Scared yet?

“Every fraction of a degree matters. Another result from Warren et al shows the accelerating impact of warming on biodiversity loss worldwide. The difference between warming levels is staggering…” Prof Julia S

Feynman: Magnets FUN TO IMAGINE 4/ NEW updated higher quality version! – YouTube

People Who Take Melatonin 28% Less Likely To Test Positive For Covid – Cleveland Clinic

People Who Take Melatonin 28% Less Likely To Test Positive For Covid – Cleveland Clinic

By: Deedee Sun, KIRO 7 News Updated: December 28, 2020 – 6:22 PM

Researchers are finding new possibilities an over-the-counter supplement – melatonin – best known as sleep aid.

Scientists at the Cleveland Clinic have discovered it’s a potential way to help prevent or treat COVID-19.

Lead researcher Dr. Feixiong Cheng, Ph.D., and his team used artificial intelligence to comb through a COVID-19 registry at the Cleveland Clinic, which included nearly 27,000 people. They found people who take melatonin are nearly 28% less likely to test positive for COVID.

The difference is even more significant for African Americans – the study said, “Importantly, melatonin usage is associated with a 52% reduced likelihood of a positive laboratory test result for SARS-CoV-2 in African Americans.”

“When we got this result, we were very excited,” Dr. Cheng said in a Zoom call with KIRO 7. “If our findings can help the patients, that’s our goal and mission – and at the Cleveland Clinic as well,” he said.

The study was published in early November, but an article published by The Atlantic on the connection between COVID and sleep sparked new buzz about the research.

“I read the article about melatonin and sleep and I was like, I already take melatonin every day!” said Ruth Harvey, who lives in Seattle. “I said that’s great, maybe I’m doing the right thing to stay healthy – it’s really encouraging,” she said.

President Trump was also given melatonin while he was in the hospital for COVID-19 in October.

“Is it because people are getting better sleep that they’re less susceptible to the virus? Or is it because of the melatonin?” KIRO7′s Deedee Sun asked Cheng.

“The exact mechanism we don’t know yet, but more and more data comes out that support our hypothesis,” Cheng said.

He said studies increasingly show melatonin does much more than just help people sleep – it also can help regulate the immune system.

Other studies have shown melatonin “reduces chronic and acute inflammation.” New clinical trials are now underway to see how much it helps patient outcomes in COVID treatments, including one at the Cleveland Clinic involving Cheng’s team.

Another study conducted by researchers at Columbia University Irving Medical Center (Department of Biomedical Informatics) looked at thousands of COVID-19 intubated patients, and found when patients were exposed to melatonin after getting intubated, they had better outcomes. The researchers recommended further study based on those findings, saying they could not adjust for all variables in the study.

“Melatonin can also help us improve our human body – what we call tolerance. To help us reduce the tissue or organ damage induced by COVID infection,” Cheng said.

Other clinical trials for over the counter supplements including Zinc, Vitamin C, and Vitamin D are underway too.

“That might actually get me to take vitamins,” said Harlem Petersen, a student in Seattle.

Cheng said a clinical trial is underway that will answer the question of whether melatonin is causing improved outcomes when it comes to COVID. He said the study should be complete in a few months.

Amazon criticized for promoting phony anticancer vitamin

Amazon criticized for promoting phony anticancer vitamin has found that Amazon steers customers to purchase the phony vitamin, B17, which is another name for amygdalin, a chemical constituent of apricot pits that was debunked in the 80s as an “alternative” cancer treatment. [B17., Dec 10, 2020] The organization reported:

  • The first autocomplete suggestion for “B17” on was “b17 vitamin for cancer.”
  • Searching “b17 vitamin for cancer” yielded no less than 232 results, including dozens of books.
  • Many listings contained testimonials from people who say the products helped treat or cure their cancer or a loved one’s cancer even though companies are prohibited from making claims through consumer testimonials that they could not make directly.
  • This past August, three people in New Zealand were hospitalized after consuming raw apricot kernels.
  • In 2017 an Australian man taking an apricot kernel extract as part of a prostate cancer treatment regimen ended up in the hospital with cyanide poisoning.
  • In 2019, after customers had complained of “severe poisoning,” the FDA arrested a U.S.-based apricot seed vendor for repeatedly refusing to stop selling his products as a cancer cure in violation of a court order


