Archives for April, 2012

February 2009– Republican senators, led by a Susan Collins (R-ME) stripped Obamas stimulous package for funding to the CDC and pandemic flu preparedness: “Everybody in the room is concerned about a pandemic flu, but does it belong in this bill? Should we have 870 million dollars in this bill? No, we should not.” Stimulus bill…

If you are in/around the OKC area, you arent going to want to miss the FREE event the OK chapter of Americans United is throwing this Saturday! Oklahoma City Chapter Americans United for Separation of Church & State Spring Dialogue Saturday, April 28, 2012, 10:30 am to 1:30 pm Midwest City Public Library Forum Room,…

Know what sounds like fun? Testing almost 5,000 bats and over 4,000 rodents, from all over the world, for a cadre of viral infections Im not kidding! Bats host major mammalian paramyxoviruses Think about this: Where did, say, measles, come from? How were humans originally infected? Where were they infected? Just because we have a…

Skeptics of Oz 2012

Skeptics of Oz was great– Sean Gillespie asked me if I had any requirements/requests to speak, I gave him my usual rider: Sean didnt just fill a brandy glass with brown M&Ms… He filled huge Richard Dawkins Foundation coffee mug with brown M&Ms! AWESOME! Sean was just a fantastic organizer, overall. On several occasions things…

The human genome is about 3.1 billion nucleotides long. 8-10% of your genome is retroviral-ish. We will be conservative and go with 8%– thats 248,000,000 nucleotides of retrovirus. The average retrovirus is about 10,000 nucleotides long. So we should have ~ 24,800 retroviral elements in our genome. But there must be more than that, because…

Endogenous viruses in viruses

Viruses are everywhere. Theyre even in other viruses. A couple of scientists at Portland States ‘Center for Life in Extreme Environments’ just found a virus in the sediment of Boiling Springs Lake in Lassen Volcanic National Park (‘boiling’? ‘volcanic’? sounds cozy!). It is a single-strand, circular DNA virus. Well, okee dokie! Every new virus we…

Another HIV Denier dead

Via jonnyneviripine: Maria Papagiannidou died last Sunday. Another very public and active denialist has kicked the bucket; sad but predictable. Her face and “story” is all over the internet. You can read more about her there. I know she contacted some people I know about starting HAART but presumably she left it a bit late.…

CFS and K-PAX Energy

As many of you know, I am a graduate student. Luckily, I am a graduate student in the biological sciences, which means that while I am going to school, I get a monthly stipend. Also luckily, I go to school in a place like Oklahoma, a state with a relatively low cost of living. Its…

GMO CTLs vs HIV

This is just another excuse to poke fun at the stupidity of Creationists– Creationists try to lecture us all the time about how ‘perfect’ our immune system is. How wonderful and precise and intelligently designed it is obviously points towards the existence of a creator god (aka the Christian god). Well, if our immune system…

HOW DID I NOT KNOW THIS??? A couple weeks ago, the would-be-hilarious-if-they-werent-so-dangerous group, the National Organization for Marriage (OMNOMNOMONOMNOM!) had their 2008 donor list leaked via the Human Rights Campaign (pdf). One of the largest donations came from none other than the president of the John Templeton Foundation, John Templeton ($450,000) and his wife Josephine…