Sunday, March 29, 2020

"No epidemic in Seattle" says Mike Bara

        Mike Bara just posted this mini-video [NOW REMOVED FOR VIOLATION OF YT GUIDELINES: i.e. BLATANTLY UNTRUE] of him walking through the Emergency Room at the Auburn Medical Center south of Seattle.

        There are no lines of panicked patients, no dead bodies on gurneys. Bara concludes by saying "There is no COVID-19 epidemic whatsoever in Seattle."

        The Seattle Times would disagree. Yesterday the paper published these maps of the trend:

        Auburn and Seattle are both in King County, where 136 of the 2,077 confirmed cases have died.  The trend histogram clearly shows exponential growth.

        The Medical Center's web site makes it plain that visitor restrictions are in effect, and patients who believe they may have the symptoms of coronavirus infection are advised to call before coming to the facility. Visitors are being screened (surely Bara must have noticed this??), and those with symptoms are not being allowed to enter the premises.

I think Mike Bara is looking in the wrong place for victims.

I never said they were on the streets, did I?
        Mike Bara's followers (see YouTube comments) clearly think he's proved that the entire COVID-19 scare is a hoax perpetrated by the New World Order to facilitate their global takeover. But there's a deeper level of paranoia even than that. Last week Kerry Cassidy tweeted TANKS SEEN IN DOWNTOWN L.A. She then showed a picture of tanks loaded on train cars.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

No, SARS-CoV-2 was not deliberately created for population control

« Our analyses clearly show that SARS-CoV-2 is not a laboratory construct or a purposefully manipulated virus. »

« [T]he high-affinity binding of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein to human ACE2 is most likely the result of natural selection on a human or human-like ACE2 that permits another optimal binding solution to arise. This is strong evidence that SARS-CoV-2 is not the product of purposeful manipulation. »

        The above are direct quotes from a letter published in Nature Medicine on 17th March, two days ago. The title is The proximal origin of SARS-CoV-2, and the authors are Kristian G. Andersen1, Andrew Rambaut2, W. Ian Lipkin3, Edward C. Holmes4, and Robert F. Garry5.

1. Department of Immunology and Microbiology, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA, USA
2. Institute of Evolutionary Biology, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
3. Center for Infection and Immunity, Mailman School of Public Health of Columbia University, New York, NY, USA
4. Marie Bashir Institute for Infectious Diseases and Biosecurity, School of Life and Environmental Sciences and School of Medical Sciences, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
5. Tulane University, School of Medicine, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, New Orleans, LA, USA

        Anyone who still believes that this virus is a product of conspiracy to reduce or "cull" the human population is invited to Read the fucking article.

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Richard Hoagland and Sharry Edwards™

        Last night on his blogtalk chatshow, Hoagland tackled a highly topical subject, with the help of some people who were not just "fringe science" figures, but well beyond the fringe. This was his sell:
"Amid all the fear and misinformation currently swirling around the rapidly worsening global "coronavirus situation," tonight we present new scientific hope for those most vulnerable to the disease.
A few weeks ago, as a means of amplifying their demonstrably positive medical effects, I suggested that Sharry Edwards' revolutionary "bio-acoustic resonance" protocols -- using specific sound frequencies to eliminate harmful viruses and bacteria in humans and their pets -- be carried out inside one of Charlie Ziese's "torsion-field amplifying" modern pyramids.note 1
The first of a series of such "pyramid resonance experiments" has now been carried out -- with some truly remarkable results ... and global implications." [emph. added]
        I missed the show, but I was intrigued to know more about these "demonstrably positive medical effects". Here's what an internet search revealed.

Institute of Bioacoustic Biology and Sound Health

        Sharry Edwards™ runs an outfit called 'The Institute of Bioacoustic Biology and Sound Health" in Albany, Ohio. Among the claims on the Institute's website I found these:

" the sounds of the voice can act as a holographic representation of health and wellness."

" is it now possible to reverse diseases and traumas previously thought to be incurable."

"The effects of BioAcoustic Biology ... have unlimited health and wellness potential."

"The research being conducted by the Institute of BioAcoustic Biology is on the forefront of energy medicine; creating the doorway to our next dimension of health revolution. In addition, the techniques hold promise in answering questions about how our universe was formed."