Stephen Barrett, M.D.
Consumer Advocate
287 Fearrington Post
Pittsboro, NC 27312

Telephone: (919) 533-6009 (health fraud and quackery) (guide to questionable theories and practices) (skeptical guide to acupuncture history, theories, and practices) (guide to autism) (guide to intelligent treatment) (legal archive) (chelation therapy) (skeptical guide to chiropractic history, theories, and practices) (guide to health-related education and training) (guide to dental care) (guide to questionable medical devices) (guide to weight-control schemes and ripoffs) (guide to the fibromyalgia marketplace) (guide to homeopathy) (guide to trustworthy health information) (guide to an equitable health-care system) (guide to infomercials) (guide to the mental help marketplace) (multi-level marketing) (skeptical guide to naturopathic history, theories, and practices) (activities of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health) (nutrition facts and fallacies) (guide to the drug marketplace and lower prices) (National Council Against Health Fraud archive)

Drought Map for Dec. 24th 2020

Osterholm on New Coronavirus Mutations

Dr. Osterholm and host Chris Dall discuss reports of new SARS-CoV-2
variants from the UK and South Africa and potential implications, additional federal recommendations for vaccine prioritization, further information on vaccines for pregnant women, and the epidemiology of the pandemic heading into the holidays.

Did they have to die? How America’s Covid-19 response left 3,000 health workers dead

There MUST be a reckoning for all the incompetence. OK, this has been an extraordinarily difficult time. Deadly, life or death, urgent crises come once a minute. But our medical system is, supposedly, designed to take care of these.
For at least the last 25 years people like Mike Osterholm have been sounding the alarm. Not much happened, save for some very large medical systems.
We’ve got to find out why. And who needs help, and get it to them. The current plague is just the worst in our experience. These is worse to come. >>><<<

Did they have to die? How America’s Covid-19 response left 3,000 health workers dead

$50-per-month emergency broadband subsidies approved in pandemic stimulus | Ars Technica

Americans who have low incomes or who lost their jobs during the pandemic will be eligible for $50-per-month broadband subsidies under the stimulus package passed by Congress last night. Congress is providing $3.2 billion from the US Treasury for a new Emergency Broadband Connectivity Fund that will be administered by the Federal Communications Commission.

Subsidies won’t be distributed immediately, as it could take a couple of months or more for the FCC to start the program. The $50 monthly payments won’t go directly to broadband users but will be paid to ISPs that provide free or reduced-cost broadband under the program. ISPs will be responsible for verifying each household’s eligibility and seeking reimbursement from the FCC.

The bill text defines the “emergency broadband benefit” as “a monthly discount for an eligible household applied to the actual amount charged to such household, which shall be no more than the standard rate for an Internet service offering and associated equipment, in an amount equal to such amount charged, but not more than $50.” The monthly per-household subsidy is $75 on Tribal lands.

ISPs would not be allowed to charge customers anything if the standard rate for the broadband service is $50 or less (or $75 or less on Tribal lands). ISPs could charge customers the difference between the standard rate and the subsidy; for example, a low-income customer that qualifies for a $50 subsidy would pay $25 per month for a $75 service.

How to qualify

Importantly, Congress is making the subsidies available to any qualifying household even if they have unpaid broadband bills. There are several ways to qualify for an emergency subsidy. Any household with at least one member who meets the guidelines for the FCC’s Lifeline low-income program would qualify. Households are also eligible if they have been approved for the school-lunch or breakfast program, if any member of the household has received a Pell grant in the current award year, or if any household member “meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income or COVID–19 program.”

The emergency broadband subsidy is also available if “at least one member of the household has experienced a substantial loss of income since February 29, 2020.” The income loss can be documented by a layoff or furlough notice, an application for unemployment insurance benefits, or similar documentation.

Because the money is coming from the Treasury, the FCC won’t have to use the Universal Service funding that is collected from surcharges on phone bills to fund other programs. The new program doesn’t have a set expiration date but would end when the $3.2 billion is used up or six months after the US Secretary of Health and Human Services declares the COVID-19 public health emergency to be over.

In addition to $50 monthly subsidies, the program encourages ISPs to provide customers with discounted tablets or laptops that can access the Internet. The fund will provide ISPs with a reimbursement of up to $100 for each device as long as the ISP charges the customer less than $50 for the tablet, laptop, desktop computer, or similar Internet-connected device. One device reimbursement would be available per household.

