it. They recently hit episode 100 (which is a decent starting place as it's a bit of a recap episode). It's hands-down the single best source of information I've come across on new studies and potential treatments. He's a frontline ICU respiratory specialist in Riverside, CA, and the fact that he's taken the time to put out a hundred episodes so far this year that go in depth on new studies on COVID despite working full time at the ICU is absolutely mindblowing to me.

    To top it all off, the information he talks about there is weeks, if not months, ahead of the news cycles. He was talking about vitamin D back in April, possibly earlier. Around the same time, he started hypothesizing about the strange effects being seen in COVID patients, and how these effects differed from typical respiratory infections. In late April, he published this video expanding upon the hypothesis that COVID attacks the endothelium of the lung vasculature and causes runaway oxidative stress that eventually leads to thrombosis in the lungs' microvasculature, explaining the strange results of tests that look at oxygen diffusion issues and the cases of "happy hypoxics". The first news story I remember seeing about this wasn't until the beginning of July.

    Sorry my tldr turned out a bit long. I highly recommend the channel. I wish I could get more people to watch it. Come to think of it, I should probably make another top level comment about another recent episode regarding paper testing because that's an absolute game changer.

    6 votes
  17. Comment on What was your personal "never again" moment? in ~talk

    aethicglass
    Link Parent
    I had a similar cig experience... my only pack of smokes got rained on while I was camping. I dried them out in the sun and smoked them anyways. Worst taste ever. Wasn't bad enough to keep me from...

    I had a similar cig experience... my only pack of smokes got rained on while I was camping. I dried them out in the sun and smoked them anyways. Worst taste ever. Wasn't bad enough to keep me from smoking them, as I still needed the nicotine. But it was miserable. Water and dried tobacco don't mix.

    1 vote
  18. Comment on I'm stuck in an endless loop in ~health

    aethicglass
    (edited )
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    Supplements that might be worth looking into if you haven't already: L-dopa & 5HTP: Precursors for dopamine and serotonin. I take them with EGCG, which acts as a binder to pass the BBB instead of...

    Supplements that might be worth looking into if you haven't already:

    L-dopa & 5HTP: Precursors for dopamine and serotonin. I take them with EGCG, which acts as a binder to pass the BBB instead of accumulating in muscle tissue. I take either L-dopa and EGCG or 5HTP and EGCG. Taking them together seems to negate value. My reason for taking them is that the type of depression I tend to get is the numb sort of flavor. My emotional responses to anything positive can get extremely low. So I just kinda gauge dosage depending on what my emotional responses have been like in the previous few days.

    Vitamin D: you've almost certainly had your vitamin D levels tested if they're looking at your thyroid health, but it's worth mentioning that the thyroid doesn't do its job well without it.

    N-Acetyl Cystine (NAC): antioxidant. I mention it primarily because I've been studying oxidative stress a lot lately (thyroid dysfunction in either direction has been shown to increase oxidative stress), and it can lead to a very wide array of problematic conditions and secondary imbalances that can be difficult to nail down a root cause for. Just do a search of biology papers talking about oxidative stress and you'll see what I mean. Incidentally, it ties in closely with development of COVID.

    Resveratrol: This is probably the most nebulous out of all of these recommendations. I only recently started looking into it. The paper Resveratrol: A double edged sword in health benefits is a good starting place. To oversimplify: it has antioxidant pathways, anticancer mechanisms (via SIRT1 upregulation), cardioprotective, antimicrobial, and neuroprotective effects (likely due to antioxidation). I'm mainly interested in it for the SIRT1 upregulation, as SIRT1 is used to mark out damaged cells to be removed by the innate immune system. The double-edged sword part of it comes into play with the complexity of dosage (lower dosing elicits different effects from higher dosing), an apparent increase in ROS (despite being an antioxidant), which may also lead to an increased chance of damaging cells instead of helping them. However, it has also been shown that ROS of a certain baseline amount are a necessary part of cell signalling, and it's possible that this increase in ROS is related to the anticancer mechanisms at play.
    What I can say about it from the few weeks of personal experience I have so far is that the higher dosage (which is suppose to kick the SIRT1 and apoptosis mechanism into gear) can feel kinda crappy. Like I need to flush my system out. A bit like a hangover when there's too much acetaldehyde floating around from metabolizing booze. I've been doing that dosage level at a max of twice a week. The only noticeably bad times were when that twice-a-week was one day after another.
    Positives that I've noticed from it so far: my energy level has been significantly higher. I have an actinic keratosis on my forehead that has been there for 2 years, just slowly getting worse. It seems to be healing. It no longer hurts, it's smoothed out and doesn't feel rough anymore. In fact, my skin in general seems to be feeling more like skin again and less like dried out callus. My concentration level has been a bit less scattered (the irony of this is that I'm adding this in as an edit because I got distracted).
    I should note that I've been taking it in conjunction with berberine and NMN. They seem to have mechanisms that may complement each other well (if the preliminary studies pan out and are verified). Berberine seems to assist the anticancer mechanisms and NMN seems to maybe be capable of repairing damaged DNA and decreasing genetic methylation. I noticed the combo because they're marketed together, but looking into the studies that have been on each of them individually or together, I can see why.
    I'm also thinking that supplementing folic acid (to assist with angiogenesis) on the off-days of not taking this combo. But that just recently occurred to me so I haven't had a chance to look into it much yet.


