The Anonymous Widower

A Curious Link Between Pancreatic Cancer And COVID-19

i am involved in fund raising for pancreatic cancer research at Liverpool University, because my youngest son died of the awful disease, at just thirty-seven, leaving a widow and an eight-year-old daughter.

I am also a passionate analyser of data and databases.

For a few weeks now, I have had a feeling that there is a connection between pancreatic cancer and the  old Austro-Hungarian Empire.

I found this simple description of the Austro-Hungarian Empire on this page on the Internet.

The former Austro-Hungarian Empire was spread over a large part of Central Europe, it comprises present Austria and Hungary as well as the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Bosnia, Croatia and parts of present Poland, Romania, Italy, Ukraine, Moldova, Serbia and Montenegro.

I had been looking at pancreatic cancer data on the World Life Expectancy database, which is based on World Health Organisation data.

I have built this table, which shows the top twenty countries for a death rate from pancreatic cancer.

These are the columns.

  1. Country
  2. Rate of pancreatic cancer deaths per 100,000 of the population.
  3. Quarantine or Travel Corridor based on this page of the Government web site.
  4. Member of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

These are the top twenty countries.

  1. Hungary – 11.35 – Quarantine – AHE
  2. Uruguay – 10.72 – Quarantine
  3. Armenia – 10.34 – Quarantine
  4. Malta – 10.01 – Quarantine
  5. Czech Republic – 9.89 – Quarantine – AHE
  6. Estonia – 9.26 – Travel Corridor
  7. Iceland – 9.21 – Quarantine
  8. Israel – 9.18 – Quarantine
  9. Slovakia – 9.17 – Quarantine – AHE
  10. Austria – 9.13 – Quarantine – AHE
  11. Finland – 8.78 – Travel Corridor
  12. Japan – 8.74 – Travel Corridor
  13. Latvia – 8.72 – Travel Corridor
  14. Germany – 8.68 – Travel Corridor
  15. Slovenia – 8.55 – Quarantine – AHE
  16. Denmark – 8.51 – Quarantine
  17. Netherlands – 8.38 – Quarantine
  18. Croatia – 8.30 – Quarantine – AHE
  19. Lithuania – 8.21 – Travel Corridor
  20. Luxembourg – 8.15 – Quarantine

Note.

  1. I would hope that the Government’s Travel Corridor list has been devised in a scientifically-correct manner.
  2. Am I right to assume that the Travel Corridor list is a good measure of the level of Covid-19 in the country?
  3. The pancreatic cancer data is from 2018.

Of the countries I mentioned earlier, as being partly in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, only Montenegro is in the top thirty countries for pancreatic cancer deaths.

My Thoughts On The Data

These are my thoughts on the data.

The Significance Of The Austro-Hungarian Empire

Consider.

  • All the countries that were fully or partly in the Austro-Hungarian Empire  are on the Government Quarantine List, with the exception of Italy.
  • Many will argue, including myself, that Italy, has too high a Covid-19 rate for a visit.
  • Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia are in the top twenty countries for pancreatic cancer deaths.

It looks to me, that there is a correlation in there somewhere.

Germany And Japan Are The Odd Ones Out

The list of countries with high levels of pancreatic cancer, where there is no quarantine are.

  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • Japan
  • Latvia
  • Germany
  • Lithuania

If you eliminate the Baltic States and Finland from the worse countries for pancreatic cancer, you’re left with Germany and Japan.

Is There A Jewish Dimension?

I ask this question for these reasons.

  • Israel is eighth on the pancreatic cancer list and has high levels of Covid-19 according to various news reports, like this one on the BBC, which is entitled Coronavirus: Israel Tightens Second Lockdown Amid Acrimony.
  • I am not Jewish, but my great-great-great-grandfather from Konigsberg probably was and it looks like I inherited my coeliac disease from him and gave it to my son, who died from pancreatic cancer.
  • The Baltic States and Finland, don’t seem to have large Jewish populations for various reasons and they have high levels of pancreatic cancer, but low levels of Covid-19.
  • Germany has the third largest Jewish population in Europe, but seems to have done well in fighting Covid-19. Is that because their well-funded healthcare system has worked?
  • Wikipedia states that, the Austro-Hungarian Empire was favourable to the Jews and even a sizeable numbers of its Army officers in Word War One were Jewish.
  • According to reports locally and my observations, it appears that the Jewish community in Hackney, where I live has been badly hit by Covid-19.

I need an appropriate historian to give me answers.

Conclusion

I believe the correlation between pancreatic cancer and Covid-19 could be rather strong. More research needs to be done, as to why.

But I do wonder, if undiagnosed coeliac disease, as in my son, could be the alligator in the swamp.

Undiagnosed coeliacs seem to have poor immune systems, which makes them more susceptible to everything, that’s going around.

The more I learn about coeliac disease and its myriad effects on health, the more I’m convinced that it should be one of the diseases checked for in all young children.

It would certainly have changed my miserable always-ill childhood for the better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

October 3, 2020 Posted by | Health | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Dutch Province To Introduce Regular Hydrogen Services

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the International Railway Journal.

