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Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« Last post by kassy on Today at 06:06:16 PM »
Hard choices emerge as link between AstraZeneca vaccine and rare clotting disorder becomes clearer


In their paper, Greinacher and his colleagues also speculate about a possible mechanism. Vaxzevria consists of an adenovirus engineered to infect cells and prompt them to produce the virus's spike protein. Among the 50 billion or so virus particles in each dose, some may break apart and release their DNA, Greinacher says. Like heparin, DNA is negatively charged, which would help bind it to PF4, which has a positive charge. The complex might then trigger the production of antibodies, especially when the immune system is already on high alert because of the vaccine. An immune reaction to extracellular DNA is part of an ancient immune defense triggered by severe infection or injury, Greinacher notes, and free DNA itself can signal the body to increase blood coagulation.


Greinacher and his collaborator Rolf Marschalek, a molecular biologist at Frankfurt University, are also calling for tests of a simple solution: halving Vaxzevria's dose. In AstraZeneca's phase III trial in the United Kingdom, a small number of people accidentally received a lower dose and had fewer side effects in general; perhaps the lower dose is less likely to trigger the kind of strong inflammation that boosts PF4 antibodies as well, the researchers say. And unexpectedly, those people were slightly better protected, perhaps because high levels of inflammation can actually block the formation of antibodies, Marschalek says. “Part of the problem might be that they just overdose” the vaccine, Greinacher says.

The fact that more common side effects appear less frequently at half a dose does not mean the same is true for the very rare side effects, Cox cautions. But if the hunch proves correct, what looked like a terrible blow for one of the world’s most important weapons against the pandemic might be good news in disguise: Supplies of the vaccine could vaccinate twice as many people—with fewer side effects.
The rest / War, War, War
« Last post by vox_mundi on Today at 05:49:51 PM »
War, War, War

It's that Season again; and those who have squandered humanity's future on the 'Great Game' are dusting off their toys and setting up their pieces on the playing field.

Other threads cover some of the precursors to wars, like inequality, overpopulation, and economic or political rivalry, maybe this should cover, what Carl von Clausewitz had said - "diplomacy by other means." That and mans inhumanity to fellow man.

War is not inevitable, but I wouldn't sell it short



Russian Armor Floods Toward Border With Ukraine Amid Fears Of An "Imminent Crisis"

Trains loaded with large amounts of Russian military hardware, including tanks and other heavy armored vehicles, as well as heavy artillery, appear to be streaming toward the country's borders with Ukraine. There are unconfirmed reports that the scale of these movements is so significant that it has, to the dismay of Russian farmers, disrupted shipments of tractors and other agricultural equipment ahead of the spring harvest season. U.S. officials are now worried that a new major round of fighting between Russia and Ukraine may be imminent as a ceasefire is at risk of expiring tomorrow.

It's not entirely clear when the Russian buildup began, but video footage and other imagery reportedly showing armored vehicles and other military equipment on trains heading toward southwestern Russian has been appearing on social media since at least March 27, 2021. There have also been sightings of large ground convoys and groups of aircraft.

This includes at least one clip of a trainload of 152mm 2S19 Msta-S self-propelled howitzers, BMP-3 infantry fight vehicles, and other military vehicles, crossing a bridge that now links Russia to the Crimean Peninsula, and footage of what appears to be the same train in the Crimean city of Kerch. Russian forces seized this region from Ukraine in 2014 and the Kremlin subsequently annexed it.

... Though the new Russian military buildup is clearly at least a message meant for Ukrainian authorities, what the Kremlin's exact plan is remains unclear. The Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine, which includes representatives from Ukraine, Russia, and the multinational Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), reportedly failed to agree on the terms of an extension of an existing ceasefire agreement in Donbass beyond April 1.

... Ukraine is not a NATO member or otherwise a formal American ally, though they are an important regional security partner, and it's unclear how willing or able the U.S. government would be to prevent any new major incursion by Russia into Ukraine.


Turkey Confirms 2 U.S. Destroyers Are Headed For The Black Sea Amid Russia-Ukraine Crisis


Russian Gunboats Head To The Black Sea To Join Military Buildup Near Ukraine

The Russian Navy is sending 10 vessels, a mixture of landing craft and small gunboats, from its Caspian Sea Flotilla to the Black Sea. The deployment is ostensibly part of a larger series of readiness drills, but comes amid a continuing and worrisome Russian military buildup near the country's borders with Ukraine. The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, or OSCE, has also said there has been a spike in GPS jamming in the region, which has impacted its ability to monitor the situation as part of an existing agreement between Russia and Ukraine. All of this only further fuels concerns that a significant escalation in the conflict between these two countries may be imminent. ...