    As might be evident in this post, I approach a lot of my issues with supplements. I can't really afford doctors, which kinda leaves trying to find over the counter things that might help. I've been through a lot, but these are the things that have helped me the most. If you've already tried them with no luck, I'm sorry and I wish I could do something else to help. I know the frustration of lack of motivation and lack of mental clarity all too well. But if by chance there's something in here you haven't heard of before, please don't just take my word on it either. Look into it yourself, talk things over with your doctor. I'm a dang construction worker, so don't take medical advice from me.

    (edit: added some details)

    2 votes
  19. Comment on A vaccine reality check: So much hope is riding on a breakthrough, but a vaccine is only the beginning of the end in ~health.coronavirus

    aethicglass
    Link Parent
    Thanks, I'm giving it a read. I have some issues with it already (mostly in the simplification of the nature of immunity, the very topic that the article is claiming to be insufficiently...

    Thanks, I'm giving it a read. I have some issues with it already (mostly in the simplification of the nature of immunity, the very topic that the article is claiming to be insufficiently understood and yet they are trying to simplify what is understood), but despite that it reinforces my point of contention. There are many vaccines that do give long term immunity. There are even vaccines that give long term immunity against cases when unvaccinated infection rarely gives immunity. So I'm wondering where the author of OP's article got the concept and why they believe it's applicable.

    At this point I'm tempted to go through and gather a list of primary sources for vaccines that give robust long term immunity. But that's belaboring the wrong point. This is a sidetrack off of my overall objection to this article based solely off the first sentence I wrote. Maybe I've spent too long with my nose buried in medical studies lately, but I can't even begin to relate how frustrating it is to me that journalism in general seems to be making a hash of wrapping their heads around the concepts they're attempted to explain. Maybe they just don't have the time to devote and have impending deadlines that must be met. But that's still a problem, not merely an excuse.

    These articles bear the weight of influence. They inform people. But to be able to teach something, one must first understand it. And in my experience of teaching, I need to understand things at a decently higher level than that of which I'm teaching in order to do a proper job of it. I think this article is punching above its class to be honest. They skipped the understanding part (let alone understanding at a higher level) and went straight towards teaching. That fails to inform, it misinforms. And we have enough problems with misinformation about science right now without adding to that pile.


    Eh, okay I'm reading through the article you grabbed a bit more. So I might as well keep this going...

    The growing understanding of the speed at which vaccine-trained immune systems can lose their muscle has raised concerns about some recent public health decisions. In 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland, changed its legally binding regulations about use of the yellow fever vaccine... so WHO shifted from requiring booster shots every 10 years to a single, lifetime shot. ... "The yellow fever vaccine–induced immunity is long-lived, but only in 80% of people," Slifka says.

    So what happened with the yellow fever vaccine is that they were seeing good long term immunity responses so they stopped recommending boosters. Then some people stopped having long term immunity and there were some cases that popped up. Now that's certainly a problem for those who caught it. But it's also notable that this didn't result in an epidemic. Why? Because herd immunity did its job. The statistical factor of long term immunity kicked into play and limited the effective rate of transmission. So they came to the conclusion that boosters should still be given to those who live in areas that aren't regularly exposed to yellow fever and who thereby lose their immune response over time. None of this indicates that the vaccine doesn't do its job. It only indicates that variables must be accounted for in order for it to do its job to maximum efficacy.

    A WHO spokesperson for the expert committee that evaluates vaccines says it continues to review new data on breakthrough cases of yellow fever, closely monitoring the duration of immunity in people who received a single dose. "The evidence provided does not support the need for [a] booster dose," the spokesperson says, noting that WHO cautions against "overinterpretation" of antibody data.

    This kinda drives it home for me. When talking about vaccines, it seems like a lot of journalism leans heavily on solely antibody immune response. That's only one factor in a complex network of immune response. They're cautioning against interpreting the results of the correlation of decreased antibody in some of the vaccine recipients and the resurgence of cases. Because the resurgence may have nothing to do with a decrease in antibody response. There are other factors involved.

    With SARS-Cov2, we're unlikely to get a vaccine that will give robust antibody results. At least from what I understand. Antibody response seems to be dropping off within a few months of recovery. However, there are other branches of immune response, and what we need to understand specifically with this is how effective T-cell memory response will be. There are already anecdotal cases of reinfection popping up, but we don't have data on these cases. Did they develop memory response and lose it? Did they never develop memory response in the first place? What conditions of infection must be met in order to develop robust immunity?

