Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.
That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)
DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.
To contact Orac: [email protected]
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61 replies on “The immune system in action”
Recently saw a talk where the speaker showed a video of her data wherein red CD8+ cells interacted with green DCs in pancreatic islet beta cells while blue CD4+ cells flitted about in the background. She followed it up with videos of TCR polarization and subsequent internalization upon formation of the cSMAC. I almost blurted out: “Holy fuck, science, this is awesome!” but managed to maintain decorum.
Nature is endlessly fascinating, gruesome, and weird – why people need to make up fantasies like homeopathy and creationism is beyond me.
What a great video, that’s just gone up on my facebook page, to remind people how amazing the real, scientifically explored world is.
Why do people need woo when reality is so stunning, and so beautiful?
Is it odd that I was screaming, “Go get ’em!”?
Is it odd that I was screaming, “Go get ’em!”?
No, I was cheering the neutrophil on myself.
Want to boost your immune system. I’ll tell you how.
Selenium is essential for the heart and immune system and helps other antioxidants work better in the body.
Colostrum helps to increase bioavailability and absorption of nutrients into the body, while encouraging healthy gastro-intestinal function. It also possesses healing properties, boosts immune function.
AHCC is a unique formula combining a special blend of several species of mushrooms (which contain polysaccharides, amino acids and minerals) and calcium ascorbate, a potent, gentle-on-the-stomach form of vitamin C. AHCC (or Active Hexose Correlated Compound) is believed to promote enhanced immunity. We can’t say that it actually does becuase the FDA would be all pissed off and bitching about it.
Vitamin C is known for its outstanding antioxidant and immune boosting properties.
I’d rather hear from someone who actually knows something about the subject, thanks.
Yes, colostrum was probably a great benefit to my daughter…. when she was twelve hours old. Since then, she and I have both been fine without it, thanks.
What I meant to post, before getting sidetracked:
Yes, awesome video! I found a version with music that I put on my blog.
Colostrum still works, no matter your age. OOPS. I forgot to mention colloidal silver. It does wonder for the common cold. So does ViraBloc.
Watch the reaction to colliodal silver in the Dragon’s Den.
Boost Your Immune System?
The audio version: Boost your immune system and die:
Ever heard of Meso Silver? I heard the Roman Empire, ooops, I mean the EU was about to ban Colloidal Silver. Dammit. Now people will just have to make their own. That’s alot of trouble. Thanks be to the EU DICKtators and later to come, the DICKtators at the FDA. If you want colloidal silver, better get your silver and machines now and hide them good.
Hi Ho Silver!
The audio version: The data to support colloidal silver is less than WMD’s in Iraq.
Whatever happened to that sure fire herbal cure for Diabetes Type 1? One that included actual scientific data and was not a link to a commercial supplement site?
Haven’t we been through this about 10 times now? Man, I think you need some Ginko for memory support. If there is/was ‘scientific data” out there that you refer to, the FDA would have suppressed it. Who knows, there may be a “scientific” cure for Type I diabetes. Maybe the FDA and Big Pharma has supressed it. We have to keep relying on alternatives and forget the FDA. We know who they work.
Again, have you tried Glymetrol? It may not “cure” your type I diabetes, but that’s all we have until someone can take over the FDA and release the proper information against the wishes of big pharma. Sorry dude. It’s not my fault.
What do you mean. Iraq did have WMDs. We found them remember? Saddam had over 500 barrels of weapons grade anthrax. That is considered a weapon of mass destruction. Do you want Osama Bin laden with his hands on 5,000 gallons of weapons grade anthrax? I suppose Iran doesn’t have WMDs either? North Korea? Why, I bet even Russia don’t have WMDs either. Russia having WMDs is just a figment of the conservative right wing imagination. Saddam had to go. The evil bastard was a threat just as Imanutjob is in Iran and Chavez is in Venezuala and Castro is in Cuba and Che was. They are all fascist madmen that does not need power. The most power that should be given to any one of them would to be a janitor at Gitmo to clean up all the taliban poo they fling at our soldiers who should shoot them for doing so.
