About John Patrick

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So far John Patrick has created 354 blog entries.

Computational studies in Astronomy

• This was a cool study positing that the Earth passed though a dense interstellar cloud 2-3 million years ago. It was a clever use of computational modeling to recreate the paths of our solar system and the Local Ribbon of Cold Clouds through millions of years. From commentary in the Harvard Gazette re. the study by Opher and Loeb in arXiv.

“The evidence exists in the form of noticeable peaks in the deposition of two radioactive isotopes: iron 60 and plutonium 244. Both are very rare, created when massive stars explode in supernova. Those isotopes are thought to be more plentiful in the interstellar medium.

“It is everywhere, in the deep ocean, on the moon, on ice in Antarctica,” Opher said. “These papers describe a global phenomenon. Something happened. And iron 60 is not produced on Earth. So I knew that somehow this iron 60 got trapped in dust, and somehow, 2 to 3 million years ago, we had more dust delivered to us.”… “Our work should trigger more studies into this question,” Loeb said. “It draws attention to our cosmic neighborhood as having potential influence on life on Earth. We usually tend to just look at it and enjoy it, but we are actually moving through interstellar space, and there could be risks along the way.””

2024-06-12T16:20:47-05:00June 12th, 2024|HomeRecommended|

On Dr. Fauci

I stand with Tony Fauci (and Dr. Ashish Jha):

Also see Katelyn Jetelina’s excellent Your Local Epidemiologist blog post on the same topic; an excerpt:

“Public health leaders stepped up during a time of great uncertainty using systems too old to succeed while losing, at its peak, 3,500 people a day. They had to make incredibly difficult decisions, often with incomplete information, many of which were valid decisions based on the data at the time. Yes, they made mistakes, but their service was heroic and patriotic, too. We can live with these two truths.”

2024-06-12T16:01:20-05:00June 7th, 2024|Home, Musings|

Tattoos may be linked to an increased risk of lymphoma

These findings need to be validated, but they are interesting.  From a Medscape UK summary:

“In the first large study of its kind, tattoos were found to raise the risk for malignant lymphoma by about 20% compared with no tattoos. Tattoo ink often contains carcinogens and, when applied to the skin, triggers an immunologic response.

METHODOLOGY:
This study was a population-based case-control study of all incident cases of malignant lymphoma in Swedish adults (aged 20-60 years) in the Swedish National Cancer Register between 2007 and 2017 (n = 11,905). Tattoo exposure was assessed by a structured questionnaire in both cases and three random age- and sex-matched controls without lymphoma. The primary outcome was the incidence rate ratio of malignant lymphoma in tattooed vs nontattooed individuals.
TAKEAWAY:
The prevalence of tattoos was 21% among cases and 18% among controls. After adjustment for confounders, tattooed participants had a 21% higher risk for overall lymphoma than non-tattooed participants (incidence rate ratio = 1.21; 95% CI, 0.99-1.48).

And a link to the original paper, Tattoos as a risk factor for malignant lymphoma: a population-based case–control study, by Nielsen, Jerkeman, and Jöud. 

I guess I’m happy to be ink-free…

2024-05-31T17:08:03-05:00May 31st, 2024|Home, Musings|

Yglesias on *rump

• Matt Yglesias does a good job reporting on the ways *rump has mistreated people in his May 22 Slow Boring newsletter Trump Scams the People Who Trust Him.  An excerpt:

“What makes Trump uniquely dangerous is his disregard for the rule of law. But while it’s certainly possible that Trump will leverage that disregard to advance conservative policy aims, what he has actually consistently done throughout his career is seek personal financial benefit, specifically at the expense of his fans and admirers.”

2024-05-25T12:57:51-05:00May 25th, 2024|HomeRecommended|

Liz Cheney: The Supreme Court Should Rule Swiftly on Trump’s Immunity Claim

• Liz Cheney writes in the NYT about why the Supreme Court should rule quickly on DJT’s immunity claim. The most trenchant quote from that piece:

“It cannot be that a president of the United States can attempt to steal an election and seize power but our justice system is incapable of bringing him to trial before the next election four years later.”

I agree.

2024-04-22T16:31:12-05:00April 22nd, 2024|HomeRecommended|

Good News – Pediatric Mortality Is Declining Dramatically

• Kristen Panthagani MD, PhD as usual writes quite effectively in Katelyn Jetelina’s Your Local Epidemiologist Substack space on the dramatic benefits of the modern world (including vaccines) on pediatric mortality.  An excerpt, and illustrative graphs:

“Deaths from infectious diseases have plummeted with the discovery of bacteria and viruses, improved sanitation, pasteurization, the discovery of antibiotics, and the development of vaccines. Childhood mortality dropped astronomically, and life expectancy in grew by three decades in the twentieth century alone. The most dramatic increases are among children under 5 years old.”

2024-04-18T18:42:53-05:00April 18th, 2024|HomeRecommended|
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