Monday, June 8, 2020

Surviving the Coronavirus: Part 12 (and final)

It's been 43 days since my last post. It's not the first time I've disappeared from this blog, and it won't be the last.

For the last six weeks I've been chasing the genetic basis for severe COVID-19 infections. I've documented the outcome of that effort in a lengthy technical paper I hope will lead to confirmation testing of my conclusion.

I offer the abstract of the paper immediately below.
Reportable COVID-19 infection rates vary radically from country to country. Remarkably, the reported rates in western Europe are more than an order of magnitude greater than in the tropics and sub-tropics. This suggests a common human genetic variant may be the primary culprit behind reportable COVID-19 infections.
Actual culprit identification will provide focus for efforts to identify prophylactics, treatments, and vaccines. Culprit identification will also identify pathways for relaxing the physical distancing measures that seriously constrain peoples’ lives and the world's economy.
Reportable COVID-19 infection rates show a definite male bias. This suggests that the culprit variant might be located on the X chromosome.
Reportable COVID-19 infections are associated with a remarkably low expression of type I and III interferons. This suggests that the culprit variant might be associated with the detection or signaling portion of the innate immune system.
By filtering gene variants based on their frequency, geographic distribution, chromosomal location, and function, one can substantially narrow the list of candidate culprit variants.
Of nearly 900,000 candidate culprit variants analyzed as part of the multi-layer screening effort described herein, only five survive frequency, geographic, chromosomal, and functional filtering. Those five candidate culprits belong to the HDAC6 and IRAK1 genes.
   The candidate variants are identified so that others may further evaluate them based on disproportional appearance among patients who have suffered serious COVID-19 infections.
The technical paper represents my best effort to ameliorate the suffering caused by the pandemic. I'll continue soliciting the attention of biomedical researchers who will hopefully be able to take advantage of my findings, presuming the findings are correct.

Other than that effort to circulate my paper, I will no longer be focusing my attention on the COVID-19 pandemic. Other significant tasks, too long ignored, beckon.

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