This is so cool. I was also cheering, it was reminiscent of a football game, Go, GO, GOOO…Yeah.
Our bodies are amazing!
That was cool…although tangling with S. aureus was far from it! One thought was, wow, something that impossibly tiny can wreak such havoc with a person. Amazing what’s out there that we can’t see with the naked eye; always did have an appreciation for the wonders of physiology, even though the microscope and I didn’t get along all that well in college.
And Dr. I.M.(not) Smart fails again.
I repeat, I do not have diabetes, I use Type 1 Diabetes as an example of a chronic condition. But I do notice you cannot answer the question.
Stop with the “FDA and Big Pharma suppress the info” crud.
The FDA only operates in one country. Small geography lesson, there are other countries than the USA on this globe. “Big Pharma” is also the biggest purveyor of the the supplements you push. PubMed indexes medical journals from around the world, including some that are dedicated to alternative medicine.
You have no excuse for continuing to post commercial retail sites as “proof.” Thought the last website did not seem to sell stuff, it offered absolutely no evidence.
Go ahead Chris, name me your ailment, I’ll fix you up with a remedy that will be equal to or better than big pharma can deliver (in most cases). There are exceptions though. There are some diseases that neither can fix. What’s your big quiz for me boy? Cancer, diabetes, clogged arteries? name your quiz.
I named Type 1 Diabetes (and diabetes was on your list!), and you failed. So until you answer that question with a real remedy that could free someone with a bum pancreas from the use of insulin with real evidence: stop pushing your idiocy (like colloidal silver).
In other words: put up or shut up.
I bet you say that to all the girls.
Another geography lesson for Mr. I.M. Stupid: the YouTube link is to a clip of a show, Dragon’s Den, that is in Canada. Canada is not a suburb of the USA, it is a whole separate country. They have their own laws and everything, you even need a passport to leave Canada to get into the USA!
The FDA has no jurisdiction there.
T Bruce McNeely:
“The FDA only operates in one country. Small geography lesson, there are other countries than the USA on this globe.”
Like Ecuador? Didn’t the FDA send agents there to arrest a man who was treating cancer not long ago? Even though the man was American, his operations was in Ecuador, stricktly out of jurisdiction of the FDA one might think. Iran says they have a cure for AIDS that doesn’t include a quarantine of homos. Their scientists say they have a cure. I bet if they do, the FDA won;t allow it here. You’ll have to fly all the way to Iran to get it and then be questioned on terrorism charges on the way back by the CIA. What a nice world the FDA makes us live in.
I didn’t fail. I delivered exactly as i stated I would. I gave you recognized (among us herbal people) names of alternative treatments. I can’t help it if they do not fit your so called ‘peer reviewed”, aka hyped up and paid off, statutes. I can’t help it if you don’t like what I gave you. I didn’t fail to give what I promised, you just failed to accept it.
and don’t knock Colloidal Silver. It’s the fastest working remedy I know of for the common cold. Better than any other over tye counter Cold medication. Have you even tried it? How do you know it will not help your cold until you try it? I have tried it and it made me a believer. If it gets banned, I know how to make my own. Besides here where i live Sudafed and other similar type drugs are about to be banned from the shelves and a prescription will have to be given in order to get the meds that we normally take over the counter. The lawmakers blame it on the dopeheads making meth. I blame it partly on them and partly on the fact that this law will put more money into the pockets of doctors, lawyers, and insurance companies. I am thinkig about stockiling and freezing some items. Instead of dealing with the dopeheads, they punish the innocent. That’s “progress” for you. Damned government.
