Friday, May 20, 2022

BIG Exclusives

Music, mathematics, and physics Part 2 – musical scales

In the first part of my series entitled Music, mathematics, and physics, I explained why we have 12 notes in western music, but spent very little time explaining what to do with these notes. In this article, I will look at scales, which is the way these 12 notes are grouped together. Scales are like the bricks and mortar that bind songs together and tell us immediately whether we are listening to classical, flamenco,...

Omicron update: vaccine effectiveness against hospitalization drops sharply

Updated vaccine effectiveness in Ontario as of Dec. 30 shows effectiveness against hospitalization has suddenly dropped to 43%. The vaccine effectiveness against new cases is below zero. The ICU vaccine effectiveness is holding above 80% for now.   As discussed in the recent article As Omicron cases surge, impact on health care systems is difficult to predict, COVID-19 cases have been rising dramatically in the United States and Canada over the past few weeks, largely driven by the...

As Omicron cases surge, impact on health care systems is difficult to predict

Updated vaccine effectiveness in Ontario Canada, as of December 24, 2021, shows effectiveness against hospitalization and ICU hospitalization is holding between 70% and 90%, but against non-hospitalization, it has abruptly dropped below 0%.  Reported COVID-19 cases have been rising dramatically in the United States and Canada over the past few weeks, with the U.S. showing 197,856 new cases and Canada 20,693 new cases on Dec. 23.The CDC estimates that over 73% of new cases are...

Vaccine effectiveness and adverse events – what we have learned

We have published numerous articles on COVID-19, many of them concerned with vaccine effectiveness, herd immunity and vaccination rates, the rational framework around vaccination, and evaluating adverse events following immunization (AEFI). Each of these articles was intended to educate through analysis of considerable information. We thought it would be useful to write a summary of these articles. A humble summary We can only give our best, objective assessment of information using the information currently available to us....

Ontario vaccine effectiveness nosedives amid surge in new cases

The Omicron COVID variant is relatively unknown, but appears to be spreading quickly across the United States and Canada.We look to the province of Ontario for a clue as to what this variant may do in other regions in the near future. The latest vaccine effectiveness estimates as of Dec. 18, 2021, out of Ontario show high effectiveness against severe cases (hospitalization and ICU hospitalization), but plummeting effectiveness against mild or new cases.This decreasing effectiveness has been...

Analysis of severe events following COVID vaccine shows increased incidence of myocarditis and lymphadenopathy

In two previous articles, we discussed the difficulty in determining the cause of an individual report of an adverse event following immunization (AEFI) Taking a responsible look at adverse events following immunization, and we analysed mild AEFIs for the Pfizer vaccine in its Phase 3 trial in adolescents and young men Analysis of COVID vaccine AEFIs, Part I. In this report, we will look at severe adverse events in four large-scale studies of surveillance data. This analysis will require...

Analysis of COVID vaccine AEFIs, Part I

In the article Taking a responsible look at adverse events following immunization, we discussed the difficulty in determining the cause of an individual report of an adverse event following immunization (AEFI). Finding out whether the event was caused by coincidence (something else) or the immunization was shown to be an exercise in inductive logic, one that often requires follow-up examination or information. It is also an exercise that may fail to yield a definitive answer. In...

Taking a responsible look at adverse events following immunization

The decision to vaccinate a child or not is rationally a question of the risk of the vaccine versus the benefit from the vaccine’s protection against the targeted disease. As reported in the article Prisoner’s dilemma and vaccination, this question can be reframed to the likelihood of infection and the morbidity ratio of the vaccine versus the disease. Information on the morbidity of the disease is often readily available, as in the charts presented in this...

Geothermal energy and its place in the evolving power paradigm

Geothermal energy has been a hot topic of discussion as humanity moves toward more diverse and less environmentally impactful energy production in the future. How important is geothermal going to be, and how do we make the most use of its potential? First, a definition. “Geothermal” is literally heat from the earth. It is very hot below our feet – up to 6,000 degrees Celsius at Earth’s core (Figure 1). Figure 1. Earth’s inner layers showing increasing heat...

Summit CEO Hall awarded $1-million cleantech challenge prize

Amanda Hall of Summit Nanotech was named the winner of the $1-million Women in Cleantech Challenge (WIC) today for her innovative work in the field of lithium extraction. As we reported in the article Examining the gender lens and the Women in Cleantech Challenge, the goal of the WIC initiative was manifold: To address the lack of female leadership in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) through a unique leadership and entrepreneurial development program. To develop...