A contact on Twitter mentioned an apparently newly discovered parasitic disease which goes by the name of Protomyxzoa Rheumatica or the “Fry bug”, named for its apparent discoverer Fry Laboratories of Scottsdale, Arizona. The discoverers have published no scientific papers about this organism as far as I can tell. Although protomyxzoa.org (registered in September 2012) says Fry has a PCR test for the pathogen and the person running the site says they were diagnosed by the labs in February of that year.
No reference to Protomyxzoa Rheumatica comes up with a search of the Fry website nor of PubMed, the US CDC, WHO, WebMD or generally anywhere else other than on what appear to be a few patient blogs and such. There is a brief reference to Protomyxzoa Rheumatica on the website of Fry Labs’ founder http://drstephenfry.com/ where it is described as a: novel protozoan but nothing else is said. Dr Fry himself is described as specialising in the cause and treatment of chronic inflammatory disease such as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and fibromyalgia. There is also discussion of diet and lifestyle being associated with the “symptoms” of this infection. A “Mary C Kline” appears in a patent search having invented a treatment for treating the biofilms and plaques purportedly associated with the infection, her other patents seem to be for treatments for what would be described as related pathogens.
There is one slightly more detailed page – http://www.personalconsult.com/posts/FL1953.html – that uses another name (an earlier name, in fact) for Protomyxzoa Rheumatica, FL1953, and discusses it in terms of its similarity to babesia (nutallia) or immature malaria but apparently unique DNA sequence. (FL1953 does not come up in a PubMed search either). The page also discusses how Fry showed the page’s author stained red blood cells apparently infected with Protomyxzoa Rheumatica in which the organism was on the edge or inside the rbc. Misdiagnosis of this novel infection is why treatment of Lyme disease and Babesia sometimes fail allegedly. Another patient-written site discusses a talk/interview given by Fry where FL1953 is described as “a new, unique protozoan organism that is found in people with CFS, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, ALS, and rheumatoid arthritis”. There is a lot of debate on LymeNet Europe that suggests that FL1953 has been controversial to say the least for several years.
One particular claim draws me to an almost inevitable conclusion regarding this pathogen. There are references to Morgellons syndrome in connection with FL1953. Morgellons, however, is apparently nothing more than a psychosomatic illness in which the patient believes that they are infested with disease-causing agents described as things like insects, parasites, hairs or fibres. While it may be a real condition it is not, it seems, caused by an actual pathogen, unless of course, that pathogen has corrupted the patient’s thoughts to create these beliefs (some parasites certainly can affect the brain).
I asked an expert in Lyme disease and related infections who had this to say: The owner of a private lab has claimed to have identified a new organism which causes many disorders including autoimmune. He apparently planned to conduct studies on this, but there have been no updates nor any peer-reviewed journal publications about it…in the meantime lots of people are being diagnosed with an illness no one knows for sure even exists…
Who wouldn’t want a spongy Jupiter or a vanilla Earth with tectonic icing? I do wish they’d not misspelled concentric, but never mind. Can I have a slice of Jupiter with the spot?
First-world Problems…you know the kind of thing…and the biggest most self-referential of them is worrying that that the phrase is itself not politically correct!
There ain’t no problem that’s too small
For us to gripe and moan and bawl
There ain’t a thing we can’t complain
We even groan when it don’t rain
Sunshine’s warm but that’s not all
We have the food, we live the life
But little things they give us strife
The time we have we often waste
We move too fast, less speed more haste
The angst it cuts you like a knife
First world problems – The TV is on the blink
First world problems – There’s washing up in the sink
First world problems – Slow broadband makes me scream!
First world problems – Someone ate the last custard cream, someone at the last custard cream
These are the ills that give us grief
Moanin’ about them brings no relief
These are woes that make us swear
If I wasn’t bald I’d pull some hair
The sun’s too warm and that’s my beef
First world problems – The deli didn’t have no sage
First world problems – My downloads take an age
First world problems – This song is not in tune
First world problems – Have to stay in bed till noon
First world problems – The iPad is way too bright
First world problems – My coffee ain’t quite right, no my skinnyfrappamochachinowithcinnamonmaple syrup ain’t quite right
Words and music by David Bradley
Guitar and vocals DB
Mix coming soon…
Cancer Research UK has an interesting post busting ten of the most irritating and persistent pieces of deceived wisdom about cancer:
Myth 1: Cancer is a man-made, modern disease
Myth 2: Superfoods prevent cancer
Myth 3: ‘Acidic’ diets cause cancer
Myth 4: Cancer has a sweet tooth
Myth 5: Cancer is a fungus – and sodium bicarbonate is the cure
Myth 6: There’s a miracle cancer cure…
Myth 7: …And Big Pharma is suppressing it
Myth 8: Cancer treatment kills more than it cures
Myth 9: We’ve made no progress in fighting cancer
Myth 10: Sharks don’t get cancer
I’ve been on Twitter since June 2007, I wasn’t particularly active early on, as you can see from the frequency of tweets in my archive. But for those of you worried that I changed over the years, here’s a screengrab from my archive showing the first clutch of tweets and their relevance then to what I still post about now – Songs, Snaps, Science. Not that, as far as I know, anyone cares…but you were warned early on. ;-)
Incidentally, there is a quick way to reveal your very first tweet here. You could put my twitter handle in there if you really want to see my totally lame and embarassing first tweet.
