Wuhan Diary #13: The Seventeenth Day of the Wuhan City Closure — February 8, 2020

Graphic by 巴丢草 Badiucao

February 8 – Seventeenth Day of the Wuhan City Closure

Today is Lantern Festival. Today marks the end of the Lunar New Year.

I’ve never bought flash-frozen tangyuan dumplings before. Its hard to get anything fresh now. Normally we would make our own at home but now we lack for most everything. Everything except for time. Yesterday evening I used the grinder to grind black sesame and peanuts. This morning I added oil and caster sugar and then boiled it to make black sesame filling which together with the family we put into the tangyuan and then boil them. This is the first time we made them this way but the taste is good, the aroma is tangy, and they were delicious.

While eating the tangyuan, friends sent me the news that a former colleague had died from the new type coronavirus pneumonia. This colleague was not old so his death came very unexpected. Not surprising though given what we have here in Wuhan today. Today I saw online that a professor who taught graduate students at Huazhong University of Science and Technology [Note: Profesor Hong Ling — obituary in Chinese below. Mentioned in Washington Post article as well. End note ] has passed away. Sometimes the foolish idea comes to my head that the virus is really quite “fair”. No matter whether you are rich or poor, noble or base, young or old, no one is exempt.

Sitting at my desk, listening to the twittering of the birds outside my window seeming to welcome the Spring, it feels like they live in a completely different world from us. As I think about it, I decide that it is a ridiculous thought. People have great difficulty sharing the sorrow and happiness of another. How much less this must be true for creatures of different species!

According to the latest news, the pangolin may be an intermediate host for the new coronavirus.

I feel that this is very depressing news.

The Pangolin is a protected species. The Chinese pangolin has been listed as “critically endangered” on the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature

(IUCN) which means that they are just one step away from extinction. Chinese do a lot of pangolin hunting not only to eat wild game but also for Traditional Chinese Medicine which uses pangolin body parts to made medicine. It said that Traditional Chinese Medicine made from pangolin body parts helps “stimulate the circulation of the blood and helps muscles and joints relax” as well as for “stimulating menstrual flow and promoting lactation”. This is because, it is said, that pangolins are good at digging holes, Thus liquids can flow through through the body without causing pain.

What idiocy! Anyone of normal intelligence could not believe such a thing!

But that’s what Traditional Chinese Medicine says so some people believe it!

Recently many people in the neighborhood WeChat group have been sharing so-called Traditional Chinese Medicine prescriptions for preventing new type coronavirus pneumonia. Even my own mother has talked to me about this a few times. Whenever I just get indescribably angry. There is really to argue about on this matter. It’s just common sense. However could Traditional Chinese Medicine “prevent” problems that modern medicine can’t solve? When you drink the Traditional Chinese medicine does it go down to your stomach to do diplomatic negotiations with the virus? I don’t think Traditional Chinese Medicine even works as well as drinking more warm water – and drinking water doesn’t have side-effects.

Anyways doesn’t Chinese medicine argue that its great strength is finding “the particular prescription suited to each individual person?” Then how can it offer one prescription to everyone online? That is very simple logic.

This just enrages me!

There are always people claiming that their relatives terminally ill with cancer prolonged their lives by taking Chinese medicine. This makes me think of the “placebo effect” one reads about in popular science publications. Even more astounding is that some people say that Traditional Chinese Medicine is unfathomable to ordinary people because it is philosophy. No, it isn’t “philosophy”. Its metaphysics! !

That’s how some ordinary people see it. Now Chinese officials as well are promoting Traditional Chinese Medicine to treat patients with mild cases of the new type pneumonia. This is even more annoying. Shuanghuanglian is a farce.

[Note: Shuanghuanglian oral liquid consisting of honeysuckle, scutellaria baicalensis and forsythia. According to a PRC anti-rumor website, it is being studied, but no evidence of effectiveness in preventing coronavirus pneumonia and people should not take it. See article copied below from Hong Kong newspaper website [东方日报] according to which an unnamed official of the Chinese Academy of Science said there have been encouraging lab results and the next step will be clinical trials. End note ]

Does pushing this medicine have to end up not only defrauding people but taking their lives as well?

I do not completely reject Traditional Chinese Medicine. If one considers the matter carefully, the classifications “Chinese medicine” and “Western medicine” are not rigorously objective ones. The difference is really between “traditional medicine” and “modern medicine”. Traditional medicine has analyzed and refined by modern medicine. By reasoning, we arrive at correct principles. One hundred years ago, the Chinese New Culture Movement promoted “Mr. Democracy” and “Mr. Science”. Why do we still use the those theories which “belonged to our ancestors” to fool people today? That is not medicine, that in not modern civilization. Promoting these things is just making people stupid and foolish. The end result: just look at the pangolins, just look at us in Wuhan. Is that lesson not already painful enough?

I only hope that pangolins do not share the fate of the civets – many of these were killed during the SARS epidemic.

The Chinese have already harmed this species too much.

