Michael Jorrin, "Doc Gumshoe"

Author Bio

Michael Jorrin, "Doc Gumshoe"
I have been a medical writer for about 25 years; before that I was a documentary film maker, and some of my films were about medical subjects. I am not a physician, but I have a pretty good scientific background. I wouldn’t dream of recommending any kind of treatment to anyone, and I cannot give medical advice. However, I understand the medical literature and the data and evidence behind it, and I have an inquiring and skeptical turn of mind. I scrutinize and question and, sometimes, challenge the positions of some of the established health-care organizations as well as the marketers of health information. Eternal vigilance is a small price to pay for health. — Michael Jorrin (aka DocGumshoe) Michael Jorrin is a paid contributor to Stock Gumshoe, he has agreed to our trading restrictions but he chooses his own topics and his words and opinions are his own.

Author Archives

I’m happy to report that despite the huge quantity of COVID-related news items that flood my in-box (as well as all news media), the tsunami has not drowned other health and medicine-related releases. Now, with the pandemic retreating – and, yes, it really is retreating – let’s use this as an opportunity to bring a […]

Aside from the tiny minority of people who can actually say what each of those initials stand for, we can divide the populace into two groups – those who specifically know that CRISPR is a tool used in gene editing and those who know (or figure) that it’s a highly promising but exceedingly complex technique […]

This piece was going to be titled “COVID Continued.” Then I thought, “what a depressing title. Nobody wants to read about the continuation of the pandemic. A much more attractive title would be “COVID Terminated.” That’s the headline we want to see. Or, better, that’s the headline we want to believe. How close are we […]

Many of the comments to these Doc Gumshoe pieces go like this: “What do you know about such-and-such a drug, or about what this or that person (usually a physician) has to say about cancer, or heart disease, or (especially these days) about COVID-19?” My right-off-the-bat response to most of these would usually be “not […]

Believe me, I’ve been looking forward to putting Doc Gumshoe to work on topics other than COVID-19, which is far from being the only disease that affects our health and requires careful attention.   But as the global case numbers have topped 85 million, and global deaths are approaching 2 million, COVID-19 demands to be […]

That title is just to remind you that there’s a whole lot more going on in the health/medical area than COVID-19.   But the pandemic has a very large untidy footprint which is making a mark on a great many aspects of health-care in general. One recent example which could not possibly have escaped my […]

The term “the duration” immediately recalls the Second World War. Nobody had any idea when it would be over, and so discussions of a lot of World War II-related events and conditions prominently featured the phrase “for the duration” – as in great numbers of combat fatalities would continue to be reported for the duration, […]

Thinking about COVID-19 almost gives me a migraine, or at least a heavy and achy sensation in my noggin – perhaps not an actual migraine, thankfully, but threatening and unpleasant all the same.   Happily, thinking about migraines will not give me COVID-19.   But migraines are by no means a topic of no consequence, […]

If there is a single lesson to be learned from the (I hope) valuable information in this piece, it is that health-care recommendations are somewhat fluid and also somewhat temporary.   Attached to every guideline and recommendation and even to every firmly-stated conclusion in every written or spoken utterance about health care and related medical […]

This will surely not be the last time Doc Gumshoe turns his attention to the pandemic that is now imposing misery on many parts of the world.   I need to acknowledge that when what was then generally called the Wuhan virus first came to my attention, I expressed the view that, despite the dire […]

Mostly in these Doc Gumshoe pieces I try to keep my focus on what the physicians and researchers and pharmaceutical outfits are doing to try to treat, or at least manage, all these diseases, ailments, and conditions that affect our lives.   But other issues keep thrusting themselves into the picture, especially the cost factor. […]

It’s not as though the pandemic has cleared the decks of all other health-related issues.   I’m sorry to report that people still have heart attacks, strokes, and cancer as well as all the plethora of other ailments, diseases, and conditions that affect our species.   For example, I was thinking of putting in a […]

I decided to add the year to my title in the event that this thing goes on for another full year, and I have to do an update in May 2021.   I pray fervently that such an eventuality will not come to pass, but it’s certainly possible.   Having said that, your obedient servant […]

How could I resist this tease?   I’m the guy, after all, who needs to stir his little grey cells to recall the name of that beautiful shrub growing at the northeast corner of our house.   Eureka, I’ve got it! – it’s called viburnum.   I’ve always attributed my lapses in memory to the […]

It’s hard to stay away from the coronavirus pandemic, even though Doc Gumshoe basically has no information that’s any different from what’s flooding into your inboxes or TV screens or, for those of us who are still members of the ancient fellowship of newspaper readers, the pages of our daily newspapers.   But a few […]

Recent Author Comments

On May Miscellany – Some Covid-19, Some Otherwise

Those of us who live in the parts of the world where the pandemic is easing up are extremely lucky. And India has been extremely unlucky. May its fortunes improve![...]

