Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

This is Just Cringeworthy

Cringeworthy, are the numbers of people who still are unvaccinated and believe they will not be stricken by Covid. Hospitals, doctors, nurses and the staff are at critical mass again. Meanwhile courts continue to block mandatory vaccinations on the premise it is their right to become infected and endanger others. And Republicans are cheering on […]

Explaining Mutations and Variants

Blogger and Commenter Professor Joel Essenberg addresses Covid variants being called mutations. As a geneticist, I am troubled by the promiscuous use of the word “mutation” to describe amino acid or nucleotide differences from a reference sequence. In nearly all cases, there is no known functional significance attached to these differences. Accordingly, the differences are […]

Karl Marx: A Nineteenth-Century Life

Professor Joel Eissenberg, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Years ago, I was visiting Halle in the former East Germany and my host took me to the nearby town of Leipzig. While walking through town, he stopped at the shop window of a coin collecting store that displayed the defunct East German 50- and 100-Mark notes. My […]

COVID vaccines and antibodies

Joel Eissenberg, Ph.D., Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology I got the Moderna vaccine as part of the phase III clinical trial back in August and September 2020. Although it was technically a blinded trial, I knew from my symptoms after the second shot I was in the vaccine arm and not the placebo arm […]

Do COVID vaccines offer a lengthy and durable protection?

Prof. Joel Eissenberg has a new post up considering people’s immunity to Covid and what it consists of after vaccination. COVID vaccine immunity is waning — how much does that matter? (nature.com), September 17, 2021, Elie Dolgin, We can say circulating antibodies do matter for protection from COVID-19. With the innate immune response, they represent […]

Moderna booster on the way?

“Preliminary Analysis of Safety and Immunogenicity of a SARS-CoV-2 Variant Vaccine Booster,” medRxiv preprint Authors: Kai Wu1*, Angela Choi1*, Matthew Koch1*, LingZhi Ma1 , Anna Hill1 , Naveen Nunna1 , Wenmei Huang1 , Judy Oestreicher1 , Tonya Colpitts1 , Hamilton Bennett1 , Holly Legault1 , Yamuna Paila1 , Biliana Nestorova1 , Baoyu Ding 1 , […]

Science is a human enterprise

Prof. Joel Eissenberg, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Arguably *the* transformative scientific innovation of the past two years was the development and deployment of mRNA vaccines against SARS-CoV-2. But like any innovation, there is a long unsung history, with lots of players nobody heard of. Since the Nobel Prize in Medicine is likely to go to […]

COVID vaccines and durable protection

As debates about booster shots heat up, what is known about the duration of vaccine-based immunity is still evolving. Prof. Joel Eissenberg, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Saint Louis University School of Medicine. Joel participated in the early trials of the Moderna mRNA vaccines for Covid-19. He was inoculated with the true vaccine as determined by […]

Natural infection versus Vaccination

Commenter and blogger, Prof. Joel Eissenberg, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology  In the unceasing effort by the Right to politicize and weaponize the COVID-19 pandemic, some politicians have seized on a recent paper from Israel claiming that natural infection provides better protection than two doses of the Pfizer vaccine. Setting aside the orders of magnitude difference […]

CRISPR Infusion Edits Genes Directly in Humans

PhD geneticist and molecular biologist Joel Eissenberg discussing CRISPR results. — “A watershed moment in modern medicine,” says genetics expert The promise of gene therapy may finally be realized. I’ve been a PhD geneticist and molecular biologist for nearly 40 years. During that time, I’ve seen the cloning of many human genes for which inherited […]