You can say what you like about politicians…but deep, deep down, they’re all self-serving, money-grubbing, knee-jerking, U-turning bustards. It seems that here in Brit Land we have a particularly peculiar penchant for those that are also dullards and bores. But, at least, come budget time, they get their priorities right in terms of voter retention: no extra tax and beer nor bingo. And we get a new pound coin that looks ironically like the old threepenny bit we had until decimalisation. You know that era of endless food rationing, world wars, abject poverty, no national health service, no antibiotics nor vaccines, tuberculosis, polio, diptheria, workhouses etc…
Interesting additional point, the 12-faced (14-faced not counting indentations, grooves, lettering, Queen’s mugshot etc) coin would be easily recognisable jangling around during a game of pocket billiards in a blackout. A blackout you say? Like wot they had during WWII? Indeed…could be quite timely given the resurrection of the Cold War and fears of WWIII…
A beautiful bearded dragon, Pogona vitticeps, or beardie, snapped it at our school summer fair back in 2006.
According to Wiki P. vitticeps, the central (or inland) bearded dragon, is a species of agamid lizard occurring in a wide range of arid to semiarid regions of Australia. This species is very popularly kept as a pet and exhibited in zoos.
Scientists today announced that they have observed gravity waves – ancient ripples from the Big Bang. Here’s a conversation piece about the science and Nature has something on the BICEP2 discovery of primordial gravity waves too. And, here’s a gravitational playlist to give you something to listen to while you get your head around this concept, try eating an apple, it might provide nourishment for your brain too…you could of course have anything by The Fall.
NB It seems a lot of the reporting on this discovery is confusing gravitational waves with gravity waves. They are not the same thing. Gravitational waves are ripples in the curvature of spacetime that propagate as a wave as predicted in general relativity by Einstein in 1916. By contrast, gravity waves are waves formed when a liquid sloshes around, the wind waves on the sea are an example of gravity waves. Carolyn Porco is trying to educate the wider media on this point as editors seem to be using the words gravitational and gravity interchangeably in reports on the BICEP2 discovery.
You can’t hide a smile
Wait for something, Something comes along
Do you realize you, you could still belong?
Could you handle it, or just move on?
If the love’s still there then maybe it’s me that’s wrong
Tell me to believe, I will walk a mile
Say that I deceive, I will hide a smile
Show me what you mean I cannot be free
Not until the time, that time that I can see
Think of nothing, think that nothing’s wrong
Could you handle it if it’s the time to move on?
Do you realize now there’s nowhere else to hide?
On the move again, and leaving behind all pride
Oh, tell me to believe, I would walk a mile
Say that I deceive, I will hide a smile
Show me what you mean I can-not be free
Not until that time, the time that I can see
Wait for something, Nothing comes along
Do you realize you really could belong?
Could you walk a mile, or just move on?
If the love’s still there then maybe it’s me that’s wrong
Words and Music Dave Bradley Vocals, acoustic Guitar, cajon DB
Words ending with “oid” often have their root in the Latinized form of the Greek -oeides, from eidos meaning form and so the suffix is used to suggest that something is like something else but isn’t actually the thing itself. Viz: ovoid means egglike, android mean manlike, humanoid means like a human. There are lots of examples in medicine and science: opioid, cannabinoid, haemorrhoid, paraboloid etc etc. Then, there’s factoid…
…now that’s a funny one. Most people use the word factoid to mean a neat little fact, but that would be factette, surely from the French-derived suffix “ette”, which feminizes a noun, the rather sexist implication being that an “ette” is smaller than the full-sized item. As in kitchenette (small kitchen), serviette (a napkin rather than a tablecloth), launderette (a small laundry) etc.
