Author Archives: Peter

Luciferase is not Satanism in biotech

I made a video about luciferase. Some conspiracy theorists think they THEY are putting LUCIFER-ase in the vaccines. I think it’s just a misunderstanding of a paper like Schlake et al. (“Developing MRNA-Vaccine Technologies.” RNA Biology 9.11 (2012): 1319–1330. https://doi.org/10.4161/rna.22269). I have been trying to end videos with some kind of call to action, but in this case I’ve been coming up blank. There are people who apparently believe the name luciferase means bioscientists are satanists and are dropping little “hiding-in-plain-sight” hints about it. What can we do about people who are that deep into conspiracy-theory cult-think?

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Not fighting with commenters, talking about SPR instead

I wanted to fight with some YouTube commenters, but that’s dumb. Hence the comic. But I need to remember that most of the comments I get are very kind. It’s easy to focus on the negative.

Thing 1. Someone said I have lesbian hair. I imagine this person thinks they were trolling me? But I take it as a complement. From what little I know, lesbians have really cool hair.

Thing 2. Someone compared climate science to a house of cards. I think his idea was “the pandemic caused a slowdown in CO2 production and we didn’t see a proportional change in climate! Checkmate, athe- climatologists!”

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comic of a woman who says she can't wear high heel shoes

Regarding arthritis and high heel shoes

I uploaded a video this week about the possible link between senescent cells and arthritis. Injury can generate senescent cells. Injury can make cause (or at least increase) osteoarthritis. So could that be the mechanism? Could senescent cells be causing or exacerbating osteoarthritis? I’m not the first to think so. This paper from 2017 shows how a drug to kill senescent cells in mice helped with arthritis. But, unfortunately, the drug didn’t work in people as of 2020.

This got me thinking of arthritis and “high-heel socks.” So I made this comic in collaboration with an artist. I’m very glad Snowman was available to do the art again. They do wonderful work.

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Jurassic Park and Climate Science

Youtube:

This week I posted a youtube video about how Michael Crichton was wrong about climate change. Snowman did the art for the comic above used in the video – I think it turned out great.

Crichton said, “The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus.” I see that as edging into misleading. Yes, the final authority of science is experiment, not consensus. Yes, scientists had to break with consensus to present truly novel theories, hypotheses, and results. But… this makes it seem like breaking consensus correlates with being correct.

And that’s not true at all.

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The Hedonic Treadmill and Social Media Exhaustion

I’m not totally sure that the internet has been a net positive in my life. I am “very on the internet.” I have been for about 25 years. That’s almost as long as a person can possibly be “very on the internet” as of 2022. As a consumer, there’s always a new thing to scroll for. And sometimes you get absolute gold. As a producer, there’s always a new metric/milestone to strive for. Hence the comic (thanks to Cruzlogia for making the art!). I put up a video about this whole thing, too.

The late David Graeber said that the internet was really just a more efficient post office, mail order catalog, and public library. And he was right. The Internet isn’t really good for much more than that. It can do much more than that, but little good.

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