The Canadian system is even more restrictive than ours. Thye have a socialist system of medicine. Thankfully, the Tea Party movement put a slowdown on that crap here. Their system is screwed up worse than ours and is expensive plus the care is not as good. A great system don’t you think. Don;t even get me started about UK style medical care. The least they could do is hire clean looking nurses and clean the rooms once ina while and checking on patients at least once a day wouldn’t hurt either. That socialism for you. Under the proposed Obamacare HELLthcare plan, we would pay more, have less care, be killed off when we get too old for certain procedures, and then to top it off, we donlt even get a choice in where we go. Not only that but doctors would make less which in turn would make some doctors quit. We would have an even greater shortage of doctors. I have heard two doctors in my own town say they will stop practicing medicine if Obamacare goes through. My sister in law who is a nurse is also contemplating a different career becuase of a possible takeover of her job by in ever so intrusive anti-constitutional bill such as the Obamacare PelosiReid HELLcare mandate.
Mr. I.M. Stupid:
I have no idea. Do you have a link to the story? Because as far as I am concerned you just make stuff up out of the blue.
No, you failed. You just post random links without evidence. Why should I take the word of the URLs you link to? They have no credence. There is no data, just stuff they said without any evidence.
Fail. Fail. Fail.
Oh, and despite your confusion over the difference between evidence and politics: The FDA still does not operate outside of the USA. Not even Canada or the UK.
So prove your claims with real data. Put up or shut up.
Looks like our woo-loving friend is talking about Greg Caton. According to the tin-foil hat folks, a corrupt FDA agent conspired with Ecuadoran authorities to kidnap brave “doctor” Caton and return him to the US.
It reads like the usual claptrap, the all-powerful Big Pharma and their minions close down a company, arrest the owner, who then relocates to Ecuador to escape persecution.
Anyway, that’s what I got from a 5 minute Google search, though I feel stupider having read what little I did.
Thanks, but I would rather Mr. I.M. Stupid respond.
Though speaking of those who challenge the immunity due to vaccines, it looks like someone is going down. I visited the Bad Astronomy blog, which linked me to a twitter from Dave the Happy Singer and finally to this happy news:
AVN to close its doors at the end of this month.
But, Orac — everybody knows that The Immune System works by Magic! or if you don’t like Magic, how about some nice Quantum Energy Immune System booster ? For myself,I have become convinced that Homeopathy can cure one medical condition. Dehydration.
Add some salt and some carbs and a liter or two of homeopathic water. . .
Ok I’m calling out I.M. Smart as a poe, on the grounds that no one stupid enough to belive even half of that crap could ever actually form a coherrant sentence.
@ Yakivegas: Well, using a google search on Greg Caton, all I got was conspiracy mongers, Mike Adams (but I repeat myself), and quacks. Couldn’t find ONE reputable news report about his “kidnapping” (although I didn’t look at all the articles, the first 2 pages did not have any real news report). And the Wiki article has a disclaimer that the majority of info was from someone very close to the subject and needed editing for a more neutral standpoint. So, I’ll take “Dr” Smart’s information with a large grain of skepticism.
Helloo friends –
I prefer the version to the soundtrack of NWAs 100 Miles and Running.
I’m disappointed in you Orac. I thought we were going to get one of your mega-blogs on this topic and all you delivered is a URL to a vid. You owe us the mega blog!
I.M. Smart is not just a wacky alt-bot, he’s a neo-con-bot too!
Can the operator of Mr. Smart please tell me where he or she found the aforementioned bot? I find it oddly entertaining.
Dr I M Smart:
Haven’t we been through this about 10 times now? Man, I think you need some Ginko for memory support.
You mean the gingko which recently failed a very large and robust study to see if it helped age-related memory loss?
Personally, I think the best reason to take gingko is that it is delicious. Properly cooked gingko seeds are quite tasty. (Drawback: cooking them makes your whole house smell like vomit. Seriousy. Cook ’em outside. Learned that the hard way. As bad as they smell when they first come off the tree, they smell worse when they’re cooking. When cooked, they taste very much like pistachios, and don’t smell bad at all.)