But…factoid means “like a fact” more precisely, something that is like a fact has only the appearance of a fact, it’s not a fact, it’s often Deceived Wisdom, Things like being able to see the Great Wall of China from the Moon (you cannot), Al Gore claiming to have invented the Internet (he never did make that claim) or that one about Apple Macs never getting viruses (yeah, right, Mr Jobs).
I doubt any of this will stick and it’s why I didn’t call my book Factoids, it would’ve been confusing. The fact that factoid means “like a fact and not actually a fact” and should more correctly be called a factette will remain the archetypal self-referring factoid…
It was twenty five years ago that Tim Berners-Lee and his colleagues at CERN came up with a technology that would revolutionise communication – it was based on hypertext markup language (HTML) – and they gave it the rather unwieldy name of the World Wide Web.
It was just under twenty five years ago that a wet-behind-the-ears science journalist pitched a story to perhaps the most popular of popular science magazines in the UK. The pitch was about a new technology that was being developed by scientists at CERN that would revolutionise communication…
Unfortunately, for said rookie science journalist, he was not persuasive enough and was told by the desk editor at the magazine that all this html and www nonsense sounded like nothing more than shuffling files around on computers and that we already had FTP, the file-transfer protocol, to do that. And the pitch was spiked.
How short-sighted that editor was. How frustrated that young science journalist with his world-changing scoop was…
It seems to me that too many people take pride in declaring that they don’t understand mathematics, science, computers, technology and stuff, but wouldn’t dream of admitting they didn’t know about politics nor of holding back in expressing an opinion about the economy, art, music etc. On #WorldMathsDay and the 25th anniversary of the World Wide Web, isn’t it time we shrugged off the notion that mathematics is only for the geeks? Our brains are actually hard-wired to understand maths, indeed without that inbuilt pattern recognition, the primordial building blocks of grammar and syntax, we wouldn’y have the spoken word. It’s not always easy to understand or explain…but neither is Shakespeare or the Ukraine crisis…
Interesting piece in Psychology Today about the difference between the mind and the brain in which the brain is likened to a factory and the mind the company board in order to discuss behaviour in terms of dopamine, monetary gain and the congratulatory corporate memo.
“The brain is most often associated with the mind, but they are not the same. The brain is part of the body. The mind is part of the transcendent world of wisdom and thought. Although the brain is the organ most associated with consciousness, the brain does not completely contain the mind. The mind’s intelligence permeates every human cell, extending into the environment and carrying with it the wisdom of the ancients, social journey and kinship.”
“The brain is about getting the dopamine, and because it does not have the panoramic vision of the mind, it makes mistakes like eating compulsively, doing narcotics, getting sucked into an Internet pornado, hatred, violence and other self destructive scenarios. Without consulting the mind, the brain cannot understand that you can never get enough of something that is almost satisfying.”
ClassicFM asked me to work out an equation for Tim Lihoreau’s More Music Breakfast show to help them celebrate #worldmathsday I’m sure I’ve overlooked the caffeine and toast, but never mind, this is how we summed it up…using a little integration from 6 to 9 am…
I’m sure the mathematicians out there and indeed the theoretical physicists will be appalled, but hey ho…
Tim’s on from 6 100-102 FM, on digital, Sky (0106) and Virgin (922), and, of course, via their app and on the web.
I don’t use my real birthday on any websites, I hide the fake birthday where that’s possible (Facebook thinks I’m well into my second century on Earth). I never accept “birthday” app requests, please don’t send them. It’s safer that way, I also never reveal my pornstar name in public (combine your first pet’s name with your mother’s maiden name). I also think you should keep your travel and party plans offline and post photos after the event. Don’t post your phone number or home address either.
I’m not being grumpy, just trying to stay secure, I suggest you think about what you share online, you really don’t know who’s watching or to what exploit they might be able to put your private info. Meanwhile, feel free to wish me a Happy Birthday any day of the year, one day you will be right!
My teenage son is just about to land at JFK on his first trip to the USA. So, in the spirit of nostalgia here’s a snap of Sciencebase Sr 26 years ago at London Heathrow in Departures about to make his debut trip to New York City.
And the inevitable view from the top of the Empire State Building, snapped the next day.
Having mused on the possibility of our escaping to the stars, I began wondering whether we might not just hop over to Mars and carry out a terraforming program there to give us a new home. There was a NASA video showing what Mars might have been like 4 billion years ago. It perhaps blue skies and oceans. So, I downloaded that, did a video time reversal, rolled the credits and overdubbed my recent ambient funk rock track to add some aural atmosphere. Maybe this will be a new home for some of us in the year 3113.