The bill gives the FCC no more than 60 days to issue regulations for implementing the subsidy program. There could be a gap between issuing rules and the program’s start, so it won’t necessarily begin within 60 days.

“Much-needed” response to high broadband prices

The broadband funding received praise from consumer advocacy groups that had urged lawmakers to help low-income Americans purchase Internet service. Free Press VP Matt Wood called the broadband subsidy “a historic achievement” and “a much-needed response to the lack of affordable broadband choices, which is the primary factor driving the US digital divide.”

“It’s clear that lawmakers across the political spectrum recognize how critical it is to ensure that people can afford to connect to the Internet, especially when there’s a need to conduct so much of our daily lives online,” Wood said.

Consumer advocates have repeatedly argued that the US government’s efforts to expand broadband availability haven’t focused enough on making it cheaper. The FCC offers subsidies for Internet service through Lifeline, but that program only provides $9.25 per month in most cases.

Wood told Ars that the $3.2 billion could last eight or nine months if the participation rate is similar to Lifeline. Nationwide, there are 33.2 million Lifeline-eligible households and 8.2 million of them get the Lifeline benefit. The $3.2 billion would cover 64 million monthly payments if the average subsidy is $50, but Wood noted that reimbursements would be smaller when an ISP’s standard broadband rate is less than $50.

“We are thrilled to see the acknowledgment that the cost of broadband service is a barrier that must be addressed,” the National Digital Inclusion Alliance wrote. “Even as we celebrate, we must keep working toward a permanent broadband benefit plus financial support for outreach to eligible populations, digital literacy training,” and other technical help for broadband users.

Consumer-advocacy group Public Knowledge said it is “disappointed that Congress did not provide funding to keep students connected as they study from home” but that the “broadband subsidies will still benefit students and families at risk of losing their connectivity… No American should be forced to go without food, water, electricity, or essential communications over broadband.”

Another $3.8 billion for broadband

Separately from the $3.2 billion subsidy program, the spending bill provides another $3.8 billion for other broadband programs. That includes $1.9 billion for ISPs with 2 million or fewer customers to replace equipment made by Huawei and ZTE, $1 billion for broadband-deployment grants to Tribal lands, $300 million for broadband grants in rural areas, $285 million for connecting minority college students, nearly $250 million for the FCC’s COVID–19 Telehealth Program, and $98 million to improve the FCC’s broadband-availability maps.

Drought Map for Dec. 17th 2020

Drug Reverses Age-Related Mental Decline Within Days

Drug Reverses Age-Related Mental Decline Within Days ( 52

Posted by EditorDavid on Saturday December 12, 2020 @06:34PM from the in-mice dept.

The University of California San Francisco issued this glowing announcement of some new research:

Just a few doses of an experimental drug can reverse age-related declines in memory and mental flexibility in mice, according to a new study by UC San Francisco scientists. The drug, called ISRIB, has already been shown in laboratory studies to restore memory function months after traumatic brain injury, reverse cognitive impairments in Down Syndrome, prevent noise-related hearing loss, fight certain types of prostate cancer, and even enhance cognition in healthy animals.

In the new study, published Dec. 1, 2020, in the open-access journal eLife, researchers showed rapid restoration of youthful cognitive abilities in aged mice, accompanied by a rejuvenation of brain and immune cells that could help explain improvements in brain function.

“ISRIB’s extremely rapid effects show for the first time that a significant component of age-related cognitive losses may be caused by a kind of reversible physiological “blockage” rather than more permanent degradation,” said Susanna Rosi, PhD, Lewis and Ruth Cozen Chair II and professor in the departments of Neurological Surgery and of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science.

“The data suggest that the aged brain has not permanently lost essential cognitive capacities, as was commonly assumed, but rather that these cognitive resources are still there but have been somehow blocked, trapped by a vicious cycle of cellular stress,” added Peter Walter, PhD, a professor in the UCSF Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. “Our work with ISRIB demonstrates a way to break that cycle and restore cognitive abilities that had become walled off over time….”

“We’ve seen how ISRIB restores cognition in animals with traumatic brain injury, which in many ways is like a sped-up version of age-related cognitive decline,” said Rosi, who is director of neurocognitive research in the UCSF Brain and Spinal Injury Center and a member of the UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences. “It may seem like a crazy idea, but asking whether the drug could reverse symptoms of aging itself was just a logical next step.”

Forbes also reports that “In all studies, the researchers have observed no serious side effects.”