Showing posts from January, 2021

Colchicine and COVID19

 The response from plant biologists was a unified "YIKES!" Colchicine?  Really?  That's the stuff we use to wreck biology, or at least give its decedents too many chromosomes.  A recent press release exclaimed the therapeutic effects of this regent in the treatment of COVID19.  A clinical trial of 6000 planned individuals was performed in a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, multi institutional study. The study was piloted by the Montreal Heart Institute. Other international institutions are also examining its effect in separate clinical trials.  Colchine is derived from the crocus flower, and is best known for its ability to arrest cell division by disrupting the molecular cables that attach to chromosomes. These tiny fibers pull normally pull half of the chromosomes into each new daughter cell. Colchicine disrupts their formation, meaning one cell gets a heavy load of genetic material.  In plant biology that can be a good thing.  Plants with extra sets of

Anti-Vaxer Wins the Battle

In a recent online event, a graphic was posted to introduce the speakers of a COVID19 vaccine panel. In the first 30 seconds a remotely-controlled cursor festooned the graphic with swastikas and grade-school-quality penis line art. The audio belched forth misogynist filth and racial epithets. The screen was commandeered with a pornographic video. A thought bubble over one the seminar’s presenters was stating, “I hate n — — rs.” Red ink is mine. Leaving the words is just so much more visceral, but I can’t do it Be disgusted. Understand the climate of thoughtful pandemic science communication in the Zoom Era. The presentation was arranged by Dr. Miriam Fein from the Science Advocacy of Long Island (SALI). I was one of the speakers. All of us volunteered our time in the interest in promoting better public health, and pushing back against copious disinformation around SARS-CoV2 and its impending vaccinations. The audience was good, over 50 at the start. Dr. Fein moved quickly and attempte