CriticalThink: Examining technical word salad

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Here's a comment found on a financial forum attached to an article about COVID-19. IMHO, it can stand as a representative example of many of the memes, posts, comments and so on that can be found flowing thru social media and discussion boards. So here we have a pretty technical sounding blurb which reads as if the author has at least a reasonable grasp of the subject matter. It also appears as if it was written elsewhere and cut & pasted in.

After a bit of quick digging, turns out the author does have a grasp of the subject matter with one caveat: it's wasn't the individual posting this on the forum. The first sentence did not appear in any of the searches I made for it so that means it's new enough that search engines have not picked it up yet or it was original to the commenter. The latter would be pretty straightforward to author with little to no knowledge of the material simply by scanning a few webpages on the topic.

The rest however is lifted directly from another website about…calves!

From the background section: "This study compared 53 beef calves with respiratory distress syndrome to 42 healthy beef calves born on farms in Belgium."

The commenter's summary in the footer is then an attempt to look knowledgeable using misrepresented information from a 2017 study on calves: Respiratory Distress Syndrome in Full-Term Calves

I've inserted the places where it was swiped from:

Forum Commenter said

When this virus is days old in the body, the Surfactant Proteins (A, B, C, and D) production drops like a rock.  This brings on Respiratory Distress Syndrome (RDS).

The surfactant on lung surfaces is basically a mixture of lipids and proteins. Depressed production showed major biochemical alterations associated with surface tension properties when compared to healthy people. The ratio of protein to phospholipids was altered, most notably those proteins associated with defense mechanisms, lowering surface tension and secretion of surfactant.
The surfactant on lung surfaces is basically a mixture of lipids and proteins. Depressed calves showed major biochemical alterations associated with surface tension properties when compared to healthy calves. The ratio of protein to phospholipids was altered, most notably those proteins associated with defense mechanisms, lowering surface tension and secretion of surfactant.

Endotoxins in depressed people indicated infection which suppresses surfactant synthesis. Endotoxins also increase the permeability of lung tissue, leading to pulmonary edema. This results in the collection of fluid in lung tissue, making it difficult to breathe. The fact that no endotoxins were present in undepressed people suggests that endotoxemia was a consequence of respiratory distress syndrome, not the cause.
Endotoxins in depressed calves indicated infection which suppresses surfactant synthesis. Endotoxins also increase the permeability of lung tissue, leading to pulmonary edema. This results in the collection of fluid in lung tissue, making it difficult to breathe. The fact that no endotoxins were present in undepressed calves suggests that endotoxemia was a consequence of respiratory distress syndrome, not the cause.

With respiratory distress syndrome, the researches looked at subclinical trace element deficiencies of copper, zinc, selenium and iodine. Of particular interest were iodine and thyroid hormones. Both are involved in the maturation of the surfactant system. Selenium deficiency can exacerbate the effects of iodine deficiency. They concluded that trace element deficiencies, and in particular iodine and selenium deficiencies, may have a dominant role in the development of respiratory distress syndrome.
In light of the lung immaturity of these full-term calves with respiratory distress syndrome, the researches looked at subclinical trace element deficiencies of copper, zinc, selenium and iodine in the dams. Of particular interest were iodine and thyroid hormones. Both are involved in the maturation of the surfactant system. Selenium deficiency can exacerbate the effects of iodine deficiency. They concluded that trace element deficiencies, and in particular iodine and selenium deficiencies, may have a dominant role in the development of respiratory distress syndrome in newborn calves.

Several mechanisms appear to be involved in the initial inhibition of surfactant production: surfactant protein levels, septicemia-enterotoxemia and deficiencies of iodine and selenium. The resulting collapse of lung tissue decreases lung function, increases the work required for breathing and leads to a rapid, shallow breathing pattern.  This results in oxygen deficiency leading to a vicious cycle:

    constriction of arteries and increased blood pressure in the lungs
    build up of fluids in the alveoli
    surfactant inhibition
    poor oxygenation of tissues and metabolic acidosis

As a result, surface cells on the alveoli are injured and cannot synthesize an adequate supply of surfactant.
Several mechanisms appear to be involved in the initial inhibition of surfactant production: surfactant protein levels, septicemia-enterotoxemia and deficiencies of iodine and selenium. The resulting collapse of lung tissue decreases lung function, increases the work required for breathing and leads to a rapid, shallow breathing pattern.  This results in oxygen deficiency leading to a vicious cycle:

constriction of arteries and increased blood pressure in the lungs
build up of fluids in the alveoli
surfactant inhibition
poor oxygenation of tissues and metabolic acidosis
As a result, surface cells on the alveoli are injured and cannot synthesize an adequate supply of surfactant.

What all this really says is, perfectly healthy people can be LACKING important nutrients to recover from this virus.  Thus the hard breathing and possible death.  Soooo, look at improving your levels of copper, zinc, selenium and iodine.
Zerohedge.com
The moral of the story here is to rely on yourself or those close to you whose perceptions and opinions you trust when it comes to accepting any information on any topic. If you don't have the time or resources at immediate hand to take closer looks then make a mental marker to yourself that you have no opinion on the topic as of yet and will not react/respond as if you did.

Critique & Question is the name of the game…it always has been.
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