Hacker Perspective: Vaccines limit life-time accumulated damage from viruses

Caveat: this information on this web page is based upon material gathered from a number of sources including the internet. Therefore, use this material cautiously at your own risk and only with the advice of a physician

Introduction

As I write this in December 2021, humanity has been firmly in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic since March 2020 at the very least. We all thought this would be over by now but the emergence of the omicron strain, along with the reemergence of the delta strain, has dashed those hopes.

On top of all that, I attend a gymnasium daily (wearing a mask even though I have received two COVID-19 inoculations and have an appointment for a third) but still cannot believe the amount of non-sense I hear every day. Much of it is politically based (which is the dumbest reason ever) but I believe that many people who are susceptible to this stuff have a low level of scientific literacy.

Last week I attended an eye examine where the doctor places eye drops in order to administer a glaucoma test. Over the next hour my vision was reduced to the point where I could not read a magazine or pass time on my phone so I was reduced to being alone with my thoughts while I wondered about "age related" things happening to friends and family.

I am in a hurry to publish these thoughts so have limited everything to point form.

The facts (as currently known)

  • animals (including humans) are multi-cellular organisms
  • bacteria are single cell organisms
    • bacteria could not be seen by humans until the invention of the optical microscope around the year 1620.
      comment: science is wonderful in that philosophies are eventually become testable. Scientific hardware expands our senses (the telescope brings large distance objects closer to view; the microscope brings smaller objects closer to view)
    • 200 years later, the French scientist Louis Pasteur proved that bacteria caused certain diseases but many medical doctors at the time remained dogmatically skeptical. This proved to most of humanity that medicine is an art rather than a science
      comment: medicine could be practiced more scientifically but this depends upon the personal views of the medical practitioner as well as the patient (er, client)
  • viruses are units of genetic information (in chemical form) which are hundreds-to-thousand times smaller than bacteria.
    • viruses could not be seen by humans until the invention of the electron microscope around the year 1930.
    • this means that humanity had no clue what they were dealing with during the 1918 influenza pandemic
      comment: humanity had known about Influenza for thousands of years. The disease gets this common name from 15th century Italians who believed it it was influenced by the stars
    • there is no scientific agreement as to whether viruses represent life (or not) because they cannot live on their own. They can only express themselves by co-opting cellular organelles (usually ribosomes)
    • TAKE NOTE: viruses are so small that they can infect single cell organisms like yeast (a fungus) or bacteria
  • Introduction to DNA and RNA
    • DNA was first extracted from cells in 1869 but no one knew how it worked until a scientific paper was published by Watson and Crick in 1953
    • In a typical healthy animal cell, generic information is encoded in the form of DNA which is stored as chromosomes in the cell nucleus.
      • From a 10km point of view, short DNA instructions are transcribed onto mRNA which are usually escorted from the cell nucleus into an organelle known as a ribosome
        (some mRNA can open up a new chromosomal message; computer programmers might think of this as a JSR instruction or GOSUB)
      • The ribosome reads the message three nucleotide strands at a time (A, C, G, U/T) which encodes for an amino acid. This means that the ribosome is building a protein (or protein-like substance such as an enzyme)
    • Nervous tissue (think brain, spine, eyes) is composed of a special purpose cells known as a neurons. Some of their metabolic functions have been transferred to neighboring glial cells.
      (click here to learn more: https://www.news-medical.net/life-sciences/What-are-Glial-Cells.aspx )

