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Name: Pet Rock
Gender: Male
Hometown: TN, KY
Home country: USA
Current location: KY
Member since: Thu Jul 6, 2017, 07:43 PM
Number of posts: 8,534

Journal Archives

Inside the race to develop a coronavirus vaccine

'It’s a razor’s edge we’re walking': inside the race to develop a coronavirus vaccine

Around the world, more than 40 teams are working on a vaccine for Covid-19. We followed one doctor in the most urgent quest of his life.

By Samanth Subramanian
Fri 27 Mar 2020 06.00 GMT

Link: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/27/inside-the-race-to-develop-a-coronavirus-vaccine-covid-19


Defeating Covid-19 will call for more than vaccines; it will involve quarantines, social distancing, antivirals and other drugs, and healthcare for the sick. But the idea of a vaccine – the quintessential silver bullet – has come to bear an almost unreasonable allure. The coronavirus arrived at a ripe moment in genetic technology, when the advances of the past half-decade have made it possible for vaccine projects to explode off the blocks as soon as a virus is sequenced. These cutting-edge vaccines don’t use weakened forms of the germ to build our immunity, as all vaccines once did; rather, they contain short copies of parts of the germ’s genetic code – its DNA or RNA – which can produce fragments of the germ within our bodies.

Thus, for the first time ever, scientists have been able to muster up vaccine prospects mere weeks into a new, fast-spreading disease. Right now, there are at least 43 Covid-19 vaccines in development around the world – in Brisbane and Hong Kong, in the US and the UK, in the labs of universities and companies. Most of these are DNA or RNA vaccines. One vaccine, made in 63 days by an American biotech firm named Moderna, moved into human trials on 16 March, entering the bloodstream of the first of 45 healthy adult volunteers in Seattle. It was a “world indoor record”, said Anthony Fauci, the doctor who heads the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “Nothing has ever gone that fast.”

The overriding purpose of the process is abundant caution; a vaccine that unexpectedly proves harmful is the industry’s worst nightmare. In the literature, past mishaps flash like red warning signals. In 1942, a yellow fever vaccine contaminated with a hepatitis B virus was given to more than 300,000 American troops; nearly 150 of them died. The field’s classic reference text, Plotkin’s Vaccines, by the physician Stanley Plotkin, refers sombrely to “the Cutter incident” – a 1955 episode in which a manufacturer named Cutter Laboratories failed to properly deactivate the virus in its polio shot. The faulty vaccine caused roughly 40,000 cases of polio, paralysed 260 people and killed 10.

The US’s strict rules to regulate vaccines emerged, in part, because of Cutter Laboratories. The company survived, but paid out millions in civil damages. The Cutter incident set a precedent for more lawsuits during the next three decades, in which parents argued that their children had been disabled by malfunctioning vaccines. Some pharma firms, worried about multimillion-dollar claims settlements, abandoned vaccines altogether; others hiked their prices to cover any future legal costs. To keep vaccines cheap and vaccinations regular, the US government had to set up a compensation fund that eased most of the liability on vaccine companies.

The article is a long read but provides both an interesting review of vaccine history and of COVID-19's evolution into the scientific community as a challenge for the best and brightest.


OK boys, how many remember sneaking in the back door at 3am....

half-loaded and experiencing this result?

How Not to Wake Up a Lioness!

Poor guy had the dry heaves for quite a while. I'll never forget those, either.


The US Senate is NOT practicing social distancing.

The US Senate is NOT practicing social distancing.
Susan Collins and Lindsay Graham are practically snuggling on the bottom left.

I'll withhold any mean comment. This speaks for itself...........

All carriers will be considered crucial businesses because....

so many truly crucial services depend on cell and landline services such as police, fire, medical personnel, critical service companies, etc.

Phone carriers are also internet carriers without which we would be dead in the water......

Not likely to happen in America and could be dangerous.

Probably substantially effective only in very crowded city areas where some people go barefoot or wear sandals, or where people handle and remove their shoes prior to entering buildings.

With almost everyone sheltering indoors, there's no need.

There's also the issue of environmental effects of vast amounts of disinfectants going into our groundwater or sewers.

That all said, it is worthy of mention to say virus particles could in theory stay viable for a couple of days on outdoor surfaces under ideal conditions.

Especially everyday citizens who did so because their church said so.

I've long understood where the ultra-wealthy Rethugs stand and they're just flat-out greedy and power mad.

Republicans masterfully divided our working class public for 40 or so years and then brainwashed the ones they spun off via right-wing media. They knew how to weed out those that are susceptible to the dogma of racism, religious extremism and many with fascist leanings. Quite a crew they've assembled.

I'm not convinced we'll ever recover and those that were the masterminds deserve the most severe consequences. Sadly, most of them just get very rich and are never known to the public.

The arrogant shits I know that most certainly voted for Trump can't even answer why they chose a man that was in no way qualified for the job. And that's a pretty basic question!

Hang in there, SM...........

Some things to consider to break the boredom and.....

help maintain a bit of social contact:

1. My daughter:
I miss seeing my daughter and granddaughter immensely - especially our weekly meet-up at her gymnastics class which gives my daughter and myself an opportunity to chat about anything along with watching the kids bounce around. That won't be happening for a very long time.

So, what I'm considering doing is driving over to my daughter's house and we can have a nice face-to-face chat with them (at a safe distance) from their front porch and enjoy the outdoors, too.

2. A good friend:
He and are have been friends for over 20 years and normally have lunch every few weeks. He's 85 and I'm 72 and we both have outstanding health issues, but both get around quite well.

I'm going to talk to him about us meeting somewhere in a park, each bringing our own brown bag from home and we can sit at a safe distance and chat a while.

3. Some others in my life:
With the few friends and family I have left, I'm trying to call one or two a week just to bullshit about life and stay in touch.


Ranger captures moment grizzly bear emerges from hibernation in Canada

Guardian News

A hulking grizzly bear has found online stardom after he was caught groggily emerging from hibernation on camera. Canadian ranger Nicole Gagnon filmed the end of Boo's hibernation on her phone, a moment she said she had been waiting to document for eight years. It has since been viewed over 100,000 times on Twitter. Boo, 18, draws thousands of tourists every year to his 20-acre enclosure near the town of Golden, Canada.

I love people who are this dedicated to watching over animals.......

Alexander Walker, "Peter Sellers was mad"

The film critic Alexander Walker talks about the peculiar artistic relationship between Peter Sellers and Stanley Kubrick.

One of my lifetime favorite actors since that first Pink Panther movie I saw as a teenager.....

This is how politicized the CDC has become.

Got an over-grown postcard in the mail today.

On one side it says:

"President Trump's Coronavirus Guidelines for America"

On the opposite side, there's a very nice outline of the basics for people to use for their safety and that of family and friends. Outlines the need for sheltering in-place, self-isolation and cleanliness, etc. All pure CDC stuff.

But not a word about everything being back to normal by Easter!

Since when did Trump become an expert on viruses that writes public medical safety notices sent in the US mail?

Oh wait.....he's implying he is an expert on his daily tax-payer-paid campaign briefing......
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