However, maybe there are not many wild pangolins left at all to hunt down and kill.

 Finally, I want to tell about how I went out the evening before last to throw out the garbage. Suddenly I noticed that there were plastic trash barrels were placed a result intervals on the street with a sheet of paper on them reading “Special barrel for medical face masks”.

From the placement of this trash barrel on the main road and not in the centralized garbage collection area in the community. The trash barrels is very large and has no cover so that the contents will be exposed to the air.

This arrangement, first of all, makes it harder to throw out the trash since residents will have to go off in two different directions to throw out the trash that they have separated. Second, how long have these barrels been sitting there? How often are they picked up? Our community has not put out any notice. If I didn’t happen to see them, I wouldn’t have know that they were there. Even if I had seen them, the trash I carried out would already be sealed in a bag so I wouldn’t be able to separate it. Next, if some people in cars passing by threw face masks into the barrel, the air current might carry them away. Even if they don’t, the face mask may have virus on it that is in direct contact with the air. Wouldn’t that make the virus spread even further?

When you take all that into consideration, wouldn’t it have been better to dispense with this kind of doing things for appearances’ sake?


Chinese text:

2月8日 武汉封城第17天

今天是元宵节,今天过完,农历新年就正式结束了。

之前没有买速冻汤圆,现在买东西也不容易,索性就自己包汤圆了,反正现在什么都缺,就是不缺时间。昨晚就把家里剩下的黑芝麻和花生用料理机磨碎备好,今早加了油和白砂糖,简简单单就熬成了一小锅黑芝麻馅,跟家人一起包好汤圆下锅煮熟,虽然是第一次做,味道倒是不错,香气扑鼻,挺好吃的。

吃汤圆的时候收到朋友的消息,一个前同事因为感染新型肺炎昨晚过世了。这位同事年纪不大,就这样走了挺意外的,但是发生在现在的武汉,似乎也不算意外了。刚才在网上又看到,一位华中科大的教授、博士生导师也去世了。有时候会傻傻的想,病毒可真是一个特别“公平”的东西,不管贫富贵贱男女老幼,都难以凭个人的意志去豁免。

坐在书桌前,听着窗外的啾啾鸟鸣,好像是在热热闹闹的迎接着春天,仿佛它们与我们不在一个世界,想想又觉得自己好笑得很,人的悲喜都不能相通,何况不同物种呢。

最近的新闻说,穿山甲可能是新型冠状病毒潜在的中间宿主。看到这个消息,我觉得特别郁闷。

穿山甲是保护动物,在国际自然保护联盟IUCN的红色名录上中华穿山甲已被列为“极危”,距离灭绝只有一步之遥。至于中国人大肆捕猎穿山甲的原因,除了吃野味,中医也脱不开干系。中医将穿山甲入药,据说能“舒筋活络”“通经下乳”,之所以这样认为的原因据称是——穿山甲擅长挖洞,能“通”,通则不痛。

白痴啊!脑袋正常的人都不会相信这一套吧!

但是中医,就有人信!

最近本地群里有很多人在发所谓的预防新型肺炎的中药方,连我妈妈都跟我说过几次,我每次看到就无名火起。这根本不是什么需要辩论的问题,只是常识而已,现代医学没有办法解决的问题,中医怎么“预防”?药喝到肚子里跟病毒搞外交吗?我看不如多喝热水效果好吧,还没有副作用呢!何况中医不是经常标榜自己特别讲究,“一人一方”吗?怎么面对病毒的时候就能一个药方全网发呢?这不是很简单的逻辑吗。

气死我了!

总有人言之凿凿说哪个亲戚癌症晚期,靠喝中药延长了寿命,我就特别想科普“安慰剂效应”。更神奇的是还有人高深莫测的说中医是哲学,一般人不能理解!

“哲学”?根本是玄学吧!

普通百姓也就罢了,现在官方也在推动中药治疗新型肺炎的轻症患者,这就更让人生气了,双黄连已经是一场闹剧,难道除了割韭菜,还要收人命吗?

我不是完全否定中药的意义,认真追究起来,“中医”和“西医”的分类本身也不够客观,而是“传统医学”和“现代医学”的区别,将传统医药通过现代医学进行分析、提炼和论证才是正理。距离中国新文化运动提出“德先生”和“赛先生”已经100年了,怎么还能用“老祖宗的东西”这套理论去忽悠人呢,那不是医学、不是现代文明,而是愚昧和愚民。最后的结果——看看穿山甲,看看我们武汉人,这样的教训还不够惨痛吗?