A few notes about diseases

  • disease is a catch-all word which includes many things including genetic disorders, or developmental problems caused by insufficient resources before or after birth. But what follows is only a 10km overview of diseases caused by bacteria and viruses
  • bacterial diseases involve organisms that compete for resources within your body (air, food, water, etc)
    • when possible, your body will attempt to expel these invaders by causing coughing, diarrhea or vomiting. These builtin modalities have been in play for millions of years.
    • some bacterial infestations cannot be expelled and for these you might need to rely upon friendly bacteria (competition from your natural microbiome) or human administered therapies which include bacteriophages (more popular in Asia + China) or antibiotics (more popular in Western medicine). comment: before the HIV/AIDS crisis (1980-1990), the word 'antibiotics' had a different meaning. Today the more accurate word would be antibacterial
    • here is a short list of example diseases that : Tuberculosis , Cholera , Typhus , Bubonic plague
      comment: you might be able to fight without modern medicines but the result will be a total coin toss. Even if you think you got Tuberculosis under control, the bacterium can hide out a foreign structure known as a tuberculum. Listen to this: https://www.sciencefriday.com/segments/the-origin-of-the-word-tuberculosis/
  • viral diseases completely take over a cell's internal machinery
    • from a 10km view: viruses are found in two-three broad categories:
      • DNA viruses (examples: herpes, papilloma, pox)
      • RNA viruses (examples: SARS, MERS, COVID-19, HIV-1, HIV-2)
      • Retrovirus
        • any DNA or RNA virus than can transcribe itself back into your DNA (once infected, you can NEVER get rid of this stuff)
        • examples: herpes zoster (which produces shingles), HIV-1, HIV2
    • Notes:
      • Since DNA viruses need to co-opt DNA-reading enzymes away from the cell nucleus in order to transcribe the virus DNA, it is possible that some DNA viruses will only compete for a healthy cell's resources. The host cell might live for a long while in a degraded state (depends upon many things including overall health and nutrition)
      • Since RNA viruses can easily overwhelm a cells internal machinery by directly taking over a ribosome, the cell is no longer able to carry on normal functions (an important one being the metabolism of glucose into ATP by another cellular organelle known as the Mitochondrian). A cell infected this way is living on borrowed time and will eventually burn itself out doing nothing more other than making new copies of the invading virus. Or, it might be marked for death by the immune system.

Now for a short detour

Over the past 60 years I have noticed more people around me (mostly family + friends) being diagnosed with:

  1. diabetes : Type-1 is an inability to produce sufficient (any?) insulin by a small clump of cells in the Pancreas known as the Islets of Langerhans. Type-2 is associated with the aging of insulin receptors on target cells throughout the body. Apparently these receptors become worn out from overuse (associated with a life-time over consumption of sugar and/or carbohydrates.
     
  2. macular degeneration is associated with degeneration of the macula of retina. This could be related to direct damage to these nerve cells, or their supporting glial cells
And this got me thinking.

A few notes about cell death

Cells are programmable (sort of):
  • All animal cells contain a nucleus where DNA is stored.
  • DNA is composed of chemical instructions which are best thought of a firmware (a kind of semi-permanent software)
  • All animal cells contain a suicide gene known as P53 (some long-lived creatures, like elephants, have multiple copies of P53).
  • When a cell self-detects internal problems, or reaches the end of its life, it might activate this gene to kill itself via a process known as apoptosis.

The human immune system is a fascinating multi-function system that operates with many modalities. Here are a few:
  • PREVENTING CELL INFECTION
    • detect invading diseases (viruses and bacteria) just as they enter the body but before they have infected any cells ('Best Mode' since it prevents cellular damage)
  • DEALING WITH CELL INFECTION
    • detect cells that are already infected then instruct them to kill themselves via the P53 mechanism (doesn't always work)
    • detect cells that are already infected then attempt to kill them via a hunter-killer mechanism (doesn't always work)
  • a few more details:
    • scientists inform that there might be 3-4-5 modes. Here are two:
    • mode-1 is based on B-cells (made in bone marrow) see: https://biology-pages.info/B/Blood.html#lymphocytes
    • mode-2 is based upon B-cells (made in bone marrow) working with T-cells (modified in the thymus) to implement a hunter-killer model
      see: https://biology-pages.info/B/B_and_Tcells.html
    • note that T-cells implement a memory function remembering previous invasions
    • memory cells are also created with the application of vaccines which come in two broad categories:
      • sections of dead (or live) proteins made from a sample of the disease (old school - goes back 1000 years to India)
      • sections of mRNA segments which will instruct your ribosomes to produce copies of a desired protein (new school - starts in 2020)
        caveat: mRNA breaks down very quickly due to body temperature so this so-called foreign chemical is 100% gone long before 24-hours
Thought bubble: humans maintain numerous memory systems outside their bodies including everything from ancient stone mega-structures to modern libraries and computers. When humans employ collective wisdom to create vaccines, these contribute information to a library. When you receive a vaccination you are sending your immune system to school (hey, learn about this possible invader)

