Cool Links

Abbott has developed a fast point-of-care SARS-CoV-2 test, which can provide a positive result in five minutes and a negative in 13 and FDA has given it an emergency use authorization.
Do you think the 2019 flavor of coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, originated in a lab as part of bioweaponry?

That's crazy talk, mostly because it requires believing that scientists are (a) in a vast Corporate and/or Government Conspiracy so cleverly crafted that only a few cranks can find it but (b) also so stupid as to think a virus in the same family as the common cold would cause California, which would be the fifth largest economy in the world if it were its own country, to commit economic suicide over a few dozen deaths.
While 70 million Americans are under lockdown to contain spread of the 2019 form of coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, in order to limit the spread of the COVID-19 illness that has cost 16,000 lives worldwide, American lawyers are teeing up to sue the one product the FDA and everyone else knows kills germs - Purell.
COVID-19, caused by the 2019 form of coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, has the world thinking about how prepared governments are for pandemics. Some, such as Italy and Spain, were clearly unprepared, while China and Singapore have been able to take Draconian steps due to totalitarian governments.

What about the U.S.? Our concern was warranted and the steps we took, such as travel restrictions, while initially criticized were later adopted by Canada and numerous other countries. We declared an emergency for the first time since H1N1 in 2009 (we dodged the MERS coronavirus bullet in 2012).
FDA is streamlining labs to allow independent coronavirus testing after CDC showed they were just as cumbersome and incompetent as I'd worried for years, they're cutting red tape for hand sanitizer "approval", getting treatments to market without 90-day comment periods where activists can insist science is a vast corporate conspiracy.
If you want to be reminded that a worldwide pandemic won't bring people together, go to Amazon and search for "Purell."

In California, where I live, despite no disruption to the supply chain, no disaster, barely more than a dozen dead in a state of 40,000,000 people, wealthy elites are emptying grocery store shelves. Who is being penalized? Kids in WIC programs, the same poor people California listed as the reason to choose Senator Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary just a few weeks ago. Because he is the most socialist.
It's no surprise that Twitter is a hotbed of misinformation and disnformation about science. They have no barrier to entry whereas a journal article must survive peer review and if you want to promote your clients in The Guardian you at least have to cut them a check.

What is interesting is how these deniers for hire are using the public's newfound resolve to mitigate risk for people with preexisting conditions from coronavirus to advance their agenda against normal agriculture. This, they argue, is the "precautionary principle" in action and if it's right for infectious disease, why not use it against food sold by competitors to their clients and spiritual leaders? 
What is the line between increased resolve to mitigate risk to people who have preexisting conditions from coronavirus, and therefore possibly COVID-19, versus the panic culture that seems to be evident in places like California, where the governor has declared it a crime to leave your home if your trip violates what government has deemed essential.
In 2017 a group of colleagues and I began editing a short book called "The Next Plague, And How Science Will Stop It".

It was published in early 2018 and became quite popular. Shortly after that, articles began appearing in The Atlantic and other places wondering what the next pandemic would be.
You may have seen a graphic showing how we should "flatten" the curve of transmission risk to prevent the health system from being overloaded by people with COVID-19 or who want to be tested for the presence of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which causes it.

It involves common sense precautions like washing hands and using sense. Don't panic and subsidize toilet paper companies and retreat to a bunker but don't pretend it can't spread. As the first person-to-person analysis showed, it may not spread to your broad circle, but people with respiratory issues are at risk.
When a mass outbreak of the coronavirus occurred on a Princess Cruise ship, it quickly became international news. There was a rush to panic and Diamond Princess was quarantined for over two weeks, and the infection rate onboard was about four times higher than what can be seen on land in the worst infected areas of China. But, they said, it would have been worse if they had not isolated everyone.
A dirty secret about the alternative energy market is that it's not funded by companies, it's funded by poor people who are forced to shell out more for electricity so rich people can have solar panels. Government gives subsidies, but you have to be rich enough to buy the installation in the first place, and then will buy the energy back from you at the same cost they sell it. But they can't charge for employees, transmission lines, maintenance, or anything else so government lets them pass those costs along to people in apartments or rentals or those who simply don't have the money for solar.
While the U.S. CDC continues to show that concerns about it being more Klondike Kops than serious disease prevention experts are valid, China is making progress in containing 2019-nCoV - coronavirus. Which means the job should be relatively easy elsewhere.
The one sure way to get lower prices on goods is to increase competition. Unless both parties are funded by government and exploiting a government-controlled system. Imagine if we had two US Postal Services and because they are both government-controlled, neither one charges lower prices but government claims that the competition is better for everyone while mail arrives no faster. 

Competition is healthy. When it is really allowed. When it is not, a fake competitive landscape costs people more. 
All you need to know about distrust in science and medicine is that Facebook is littered with claims of chronic lyme disease, along with bizarre advice such as 'keep looking for a doctor' until you find one willing to diagnose you, and bizarre self-experimentation and remedies.

It turns out all you might need is to mistake LSD for cocaine, take 55,000 percent of what you would take of cocaine, trip for 34 hours, and you may find your chronic lyme disease is cured.
After Valentine's Day, two important things happen in Florida: baseball spring training and snake orgy season.

Nerodia fasciata fasciata, the banded water snake, doesn't want to bite you, and they have no venom - they are lovers, not fighters. And they love. A lot, at this time of year.  Along with lots of other Floridians, brown watersnakes, et al. 

If EPA is conducting an approval review of a pesticide a company wants to market in the U.S., would EPA put scientists paid by the company behind it on the approval panel?

No, but EPA routinely had people who are receiving grants from EPA to conduct studies - including epidemiology claims - on panels that then recommend political action.  But then they stopped, which sent environmental groups who had exploited the system into a rage.
Joe Mercola, D.O, calls himself Dr. but he is nothing of the kind. He is an osteopathy quack who generates $100 million a year fabricating nonsense ailments he can then claim to sell cures to stop. 

His girlfriend is more like a junkyard dog. When David Gorski, M.D., went after Mercola, as people who care about sane science outreach tend to do, Erin Elizabeth Finn started suggesting he might be a pedophile. That's how they operate. 
If you don't want to use a synthetic weedkiller to keep pests from sucking up all the nutrients around your food, and you are out of the organic certified yet inorganic compound CuSO4,, you can use a propane flamethrower to kill the weeds.
 In France, the Council of State judges have decreed that mutagenesis is subject to the same regulations applied to genetically modified organisms (GMOs). In the past they were allowed to exclude all organisms obtained by mutagenesis from GMO regulations by rationalizing that GMOs insert a gene from another species into the genome of an organism while mutagenesis causes internal mutations.