Zika Virus for Brain Cancer Therapy—I have my doubts

A recent publication in the Journal of Experimental Medicine claims to treat brain cancer by a Zika virus infection. Why such a finding has do be mistrusted?

It sounds like a weird idea to treat a disease by an other one. It is not impossible though, but quite unlikely. For instance diabetes, at least insulin dependency, can be ameliorated by an other disease, by chronic kidney failure. As the kidney destroys native insulin, a shrunken kidney would not, so in diabetics with a residual insulin secretion, it can become sufficient with the development of chronic kidney disease. But cases like this are a rare exceptions in medicine, more common it works the other way around. Usually, a supervening disease make matters much worse.

What about a Zika infection of a brain that has a tumor? Despite tumor research for many decades now it is not known a single case of a virus infection curing a cancer. On the contrary virus infection have been described as cause in many tumors. This is not surprising though. A tumor cell is a just body cell that went out of control. They escape control because of a whole range of somatic mutations. Tumor cells show some common patterns of mutation, for instance often tumor suppressor genes are mutated, but also great variability even among cells from the same tumor. Therefore it is easily imaginable that a virus infection can tip a cell off the balance and make it a tumor cell, but not the other way around.

However, what about just killing the tumor cells specifically, as the research paper claims? Sounds reasonable, in particular because viruses always have some target cells they can infect. These target cells bear specific receptors, so if a tumor cell bears a such a specificity, it can be infected specifically. But the mechanism isn’t such simple.

  1. The expression of receptors on tumor cells is quite variable.
  2. The mechanisms by which a virus kills a cell are cell specific as well.

Usually the viruses high-jacks the cell’s specific mechanisms to amplify themselves and to kill the host by apoptosis eventually. These mechanisms might be deranged to a variable degree in tumor cells as well. For instance apoptosis most often is switched off, which is why an individuals own cellular defense system cannot kill these tumor cells themselves,  so it seems rather unlikely that a virus can restore a deranged apoptosis, and even if it can succeed in some cells, it is unlikely that it can in all of them. However, if only a small amount of tumor cells survives the tumor attack, these cells will be selected to propagate as in a typical evolutionary process. We already know this phenomenon by the name chemotherapy resistance.

Now, if such a therapy seems to be rather a dubious approach, why is it published in a top-tier journal? The answer is simple if you know just two things.

  1. The Zika virus is patented by the Rockefeller Foundation (http://www.globalresearch.ca/who-owns-the-zika-virus/5505323).
  2. The Journal of Experimental Medicine is owned by the Rockefeller foundation as well.

The Rockefeller Foundation would earn a lot by such a therapy, but even if it turns out after some extended research that this therapy doesn’t work at all (as I supposed in the first place), the foundation would earn with every research project. As research projects are mostly publicly funded, many public money would flow into the pockets of lawyers of that foundation, and this in my opinion is the core purpose of this article. The wastage of desperately needed research money.

Again it is not unusual that a foundation sponsors research with an object they have patented, but it make alarmed to scrutinize for any fraud.

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Indoor/Outdoor Sports

The difference between indoor and outdoor sports can be felt.

outdoor

Three cranes.

 

Outdoor you almost always can enjoy fresh air and new impressions above and under water.

indoor

Insight a gym.

Indoor, by contrast, you don’t get cold in a rain, and the probability to see interesting people is stronger.

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Morning flower

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The Posture: Hands on Waist with Elbows up And Pointed out.

Spaniard with Tambourine (1909) Henri Matisse

Spaniard with Tambourine (1909) Henri Matisse

It may be attributable to my latent prosopagnosia, but because I cannot read too much from facial expressions, I’m quite good at deciphering body language. When I recently came across a picture of a friend I was fascinated by the mere posture, so I decided to do some research on the matter.

Where does this affection for women in that posture came from? I remembered I had seen this posture many times on paintings because obviously painters —like me—have been always impressed by women in that posture. When I actually browsed my archive, though, I found only few examples, but what amazed me most was some regularity.

38-gestures-of-body-language-26-728

Any body language dictionary says this posture signals readiness and sometimes even aggression. I cannot agree with aggression, but would rather call it decisiveness or a resolute stance. This—I imagine—would be the perfect welcome posture of a wife for her boozy husband. The gesture has something of authority, self-confidence, and dignity.

