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This comes up a lot - Gwern has a decent research overview on arguments why nicotine by itself isn't particularly addictive (spoiler: MAOIs in tobacco) and there also decades of trying and mostly failing to get animals hooked on nicotine alone. As far as I can tell, society has just conflated nicotine and smoking and blamed the former for addiction to the latter.

n=1, but I personally do not feel any pull towards using patches not lozenges and ironically often forget about them.

To stay with the drug theme: I've had moderate success using nicotine lozenges to "jumpstart" an exercise habit. For the uninitiated, nicotine is habit-building more than it is directly addictive and slow-release forms like lozenges or patches are relatively safe. I had no trouble stopping the lozenges after a few weeks and the habit stuck.

Do be careful with this if you have any cardiovascular ailments (particularly hypertension), as nicotine is a vasoconstrictor.

This is purely speculative, but I wonder if slow reaction speed could be in any way conducive to intelligence. I also score subpar on reaction time tests and sometimes react over a second later than I'd consider typical. Afaik IQ does correlate positively with reaction speed, so this naturally isn't the whole story, but my hypothesis would be a kind of "deep" vs "shallow" processing of sensory data. The former being slower, but able to find more subtle patterns in whatever you are perceiving, the latter being quick to respond, but also quick to miss vital information.

Only about 300 bases as well. I remember a study on SARS1 that showed higher immune response to an RBD vaccine than a full S1 subunit vaccine in mice. And while I usually trust studies on mice as far as I can throw them, it served as a good enough excuse to be a cheapskate. (And after all, I can throw mice at least moderately far...)


Hm, I'm not opposed to it, but given that the project is dead and any future biohacking project I'll take on will get a different name anyway, I'm not sure if changing the name retroactively accomplishes anything. I doubt this experiment will have enough of a lasting impact to cause trouble (beyond the people who were confused by this post, for which I apologize).

edit: I've changed the title for now, that seems to accomplish most of what's needed.

Not as far as I know, butThought Emporium on Youtube has a lot of tutorial videos on genetic engineering. (FWIW, Stöcker himself failed to express the protein in bacteria and iirc used CHO instead. I don't see any intrinsic reason why E.Coli shouldn't work, but I'd probably use HEK or CHO myself given the choice)

Purification isn't necessary if you buy already purified protein; in my case it was just cheaper to get it in bulk and filter it myself.

Removing the his-tag reduces the low-ish risk of it interfering with the immune response, but not doing so doesn't strike me as dangerous, it's just a dangling chain of histidine after all (and biology doesn't quite work like Unsong, luckily).

As for using peptide vaccines as a booster, I'm mildly optimistic given the evidence. Boosting vector vaccines with mRNA seems stronger than vice-versa, but it's still better than only having n-1 vaccines. I could see the same being true for peptide vaccines.

FWIW, my first official and fourth overall vaccination pretty much knocked me out for two days, so perhaps my experiment wasn't entirely without effect.

Interesting data! I made a similar calculation at the start of my studies, but in the opposite direction - I thought I had the cognitive capacity to study at a fairly rapid level, but ADHD and other projects often got in the way. So I picked a fairly tough university for my subjects (CS and mathematics in Bonn, though CS is "only" in the bottom half) and I'm happy with the result.

I'm not sure how different my experience would have been at other places - I think Germany has a much more homogeneous standard of education than the US - but my math modules definitely challenged me.

Oo, I wasn't even aware of that, thanks for the link!

That is a DNA vaccine, so it's more similar to the mRNA vaccines we have now in that it contains genetic data of the virus that is then built by the body itself. This one seems to contain the entire S and N proteins, not just a subunit of the S protein.

DNA vaccines are more complicated than recombinant vaccines to get right and can cause serious damage if done wrong. That and the fact that the more complex a project, the more likely I'm going to procrastinate and let it die, made me stick with the simpler recombinant approach.

At least the ELISA approach to antibody testing is one I could have borrowed, though, and in hindsight I'm a bit disappointed I didn't think of it myself.

Hm, most of the people I'm thinking of are rather technical, e.g. Kevin Esvelt's research on distributed secure research.

Coordination and incentive problems are of another nature and I only manage to be prescriptively optimistic. I've been interested in algorithms for decentralized economic planning for a while, plan to specialize in that area and am working with a local left-acc group to organize a think tank that works on these questions. Thanks to mechanism design taking off as a discipline and crypto hype fueling a lot of work on trustless computing, there's actually a surprising amount of relevant research.

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