henry copeland @hc

Creating https://t.co/yaIkIOcF20, an online toolkit the average person can use for personal (n-of-1) experiments. Way back when: Y84, bond trader, journalist.

Recent quotes:

Gut communicates with the entire brain through cross-talking neurons -- ScienceDaily

"We saw a lot of connections in the brainstem and hindbrain regions. We knew these regions are involved in sensing and controlling the organs of the body, so there weren't any big surprises there. But things got more interesting as the viruses moved farther up into parts of the brain that are usually considered emotional centers or learning centers, cognitive places. They have all these multifaceted functions. So thinking about how information from the small intestine might be nudging those processes a little bit is really cool," says Coltan Parker, doctoral student in the Neuroscience Program at Illinois and lead author on a study published in Autonomic Neuroscience: Basic and Clinical.

Coronavirus: DeWine criticizes those defying orders, including churches; cases reach 2,547 as Ohio designates hospital zones - News - The Daily Record - Wooster, OH

Coronavirus continues its relentless rise in Ohio — advancing toward a projected peak later this month — as 348 more infected Ohioans and 10 more deaths were reported Wednesday. In his daily briefing, Gov. Mike DeWine hinted that extended or new restrictions on residents and businesses were coming as soon as Thursday. He also outlined efforts to expand hospital capacity, including use of convention centers for patients without COVID-19. With limited testing concealing the true extent of the pandemic, total cases rose 16% to at least 2,547 and deaths increased by 18% to 65 total since the virus first was confirmed in Ohio on March 9, state figures show.

Opinion | High-Dose Coronavirus Infections Should Worry Us More - The New York Times

Virus experts know that viral dose affects illness severity. In the lab, mice receiving a low dose of virus clear it and recover, while the same virus at a higher dose kills them. Dose sensitivity has been observed for every common acute viral infection that has been studied in lab animals, including coronaviruses. Humans also exhibit sensitivity to viral dose. Volunteers have allowed themselves to be exposed to low or high doses of relatively benign viruses causing colds or diarrhea. Those receiving the low doses have rarely developed visible signs of infection, while high doses have typically led to infections and more severe symptoms.

Tinker, Tailor, Mobster, Trump - PREVAIL by Greg Olear

The only way to know for sure if Donald John Trump is a Confidential Informant is if he admits it himself (unlikely), or if law enforcement comes forward (illegal). But the circumstantial evidence is compelling. The pattern is: 1) Trump deals with mobsters as usual; 2) Law enforcement begins investigating Trump; 3) Mobsters suddenly get busted, while 4) investigation into Trump is scuttled. This happened three times that we know about. I’m not counting the first known instance of Trump providing information to prosecutors, concerning Cody and concrete, in the late 70s[…] I can conceive of no scenario in which Trump was not a CI, and a top echelon one at that. He’s avoided indictment too many times. No one is that lucky.

The Mathematics of Predicting the Course of the Coronavirus | WIRED

According to IHME’s models, 41 states will need more hospital beds than they currently have. Twelve states will need to boost their numbers of ICU beds by 50 percent or more. The models predict that over the next four months, these shortfalls will contribute to the deaths of 81,000 Americans, with the number of deaths per day peaking as soon as mid-April.

Doc Searls Weblog · Zoom needs to clean up its privacy act

What they mean by that is adtech. What they’re also saying here is that Zoom is in the advertising business, and in the worst end of it: the one that lives off harvested personal data. What makes this extra creepy is that Zoom is in a position to gather plenty of personal data, some of it very intimate (for example with a shrink talking to a patient) without anyone in the conversation knowing about it. (Unless, of course, they see an ad somewhere that looks like it was informed by a private conversation on Zoom.) A person whose personal data is being shed on Zoom doesn’t know that’s happening because Zoom doesn’t tell them. There’s no red light, like the one you see when a session is being recorded. If you were in a browser instead of an app, an extension such as Privacy Badger could tell you there are trackers sniffing your ass. And, if your browser is one that cares about privacy, such as Brave, Firefox or Safari, there’s a good chance it would be blocking trackers as well. But in the Zoom app, you can’t tell if or how your personal data is being harvested.

The Eerie Parallels Between Coronavirus and the Bubonic Plague - Rolling Stone

Crises like these — whether it’s a crisis of political legitimacy, or a pandemic that demands response, or some kind of major external war that crops up out of nowhere — the chances are good that whatever snaps under the pressure of that crisis was probably straining already, was probably barely chugging along already. There’s some kind of deep problem that a crisis is going to expose, bring to the fore, and then break very dramatically for everybody to see. We see the crisis and we see the break — and we equate the two. We’re narrative creatures. That’s how we understand the world. We understand things as a story with a climax, and the break has to be the climax. It’s very hard for us to turn a more analytical eye and see the collection of very small things that lead up to a systemic break. It’s just difficult. But these disasters don’t create these trends so much as they supercharge them.

