Monday, March 26, 2018

Soviet Spies Shudder -- March 26, 2018 -- The Political Page, T+26

Trade War?

Pretty much, not. Tariffs simply bringing people together. "Dow set to surge as fears of impending trade war ease ..."

Back to the Permian  

From Bloomberg Business via social media:
Chevron, the world’s third-largest publicly traded oil producer, is spending $3.3 billion this year in the Permian and an additional $1 billion in other shale basins. Its expansion will bolster U.S. oil output, which already exceeds 10 million barrels a day, surpassing the record set in 1970. The growth in U.S. oil production from shale is helping vault America into the lofty ranks of the globe’s premier -producers—Russia and Saudi Arabia—and could derail OPEC’s plans to lift crude prices.
Chevron is no newcomer to the Permian. The story of the Scharbauer SE71 well in Midland County, which when completed will extend about 9,000 feet down and then almost 2 miles sideways, began more than 75 years ago. In 1888, Texas & Pacific Railway Co. went belly-up and bondholders seized some of the lands the state had granted to the railroad. By the 1920s, drillers were tapping gushers in the region; one of those, Texaco, began snapping up control of former railroad rights of way, including, in 1962, the former railway acreage rights belonging to TXL Oil Corp. When Chevron bought Texaco in 2001, it inherited a treasure trove of untapped Permian riches.
Today, Chevron controls 2.2 million acres of Permian rock, an area the size of Yellowstone National Park. Even better, it pays little or no royalties on 80 percent of its holdings, boosting its profitability. (Typically, explorers must pay landowners 10 percent to 25 percent royalties.)

In stark contrast to Chevron’s inherited Permian position, rival Exxon Mobil Corp. paid about $6 billion for drilling rights in the region last year, after making its entrance into shale through the $35 billion purchase of XTO Energy Inc. in 2010. And Royal Dutch Shell Plc spent $1.9 billion in 2012 to build its Permian position.
Much more at the link. Many, many story lines in that article.

Disclaimer: this is not an investment site. Do not make any investment, financial, job, travel, or relationship decisions based on anything you read here or think you may have read here.

Back To Polio

Jonas Salk: A Life, Charlotte DeCroes Jacobs, c. 2015.

Chapter 8: The Chosen -- the first charge -- 
tally the number of different types of poliovirus

Battle plans against polio begin; Harry Weaver's round table in 1948.

The Typing Group (as in typing the strains of polio).

Four scientists in the trenches:
  • Louis Gebhardt, University of Utah
  • Herbert Wenner, University of Kansas
  • John Kessel, University of Southern California (my alma mater)
  • Jonas Salk
To oversee the project:
  • Albert Sabin
  • David Bodian
  • Thomas Francis
NFIP's first attempt at directed group research. 

March of Dimes plays huge role.

Salk's team:
  • Salk hires a former army officer, Byron Bennett, as his research assistant
    • decorated for his work controlling typhus during the war
    • at Walter Reed Army Hospital -- demonstrated skill in field testing
  • Salk hires a senior research associate, Julius Youngner, a microbiologist
  • bacteriologist James Lewis brought experience from the drug-manufacturing world
  • four more research assistants
Typing polio
  • Brunhilde strain (Type 1)
  • Lansin straing (Type 2)
  • Salk chose Sabin's method of serum neuralization to type the virus
  • third strain identified from Los Angeles: Leon strain
  • 1950: animosity between Sabin and Salk on how to test for different strains
Need to be able to grow viruses in living cells, not just in culture media
  • 1949: John Enders, Thomas Weller, Frederick Robbins -- succeeded -- Nobel Prize (all three)
Salk figured out how to improve virus / tissue culture

1951: typing polio had been completed
  • of 196 strains tested, 161, Type 1; 20, Type 2; 15, Type 3 -- cost, 20,000 monkeys and $1.3 million
The friendship between O'Connor and Salk; Queen Mary; O'Connor becomes Salk's patron

Influenza vaccine: while working on polio, also working on influenza at Fort Dix

But eventually turned to polio as sole attention.

Chapter 9: Ready to Run -- developing the vaccine

the 1934 debacle: trials between Brodie's inactivated virus and Komer's attentuated live virus

between 1934 and 1951: no polio progress

to being the vaccine process, had to pick best strains
  • Type 1: the Mahoney strain (Thomas Francis, patient in Ohio)
  • Type 2: the MEF-1 strain (soldier, Middle East Forces)
  • Type 3: Saukett strain (Jimmy Sarkett, Municipal Hospital where Salk had worked)
  • [Why the HeLa (Henrietta Lacks) controversy is bogus.]
Salk uses formalin (a solution of formaldehyde to inactivate the virus but not its antigenciity)

 Chapter 10: Research Sub Rosa -- time to test the Salk vaccine on human subjects

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