This is the introductory paragraph.

The regional transport authority in the Dutch province of Groningen has announced plans to introduce hydrogen trains for its regional concession following a successful test earlier this year.

In March 2019, I went to Groningen and explored the railways in the area, where Stadler GTW trains are used for the train services.

These trains are a smaller version of Greater Anglia’s Class 755 trains.

In The Train Station At The Northern End Of The Netherlands, I describe a visit to Eemshaven station to the North of Groningen.

I said this.

At the turnround at Eemshaven with the driver, he indicated that there had been speculation about battery and hydrogen trains in the North of The Netherlands.

It appears the driver was right.

The Bridge Over The Ems

The article also indicates that the bridge over the River Ems, that I wrote about in From Groningen To Leer By Train, could be opening soon.

This video shows what the new bridge will look like.

And this Google Map shows the current state of the bridge.

I’m not sure of the date of the picture, but there still appears a lot of work to do.

 

 

October 2, 2020 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport | , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Green Hydrogen For Scotland

The title of this post, has been taken from this press release from ITM Power, which is entitled ‘Green Hydrogen For Scotland’ To Help Reach Net Zero Targets: First Project To Deliver A 10MW Electrolyser To Glasgow Facility.

This is the introductory paragraph.

A pioneering Strategic partnership has been established to create new green hydrogen production facilities with clusters of refuelling stations across Scotland, supporting the country’s efforts to achieve net zero by 2045. ‘Green Hydrogen for Scotland’ – a partnership of ScottishPower Renewables, BOC (a Linde company) and ITM Power – brings together industry-leading names in the renewables and clean fuel industries to offer an end-to-end market solution for reducing vehicle emissions through the provision of green hydrogen.

Other details include.

  • The green hydrogen production facility located on the outskirts of Glasgow will be operated by BOC.
  • ITM Power will deliver a 10 MW electrolyser.
  • Electricity will come from , wind and solar produced by ScottishPower Renewables.
  • The project aims to supply hydrogen to the commercial market within the next two years.

This ITM Power infographic outlines Green Hydrogen for Scotland.

Surely it should be called tartan hydrogen. Does anybody know a tartan containing the blue of Scotland, the white of Yorkshire and the black, red and gold of Germany?

September 16, 2020 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen, Transport | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Weekend Read: Hydrogen And The Energy Transition

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on pv Magazine.

This is the introductory paragraph.

Researchers are now simulating how the energy transition can be as successful and cost-effective as possible. As part of the simulation, they are also calculating how much hydrogen will be needed and where it could come from. In Germany, a recent study by Fraunhofer ISE showed that the cost is so low that the nation could gift itself the energy transition as a Christmas present.

The last sentence is a very powerful statement.

The article makes these and many other points.

  • Hydrogen is ideal to produce process heat about five hundred degrees centigrade.
  • Hydrogen can be used to power some cars, trucks, trains, ships, and aircraft
  • In Germany ten million cars could be powered by hydrogen, as opposed to forty million by batteries.
  • Consumer choice will play a big part in how much hydrogen is needed.

It is very much a must-read article.

 

 

August 29, 2020 Posted by | Hydrogen | | Leave a comment

Linde And RVK Unveil New Hydrogen Station For Buses

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on H2 View.

This is the introductory paragraphs.

Linde and regional transport company Regionalverkehr (RVK) today presented an innovative hydrogen station for fuel cell buses to the public.

With a capacity of up to 20 refills per day, the new station located near Cologne, Germany features, for the first time, a new high-pressure storage technology developed by Linde: constant pressure tubes ensure that the refuelling pressure always remains at a constant level, even as the storage tank volume decreases.

It does appear that Linde is going to be big in hydrogen, as they already are an investor in electrolyser company;ITM Power.

August 27, 2020 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Hydrogen Can Be Transported By Rail, German Railway Company Says

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on PV Magazine.

This is the introductory paragraph.

A study by DB Energie shows that technically and legally there is nothing to be said against the transport of hydrogen by rail. However, there is still a lack of suitable transport containers.

I suppose though the lack of suitable transport containers makes it a bit difficult.

August 11, 2020 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport | , | Leave a comment

Germany Builds The World’s First Hydrogen Train Filling Station

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on electrek.

Hydrogen Trains In Germany

The hydrogen filling station for trains is described under this heading.

This is the introductory paragraph.

The town of Bremervörde in Lower Saxony, Germany, has broken ground on the world’s first hydrogen filling station for passenger trains. Chemical company Linde will construct and operate the hydrogen filling station for the Lower Saxony Regional Transport Company.

It will provide approximately 1600 Kg of hydrogen per day.

The Supergroup Of ‘Green Energy’

This is a second section, which I find an interest sting concept.

These are the introductory paragraphs.

Oil giant Shell and Dutch utility Eneco have won the tender to build a super-hybrid offshore wind farm in the Netherlands. It will consist of two sites located 11.5 miles (18.5 km) off the west coast, near the town of Egmond aan Zee.