The video also gives some meaning to the ad libbed lyrics I sang on that largely instrumental track. Maybe the shaking off of flies is a metaphor for leaving behind the death and decay we are creating here on Earth…
Meanwhile, more of my music in new album Wishful Thinking available for high-quality download from my BandCamp page.
Shake off Flies
High on illusion
Safe in your delusion
A state of confusion
Running on empty diffusion
Time flies…miles and miles
On a trip, slip, lose your grip
Make it click with a trick, don’t fail
When they’re broken they can tell you who to fade
Fix focus on the grip
Time and tide will show you how how to change your mind
How to change the time. Shake off flies
Who to change. Shake off flies
For miles and miles
Guitars, vocals, drum and synth loop mixing – Dave Bradley
Recorded and mixed at ScienceBass Studios
The original NASA video is here showing how 4-billion years ago Mars was more Earthly than we imagine and lost its blue skies and oceans as the aeons passed.
An international team of chemists has looked at the seemingly esoteric subject of microsolvation of chloride pairs. They have found that in computer models, at least, it takes about forty water molecules to make a pair of negative chloride ions stay together.
I asked team leader Utah University’s Alexander Boldyrev about the wider importance of this study which could affect geochemical research, atmospheric and climate science as well as having implications for chemical engineering.
Steam, containing dissolved alkali halide ions, can form clusters of Na+(H2O)n and Cl-(H2O)n. Based on our results it is now possible to investigate hydrophobic interactions, i.e., interactions between the ions surrounded by water molecules that could clarify the physical picture of condensation in real steam. In our work we traced the formation of chloride-chloride pair in the gas phase. We think this yields an adequate picture of physical processes that occur during steam condensation in the presence of dissolved ions.
Industrial steam and geysers
We also believe that the results of our calculations indicate that the chloride-chloride pair plays the role of a trap for water molecules in steam. Probably, the increased content of dissolved chloride in the first condensate of industrial steam serves as experimental support for the appearance of stable anion pairs and their active role in nucleation observed in steam. Thus, the presence of solvated ions and pairs of ions in the steam will accelerate condensation of the industrial steam and that should be taken by engineers into account for steam system improvements. Also, we think that such stable gaseous clusters as Cl-(H2O)40Cl- can be present in geyser’s steam (boiling of the pressurized water, containing chlorides, results in the geyser effect of hot water and steam spraying out of the geyser’s surface vent – a hydrothermal explosion) and accelerate geyser’s steam condensation.
Atmospheric water vapour
Sea water becomes airborne in the form of droplets formed at the sea surface by the action of waves. These droplets can be carried by the wind, and they interact with other constituents of the atmosphere. On the surface of the small water droplets, halide anions can be converted into halogen atoms by absorption of light and the air–water interface serves to increase certain reaction probabilities. One example is the oxidation of Cl− and Br− by OH radicals or O3 that can occur at the air–water interface, with mechanisms different from those in the bulk phase, leading to natural ozone depletion in the stratosphere. The discovered in our work stable [Cl2(H2O)36]2− and [Cl2(H2O)40]2− clusters are greater than 1 nanometre, so they represent water nanodroplets doped with chlorides and can be thoroughly studied with the use of quantum chemistry. Thus it might be helpful in understanding the fundamental properties of aerosols, which remain among the largest uncertainties in climate science.
The potent anti-inflammatory agent Simferopol is contraindicated with high blood pressure medications, including Sevastopol and in particular their Cr salts.
Is it true? Rust never sleeps. Too many nightmares, too much existentialist angst…
HBO’s True Detective could become this year’s Breaking Bad, with the “action” set in Louisiana rather than New Mexico and infamous crystal meth makers Walter and Jesse substituted for two dour homocide detectives, philosophical and depressive alcoholic Rust Cohle (Oscar-winning Matthew McConaughey, 44) and filandering senior partner Martin Hart (Dave Bradley lookalike [my sister says] Woody Harrelson, 52) hunting an apparently diabolistically inclined serial killer. Rust is never without his giant notebook, his sketchy pencil and his affinity for booze. Something else he is never without are the dark secrets of his past and his glass most definitely not even half full outlook:
He’s right, by the way, we are but star dust, human consciousness may well be some kind of evolutionary adaptation rather than an artefact, but we are rendered from meat, are self aware but for the blinking of an eye and the dust to which we return, though stellar in its origin, will suffer the ultimate entropic heat death of everything else in this vast, wondrous, yet godless, and unimaginable universe. I think therefore I am, yeah, so what? Despite outward appearances, True Detective is rather witty.