Remarkable talent, she says
        Sharry Edwards herself (who inexplicably appends a ™ to her own name) makes no claim of academic achievment, but writes that she has a remarkable talent.
"My sacred story eludes me because my unusual talent was present before my memory begins, hence I don’t know how my ability to make history by creating the future, will evolve."
"I can hear and duplicate the sounds/frequencies that people need to balance and become well.  My mission is to provide the tools and solutions to the public in the hopes of making a difference and selfishly hope my time on the planet will leave it a better place."
        This is, apparently, a "talent" that can be learned. The Institute of Bioacoustic Biology and Sound Health offers several training courses, for example:

BioAcoustic Basics Technician Course, 2 days
$300, plus yearly renewal fee $300

BioAcoustic Professional, 5 days
$5600 inc. equipment, plus yearly renewal fee $400

..but it's NOT medical
        Applicants for these courses are required to sign a "Confidentiality agreement," from which they learn:

  • this technique is not a medical treatment and ... it is not presented, either expressly or implied, as a medical treatment.
  • Sharry Edwards is not a licensed physician and is not holding herself out as a licensed physician nor as practicing medicine.

        So, OK, Ms. Edwards™ is running a business. Nothing wrong with that, but what seems to be missing here is any of that "demonstrably positive medical effect" or "elimination of harmful viruses and bacteria" that Hoagland wrote about. It looks very much as if he was making claims for Edwards™ that she herself couldn't deliver.

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[1] Here's Charlie Ziese's web page."All pyramids are passive torsion generators, and therefore producers of chi/prana/orgone/aetheric energy" — see what I mean about "beyond the fringe"??

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

BRIEFING: How viruses work

        I recently had occasion to refesh my memory about the nitty-gritty of protein synthesis, and how viruses capture the resources of a cell to force it to generate the nasty proteins with which they would like to take over the world. I thought it might be appropriate, as we face the possibility of a major global pandemic, to deliver a blog-lecture on the subject. Use this as a reference when the topic comes up in your office or at your dinner-party—you'll have the benefit of telling the true story instead of the panic-story or the conspiracy-story.

[Plugs in laptop, gets Powerpoint up, shows first slide]

        I'll start with DNA, the familiar double-helix nucleic acid. Each of the two complementary strands is made of linked molecules called nucleotides. There are only four to choose from: Cytosine, Guanine, Adenine and Thymine (C,G,A,T) Wherever a C appears in one DNA strand, there must be a G in the complementary strand, and vice versa. Wherever an A appears in one DNA strand, there must be a T in the complementary strand, and vice versa. So a section of DNA, unwound, is schematically like this:

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |


        The bonds indicated by vertical lines are not strong, so the helix can and does unwind into two separate strands. One of two things can then happen: either each strand can pick up the nucleotides it needs to make it double-stranded again, in which case it has replicated, OR a slightly different nucleic acid strand may be created using a gene from within single-strand DNA as a template.

        This is messenger RNA, written mRNA, and it's not quite exactly like a single strand of DNA. Where DNA uses thymine, RNA uses uracil, so a strand of mRNA derived from the upper strand shown above would be like this:


        The job of the mRNA strand is to find a cellular structure called a ribosome, which is capable of translating the string of nucleotides into a string of amino acids, which then fold up to become a protein.

        mRNA feeds through the ribosome three letters at a time, each set of three (called a codon) representing one of the 20 possible amino acids according to the genetic code so brilliantly worked out by George Gamow, Francis Crick, Sydney Brenner and others. 

        The leftmost triplet in the string I'm using, AUG, is an almost-invariable START signal, and the amino acid it normally codes for is ignored. Thereafter, this particular string would decode as follows:

A U G | A A C | C U G | U G U | A C G |C U U 
 START          Asn             Leu             Cys             Thr           Leu ....etc...

Here's the entire code, in chart form:

        Notice that, just as AUG means START, there are three codons meaning STOP: UAA, UAG, and UGA. 

         The amino acids are brought to the ribosome packaged with a short RNA strand called Transfer RNA (tRNA), The tRNA molecule presents a triplet of nucleotides to the ribosome for matching to the mRNA strand at its current position. For example, the amino acid Leucine is coded CUG in the above example, in the mRNA sequence. So the tRNA wrapped around Leucine needs to show GAC as a match. This is called an anti-codon.