The Shell/Eneco consortium, CrossWind, will build the Hollandse Kust (noord) project. They will pair the offshore wind farms with floating solar facilities and short-duration batteries. It will also generate green hydrogen via an electrolyzer, according to GreenTech Media.

It will be operational in 2023 and have an output of 759 MW.

July 30, 2020 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Hydrogen, Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

VDE Study Finds Battery Trains 35% Cheaper Than Hydrogen

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the International Railway Journal.

This is the introductory paragraph.

A study of the cost-effectiveness of battery electric multiple units (BEMU) and hydrogen electric multiple units (HEMU) as alternatives to diesel found that BEMUs could be up to €59m (35%) less expensive to buy and operate compared with their hydrogen fuel cell equivalents.

It also says that they are more expensive than the diesels they replace over thirty years.

As it is a professional German study, we should take note of what is said.

How Would This Apply To The UK?

There will be differences between the UK and Continental Europe, which will affect costs!

  • Our small loading gauge seems to be making the design of hydrogen-powered trains difficult.
  • Passenger capacity in a UK train, will probably be reduced when compared to the diesel equivalent.
  • Our hydrogen technology is world-class.
  • More affordable batteries would benefit both types of trains.
  • I believe that companies like Vivarail, will come up with very fast and efficient chargers for battery trains using our third-rail technology, which may not be suitable outside the UK.

On balance though, I suspect that the cost difference worldwide, will be similar.

Conclusion

Companies, developers and engineers will fight a keen battle for supremacy.

There will be some suprising winners and some big losers.

 

July 28, 2020 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport | , , , , | 8 Comments

Coronavirus: Over 600 People Test Positive At German Slaughterhouse

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on DW News.

This is the introductory paragraph.

Yet another German slaughterhouse has registered a massive outbreak of the coronavirus. Roughly two-thirds of the test results so far have come back positive.

Does the author think this is a recurring problem?

There is a sub-heading in the article of By No Means An Isolated Case, where this is said.

Germany’s meat processing sector has come under increasing scrutiny during the pandemic, with several plants reporting massive outbreaks. The sector is plagued with poor working conditions, exploitative contracts and usurious rents in mass housing for eastern European workers.

The company is blaming Bulgarian and Romanian workers going home for the long weekend.

The next paragraph, would appear to debunk that theory.

According to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, Germany has had far more confirmed cases of coronavirus than either Romania or Bulgaria. In the past 14 days, Germany registered 4,814 new cases, compared to 2,898 in Romania and 915 in Bulgaria.

By comparison, we have had 14,932 lab-confirmed cases in the last fourteen days.

The article says that this slaughterhouse is in Gutersloh and from a picture in the article, the slaughterhouse seems to process pigs.

Out of curiosity, I looked up the Wikipedia entry for Gutersloh.

It looks to be a typical German town of 100,000 people, but it does have one unusual feature according to Wikipedia; ten percent of the population are Arameans.

I have found these facts on Wikipedia.

  • The total number of Arameans in Germany is between 100,000 and 120.000. See Arameans
  • There has been a long history of Turkish people migrating to Germany. See Turks In Germany
  • The number of Turks in Germany is 2,774,000, making them the largest minority. See Demographics of Germany
  • Many of the Turks were brought to Germany in the 1970s to do the jobs the Germans didn’t want to do and to solve a labour crisis, after the building of the Berlin Wall. See Turks In Germany

Turks are Muslim and the Germans produce a lot of pork. So do Turks work in German slaughterhouses handling pork and making sausages?

If they don’t, does this explain the large number of Arameans in Gutersloh? Arameans are Christians and unlike Muslims and Jews, eat pork.

Their diet also contains alcohol and appears to be gluten-rich!

I’d love to have German statistics of COVID-19 by ethnicity!

June 21, 2020 Posted by | Health | , , , , | Leave a comment

Neutrino Energy And Renewable Energy Decisions

The title of this post, is the same as that pn this article from Cision.

This is the introductory paragraph.

While Fossil fuels pose serious dangers to the future of human civilization, the Neutrino Energy Group proposes safe, clean solutions to the modern energy crisis that will help humanity take genuine leaps forward in development.

I’ve read the whole article and it is interesting.

It could be the biggest development in energy since our ancestors discovered fire or the largest load of hype since ZETA  was built at Harwell in 1957. The latter was supposed to provide electricity too cheap to meter.

Every ten years or so, something like this pops up. The only thing different about this one, is that it has come from the Germans! Although in the 1930s. it was in Germany, where people like Otto Hahn and Lise Meitner were leading the world in nuclear research. They discovered nuclear fission for which Hahn won the Nobel Prize.

Meitner spent her last years in Cambridge and I’ve always wondered, if she ever met Rosalind Franklin, the other great female scientist of the time, who many believe should have also received a Nobel Prize. If they did or even if they didn’t, it would surely make a wonderful drama, in the style of Copenhagen.

Luckily for the world, these German nuclear scientists were often Jewish, so they left, probably robbing the Nazis of an atomic bomb. Many ended up on the Manhattan Project.

June 13, 2020 Posted by | World | , , , , , | 3 Comments