Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Lizard Blood Kills Lyme Disease Bacteria

At least two lizards in California have a protein in their blood that kills borrelia, which has slowed (but not stopped) its spread. When I left PA in the late 90s, I felt like I was escaping Lyme disease - one group of trail runners I knew estimates the prevalence of Lyme in its ranks at 70% - but by the mid-teens I had already started seeing cases of Bell's palsy caused by Lyme - it's here. But still not as bad.

From Note that the classic target lesion occurs in only about 50% of cases, meaning that just because you never saw a target lesion, doesn't mean it's not Lyme.

No word on whether therapeutics are being based off this protein but it seems like an obvious move.

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Links, Photos and Miscellany For Your Pandemic Summer

  1. On Facebook, the Mountain Lions of Pennsylvania Info Library. I don't think there is good evidence that there are mountain lions back in PA - yet. But PA is such prime mountain lion country that it's just a matter of time - they're back in Kentucky and Connecticut and recently there have been some more convincing observations in Upstate New York. My offer for a bet stands - if you do NOT think there will be mountain lions documented in PA by the end of 2025, contact me and let's make a bet with money in escrow and everything.

    (If you think there IS evidence, PLEASE comment below with source. Everyone has an uncle with pictures or a hide of one they shot, then when I ask for the evidence, they disappear back into the internet.)

  2. On average, the Earth's trees getting shorter and younger. The smaller a tree, the less carbon it can hold.

  3. I can't believe we've fallen so far as a country that I have to say this. Martinis are made from gin. Asking someone who orders a martini if they want gin or vodka, is like asking someone who orders a steak if they want it to be from a cow or a chicken. And now my beloved Taco Bell is breaking my heart, as the Pacifica location (which offers alcoholic drinks) offers vodka "margaritas".

  4. Random Sonoma County countryside, the Moon and Venus over Sonoma, jalapenos which when they are done will destroy the universe*, and sharp tail snakes I keep finding in my backyard.

    *I had the jalapeno seeds cursed by a shaman, soaked in VX gas, and for good measure dipped them into the accelerator at CERN to suck up some good ol' Higgs bosons, hence collapsing the metastable vacuum and the aforementioned universe-destroying.

  5. Salt Point State Park: do you know that there are scum bags who steal hundreds of dudleya plants at one go from these places? If you see them, let them know you're watching, and follow them to their car (often don't look like outdoor types and not enjoying their hike, carrying plastic bags, taking pictures of the plants.)

  6. Annadel State Park

  7. Austin Creek State Park. Run cut short because it was damn hot that day.