Like Ecuador? Didn’t the FDA send agents there to arrest a man who was treating cancer not long ago? Even though the man was American, his operations was in Ecuador, stricktly out of jurisdiction of the FDA one might think.
The FDA has no arrest powers. You may be confusing it with the FBI. I have no idea what case you’re talking about, but I have heard of cancer quacks getting arrested for other crimes — usually fruad, money laundering, or tax evasion. Those are crimes regardless of the person’s medical activities.
Iran says they have a cure for AIDS that doesn’t include a quarantine of homos. Their scientists say they have a cure. I bet if they do, the FDA won;t allow it here. You’ll have to fly all the way to Iran to get it and then be questioned on terrorism charges on the way back by the CIA. What a nice world the FDA makes us live in.
Are you seriously suggesting that being questioned on terrorism charges would be the FDA’s fault? Putting aside the question of whether or not we should be friendlier to Iran than we are, that has nothing whatsoever to do with the FDA and instead revolves around the events of 1979 and the overthrow of the Shah.
I wouldn’t put too much store in what Iran claims it has, though. They claim a lot of things which are patently untrue, so I would not be terribly surprised if this was just another one of those claims. You should see the kinds of things they claim for their military capability; they have been known to claim things which are physically impossible. It’s all to make their government look good. They do have some very talented scientists and engineers, but the level of hyperbole spewed by the government on a regular basis makes it impossible to take their claims very seriously.
WOW!!!! That is totally freakin’ awesome! Easily the awesomest thing I’ve seen today. It is amazing how well that neutrophil navigates, lacking a brain; we can’t make a robot 1,000 times that size navigate half so well. Sometimes the sheer elegance of microscopic organisms astounds me.
So, why is Doctor I.M. Smart tolerated in the comments? Are
these comments really moderated?
It looks like spam or noise to me. I don’t mind dissent, but
lies and bad faith detract from satisfying conversations.
I wanted to boost my immune system, so I followed Dr IM Smart’s advice. He suggested AHCC (or Active Hexose Correlated Compound), but since his link was to a big greedy company on the internet, probably connected with the gubment behind closed doors, I didn’t think I could trust them. So I built my own. Based on his description, “AHCC is a unique formula combining a special blend of several species of mushrooms (which contain polysaccharides, amino acids and minerals) and calcium ascorbate,” I ate some mushrooms, a donut for polysaccharides, and a strip of bacon for amino acids. And to hit the minerals, I licked a rock from my front yard. Lo and behold, I’m not sick! It worked! I’m a little hungry, though, maybe I’ll eat some more polysaccharides and amino acids by eating a sandwich later on.
Thanks, Dr IM Smart! You’re a miracle worker!
Dan L: Orac moderates with an extremely light touch. Only three people have ever been banned entirely, and as long as post isn’t overtly commercial in nature, he’s likely to let it through.
Free speech is clearly very important to Orac; he’s even written posts denouncing Germany’s anti-holocaust-denial laws and Nazi censorship laws, and this despite the fact that Orac himself is a passionate opponent of holocaust denial.
There’s also the fact that letting people like “Smart” post is a rather effective means of giving them enough rope to hang themselves.
And besides, it’s amusing. Saves a bunch on the budget for feeding the horde raw meat, too.
Just theorizing here – but I think Dr. I. M. Smart is a troll or a perfect example of Poe’s law.
I’m pretty sure Mr. Dr. Smart is a Poe. “Natural” remedies, quack medicine, and beliefs in giant corporate conspiracies to poison you for profit tend to be the domain of the environmental-hippie-Luddite left, ie, our friend M*** Ad***. Mixing that with (usually mutually exclusive) hard right neocon garbage looks like trying too hard to push our buttons 🙂
Dr. I M Smart (Medician Man, I M Hungry (?), and Johnson B. Long) is just a disgusting jerk, who loves to invent new sock puppets. He has also posted racist and misogynistic comments.