Kiev estimates there are now 85,000 Russian troops between 6 and 25 miles from its border and in Crimea.



U.S. And Chinese Carrier Groups Mass In The South China Sea

The northern reaches of the South China Sea have become very busy as of late with two U.S. carrier groups and one Chinese carrier group in the region.

Tensions between China and its regional neighbors in the South China and Philippine Seas increased markedly this week. Naval exercises by both the United States and China have massed an unusual number of warships in the South China Sea at a time of renewed diplomatic friction as concerns over China’s territorial ambitions grow.

The uptick began late last week. The War Zone reported that China’s Liaoning Carrier Strike Group (CSG) maneuvered through the strategic Miyako Strait on Sunday, just southwest of Okinawa. Since then, a separate point of tension between China and the Philippines over a 200 ship mass of fishing vessels identified as part of China’s People’s Armed Forces Maritime Militia (PAFMM) led to a series of heated diplomatic exchanges between Manila and Beijing.

Open-source intelligence analysts tracked the movements of the Liaoning carrier strike group this week as it appeared to traverse the Luzon strait, the body of water that, along with the Bohai Channel, separates the Philippines and Taiwan. This crucially strategic area is also the primary boundary between the Philippine Sea and the South China Sea and connects the greater Pacific to the northern reaches of the South China Sea.

By April 10th, analysts flagged one Type 055 Renhai class missile destroyer and one Type 052D Luyang class destroyer splitting from the group and heading north towards the Taiwan strait:

Imagery derived from the European Space Agency’s Sentinel-2 satellite identified an unusually large number of military vessels in the South China Sea on Saturday:

Yesterday the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group and the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) conducted a coordinated exercise in the South China Sea. The TRCSG consists of the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11, the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG 52), Destroyer Squadron 23, and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Russell (DDG 59). The USS Makin Island's group also consisted of amphibious assault ships the USS Somerset and USS San Diego.

... The Taiwan area has also recently seen an increase in drone incursions. On Wednesday, Taiwanese official Ocean Affairs Council Chair Lee Chung-wei addressed the drone issue, describing them as circling the island. He declared a willingness to shoot them down, stating “if we need to open fire, we will open fire.” Additionally, China has recently invested heavily in coastal bases, such as a massive new helicopter base directly across the strait of Taiwan that could prove essential to a major offensive against the island.

Meanwhile, the week saw a near-constant stream of Chinese overflights of Taiwan’s air defense identification zone. According to Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense, there have been 46 overflights across the southwestern portion of the Taiwan Strait. These flights have included as many as fifteen People’s Liberation Army aircraft at one time, including 8 J-10 and 4 J-16 fighter aircraft in one incident.


meanwhile ...


Consequences / Re: Climate change, the ocean, agriculture, and FOOD
« Last post by kassy on Today at 05:38:49 PM »
The general food prices are off topic unless they relate to climate change.
Antarctica / Re: Halley base shut down and new crack in Brunt shelf
« Last post by grixm on Today at 05:25:32 PM »
Does my eye spy more cracking?
Arctic sea ice / Re: 2021 Sea ice area and extent data
« Last post by gerontocrat on Today at 05:16:01 PM »

The first image attached is of the 2021 maximum compared with previous years. 2021 was 8th lowest in tyhe satellite record, while 2020 was 22nd lowest. This suggests that, at least in the High Arctic, the 2020-21 refreeze was less of a recovery than that of the previous year.

The second image is the March monthly averages graph, and just shows that in the High Arctic not a lot goes on as far as area and extent is concerned.

The third image shows the plume of projections. The difference between 2012 and 2020 is at this time of year is pronounced, that makes the final result of 2012 even more extraordinary.