Roast Pork in Milk Recipe | Leite's Culinaria

Reduce the heat slightly and add the milk to the pan or casserole very, very slowly so it doesn’t bubble up too much. Gradually bring it to a gentle simmer and partially cover the pan. Let the pork cook like this for 2 hours, or until the juices run clear when pierced with a skewer. The pork will be tender but not fall-apart tender and the milk will turn yogurt-like and clumpy and may brown somewhat.

Past your bedtime? Inconsistency may increase risk to cardiovascular health -- ScienceDaily

Researchers at the University of Notre Dame studied the correlation between bedtime regularity and resting heart rate (RHR) and found that individuals going to bed even 30 minutes later than their usual bedtime presented a significantly higher resting heart rate that lasted into the following day. "We already know an increase in resting heart rate means an increased risk to cardiovascular health," said Nitesh Chawla, the Frank M. Freimann professor of Computer Science and Engineering at Notre Dame, director of the Center for Network and Data Science and a lead author of the study. "Through our study, we found that even if you get seven hours of sleep a night, if you're not going to bed at the same time each night, not only does your resting heart rate increase while you sleep, it carries over into the next day."

Diet, nutrition have profound effects on gut microbiome -- ScienceDaily

The authors found that research has mostly focused on the benefits of dietary fiber, which serves as fuel for gut microbiota, and also found that, in contrast, protein promotes microbial protein metabolism and potentially harmful byproducts that may sit in the gut, increasing the risk of negative health outcomes.

Too much salt weakens the immune system: A diet rich in salt weakens the antibacterial immune defense -- ScienceDaily

However, other parts of the body are not exposed to the additional salt consumed with food. Instead, it is filtered out by the kidneys and excreted in the urine. And this is where the second mechanism comes into play: The kidneys have a sodium chloride sensor that activates the salt excretion function. As an undesirable side effect, however, this sensor also causes so-called glucocorticoids to accumulate in the body. And these in turn inhibit the function of granulocytes, the most common type of immune cell in the blood. Granulocytes, like macrophages, are scavenger cells. However, they do not attack parasites, but mainly bacteria. If they do not do this to a sufficient degree, infections proceed much more severely. "We were able to show this in mice with a listeria infection," explains Dr. Jobin. "We had previously put some of them on a high-salt diet. In the spleen and liver of these animals we counted 100 to 1,000 times the number of disease-causing pathogens." Listeria are bacteria that are found for instance in contaminated food and can cause fever, vomiting and sepsis. Urinary tract infections also healed much more slowly in laboratory mice fed a high-salt diet.

BuzzFeed Slashing Employee Pay Amid the Coronavirus Crisis

Staffers in the lowest bracket—which includes anyone making under $65,000 annually—would experience a five-percent reduction, while those making between $65,000-$90,000 would experience a seven-percent cut. Other staff would take nearly a 10-percent pay cut, while executives would take between 14-to-25-percent in pay reduction.  CEO Jonah Peretti confirmed in a note to staff that “I will not be taking a salary until we are on the other side of this crisis.”

From Laura Baldwin - O’Reilly Media

Today, we’re sharing the news that we’ve made the very difficult decision to cancel all future O’Reilly in-person conferences and close down this portion of our business. Without understanding when this global health emergency may come to an end, we can’t plan for or execute on a business that will be forever changed as a result of this crisis. With large technology vendors moving their events completely on-line, we believe the stage is set for a new normal moving forward when it comes to in-person events.

Senators Who Led Pharma-Friendly Patent Reform Also Prime Targets For Pharma Cash | Kaiser Health News

[…] Early last year, as lawmakers vowed to curb rising drug prices, Sen. Thom Tillis was named chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on intellectual property rights, a committee that had not met since 2007. Explore […] As the new gatekeeper for laws and oversight of the nation’s patent system, the North Carolina Republican signaled he was determined to make it easier for American businesses to benefit from it — a welcome message to the drugmakers who already leverage patents to block competitors and keep prices high. Less than three weeks after introducing a bill that would make it harder for generic drugmakers to compete with patent-holding drugmakers, Tillis opened the subcommittee’s first meeting on Feb. 26, 2019, with his own vow. “From the United States Patent and Trademark Office to the State Department’s Office of Intellectual Property Enforcement, no department or bureau is too big or too small for this subcommittee to take interest,” he said. “And we will.” In the months that followed, tens of thousands of dollars flowed from pharmaceutical companies toward his campaign, as well as to the campaigns of other subcommittee members […]Tillis received more than $156,000 from political action committees tied to drug manufacturers in 2019, more than any other member of Congress, a new analysis of KHN’s Pharma Cash to Congress database shows.[…]

