A recent study revealed how the SARS-CoV-2 Spike (S)-protein interacts with human Estrogen Receptor Alpha (ERα) in lung tissue, which may increase the pro-coagulation activity of endothelial cells, enhancing the risk of thrombosis and shedding new light on the pathogenic mechanisms underlying SARS-CoV-2 infection and on its sex-specific differences.

The authors say it may also lead to the severe coagulopathy observed in some people receiving the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine. 
Calculating how many lives have been lost in the COVID-19 pandemic will be valuable for future epidemiological and policy decisions - in many cases telling the public what we should not do. A murder victim who had a positive test within 30 days of being shot was counted as a COVID-related death, and that didn't inspire confidence. 

But Americans only know about that because there some effort at transparency. Elsewhere, governments claimed whatever they wanted to claim. China, the home of SARS-CoV-2 and the pandemic that resulted, first claimed they had ended their pandemic at 4,000 deaths while citizens reported crematoriums running 24 hours per day across the country.
That's the title of a short article I just published (it is online here, but beware - for now you need to access from an institution that can access the journal contents), on Nuclear Instruments and Methods - a renowned journal for particle physics and nuclear physics instrumentation. The contents are nothing very new, in the sense that they are little more than a summary of things that the MODE collaboration published last March here. But for the distracted among you, I will summarize the summary below.

Very few people are average, that is the problem with using population level statistics in a clinical environment, and why few do it.

Yet a population can show what questions to ask, like if there are racial differences in outcomes and why. A recent analysis in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society included data on 2,918 patients aged 75 years or older who were hospitalized for heart attacks at 94 US hospitals from 2013–2016.
People talk about how couples in trouble may be experiencing the seven-year itch. The rock band The Clash sings ‘Should I stay or should I go?’ It’s clear that some couples separate at this point in their relationships, while others work on staying together and remain partners for years.

You would think that the longer a couple has stayed together, the closer they would feel towards each other. And if there is such a thing as the seven-year itch, that would mean that couples reach bottom in their relationship at about this time. But does research provide any evidence that this is actually the case?
Atopic dermatitis (AD), also called atopic eczema, is a common, chronic, recurrent, inflammatory disorder of the skin which affects 5 percent of children worldwide and perhaps more.

Moisturizers bring some relief but studies from PubMed, EMBASE and Cochrane library identified relevant studies from their inception through 28 February, 2022 and the systematic review and network meta-analysis of 11 randomized controlled trials involving 3,483 infants found that they can also prevent eczema in high-risk infants.  They evaluated the quality of eligible studies using the Cochrane risk of bias assessment tool. Data analysis was performed using STATA 14.0.

And back at home, Congressman John Curtis (R Utah) tells National Public Radio that the “conservative climate caucus,” which he chairs, seeks climate solutions that “don’t demonize fossil fuels.”*

Now, as many of you know, I’m a political centrist at heart, but because the country has drifted so far to the right, I’ve resolved to be a knee-jerk leftist – a flaming liberal, a yellow dog Democrat – until things come back into balance.

Culture Wars

Culture Wars

Nov 24 2022 | comment(s)

Count the times the word “culture” came out of reporters’ mouths last week, and you’d think they were anthropologists. Usually in this context: “The culture of white supremacy has gone fully mainstream.* “The bedrock idea uniting right-wing communities…  is that white Christian men in the United States are under cultural and demographic threat.”**

If you’ve drunk the MBA kool-aid, you believe VCs and M&A bean-counters rationally price their investments. If an honest professor has confessed to you that company valuation is a black art, i.e., that there’s a heavy dose of intuition involved, you’ve been ahead of the game. The Twitter cockup now shows valuation to be a total dice-roll. 

Migraine is a common condition, involving a severe recurring headache but sometimes nausea, weakness and light sensitivity as well. According to the American Migraine Foundation, over 37 million people in the U.S. report being affected by migraine, though only 148 million people worldwide report suffering from it.

Perivascular spaces are fluid-filled spaces surrounding blood vessels in the brain. They are most commonly located in the basal ganglia and white matter of the cerebrum, and along the optic tract. Perivascular spaces are affected by several factors, including abnormalities at the blood-brain barrier and inflammation. Enlarged perivascular spaces can be a signal of underlying small vessel disease.