Food for thought

  • I recently heard a report claiming that "Type-1 Diabetes only occurs via an auto-immune process".
  • Okay so the classic definition of an auto-immune attack is the immune system attacking healthy cells as is the case with Lupus.
  • But this got me thinking: what if a cell, any cell (pancreas, retina, brain, whatever), is attacked by a virus which is then killed by a normal immune system response?
  • If operating as expected, the dying cell should send out a chemical message to encourage a healthy neighboring cell to produce a replacement by cell division.
  • But what if this 'death cry' message never is released by the dying cell -OR- is never heard by the neighboring cells because they are also under attack (or under stress)?
  • In the case of nerve cells, do cells in the eye produce replacements at the same rate as cells in the spinal cord? Some sources say that cells in the retina, and macula of the retina, do not replicate at all.
  • We know that spinal cord nerves do not always produce replacements (or never at the same rate of body cells)
  • Nerves are dependent upon glial cells. What if they do not reproduce properly?

Summary

  • I now think that many age related problems are associated with an accumulated life-time damage caused by external influences with viruses being the main culprit
  • I cannot prove it, but I think that many age related problems are due to a life-time of viral attacks (where the cells are not replaced - or cells are altered as in the case of retroviruses).
  • I cannot prove it, but I believe that the healthiest older people in our society are those that prevented viral attacks via vaccines (or wearing masks, or social distancing)
  • I think I have been vaccinated more than 30 times in my whole life (IIRC)
  • caveat: I am not a scientist. But I have been working as a computer programmer for more than 40 years with the title "systems analyst". Think of this web-page as a system analyst's view of how viruses affect humanity

Addendum (4 months later)

  • It appears that the worst part of COVID-19 is behind us as vaccinations (and deaths) have provided the remainder of us with limited herd immunity.
  • This means that this disease has shifted from pandemic to endemic (but has not gone away)
  • So, like influenza, this disease will be a part of humanity for decades to centuries (a least until scientists and medical researchers invent a magic bullet of some kind)
  • Until then, you will still need to receive vaccinations of all sorts including: COVID-19 and influenza
    • policy is to accept anything available
      • I received both the Shingles and Pneumonia vaccines as soon as they were available to my age group.
      • I received my third COVID-19 shot on 2021-12-27
      • I received an influenza shot mid February of 2022
      • I just registered for my forth COVID shot (2022-04-14)
  • Final points:
    • there seems to be an new issue developing called Long COVID where as many as 1% to 4% of the people who contract COVID never fully recover from the damage -OR- never fully clear the disease from their bodies. Some of these people complain of brain fog which is causing some researchers to consider the fact that COVID might be able to hide in neurons (as does Syphilis)
    • Some COVID patients have experienced heart failure and/or heart attacks which has many times resulted in death. It now seems likely (but no proof) that many infected heart cells were busy making copies of the COVID virus then were targeted for programmed cell death by the immune system. (for anyone who thinks this unlikely consider this: during the 1918 Spanish influenza pandemic, significantly more young people died than older people. Younger people had stronger immune systems which resulted in a fatal form of self defense. Older people with weaker immune systems suffered longer but did not die)

Diabetes in the news (2202-04-xx)

With people isolating during the COVID-19 pandemic, it seems sensible to expect a higher incidence of type-2 diabetes which is usually associated with life-style choices (consuming too much sugar). But recent numbers from the UK indicate that COVID-19 may be responsible for inducing type-1 diabetes (destruction of islet cells in the pancreas) which made me think those cells dies after an immune system response. Here are a couple of links:

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Neil Rieck
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.