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Archive for October 11th, 2020

Vanskelig videnskab kan formidles, men …

… der er ikke prestige i at formidle viden til almindelige mennesker.

Det er en problematisk holdning. Hvad er “almindelige mennesker” for nogen? Jeg har aldrig mødt nogen. Og hvorfor er der ikke prestige i at formidle? I min ungdom var det Finn Abrahamowitz og Tor Nørretranders, der skrev formidlende artikler i bl.a. Information, avisen med den røde prik over i’et. Men der er også mange andre, nogle mere heldige end andre. Richard Feynman blev verdensberømt for at formidle atomfysik til studerende, endda med rette, selv om han og universitets-bestyrelserne kunne se, at der var ting, der kunne gøres bedre.

Er der i USA en anden holdning til hvad almindelige mennesker bør vide?

Citat fra Sciencemag.org:

What is the antibody cocktail Trump received?

It’s a combination of two antibodies directed against a key protein of the virus that causes COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2. They bind to a region on the main surface spike protein that helps the virus attach to a receptor on human cells called angiotensin-converting enzyme 2. The targeted region is dubbed the receptor binding domain. One antibody comes from a human who had recovered from a SARS-CoV-2 infection; a B cell that makes the antibody was harvested from the person’s blood and the genes for the immune protein isolated and copied. The other antibody is from a mouse, which was engineered to have a human immune system, that had the spike protein injected into it.

Are there any data showing the cocktail works and is safe?

Experiments in both golden hamsters and rhesus macaques that were intentionally infected with SARS-CoV-2 showed the cocktail could reduce viral levels and disease pathology.

Regeneron, the maker of the cocktail, earlier last week presented preliminary data from its ongoing clinical trial in people who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 but were asymptomatic or, in the most extreme cases, had moderate disease—a group that would appear to mirror Trump’s current condition. No serious safety concerns surfaced, and the treatment reduced viral load and shortened symptomatic disease in patients who did not have SARS-CoV-2 antibodies at the trial’s start. It’s unclear whether the treatment can prevent severe disease, but there were hints that it might: Participants who received a placebo had more medical visits.

A separate trial is assessing the impact of the treatment on hospitalized COVID-19 patients, but Regeneron has yet to report any results from that study.
Do the preliminary clinical trial data match the president’s treatment scheme?

Not exactly. Trump received an 8-gram infusion of the treatment. Regeneron’s data showed a 2.4-gram infusion worked as well as the higher dose at reducing SARS-CoV-2 levels in people. This was widely seen as good news because monoclonals are difficult and expensive to produce, and a lower dose means more people can ultimately receive it. (On 7 October, Trump’s personal physician said the president was negative for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies when he received the cocktail.)

Og der er mere: Why did the president receive the higher dose of the antibodies?
Did Trump match the patients in the study who benefited from the treatment?

Og så er der afvisning (debunking) af nogle nyheder mv.

Hvad skal man kunne for at læse en artikel på dette niveau?

Man skal have en vis forståelse af blodcirkulation, hvide blodlegemer, virus-opbygning, cellebiologi, antistoffer, B-lymfocytter – men det er jo muligt på flere forståelsesplan. Vi bør operere med flere niveauer af forståelse, flere modi, så kan vi formidle meget bedre.

Grunden til dette brok er at jeg frygter at hvis ikke skolesystemerne bliver bedre til at samle alle op, så vil vi få en demokratisk krise som den i USA; fordi det bliver for nemt at narre vælgerne.

Og så kan man endda med rette spørge: Var det så alligevel en god idé at Trump pressede på for at få en behandling, som man ikke anser for at være færdigudviklet? Ville det kunne bremse pandemien, redde mange virksomheder, som nu må lukke, redde mange mennesker fra arbejdasløshed?

Min holdning er at vi er for forsigtige lige i øjeblikket, og at der er andre måder at være forsigtige (og forsikre sig mod katastrofe-behandlinger), som kunne bruges selv om man fremskynder færdiggøringen af vacciner. De økonomiske tab pga nedlukning, ved ikke at skynde sig mere end man plejer, er alt for store, ikke kun for mink-avlere, men vi har lige hørt om 400 free-lance musikere i London, pensionerede musikere i Danmark kan være ligeglade, men event-sektoren, restauranter, rejsebranchen, har jeg glemt nogen? bør alle have en chance for at komme igang.

De kompensationer, som er givet til mink-avlere er 20 % af driftstabet, og det er bedre end ingenting, jeg kan ikke bedømme om man kan overleve i yderligere 3 måneder på det grundlag.

Jeg er næsten 80 år, og alligevel mener jeg at man NU bør tage “nedlukning” op til genovervejelse sådan som Thorkil A. Sørensen har lagt frem i offentligheden (var det Politiken eller Berlingske?)

Written by Donald

Sunday, October 11, 2020 at 10:40 GMT+0000

Posted in Carpe Diem

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