How viruses exploit this machinery
        Most viruses consist of an RNA strand from a few thousand to a few million nucleotides, coding for between 2 and 2500 proteins. The RNA is wrapped in a protein envelope called a capsid. The virus gains entry into a cell by attaching spikes called peplomers to receptors on the cell membrane. It's unlikely that the receptors are there simply to make life easy for a virus—more likely the receptors have a more benign function that viruses have learned to exploit.

        Once inside the cell, the viral RNA has a few distinct strategies for replicating and being expressed (decoded). I'm going to write about three of these.

Retroviruses use an enzyme called reverse transcriptase to turn themselves into double-stranded DNA, which then inserts itself into the host genome at a random site. The normal machinery of the cell takes over the task of replicating and expressing the viral sequence along with the rest of the genome.

Examples of retroviruses: HIV, HTLV (Human T-lymphotropic virus)

        One technique for gene therapy is to use a disabled retrovirus as a carrier to insert a good copy of a gene into the genome of a patient in whom that gene is missing or incompetent. In principle, a wide range of genetic disease, including some cancers, might be eliminated by this means. However, clinical progress has been slow and some accidents have happened.

Positive-sense single-stranded RNA viruses are the most common form, and include the following list of threats to human health:

West Nile
Common cold

        The descriptor "positive-sense" means that the viral RNA mimics normal mRNA perfectly, with all codons reading correctly including the start and stop sequences AUG and UAG. A coronavirus is about 30,000 nucleotides long in total. So the (+)ssRNA goes straight to a ribosome and says "translate me." The ribosome obediently churns out proteinnote 1, and one of the first proteins produced is an enzyme that assists in replication of the viral RNA itself.

        To make things even worse, (+)ssRNA keeps the ribosomes so busy that normal protein synthesis is inhibited.

Negative-sense single-stranded RNA viruses are the same but written backwards. Before they can be expressed, they first have to be converted to positive-sense by RNA polymerase. These viruses are in general much more complex than the (+)ssRNA type, and generate capsid-enveloped copies of themselves that then extrude from the cell and go off to do further damage to other cells.

Notable examples of (-)ssRNA viruses are:


How do viruses learn these tricks?
        Of course, viruses could not possibly have evolved as external to cells—"knowledge" of how protein synthesis works would be essential for a virus to develop a way of exploiting it.

        In my opinion, viruses must have originally evolved within cells and later been ejected, or the co-evolving cells died off leaving the viruses as evil survivors. If that's correct, (-)ssRNA would be the original form and the other types evolved later from that form. There's even a theory that viruses evolved as the first living forms, and more complex entities followed along.

Extraterrestrial life?
        Knowledge of these detailed living processes makes me a skeptic when it comes to the question of life elsewhere in the universe. As we learn more about how common planetary systems are, people say "with all those trillions of possible sites where life could have evolved, it's ridiculous to think that planet Earth is the one and only place it actually happened."

        I say no, it's not ridiculous at all. The intricacy of the processes I have described in this blog-lecture is such that, to me, it could only happen once in this particular way. If there is a form of extraterrestrial life somewhere, it would have to have its own rules  and its own chemistry. I doubt if we'd even recognize it as life if we had a sample of it.

Could some of these viruses be artificial?
        In other words, the question is "could some laboratory have created and released coronaviruses as a biological weapon, or a deliberate population-reduction strategy?" 

I don't know. I doubt it. Ken Cuccinelli, acting deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, recently said this:
 "I will say the reading that I have done of medical professionals suggest that the structure of the virus seems unlikely to have been man-made because if it was made to be a threat, you would expect to see certain characteristics that aren’t present.
I have no idea what he meant by "certain characteristics."

 This analysis might be helpful.

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[1] The ribosome delivers all the protein encoded by the viral RNA connected up in one long chain. A biochemical called a protease chops that chain up into functioning protein packages. One strategy that has already had some success against the HIV virus is to find a way of attacking viral protease, disabling it and thus thwarting the virus's life cycle. Anti-viral drugs that perform this trick are called Protease inhibitors, and an inhibitor effective against coronavirus is a subject of intensive research.