Yuval Noah Harari: the world after coronavirus | Free to read

You could, of course, make the case for biometric surveillance as a temporary measure taken during a state of emergency. It would go away once the emergency is over. But temporary measures have a nasty habit of outlasting emergencies, especially as there is always a new emergency lurking on the horizon. My home country of Israel, for example, declared a state of emergency during its 1948 War of Independence, which justified a range of temporary measures from press censorship and land confiscation to special regulations for making pudding (I kid you not). The War of Independence has long been won, but Israel never declared the emergency over, and has failed to abolish many of the “temporary” measures of 1948 (the emergency pudding decree was mercifully abolished in 2011).

Inactivation of Influenza Virus by Solar Radiation - ProQuest

Among the environmental factors that affect survival of influenza virus, our calculation of virus inactivation by solar UV radiation appeared to produce an effect stronger than expected. The potential solar UV inactivation ranges from near negligible to 9 log^sub 10^ or more per day, depending on location and season (Tables 1 and 2). Therefore, it appears that the germicidal impact of solar UV radiation may be several orders of magnitude more relevant to environmental virus inactivation that the other primary physical factors (temperature and relative humidity). However, other factors may be also involved in virus persistence as influenza epidemics still occur in the tropics (3) in spite of the strong virucidal effect produced there by solar UV radiation. Person-to-person transmission, aerosolization and environmental contamination are likely affected by seasonal human behavior. For example, people in the developed countries located in the temperate zone spend their work time indoors, minimizing exposure to outdoor environmental sources of influenza, while maximizing direct indoor person-to-person transmission. Thus, although our calculations suggest that solar UV radiation might have a significant role in influenza outbreaks, it is apparent that influenza epidemics will ultimately be understood only after considering the interactions among a number of variables. The inactivation rates in the tables indicate that influenza virions should remain infectious after winter release from the host for several days in many higher latitude cities, with continued risk for reaerosolization and human infection. These findings are supported by increased mortality during winter months recorded between 1959 and 1999 when influenza was identified as the primary determinant of excess winter mortality (15). By spring equinox, solar inactivation improves in parallel with a general decrease in flu cases. Also paralleling the sharp seasonal differences in radiation at higher latitude, influenza epidemics have a marked seasonal occurrence in the northern and southern temperate zones (latitudes 30-70°), while the occurrence at lower latitudes is spread more evenly over the year (7).

More pablum from experts

A global, novel virus that keeps us contained in our homes—maybe for months—is already reorienting our relationship to government, to the outside world, even to each other. Some changes these experts expect to see in the coming months or years might feel unfamiliar or unsettling: Will nations stay closed? Will touch become taboo? What will become of restaurants?

Germany’s coronavirus anomaly: high infection rates but few deaths  | Financial Times

“This is about capacity. The capacity in Germany is very, very significant. We can conduct more than 160,000 tests per week, and that can be increased further,” Prof Wieler told journalists this week. Test capabilities would be boosted not least in part by switching laboratories that specialise in animal health towards coronavirus checks. There was no sign that test kits were running low, Prof Wieler added.  In the short term at least, mass testing feeds through into a lower fatality rate because it allows authorities to detect cases of Covid-19 even in patients who suffer few or no symptoms, and who have a much better chance of survival. It also means that Germany is likely to have a lower number of undetected cases than countries where testing is less prevalent. Indeed, one notable feature of the coronavirus outbreak in Germany so far is the high number of relatively young patients: according to data from the Robert Koch Institute, more than 80 per cent of all people infected with the coronavirus are younger than 60.  Coronavirus business update How is coronavirus taking its toll on markets, business, and our everyday lives and workplaces? Stay briefed with our coronavirus newsletter. Sign up here “Especially at the beginning of the outbreak in Germany we saw many cases connected to people returning from skiing trips and similar holidays,” said Matthias Stoll, a professor of medicine at the University of Hanover. “These are predominantly people who are younger than 80 and who are fit enough to ski or engage in similar activities. Their risk of dying is comparatively low.”  Hans-Georg Kräusslich, a professor of medicine and the head of virology at the University Hospital in Heidelberg, said: “In most cases the illness is mild and shows few symptoms, and we assume that the detection of such mild cases varies from country to country. In statistical terms that leads to a difference in case fatality rates.”