惟愿穿山甲不要重蹈SARS时期果子狸被大量捕杀的境遇,对于这个物种中国人已经亏欠太多了。

不过,也许,野生的穿山甲根本也没有多少可供捕杀了。

最后闲记一笔,前晚出门扔垃圾,忽然发现路边每隔一段距离安放了一个塑料垃圾桶,桶身上贴了A4白纸,上书“医用口罩专用”。

这个垃圾桶,从摆放的位置上说,是马路的主干道,而非小区的垃圾集中回收区域,从垃圾桶的本身来说,体积非常大而且没有加盖,整个垃圾桶内容物会直接与空气接触。

这样的设置,首先就很不方便扔垃圾,居民可能需要往返两个方向才能分类丢弃;其次,这个垃圾桶什么时候摆在这里、回收频率如何,我们社区内没有任何的公告,如果不是我看到根本不会知道它的存在,即便我看到了,由于手里拎的垃圾袋是完整打包好的,不可能现场进行分类;然后呢,如果往来有车辆,扔到这个垃圾桶里面的口罩就有可能被气流带出来,就算不会,口罩上可能存在的病毒直接与空气接触,不会造成大范围传播吗?

都这个时候了,这种形式主义的东西能不能别搞了!

Obituary for Professor Hong Ling of Huazhong University of Science and Technology.


年仅53岁!华中科技大学教授红凌因新冠肺炎逝世

2020-02-08 18:30 来源:澎湃新闻·澎湃号·媒体字号科技日报关注据澎湃新闻2月8日报道,华中科大三级教授、博士生导师红凌不幸于2月7日23时左右因新冠病毒感染,医治无效在武汉去世,年仅53岁。
据悉,红凌教授出生于1966年11月。1987年获得武汉大学生物化学专业学士学位,1994年在美国亚利桑那大学获得生物化学博士学位,随后于美国名校伯克莱大学分子和细胞生物学系作博士后研究。生前系华中科技大学生命科学与技术学院教授、博士生导师。
主要研究方向:以模式动物果蝇和人体细胞为模型,研究人体重大疾病如肿瘤、心血管疾病等的基因和蛋白调控机制及调控网络,研究与人体重大疾病及稀有疾病相关的基因UBIAD1的分子机制。

教育经历:
1983.9:武汉大学生物系、生物化学专业攻读学士学位
1987.7:获得武汉大学生物系、生物化学专业学士学位
1987.7:参加全国中美合作生物学科(CUSBEA)统一考试并被选拨留美
1988.9:美国亚利桑那大学(University of Arizona)攻读生化博士学位(导师:著名 RNA 专家Dr. Richard B. Hallick,研究领域:叶绿体的基因结构与表达)
1994.12:获得美国亚利桑那大学(University of Arizona)生化博士学位
工作经历:
1995.1:美国加州大学伯克莱分校(University of California at Berkeley)分子和细胞生物学系的实验室作博士后研究(导师:著名遗传学家 Dr. Gerald M. Rubin 研究领域:果蝇的结构和功能基因组学)
1999.2:美国加州伯克莱、劳任斯国家实验室科学家(Scientist at Lawrence Berkerley National Laboratory);研究领域:哺乳动物功能基因组学
2007.3-至今:华中科技大学生命科学与技术学院教授、博士生导师(研究领域:人体重大疾病的分子机制及信号转导网络调控)
学术兼职
中国国家科学奖评委
中国国家自然科学基金评委
中国抗癌协会纳米肿瘤学会委员
中国稀有疾病研究联盟全国协调主任
研究方向
以模式动物果蝇和人体细胞为模型,研究人体重大疾病如肿瘤、心血管疾病等的基因和蛋白调控机制及调控网络。主要研究与人体重大疾病及稀有疾病相关的基因UBIAD1的分子机制。
近年的科研项目、专著与论文、专利、获奖
中国国家自然科学基金:果蝇抑癌基因heixuedian的分子机制研究(项目编号30971608)
中国国家自然科学基金:一类既抑制膀胱癌又降低胆固醇的蛋白UBIAD1的分子机制研究(项目编号81272210)
中国国家科技部高科技863项目:用TMV和功能基因组的方法高通量、快速鉴定极限海藻中有经济价值的基因(项目编号2007AA09Z449)
中国国家重大新药创制项目:一类新型抗肿瘤药物TERE1/UBIAD1的研究及应用(项目编号2009ZX09301-014)
中国国家高校研究基金:用蛋白质质谱方法研究小G蛋白Ras的胞内循环(项目编号2011TS084)
来源:澎湃新闻和华中科技大学生命科学与技术学院官网
原标题:《年仅53岁!华中科技大学教授红凌因新冠肺炎逝世》

On Chinese medicine Shuanghuanglian

From Hong Kong Dongfang Ribao 东方日报 website date February 2, 2020


About 高大伟 David Cowhig

After retirement translated,with wife Jessie, Liao Yiwu's 2019 "Bullets and Opium", and have been studying things 格物致知. Worked 25 years as a US State Department Foreign Service Officer including ten years at US Embassy Beijing and US Consulate General Chengdu and four years as a China Analyst in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. Before State I translated Japanese and Chinese scientific and technical books and articles into English freelance for six years. Before that I taught English at Tunghai University in Taiwan for three years. And before that I worked two summers on Norwegian farms, milking cows and feeding chickens.
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