I really hope he is a poe, that would restore some of my faith in humanity.
No need explaining it a twelfth time since you didn’t get it the first 11 times. I put up rather well. I can;t help it if you refuse the information given. Sounds like a personal problem to me.
Racist comments? Where? Are you really so sensitive? Prove I said a racist comment. What did I say that you perceived as racist?
Mr. I.M. Stupid is a Poe. Ignore the idiot.
Just ignore Chris. Oh. I know about the “study” that concluded that Ginko had no effects on memory in the elderly. I have not seen the study itself, but conclude that it means nothing. The elderly have an entire lifetime of taking in toxins, especially aluminum which impairs though process, memeory, and concentration. Maybe if these “study” patients were given chelation to remove their toxins before Ginko was applied, then the results may have been different. Just saying. Alzheimerâs Disease has been linked to aluminum intake. Ginkgo Biloba improves circulation to the brain, improves memory, and has antioxidant benefits. Vitamin E slows the progression of Alzheimerâs disease.Although researchers are not yet sure what causes Alzheimerâs, it is likely that a combination of the following factors plays a significant role in the disease.
Genetics (including elevated homocysteine levels)
Nutritional deficiencies (especially of vitamins B1, folic acid, and B12)
Environmental toxins, especially aluminum and mercury
Chronically elevated cortisol levels
All of these can be dealt with independently. I still say chelation may help people with early stages of dementia. Thest thing, of course, is to ditch the products that contain mercury (CFL bulbs, some fish, etc.) and aluminum such as Rolaids, some deodorants, etc.
It’s interesting that the neutrophil is chasing Staph, given that S. aureus is non-motile. Are we sure it isn’t something else, like Neisseria gonorrhoea?
Mr. I.M. Stupid, you don’t seem to understand: you did not answer the question with actual evidence. You failed to provide a reputable source of information. You only linked to commercial supplement companies and a site that rattled off a bunch of herbs with claims, but no bibliography or supporting evidence. I told you that they were not acceptable.
Basically, you have absolutely no clue that you are making a fool of yourself.
Until you answer with a real remedy for Type 1 Diabetes with actual scientific evidence, or just admit you have no remedy for Type 1 Diabetes: You will be considered a clueless troll.
And if you read the comments above, you will notice that we are laughing at you, not with you.
I’ve seen this video on YT before, but it’s still amazing. It’s doubly amazing that they filmed it so long ago.
That’s a good question, Staphylococcus. I’m not a microbiologist, but I wonder if the neutrophil is actually pushing the bacterium along, unintentionally, by its own bow wake? (I presume there is some fluid present on the slide, and the neutrophil has to push through that to get at the bacterium. It’d be like trying to fish a tiny bit of eggshell out of a bowl of eggs.)
Dr I. M. Smart:
I know about the “study” that concluded that Ginko had no effects on memory in the elderly. I have not seen the study itself, but conclude that it means nothing.
That sounds awfully like rejecting because it fails to support your views, since you admit you have rejected it without even looking at it. I find that rather sad.
I was disappointed when I read the study, myself. I think gingkos are extremely cool, and was very hopeful that it could do something real besides just being it’s usual awesome self. (They’re living fossils; how cool is that?)
BTW, about Rolaids — you’re not going to get aluminum poisoning from them. They don’t contain any aluminum at all. The main ingredient is calcium carbonate (which they get as a byproduct of marble quarrying). It reacts with hydrochloric acid to produce water, calcium chloride, and carbon dioxide (which is why antacids make you burp). The second active ingredient is magnesium hydroxide, familiar to many as “milk of magnesia”. Downside of magnesium hydroxide: it’s also a laxative. 😉 Fortunately, calcium chloride tends to have the opposite effect, so in Rolaids, it probably balances out.
There are antacids which do contain aluminum hydroxide, such as Equate, Gaviscon, liquid Maalox, and Mylanta. Some of those also include magnesium hydroxide. The aluminum is not easily absorbed by the gut, so occasional use shouldn’t even cause a significant increase in blood aluminum levels.
