Archives for February, 2010

Boy, do I have egg on my face! After I just made fun of the absurdity of Chris Mooneys ‘building bridges with antivaxers’ or ‘ladders to heaven’ or ‘rope swings to Creationists’ or whatever strategy, Mooney is named a Templeton Foundation ‘fellow’. Like most of you, my initial response was “What a douche.” But then…

Study from the Netherlands: Prevalence of xenotropic murine leukaemia virus-related virus in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome in the Netherlands: retrospective analysis of samples from an established cohort CFS/ME patients plus age/sex/neighborhood matched controls (patients brought in friends that lived in the same area– environment might play a role). 32 ME/CFS patients 43 controls 0…

Building bridges with HIV-1 Deniers

From building bridges with anti-vaxers to building bridges with animal liberation maniacs, Chris Mooneys ‘building bridges‘ plan is revolutionizing the way scientists interact with insane people! Its even changing the playing field with HIV-1 Deniers. Long-time readers know I have relatively little patience with HIV-1 Deniers. Everyone involved with HIV Denial, from the ‘professional scientists’…

When scientists are creating tests to detect viruses, they need to balance two factors: Sensitivity Specificity A ‘sensitive’ test is no good if it cross-reacts with other proteins/viruses/antibodies. A test with high ‘specificity’ is no good if you miss 3 out of 10 infections. Of course, then you need to worry about cost (a perfect…

Creationism is so boring. Creationist: BIOLOGICAL FEATURE ___ IS IMPOSSIBLAH! Scientist: Um, Dude, theres like 65 years of research explaining how feature ___ evolved. Creationist: NO THAT RESEAERCH SUPPORTS JESUS! EVIDENCES OF CREATION! Scientist: What? No, we have a pretty good idea the evolutionary steps between ___ and ___. Theres no way this research supports…

Antibodies are normally a good thing. Neutralize viruses and bacterial toxins, tag bacteria for complement so they get blown up, tag invading parasites/worms/ew so your immune cells can kill them, antibodies even make nice cancer therapies. One of the great things about antibodies is that the cells that make them? They ‘remember‘ what theyve seen…

New World Order shorties

Threadless has finally reprinted my favorite T-shirt, featured in my current Facebook pic: New World Order! Many of you asked where to get it, so, there you go! Oh, and Threadless has sales all the time, so keep an eye on their page, dont pay full price unless you MUST HAS NAU!

ERVs superpower prevails again!

Thanks to the numerous vaccines I have received over the years, I have superpowers. 100% serious, here. I mean, I cant fly. Cant see through walls. Nothing cliche like that. No, my superpower is, I can predict what Creationists are going to say/do before they say/do it. You might think this is a pointless superpower…

Shorter “Absence of xenotropic murine leukaemia virus-related virus in UK patients with chronic fatigue syndrome“: 170 more CFS samples from two different cohorts. 395 more healthy controls. No Simon Wesseley. No XMRV by regular PCR, boosted PCR, or qRT-PCR on DNA or cDNA. No meaningful anti-XMRV antibodies. Still no XMRV in the Europe. Longer “Absence…

Last week I wrote about a disappointing study where they found that treating people infected with HIV-1 and HSV-2 with acyclovir didnt decrease their rates of HIV-1 transmission to their partners… even though they had lower HIV-1 viral loads, and fewer HSV-2 outbreaks. Really disappointing. Well, that same group reanalyzed their data from a different…