Step it up: Higher daily step counts linked with lower blood pressure: Smart watches prove useful as a research tool for insights on physical activity and heart health -- ScienceDaily

Over the course of about five months, participants averaged about 7,500 steps per day. Those with a higher daily step count had significantly lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure. In a secondary analysis, the researchers found the association between step count and blood pressure was no longer significant if BMI was taken into account, which suggests BMI might be a mediating factor in the relationship.

Ritalin and similar medications cause brain to focus on benefits of work, not costs -- ScienceDaily

The results largely matched Westbrook's computer-modeled predictions. Those with lower dopamine levels made decisions that indicated they were more focused on avoiding difficult cognitive work -- in other words, they were more sensitive to the potential costs of completing the task. Those with higher dopamine levels, on the other hand, made decisions that showed they were more sensitive to differences in the amount of money they could earn by choosing the harder test -- in other words, they focused more on the potential benefits. Westbrook said the latter held true whether the subjects' dopamine levels were naturally higher or whether they had been artificially elevated by medications.

A Journal of the Plague Year, by Daniel Defoe

We had no such thing as printed newspapers in those days to spread rumours and reports of things, and to improve them by the invention of men, as I have lived to see practised since. But such things as these were gathered from the letters of merchants and others who corresponded abroad, and from them was handed about by word of mouth only; so that things did not spread instantly over the whole nation, as they do now. But it seems that the Government had a true account of it, and several councils were held about ways to prevent its coming over; but all was kept very private. Hence it was that this rumour died off again, and people began to forget it as a thing we were very little concerned in, and that we hoped was not true; till the latter end of November or the beginning of December 1664 when two men, said to be Frenchmen, died of the plague in Long Acre, or rather at the upper end of Drury Lane.

The coronavirus turns deadly when it leads to ‘cytokine storm’; identifying this immune response is key to patient’s survival: report - oregonlive.com

All Covid-19 patients sick enough for hospitalization should be given a cheap, quick, and readily available serum ferritin blood test. Indeed, elevated serum ferritin values have recently been reported in Chinese hospitalized patients with Covid-19. This is a good first screening tool for the possibility of a cytokine storm syndrome in sick patients with high fevers.

Squatting or kneeling may have health benefits -- ScienceDaily

For the study, Hadza participants wore devices that measured physical activity and periods of rest. The scientists found that they had high levels of physical activity -- over three times as much as the 22 minutes per day advised by U.S. federal health guidelines. But the scientists also found that they had high levels of inactivity. In fact, the Hadza are sedentary for about as much time -- around 9 to 10 hours per day -- as humans in more developed countries. However, they appear to lack the markers of chronic diseases that are associated, in industrialized societies, with long periods of sitting. The reason for this disconnect may lie in how they rest. "Even though there were long periods of inactivity, one of the key differences we noticed is that the Hadza are often resting in postures that require their muscles to maintain light levels of activity -- either in a squat or kneeling," Raichlen said. In addition to tracking activity and inactivity, the researchers used specialized equipment to measure muscle activity in the lower limbs in different resting postures. Squatting involved more muscle activity compared to sitting.

Coronavirus Is High Risk to Aging Florida, Retirement Communities - Bloomberg

The county with the nation’s highest senior-citizen share is Sumter County, Florida, home of the fast-growing retirement community, The Villages. Its 65-and-older percentage was 55.6% from 2014-2018, a period I used in the above chart because single-year data for many smaller counties isn’t reliable, and 57.6% in 2018. That’s an estimated 74,162 people 65-and-older in a county with 277 acute-care hospital beds.

How intermittent fasting changes liver enzymes and helps prevent disease: Research on mice reveals surprising impact on fat metabolism -- ScienceDaily

"For the first time we showed that HNF4-(alpha) is inhibited during intermittent fasting. This has downstream consequences, such as lowering the abundance of blood proteins in inflammation or affecting bile synthesis. This helps explain some of the previously known facts about intermittent fasting," Dr Larance said. The researchers also found that every-other-day-fasting -- where no food was consumed on alternate days -- changed the metabolism of fatty acids in the liver, knowledge that could be applied to improvements in glucose tolerance and the regulation of diabetes.

An Alcoholic Parent Can Affect How a Child's Brain Switches Tasks - Scientific American

The scans showed that individuals without FHA went through a transient period between the game task and the resting state in which some brain regions—frontal, parietal and visual areas, in particular—reconfigured the way in which they communicated with one another. People with FHA experienced fewer changes—even after the researchers controlled for factors such as age, gender, motion in the fMRI scanner, drinking and depression. “It looks like FHA impacts the mental preparation to switch from performing one task to another,” Amico says. “This could be analogous to the process of clearing the cache of your smartphone when you want it to switch faster between apps. The problem is that this ‘cache-clearing process’ might be impaired in brains with family history of alcoholism.”