Antarctica / Re: Pine Island Glacier (PIG) Calving and Discussion
« Last post by grixm on Today at 05:14:21 PM »
New images, with some highlights of extensions that wasn't pointed out yet
Arctic sea ice / Re: 2021 Sea ice area and extent data
« Last post by gerontocrat on Today at 05:03:59 PM »
NSIDC - The High Arctic starting with sea ice AREA

JAXA HIGH ARCTIC SEA ICE AREA:  8,617,976 KM2 as at 10-Apr-2021

- Extent loss on this day 24k, 23 k more than the average loss on this day (of the last 10 years) of 1k,
- Extent gain from minimum on this date is 6,107 k, which is 393 k, 6.9% more than the 10 year average of 5,715 k.

- Extent is at position #9 in the satellite record

- Extent is  57 k MORE than 2020,
- Extent is  24 k LESS than  2018,
- Extent is  11 k LESS than 2017
- Extent is  148 k MORE than 2012
- Extent is  16 k MORE than the 2010's Average
Projections. (Table JAXA-Arc1)

The sea ice losses of the last three days persuade me that the maximum for High Arctic Sea Ice Area happened on the 30 March 2021 at 8.700 million km2, 0.07 million km2 above the March 2017 record low maximum of 8.63 million km2.

Just one year, 2012, still had further sea ice gains from today's date.

N.B. Click on image to enlarge
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2021 melting season
« Last post by KenB on Today at 04:31:45 PM »
Trying to figure out what I'm seeing here off the N. coast of Greenland on WV

As oren points out, experimenting with the "false color" layers on WV should make it apparent that you're seeing clouds over fractured sea ice?

Thanks - I need to try that out.  The "3-d" effect is still pretty strong for me there.
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« Last post by Thomas Barlow on Today at 04:26:38 PM »
Vaccine escape is already under way, bad news:

The study, released on Saturday, compared almost 400 people who had tested positive for COVID-19, 14 days or more after they received one or two doses of the vaccine, against the same number of unvaccinated patients with the disease. It matched age and gender, among other characteristics.

The South African variant, B.1.351, was found to make up about 1% of all the COVID-19 cases across all the people studied, according to the study by Tel Aviv University and Israel’s largest healthcare provider, Clalit.

But among patients who had received two doses of the vaccine, the variant’s prevalence rate was eight times higher than those unvaccinated - 5.4% versus 0.7%.

This suggests the vaccine is less effective against the South African variant, compared with the original coronavirus and a variant first identified in Britain that has come to comprise nearly all COVID-19 cases in Israel, the researchers said.

“We found a disproportionately higher rate of the South African variant among people vaccinated with a second dose, compared to the unvaccinated group. This means that the South African variant is able, to some extent, to break through the vaccine’s protection,” said Tel Aviv University’s Adi Stern.

This is amazing.
So this vaccine, which is 95% effective in dampening symptoms of covid-19 ( for the <50% of the population who do not have pre-existing (pre-2020) immunity (as shown in studies here:,2996.msg302301.html#msg302301), building their immunity (to a level of pre-existing immunity. ie. Just fights off the virus successfully, like any other virus, before it can take hold), for a virus that kills 0.15% of those who can contract the virus (as shown here: <50% of the population can catch covid-19, and 0.15% of that <50%, could die) -- deaths being by far, mostly among very elderly, very frail (ie. the 27 million people over 80 years-old in Europe will not die of covid-19). -- And this vaccine might not be effective against the variants of this very weak virus?
Not to mention that the W.H.O., in 2019, advised against wholesale travel restrictions & border closures in a flu/coronavirus pandemic, using the phrase "Not recommended in any circumstances" ( And now we see variants of the virus growing in the perfect incubator of a locked-down region, where it can propagate, survive, & strengthen, more easily than being watered down in the world's very powerful collective immune-system (strength of which is shown in these studies here:,2996.msg302301.html#msg302301).

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« Last post by Thomas Barlow on Today at 04:26:05 PM »
John Ioannidis of Stanford is the type of expert you talk of.

In actual fact he's the type of expert you talk of:

Are there any scientists in a related field with the expertise needed, involved in that twitter-thread?

"Dr. Ioannides is one of the most-cited scientists of all times in the scientific literature"-Stanford --

"Two Greek Scientists Among Most Highly Cited in the World"
One is John Ioannides of Stanford:

I'll take the European Journal of Clinical Investigation, and the US gov's National Institute for Health (NIH) - who peer-review articles again before posting them - and the W.H.O. (0.23% - Ioannides - over those guys.

What do you think the global IFR is Jim? Please explain why you think it.
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