Friday , November 27 2020
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Tag Archives: Medicine

Progress against HIV-AIDS hasn’t been reported enough

While an effective vaccine against HIV may still be a long way off, a new HIV prevention technique has proven remarkably effective at protecting women against the virus. A single injection of a drug called cabotegravir every two months was so successful in preventing HIV in a clinical trial among women in sub-Saharan Africa that the study was wrapped up ahead of schedule. The study, run by the HIV Prevention Trials Network, was looking at two forms of pre-exposure prophylaxis or (PrEP) aimed...

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More immigrant founders and co-founders, in this case Moderna

Noubar Afeyan, co-founder and chairman of Moderna, is a two-time immigrant. He was born to Armenian parents in Lebanon and immigrated with his family in his early teens to Canada. After attending college, Afeyan came to the United States and earned a Ph.D. in biochemical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He started his first company at age 24 and ran it for 10 years, during which time he founded or co-founded five additional companies. …Moderna’s CEO is...

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Intertemporal substitution remains underrated (Covid in Scotland)

He suggested the announcement that the roll-out of a vaccine within weeks had persuaded people to break the rules and take risks. “People maybe think the battle is over because the vaccine is coming…” Here is the Times of London story.  Of course economics suggests the exact opposite course of action, namely that when a good vaccine is coming you should play it safer in the meantime.  Beware! The post Intertemporal substitution remains underrated (Covid in Scotland) appeared...

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Economics and epidemiology, revisited

The Economist was kind enough to reference my earlier blog post on this topic, from April 12, so I thought we should look at it again.  Please do reread it!  Here are my first two points: 1. They [epidemiologists] do not sufficiently grasp that long-run elasticities of adjustment are more powerful than short-run elasticites.  In the short run you socially distance, but in the long run you learn which methods of social distance protect you the most.  Or you move from doing “half home delivery...

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Sunny Days Protect Against Flu

Vitamin D supplementation is cheap. Walking in sunlight is even cheaper. I’ve been doing more of both since the beginnings of the pandemic. Slusky and Zekhauser add to the evidence: Sunlight, likely operating through the well-established channel of producing vitamin D, has the potential to play a significant role in reducing flu incidence. A recent meta-analysis of 25 randomized controlled trials of vitamin D supplementation (Martineau et al. 2017) demonstrated significant benefits of...

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How do the NIH and NSF work?

A surprising number of individuals responded to my post last week soliciting books about the NIH and NSF.  Thank you to those who did and please do still feel free to reach out on this matter. It became apparent that a highly complementary effort would be a Substack/blog/podcast/similar about the inner workings of the NIH / NSF, and indeed other institutions relevant to the modern-day administration and practice of science.  Think SCOTUSblog or Macro Musings, but focused on the NIH/NSF/etc....

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Free Britney Spears

Jamie Spears was authorized by the California Superior Court to control his daughter’s finances, health care, and aspects of her daily routine. The conservatorship was initially temporary. Twelve years later, it’s still in place. The court documents and hearings—there have been many over the years—have been mostly sealed to the public, so little is known about the actual nature and conditions of the agreement. Britney’s father can control virtually all of the terms of her life, and...

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Sweden Covid-19 update

Do not judge Sweden until the autumn. That was the message from its state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell in May and through the summer as he argued that Sweden’s initial high death toll from Covid-19 would be followed in the second wave by “a high level of immunity and the number of cases will probably be quite low”. Now the autumn is here, and hospitalisations from Covid-19 are currently rising faster in Sweden than in any other country in Europe, while in Stockholm — the centre for both the...

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UAE China fact of the day

Rochelle Crossley has been working as a flight attendant in the UAE and received a COVID-19 vaccination after thousands of injections were rolled out to frontline workers. “The fear of getting the virus outweighed the fear of having the vaccination,” Ms Crossley told 9News. I am glad to see somebody computing expected value. By the way, that is Sinopharm, not Sinovac.  And: More than 30,000 people in the UAE have received injections as part of phase three trials. Here is the...

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