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Friday, August 21, 2020

It is Extremely Unlikely that SARS-CoV-2, the Virus that Causes COVID-19, Came from a Lab


The COVID-19 pandemic continues due to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the disease COVID-19. Unfortunately and predictably, baseless claims spread on the origin of SARS-CoV-2, just as conspiracy theories also spread on the origin of the AIDS pandemic caused by the virus HIV. These claims center on the conspiracist idea that SARS-CoV-2 came from a lab, instead of naturally evolving and spreading completely outside of a lab. The sources below undermine this idea in its various forms.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

List of SARS-CoV-2 Seroprevalence and PCR Studies Underway, along with Estimates of Infection Fatality Rate (IFR)


SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes the disease COVID-19. Scientists use a technique known as PCR to measure SARS-CoV-2's genetic material in a person, and thereby determine whether that person is currently infected with SARS-CoV-2. When SARS-CoV-2 first infects someone, immune cells known as B cells can recognize the virus. ~2 weeks after this recognition, B cells sharply increase production of molecules known as antibodies, and these antibodies then bind to SARS-CoV-2. So scientists can measure antibody levels to estimate how many people were previously infected with SARS-CoV-2; this is known as a seroprevalence study

Seroprevalence studies serve a number of functions, including helping scientists calculate an infection fatality rate (IFR) for SARS-CoV-2. IFR is the proportion of SARS-CoV-2-infected people who die of COVID-19; IFR therefore serves as one estimate of how dangerous SARS-CoV-2 is. So scientists use seroprevalence studies to estimate the number of people previously infected with SARS-CoV-2, then combine this with the number of COVID-19 deaths, and thus calculate IFR. 

(Examples herehere, and here, from work co-authored by the epidemiologist Gideon Meyerowitz-Katz; the USA's Centers for Disease Control relied upon Meyerowitz-Katz's IFR estimate. I briefly mentioned IFR in a Medium post in relation to sources for endnotes 60 and 76 of "Endnotes for: "The dangerous myth that Sweden achieved herd immunity"", and I discussed seroprevalence in relation to sources for endnotes 52 - 54.)

Listed below are articles on ongoing seroprevalence studies, with a few PCR studies included as well. This list serves as a companion to:

Hopefully this will be of use to those looking for articles on IFR and seroprevalence.

Monday, February 10, 2020

+Myth: The IPCC's 2007 ~0.2°C/decade Model-based Projection Failed and Judith Curry's Forecast was More Reliable

The outline for this post is as follows:
  1. The Myth and Its Flaws
  2. Context and Analysis (divided into multiple sections)
  3. Posts Providing Further Information and Analysis
  4. References

This is the "+References" version of this post, which means that this post contains my full list of references and citations. If you would like an abbreviated and easier to read version, then please go to the "main version" of this post.

References are cited as follows: "[#]", with "#" corresponding to the reference number given in the References section at the end of this post.




1.  The Myth and Its Flaws



In 1997 [677] or 1998, global warming paused / underwent a hiatus [4; 5; 7; 8 - 10; 13; 54; 55; 57; 670; 680], and will likely continue to do so until the 2030s [4; 9; 14; 57]. Moreover, climate shifted in 2001/2002 [2; 3], supporting a prediction of post-2002 global cooling [3]. This rebuts the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC's) [7; 10; 54; 55; 98] use of climate models [1140] to predict global warming, since the IPCC predicted a warming trend of about ~0.2°C/decade [7; 18; 97; 98; 211; 212, as per 211, 213, and 214; 215; 216, page 133; 217, figure 3; 218, pages 14 - 15; 219; 220, section 3.4; 221 - 223; 224, page 84; 225, page 16; 226; 227, figure 24 on page 456; 228]. Consistent with this lack of warming, as of the beginning of 2019, 2018 would not be one of the top five warmest years in the thermometer record [32].

Myth: The IPCC's 2007 ~0.2°C/decade Model-based Projection Failed and Judith Curry's Forecast was More Reliable

The outline for this post is as follows:
  1. The Myth and Its Flaws
  2. Context and Analysis (divided into multiple sections)
  3. Posts Providing Further Information and Analysis
  4. References

This is the "main version" version of this post, which means that this post lacks most of my references and citations. If you would like a more comprehensive version with all the references and citations, then please go to the "+References" version of this post.

References are cited as follows: "[#]", with "#" corresponding to the reference number given in the References section at the end of this post.




1.  The Myth and Its Flaws



In 1997 or 1998, global warming paused / underwent a hiatus, and will likely continue to do so until the 2030s. Moreover, climate shifted in 2001/2002, supporting a prediction of post-2002 global cooling. This rebuts the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC's) use of climate models to predict global warming, since the IPCC predicted a warming trend of about ~0.2°C/decade. Consistent with this lack of warming, as of the beginning of 2019, 2018 would not be one of the top five warmest years in the thermometer record.