Another chemical used for this purpose is bismuth subsalicylate (what gives Pepto-Bismol it’s peculiar pink color). It’s related to aspirin, and has anti-inflammatory properties as well, but like aspirin, there is epidemiological evidence it may be a factor in Reye’s Syndrome.
But there is one thing in common with all the common antacid chemicals (and also sodium bicarbonate, which lots of folks used in the old days): if you are using lots of them, you probably ought to switch to a more serious anti-heartburn medicine. None of these are meant to be used long-term at high doses, and although they’re all quite safe if you’re only taking a few, they can cause problems if your heartburn is so bad you’re taking them by the handful.
“That sounds awfully like rejecting because it fails to support your views, since you admit you have rejected it without even looking at it. I find that rather sad.”
That’s my words to Chris as well. I don;t think he gets it yet. Now I am explaining it for the 14th time. I think he’s getting close to breaking the world no-understand-what-I’m-saying competition.
What you are saying is that you have nothing. You have shown absolutely no evidence. The evidence would have to be at least a study to show that the remedies actually cure Type 1 Diabetes. Links to a list of herbs, or to a commercial supplement website is not sufficient.
I did not reject it out of hand. I looked at it. I even dug deeper in all the websites looking for cites, studies or anything that could at the minimum be construed as evidence. The required proof was missing, so those links were completely deficit.
And the problem is that you do not even understand why those links are inadequate. Double fail.
I did not fail.
I did not fail.
I gave what I said I would give. The sites are adequate enough for any normal person to comprehend and understand for themselves without a group of nerds endorsing it.
Repeat explaination #16 and counting. The record is 27.
Penguin “Is it odd that I was screaming, “Go get ’em!”?
So was I, that os one cool little video
What is really cool is that the interactions are totally biochemical reactions! There is nothing like sight, smell or whatever like in multi-cell critters.
(and for Mr. I.M. Stupid, the sites you posted are not suitable for those who know how to think, you have failed to present real evidence for your claims… until you present actual evidence that someone with Type 1 Diabetes can live without supplemental insulin with one of those remedies, you have FAILED. Fix that. Until then, you are a stupid troll.)
Repeat # 17. I DID NOT FAIL.
I suppose this does not penetrate. Think for yourself and leave nerdy little sci-fi twerps out of your logic.
Once again, in case it still hasn’t penetrated,
for the 18th time now,
I DID NOT FAIL.
I gave you the information necessary to make an intelligent decision. You FAILED to do so. Please go find a supplement to boost your brain power – Ginko, PDS, Omega 3, etc.
Oh, wow. What an idiot. Total fail, and completely unable to understand that he failed to provide the required evidence. Again, lists of herbs without a bibliography of actual studies to show efficacy is not sufficient, and a link to a commercial supplement website is not adequate (it is actually quite pathetic). Anyone recognize some classic Dunning-Kruger effect?
Please, do not feed this clueless troll.
“lists of herbs without a bibliography of actual studies to show efficacy is not sufficient”
No studies? How do you think we know so much about these herbs and what they can treat?
You fail – again.
Please do feed me. I am hungry. Got any fried chicken? Oh, wait, trolls live under bridges, so I guess I should be eating mushrooms and fish.
Troll – epic fail. Why not fairy, or vampire, or pixie, or Lizard Man of Scape ore Swamp? I hate trolls. Especially the pukwudgies of Massachusetts. They alsways try attack when it’s dark. Cowards.
Chris + hebal facts – “peer reviewed literature, aka FDA endorsed propoganda x 18 times expalining = epic fail.
Chris, I see that D-K effect a lot on this blog: Doctor Dim is just one of the practitioners/afflicted.
David, it should be quite clear that this idiot troll is not a doctor. He is barely literate, and cannot tell the difference between real data/evidence and an advertisement.