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Thomas G

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About Thomas G

  • Birthday 04/29/1979

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  1. I'm not sure what to think about this. https://www.technologyreview.com/2020/07/29/1005720/george-church-diy-coronavirus-vaccine/ Some scientists are taking a DIY coronavirus vaccine, and nobody knows if it’s legal or if it works Famed geneticist George Church and at least 20 others didn’t want to wait for the results of clinical trials: “I think we are at much bigger risk from covid.”
  2. I'm not sure where you are getting this. I use DREEM almost every night and it has never once made this error.
  3. There is an old thread about DREEM here: After reading this thread I was super intrigued and wanted to try it, but the price just seemed too much. Then I started reading several books about sleep and that made me want to get a more reliable way to track my sleep, so I dug deep and sprung for a DREEM 2. One thing I wish I had known before I did that is that the DREEM 2 does not have the "auditory closed-loop stimulation" that is intended to produce more deep sleep if you buy it in the US. If you buy it in Europe (and presumably most other places in the world) it does have that functionality. My understanding is that that the research backing up the effectiveness of this technology to produce deep sleep is going to have to be more robust before the FDA approves it, and without FDA approval the US version doesn't include that feature. That was the main feature I was interested in but oh well. For the most part I don't mind the headset, and I do wear it and sleep fine. I don't have a fitbit so I can't compare it to that, but it is much more accurate than the dumb cheap apps I was trying on my phone. I want this technology to keep getting better and I've participated in a few surveys, trials and interviews with DREEM. I wasn't sure if I would think it was worth it, but for now I'm glad I have it and I intend to keep using it until something better is available. In general I get plenty of REM sleep (on the nights when I sleep long enough), and I am a bit troubled by how little deep sleep I get. I'm not sure much can be done about that for now. I also wish I understood the science better on that front because I have a lot of questions based on the reading I've done. Some sleep researchers created a giant bed swing, basically hanging a bed from the ceiling in the lab. The bed-swing rocked in perfect synch with the deep sleep brain waves and that seemed to produce more deep sleep.
  4. 1) So far it is just one study (although it builds on others) 1) So far it is just in mice. But one reason to be hopeful is that the procedure already exists and is quite common I think. Basically not that much different from when people donate blood or plasma. Hopefully there will be a way to lower the costs, but if this really does slow or even reverse aging, it will be highly cost effective in terms of preventing other, much more costly, age related illness.
  5. Thanks for the clarification! I'm definitely feeling my limits as a layperson to understand the intricacies of this science.
  6. Maybe I have misunderstood this article, but to me it sounds like they are only diluting the plasma, not the whole blood.
  7. Thomas G

