Zombie Science Today


Today is 31st October and it is Halloween.

MD2 and I were taking about the shape of Science and sometimes it feels like we are fighting against some giant Zombie Army, who “can’t see the wood for the trees”

You destroy the mindless naysayer only to be confronted by another and another and another. You can destroy them in so many ways but they keep on coming and coming.

If you get tired of the carnage then there is a risk that you become a Zombie yourself and end up surrounded by Zombies in either case, hoping for the day when the death ray wipes them off the face of the Earth.

However deep down you know Science Zombie Apocalypse II is coming soon.

I somethimes wonder if we do not make enough strides forward because we have become constrained by our thought and reporting process and the way we reward innovation. We accept that things are unknown because we told this by opinon leaders, when reading and abit of thought can tell you otherwise.

A string of unrelated facts and half-facts does not infrom, unless we can put them together to make a coherent story that reflects the real world and explains the known biologyi. Importantly we will not hear the voice that says “It’s behind you” as we turn into a Zombies and follow the pack.

The human experiment is the ultimate experiment. What can it tell us? Will looking in the haystack give us the needle, that we know is there? Or will it show us that our immune system fight infections on a regular basis?

Immune reconstitution therapies: concepts for durable remission in multiple sclerosis. Lünemann JD, Ruck T, Muraro PA, Bar’Or A, Wiendl H. Nat Rev Neurol. 2019 Oct 24. doi: 10.1038/s41582-019-0268-z. [Epub ahead of print]

New so-called immune reconstitution therapies (IRTs) have the potential to induce long-term or even permanent drug-free remission in people with multiple sclerosis (MS). These therapies deplete components of the immune system with the aim of allowing the immune system to renew itself. Haematopoietic stem cell transplantation, the oral formulation cladribine and the monoclonal antibodies alemtuzumab, rituximab and ocrelizumab are frequently categorized as IRTs. However, the evidence that IRTs indeed renew adaptive immune cell repertoires and rebuild a healthy immune system in people with MS is variable. Instead, IRTs might foster the expansion of those cells that survive immunosuppression, and this expansion could be associated with acquisition of new functional phenotypes. Understanding immunological changes induced by IRTs and how they correlate with clinical outcomes will be instrumental in guiding the optimal use of immune reconstitution as a durable therapeutic strategy.

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    • You have to get evidence if you want to supply it. Would you prefer 12 injections a year of the world’s favourite drug or 365 or 183 injections as occurs at present.
      I was guessing the once a week would appear as the patent on the thrice a week went. However I think the lawyers must have done a job on the patent as generic 40mg dose every other day is around. Maybe once a week would be too obvious so that a patent couldn’t be defended.

      I see that this is placebo controlled and I personally believe that this is scandalous in this day and age. They should at least compare it to current GA practise.

      It says something about the regulators that this is approved. The FDA will have been consulted on this.

      This is a twelve month study. Is this long enough. Maybe the people designing the trial are zombies as they don’t think and clearly do not care about the number of people getting nothing and suffering as a consequence. Would a ‘have’ sign up to this, if they had insurance that would cover treatment.

      Maybe neuros need to get a spine and stamp this zombie behaviour out. I have a low esteem of the parent company (for personal reasons) and this drops to a new low

      • I thought it was no longer OK to do placebo only vs. whatever studies.
        I’m concerned that our FDA in the USA 🇺🇸 has been sold to the highest bidder. You can close your ears when I say Gadolinium is a toxic metal that accumulates, gets stuck where scars are. No studies to say it’s safe even though we’re told it’s safe. The daily routine needs to be really looked at. Check boxes, traditional thinking, adoration and obedience to the Chairman Doctor. Patients scared into signing anything. Shake it up.

        • ICH/GCP opened the door for placebo controlled studies. The declaration of Helsinki (which is not followed in the US) specifies:

          33. The benefits, risks, burdens and effectiveness of a new intervention must be tested against those of the best proven intervention(s), except in the following circumstances:

          Where no proven intervention exists, the use of placebo, or no intervention, is acceptable; or

          Where for compelling and scientifically sound methodological reasons the use of any intervention less effective than the best proven one, the use of placebo, or no intervention is necessary to determine the efficacy or safety of an intervention

          and the patients who receive any intervention less effective than the best proven one, placebo, or no intervention will not be subject to additional risks of serious or irreversible harm as a result of not receiving the best proven intervention.

          Extreme care must be taken to avoid abuse of this option.

          ICH/GCP is silent on this issue and is the set of guidelines adopted by the global regulators.

  • These quotes seem appropriate
    “New scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die” – Max Planck
    “The human mind treats a new idea the same way the body treats a strange protein; it rejects it.” Peter Medawar
    For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple and wrong.” – H.L. Mencken

  • ”We’re always, by the way, in fundamental physics, always trying to investigate those things in which we don’t understand the conclusions. We’re not trying to all the time check our conclusions; after we’ve checked them enough, they’re okay. The thing that doesn’t fit is the thing that’s most interesting ” Richard Feynman


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