    If there was a way to provide even short term immunity to the population in a safer way than infection, even if it only provides that short term immunity to 51% of that population, would you find it a worthwhile endeavor to administer it?

    I'd emphatically answer yes for three reasons.

    1. Saving lives is a worthwhile endeavor that I wonder if people have forgotten. "Don't let perfect be the enemy of the good" is a good phrase that's been floating around lately that responds nicely to this lack of regard, in my opinion.
    2. Among those hit with symptoms of COVID (so ignoring the asymptomatic carriers for a moment), those who survive still high I high likelyhood of retaining symptoms for a long time after initial recovery. These "long haulers" are having to endure some pretty significant decrease in quality of life due to the damage inflicted by the virus.
    3. The R effective is already heavily influenced by precautions. This virus is not so infectious that it bypasses all of our efforts. The more precautions we've been taking, the more the R effective goes down. The less precautions we take, the more infection we get. Even if a vaccine can only provide short term immunity for 51% (minimum efficacy for approval), that will still have the capacity to impact the R effective, especially if we exercise other precautions in tandem.

    Alright, that's my core dump for the day. Haha thanks again for the article. Sorry if I come off as a grump or anything. I'm also trying not to punch above my own weight with this and unwittingly spread misinformation, so apologies if I've done so at any point.

    3 votes
  20. Comment on A vaccine reality check: So much hope is riding on a breakthrough, but a vaccine is only the beginning of the end in ~health.coronavirus

    aethicglass
    (edited )
    Link
    Uhh, I'm gonna need to see a source on this. That's a hell of a generalization to try to apply to a virus that people are still scrambling to gather more data on. Especially with regards to immune...

    Vaccine-induced immunity, though, tends to be weaker than immunity that arises after an infection.

    Uhh, I'm gonna need to see a source on this. That's a hell of a generalization to try to apply to a virus that people are still scrambling to gather more data on. Especially with regards to immune response. There have been suspected cases of reinfection, there are large numbers of "long-haulers", and there has been very little data collected about long term immunity because it simply hasn't been around long enough to understand how various people's immune systems are responding to it.

    The Oxford vaccine recently published their phase 2 results, and showed the presence of T-cell immunity. Antibodies tend to clear out within the course of a few months (they're supposed to; failure to do so can result in some pretty awful long term complications when your system just accumulates antibodies against every little thing it encounters). T-cell immunity involves the memory response. They're hoping that it will be capable of yielding some decently long term immunity. But with the number of asymptomatic carriers who don't seem to be building up either antibodies or T-cell memory because of the non-severity of the infection, it's absolutely possible that vaccine immune response will be more robust than average sars-cov2 infection immune response.

    But respiratory viruses don’t normally fling themselves into muscle. They infect respiratory systems, after all, and they usually sneak in through the mucous membranes of the nose and throat. Although vaccine shots induce antibodies in the blood, they don’t induce many in the mucous membranes, meaning they’re unlikely to prevent the virus from entering the body.

    I'm sorry but I'm kinda questioning whether this author understands what vaccines are and the variety of different ways in which they can work. The things they are trying to pass off as -- I dunno, I feel like based on the headline I'm supposed to find these things deeply concerning in tone... But there are a pretty huge variety of approaches being attempted in parallel right now, on a pretty massive scale, and with absolutely unprecedented budget. This could likely be the single largest peer review in history, with the scientific eyes of the world over focused on finding the solution. So the tone of this article is kinda rubbing me the wrong way. I'm sorry if they come to a decent conclusion eventually, but to me this feels like someone's sloppy attempt to prematurely wrap their head around something they were ill prepared to comprehend.

    Edit: finished reading it. I kinda get what they're trying to get at. People need to to hedge their optimism. That isn't always immediately apparent to me because I kinda take that as a given. I guess what rubs me wrong about it the most is that I feel like this vaccine effort is absolutely jaw-dropping in pace, scale, breadth, all of it. People have been working on it for all of 7 months, and they could possibly be 5 months away from having the first batches ready. That's... that's absolutely astounding.

    So instead of belaboring what could possibly go wrong, how about focusing on the different ways we could keep things from going wrong? How about talking about the fact that if the best of humanity has stepped up to the plate and is accomplishing some incredible things, we could try and keep that ball rolling? And I know that the former nitpicking is a necessary first step for the latter solution, but I think it's just the tone and delivery of the messaging that irks me.

    Like, I'm not in medicine. I'm not in journalism. It's not my job to either understand these concepts nor to explain them, yet I've devoted a hell of a lot of my time and energy to understanding the concepts at play here. I don't feel like this author did more than some cursory interviews, thought up some seemingly clever explanations to fit into the narrative they wanted to tell, and bowed out when it came down to the nuts and bolts of actually understanding it before trying to pass it on.

    Sorry again for going on at length. I'll leave my rant at that.

    10 votes