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Links for 2022-01-17

  • Prof. Akiko Iwasaki Twitter thread on a significant long COVID paper

    ‘Significant long-term neurologic damage can occur after a mild respiratory-only SARS-CoV-2 infection.’ […] ‘In a nutshell, this study illustrates that respiratory-only mild SARS-CoV-2 infection can lead to detrimental changes in the brain, likely mediated by inflammatory factors. Similar neuropathobiology may be shared in chemo-brain, post-ICU syndrome and ME/CFS.’

    (tags: neurology long-covid papers medicine health me cfs inflammation cytokines)

  • Reverse Engineering Nike Run Club Android App Using Frida

    walkthrough of using Frida to decompile, hook into and reverse an Android app

    (tags: android scripting frida reverse-engineering security mobile)

  • Immunological dysfunction persists for 8 months following initial mild-to-moderate SARS-CoV-2 infection | Nature Immunology

    Nature Immunology paper on Long COVID, suggesting a clear physiological syndrome, and a set of reliable biomarkers that may be usable to diagnose it:

    In summary, our data indicate an ongoing, sustained inflammatory response following even mild-to-moderate acute COVID-19, which is not found following prevalent coronavirus infection. The drivers of this activation require further investigation, but possibilities include persistence of antigen, autoimmunity driven by antigenic cross-reactivity or a reflection of damage repair. These observations describe an abnormal immune profile in patients with COVID-19 at extended time points after infection and provide clear support for the existence of a syndrome of LC. Our observations provide an important foundation for understanding the pathophysiology of this syndrome and potential therapeutic avenues for intervention.

    (tags: nature papers covid-19 sars-cov-2 long-covid t-cells immunology)

  • Fever is good for you

    Fever — the feeling of having a high temperature, sweats, shivering etc. — is actually a *good* thing:

    Fever is preserved evolutionarily, suggesting benefit; There is a metabolic cost to fever which may partly explain why we’re not just evolving to be hotter; The benefit relates to its direct anti-pathogen effects and its ability to augment innate and adaptive immunity; Antipyretics are overused.
    In particular, a randomised controlled trial of fever treatment in trauma ICU patients was halted early, due to a significant difference in deaths during the trial!

    (tags: fever temperature body health medicine rcts metabolism trials)

  • The State of Web Scraping 2022

    Blog post from (whoever they are). Interesting to see where web scraping has gone over the years — looks like an arms race has taken place:

    Websites and anti-bot providers have continued to develop more sophisticated anti-bot measures. They are increasingly moving away from simple header and IP fingerprinting, to more complicated browser and TCP fingerprinting with webRTC, canvas fingerprinting and analysing mouse movements so that they can differentiate automated scrapers from real-users. But as of yet no anti-bot has found the magic bullet to completely prevent web scrapers. With the right combination of proxies, user agents and browsers, you can scrape every website. Even those that seem unscrapable. However, whilst scraping a website might be still possible, anti-bots can make it not worth the effort and cost if you have to resort to ever more expensive web scraping setups (using headless browsers with residential/mobile IP networks, etc).

    (tags: scraping web bots arms-races web-scraping)

  • Tek Fog in Action

    “Investigating claims behind the use of ‘Tek Fog’, a sophisticated app used by political operatives affiliated with the Bharatiya Janata Party to drive propaganda at scale in India.” This is grim stuff — a custom app to bulk-post harassment en masse on various social media platforms, targeting women and driving right-wing pro-BJP spam. Can’t imagine this methodology will stay in India in future, either.

    (tags: india tek-fog grim-meathook-future spam abuse harassment bjp politics social-media)

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