    Age Reduction Breakthrough

    I'm not a scientist and have no medical background, so my ability to really wrap my head around all of this is limited. Potentially dumb question: If this research is about blood transfusions how will a topical gel produce the same results? I clicked through all of the links I could and didn't see any information on the topical gel under development. Does anyone have more info about it? I'm not sure if I would be willing to volunteer for a human trial or not, but I am curious about it.
  8. I am starting to get nervous about the rushed process to develop a vaccine. Obviously if we can get a safe vaccine ASAP that would be better, and I am in no way shape or form anti-vaccine. I get vaccinated and will get vaccinated and will encourage everyone else to get vaccinated. My worry is in the pressure to cut corners on the way there. It seems we should be at least discussing critically the risks to accelerating the process, and what the risks might be to vaccinate essentially most of the planet with a vaccine that hasn't gone through the normal research, rigor and regulation. But I'm not sure how to responsibly raise these questions without playing into the hands of anti-vaxxers. Given how unregulated certain aspects of our economy are (I've been doing a lot of reading about the horrors of the water crisis in Flint lately, but the entire supplements market also comes to mind) I might prefer a slightly less rushed vaccine process. How do we weigh the costs/benefits to getting a vaccine quickly vs. making sure it is doesn't have it's own problems? One huge danger I see, is that if we all rush out to get a vaccine that does have unintended side effects, the anti-vaxx movement would explode, which would compound the dangers. Given how badly various agencies have screwed up other aspects of this pandemic, I am not exactly filled with confidence that their couldn't be corners cut or risks left unanalyzed when it comes to the vaccine development process under the current pressures. If any of you have reason to be reassured about all of this, I would love to have that reassurance!
  9. I really like this solution: Stanford has made a reusable mask from scuba gear — and it’s shipping it to the front lines of the pandemic Depending on what course the pandemic takes, and how long it takes to develop a vaccine, I could see over time specially designed full facemasks with small, replaceable filters becoming a very common and effective tool. If many of us were vigilant about wearing these, we could really decrease transmission dramatically. I'm ready. I bought a $20 full face mask snorkel. It doesn't have a filtered intake or exhaust, but I could see how something similar that is specifically designed to do that could be effective.
  10. This is terrifying. We really don't understand what this virus does to our bodies. It is like a horror movie in which there is some kind of alien illness. Young and middle-aged people, barely sick with covid-19, are dying of strokes
  11. From the article Gordo just posted. Something to think about for those of us who are considering volunteering for the vaccine development human challenge trials. In Dr. Greger's webinar on the pandemic he mentioned we have never made a vaccine against a coronavirus, and we don't know if one is even possible. Maybe it won't be. If that is the case, I'm not really sure how this ends. Maybe the virus will mutate enough to become less deadly, or maybe it will just be a new fact of life. Maybe dying from the coronavirus will become one of the leading causes of death year after year and that many of us will die from it eventually when we reach old age. At the same time the difficulty of creating a vaccine like this, together with the sheer number of incredibly smart people working on this with massive funding directed towards this task could lead to so major leaps forward in medical science. Who knows, we might just end up with a new method that finally gives us a cure to the common cold! Or maybe a vaccine is just not going to work at all, but a very rigorous testing and contact tracing could create a kind of social cure. If we knew every human and animal that is currently infected and could successfully isolate them for several weeks, the pandemic ends. We are a long way off from that now, but if a vaccine isn't possible after years of trying and wave after wave of outbreak keeps happening, we might just get good enough at it to make a serious attempt. We could do the same thing with HIV and other viruses. There are all kinds of obstacles to this approach, including social, political, financial and ethical ones. But I rather like the idea of coming up with a solution that not a vaccine at all. A solution that comes out of left field.
  12. I'm sorry I missed the hangout today. I'm thinking about signing up for this serosurvey that the NIH is conducting and I thought others might be interested in it too. Looks like the test is done through the mail with training/instruction. https://www.niaid.nih.gov/news-events/nih-begins-study-quantify-undetected-cases-coronavirus-infection#qa-section
  13. We still don't know whether people who have already been infected with COVID-19 actually gain immunity or how long it lasts, but the new estimates for R0 show that each infected person could transmit the virus to as many as 5.7 other people. There is a formula to determine how many people need to be exposed and gain immunity in order for herd immunity to become protective to the rest of the population. An R0 of 5.7 means roughly 82% of the population would need to become immune. That seems like a lot to me, so many that the costs seem just too high to justify the potential benefits. But if the R0 really is 5.7, that also seems like it is going to be very difficult to prevent the gradual and pervasive spread. So far maybe as many as 15% of us have already developed antibodies, with most of us blissfully unaware we were ever exposed but also unaware that we were a deadly risk to our neighbors and may have unwittingly lead to enormous suffering and death by being a link in the chain to other people coming down with the illness. I'd be curious to see if that 15% number changes and how quickly it changes. If there are some more completely random testing in another month, will we be at 20%? 30%? Higher? At a certain point the costs are ones we've already borne, and the benefits of increased herd immunity start to outweigh the future costs. But I feel very uncomfortable trying to weight these things against each other from an ethical standpoint. There is still so much that is unknown. If the virus mutates quickly enough, all of our antibodies could become ineffective and it will just reinfect the herd leading to another wave of suffering and death. And it is also possible that the immunity we gain only lasts for a relatively short period. Maybe we gain some limited immunity for three months, after which we become vulnerable again. With all of the unknowns out there, the scariest thing to me is how many people seem eager to roll the dice on herd immunity. It seems downright sociopathic. I wouldn't have thought that so many people would jump so quickly to this option as their great hope.
  14. We Need to Talk About What Coronavirus Recoveries Look Like This article in the times makes it sound like recovery is not simple or quick at all. It is a good reminder that this virus truly is novel. Nobody really knows what it does to the body, what "recovery" looks like, or whether there will be any long term health issues. The 1918 flu gave people lasting neurological issues. Will we be seeing people with health issues that only fully manifest a decade from now, like organ failure, or heart disease? Basically this sounds miserable and that recover is not real recovery, or at least not how most of us have experienced recovery from the cold or seasonal flue.
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