This posture obviously is understood in all parts of the world, so we find it in sculptures from India as well as from Pre-Columbian America.

Seven seasons of a women (1544) Hans Baldung Grien

Seven seasons of a women (1544) Hans Baldung Grien

It probably also has something to do with age. In this picture from a German painter that illustrates the seasons of a female, only women in her fecund ages show this posture. Maybe this is the genuine meaning of readiness which also conveys attractiveness and sex-appeal.

Young Lady - La Bella (1536) Tizian

Young Lady – La Bella (1536) Tizian

However there is more about paintings of women in that posture than just luring men’s attentions. It is remarkable that in Europe those paintings appear not before the 18th century. Italy is an exception which was more advanced that time as are some parts of Germany, in particular those that border to the Netherlands. Still we have to admit that in Tizian’s painting as in Baldung’s before the posture is rather hidden.

A typical painter of that posture was Goya. From Feuchtwanger’s book, we know his affection for strong women. With all his Maja portraits he just indulged in his love affair with the Duchess of Alba one of the most preeminent women of her time.

Portrait of a voluntary officer (1812) unknown Russian artist

Portrait of a voluntary officer (1812) unknown Russian artist

In Russia this development was a bit delayed, so the earliest painting I could found was a feeble attempt. The painting shows a portrait of a young person with a delicate face and clear complexion typical of a women wearing a uniform typical of a man. The title of the picture Portrait of A Voluntary Officer reminds of Jean d’Arc.

Detail of A Family Portrait Polowzew and Tatistschew (about 1840) unknown Russian artist

Detail of A Family Portrait Polowzew and Tatistschew (about 1840) unknown Russian artist

Next it were but aristocrats painted in that posture which seems reasonable as Russian society was still dominated by aristocrats at that time.

Interestingly, though, in Russian art is the early appearance of women members of the working class in that posture.

Mariana (1870) Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Mariana (1870) Dante Gabriel Rossetti

At the beginning of the 20th century those pictures with women in that posture disappeared. As we witness is Rossetti’s picture painted at the end of the 19th century, he already felt a uncomfortable with that posture. Matisse’s Spaniard with Tambourine is the last one that I found of that kind, with only one single exception.

After World War 2, in East Germany, and for a very short period of time, female representation in such a posture was seen in some paintings. Interestingly, these women appear only in groups that they seem to dominate. Ever since those portraits disappeared, so it is refreshing finding them in personal profiles sometimes.

A German poet once said that artists act like thermometers sensitive to social tensions, and they subconsciously express these tensions in their work. They don’t rationalize social movements but they are able to feel and express these feelings with their specific techniques.

 

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What they don’t tell you about garage startups

There is more about successful garage startups than just the founder’s ingenuity and hard working. Most articles perpetually regurgitated by monopolistic media and various blog posts try to convince you that exactly only hard working and ingenuity is necessary to create a multibillion international company. I purposely refrain from listing examples, but they are so abundant that they can easily be googled. Even a facebook meme circulates probably repeatedly refreshed by Zuckerman’s robots.

Why however most of these garage startups are located in North America though ingenious and hard working people can be found everywhere in the world? A quick and shallow answer is white supremacy, but more subtle analysis quickly reveals that this cannot be the answer. There are thousands maybe even millions of startups worldwide but only a dozen became multinationals. In Europe those startups are easily out-competed or swallowed by existing monopolies. In Asia almost all of these companies stay at the garage level for ever while in Africa and South America most of of ingenious entrepreneurs encounter difficulties even to create or maintain a garage business.

Some of the reasons have been thoroughly analyzed in blog post by Ivan Raszl that I’m happy to link here. He points out the importance of a social environment that provides wealth, education and security.

It is the affluence that enabled a few geniuses to excel. Millions of people use their garage exclusively to park their car and their spare time to travel. Only a few motivated geniuses abuse their garage for experimenting in their spare time. I think the lack of proper space and time is the most prominent hurdle for successful startups in Africa and South America.