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On What’s New on the CRISPR Front?

If you're talking about Goosehead Insurance, that's outside my range.[...]

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On What’s New on the CRISPR Front?

Gerard, many thanks for your comment. I have not yet digested the content, but I will save it and read it carefully.[...]

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On What’s New on the CRISPR Front?

Thanks for the fix, best, MJ[...]

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On What’s New on the CRISPR Front?

As far as yielding any benefit in terms of treament, proteomics is in its infancy. The number of proteins is colossal. The research will surely turn up a great deal of interesting stuff, but there's not a whole lot for me to report on at this point.[...]

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On What’s New on the CRISPR Front?

I had never heard of it, and when I checked there was not a whole lot of information. What I did turn up was encouraging - that is, the results of the Phase 2B/3 trial in patients with COVID-19. I cannot comment on the stock as an investment. That's[...]

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On Does Phage Therapy for Infectious Diseases Have Potential as Antibiotics Fail?

Yes, the lysin has been named EXEBACASE. I wasn't going to get into lysins in this installment - it's a complicated subject. Lysins are what some phages use to destroy the exterior coating of bacteria. The Phase 2 trial was successful - we'll see w[...]

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On Where Are We in the COVID-19 Pandemic? – March 2021

As it happens, in a previous posting I discussed the MMR vaccine's effectiveness in preventing coronavirus infection in children & possibly also in adults.[...]

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On Where Are We in the COVID-19 Pandemic? – March 2021

Excellent question. I would venture a possible answer. Most transmission is by way of droplets rather than aerosols. Aerosols might be enough to cause infection, but not severe disease or death. Aerosols, but not droplets, can pass through the [...]

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On Where Are We in the COVID-19 Pandemic? – March 2021

I just checked the Feb 1 paper in The Lancet by Monk et al. Not sure how easy it will be for interferon beta to be given to patients at home. But on balance it looks promising. I'll keep an eye out for preliminary Phase 3 results.[...]

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On Doc Gumshoe's Responses to Comments and Questions

I'll check on those, but all the data I've seen so far indicates that the vaccines in current use are quite safe, especially compared with the risk of getting walloped by the coronavirus. Thanks & best, MJ[...]

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On Doc Gumshoe's Responses to Comments and Questions

I'm the wrong guy to ask![...]

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On Doc Gumshoe's Responses to Comments and Questions

Thanks - I'll check on the ones I missed.[...]

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On COVID-19 Prospects in the New Year

The specific citation for the correlation between vitamin D deficiency and COVID-19 is Jain A. Sci Rep.2020 Nov 19:10(1)20191 doi.10.1038/s 41598-020-77-93-2. A more general citation is Pereira M Crit Rev Food Sci Nutrition, DOI: 10.1080/10408398.2020.18[...]

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On COVID-19 Prospects in the New Year

You are exactly right! Thank you for pointing out that goof. By the way, I got my first shot of the Pfizer vac yesterday evening (HOORAY) and am due for the second in precisely three weeks.[...]

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On COVID-19 Prospects in the New Year

I had never heard of it. Seems to be a quick test, perhaps for COVID-19? Could be useful. But as I have said many times, I don't venture an opinion on hos a stock might perform. Too many factors at work that I cannot evaluate[...]

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On COVID-19 Prospects in the New Year

When I checked Google for Avapitil, what first came up was your question above. Google then cited Mary's comment, below, as if it were an answer to your question. The only other citation was to a newpaper dating from 1928. So, back to you - what is [...]

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On Winter Miscellany – December 2020

As it happens, I discussed TauRX and LMTX in some detail in a post on October 2, 2019. I had also mentioned TauRX in a previous post, in which I pointed out that one of its scientists is a Nobel Prize winner. I haven't checked in on it lately, but I [...]

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On Winter Miscellany – December 2020

There is evidence ha weight-bearing exercise strengthens bone and prevents fractures, but I believe these studies are cohort studies, not clinical trials. They compare populations based on self-reported characteristics of the population, not a so-called [...]

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On December 2020 COVID-19 Update: Focus On the Good (Or At Least Better) News

Fake diseases don't kill people. As for the theory that all those reported COVID-19 deaths are really due to some other disease such as flu, how to account for the great numbers of excess deaths that have been reported? That is, a large increase in nu[...]

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