The next hurdle is crime or the lack of protection from it. While it is simple rubbery of typical criminals in Africa and South America, it works less openly in Europe and Asia though rubbery it is. It is rubbery taken to a new dimension which may be called organized crime. What I mean by that is not only the Mafia type found in Southern Italy, but also the various governmental organizations whose bureaucracy is stealing much of the success. And of course these governmental parasites effectively cooperate with existing monopolies that not only fear competition by want to receive their share by a non-friendly takeover. The existence of this rubber schemes in Europe and Asia is why startups are endorsed there but rarely reach international momentous.

As we learned so far in North America only, optimal conditions for startups to thrive seem to exist. Still this begs the question why did only so few recent startups in the United States make it to the wold’s top. Again there are a simple answer and a more thorough one. The simple answer is at the top there is space enough only for a small number of companies. That’s true but if we assume a fair competition in which only these few were the ultimate winners, we would still expect a lot more not so prominent winners. In fact we would expect a pyramid of winners with gentle slopes easy to climb up for newcomers, but what we see is exactly the opposite. The slopes are so steep that it is absolutely impossible for someone new in the field to compete with Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, or Google.

This leads to the logical conclusion that the remarkable success of these companies was not accidental and cannot ascribed to an outstanding ingenuity, and the second answer is that the unique success of these companies was rather a strategic decision meticulously planned and executed.

For instance, Google’s supremacy is the results of a dot-com bubble burst. Before that Gooogle had many competitors, and it was a vibrant market every bright idea made it to a new search engine, algorithm were quickly copied improved and implimented, all in all a market far from being monopolized. Then bankers entered the scene. They began to hype dot-com stocks. Not only did they encouraged investors to buy such overpriced stocks but also they encouraged founders to create new Internet businesses and sometimes those businesses became rich literally overnight for almost nothing but a shady business plan. Then they let the bubble burst and the marked was purged as only Google mysteriously survived.

Great losses were also seen with Google and the question why they still survived is at least partially answered by Edward Snowden when he revealed the NSA connection of many such big dot-com companies that survived the crash.

Now that we logically proved that the garage startup is just a myth, the question remains why this myth is so resistant and so strenuously perpetuated? The answer is that in fact those statups produce a great share of our wealth and even more important is their share in achieving progress. They are desperately needed even by the parasites who feed on them, and the purpose of my post was not to discourage, but rather to encourage to keep the eyes open to the best conditions for those enterprises worldwide and to fight poverty and parasites that still are the greatest threat to human progress.

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Copenhagen

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Aggressive Always the Others Are

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Berlin Pictures in Spring

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Picked-up Quote on Love

At a reading at the Leipzig Book Fair, Ipicked up the following quote today.

Falling in love is just like handing over to someone the power to seriously harm you, but only those who don’t abuse deserve it.

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What a firework to celebrate peace.

March 23rd a massive explosion occurred in an ammunition depot near Kharkiv. Roughly 150 tons of ammunition were blown up. This is a video published on youtube. This is good news actually.

The best thing you can do with weapons is blowing them up without killing people or destroying infrastructure.

BTW the international weapon industry is happy too, and that’s for several reasons.

  1. The most obvious reason is that they can make fresh profits by selling new weapons now.
  2. Their products, weapons and ammunition, are consumed without actually having to stir up conflicts. Stirring up conflicts is a cumbersome, time consuming, and costly endeavor, so it definitely reduces net profit. Simply blowing up the stuff in a firework is much more moneymaking.
  3. Even for the military industry killing people and destroying infrastructure is a drawback in every war because the weapons are paid by the people. People can pay for weapons only if they are alive and their infrastructure functioning. People have to earn money by peaceful working before they can buy new weapons. If infrastructure is destroyed they cannot earn enough.
  4. Finally killing people and destroying infrastructure also ruins social life. People’s desire to keep social life intact is astoundingly strong. People miraculously cling to their social connections more than to anything else. If they learn from own experience, killed relatives and friends for instance, how harmful war is to their social life, they give a shit about buying new weapons and that would be the ultimate blow to the weapon industry.

Thus this firework made all happy pacifists and war mongers alike.

A few month ago I published an article “What the Ukrainians Can Learn from the Swiss“. I’m glad to learn that Ukrainians are smarter than I previously thought. Thumbs up keep learning.

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