Eat Bad, Have a Procedure, and Take a Pill

The Privatized, Corporatized, Medicalized and Deregulated Way of Life in The United States

In my book, “Thinking and Eating for Two,” I described the evolutionary diet of eating whole plant foods that feed both self, and our symbionts (the beneficial microorganisms on us and in us). Man evolved to eat plants, and this has been the diet of humans until modern times. Even the Roman Gladiators feasted on a plant-based diet. Plants provide all of the nutrients we need, doing so in a healthy manner without excesses in fat and protein, both of which are harmful when too much is consumed in keto diets, for instance. Keto diets cause heart disease, and about 75% of stents placed in US hospitals from 2015-2017 were for stable heart disease, where stenting is useless, but where changing from a keto diet to a plant-based diet would reverse the disease. Thus, physicians are performing useless, costly, and potentially damaging stent procedures on heart disease patients when a simple diet change would reverse the disease. Hospitals and physicians performing these unnecessary procedures may be found liable. Eating meat, as an example of one component in our contemporary diet, taste horrible unless you do something drastic to it, such as cure it with gobs of unhealthy salt, fry it or barbecue it so that it is loaded with inflammatory molecules known as advanced glycation end products and cancer causing nitrosamines, or as Donald Trump does, smear it with salty and sugary ketchup. And now we know that fatty and sweet foods create an addiction for these unhealthy foods by modifying brain function. That meat being consumed in copious quantities in the US is also causing urinary tract infections, which are becoming harder to treat because of antibiotic resistance. Eating meat and other animal products may also be causing Multiple Sclerosis (MS). This happens because meat contains a bacterium, Clostridium perfringens, that produces a toxin, bacterial epsilon toxin, and targets cells (CNS endothelial cells) in the blood brain barrier (BBB). Once the BBB is damaged by epsilon, toxins can flood the nervous system and and cause neural dysfunction. These bacteria are resistant to heat, so cooked animal products may contain the bacterium and transfer it to the meat-eater.

Taking care of ourselves, especially through diet, is the primary means to a long and healthy life. “Medicine is not health care, food is health care. Medicine is sick care,” mostly treatment. “The Medicalization of America,” describes the so-called healthcare system in the US that was not designed to, and does not, keep one healthy. Physicians have described modern medicine as a threat to public health. Rather, the current system is about treatment and profits for the corporations and physicians who control US healthcare, and benefit from the system they created that accounts directly for over 18% of the GDP. As Dr. Elisabeth Rosenthal, M.D. has written, “the American medical system has stopped focusing on health or even science. Instead it attends more or less single-mindedly to its own profits.” I’ve got news for you Dr. Rosenthal, the US medical system never did focus on health and science. An ice pick in the eye socket of thousands of victims is one example. Those profits in the medical system include those of drug companies, such as McKesson, a drug distributor in Texas, who kept shipping opioids to two pharmacies six years after learning that they had been filling prescriptions from physicians who were likely engaging in crimes. The shipments of life-destroying opioids from McKesson to physicians stopped many years later, after the physicians were indicted. McKesson was rewarded for it’s bad behavior by Texas, which spent millions of dollars to have McKesson move its HQ to the state. Texas is a state that will protect corporations and physicians for the sake of money, even when they are killing people. The drug companies and their salespeople, physicians, want your money, even if it means robbing you of your health. While adding nutrients through a plant dominant diet is critical to health, not taking a bunch of drugs and removing these toxins in your diet is equally important. PFAS are a group of such chemicals. A number of PFAS have been linked to serious health problems, including cancer, fertility issues, high cholesterol, hormone disruption, liver damage, thyroid disease, and obesity. Yes, PFAS, along with plastics, both of which are in our drugs and in our water supply, can help to induce obesity. Instead of drugs, try a healthy diet. And using a proper water filter can largely eliminate these dangerous chemicals from your diet. There are a number of filters available. I use the Clearly Filtered. Eating a good diet will be beneficial to all aspects of health, including colonic health. Avoiding duodenoscopy and colonoscopies where pieces of the single-use device lodge in your colon or duodenum and cause harm, or poorly cleaned colonoscopes infect you, can be avoided by good diet, and if needed later in life, a stool sample test that is as effective as a colonoscopy but without the side effects is easily and inexpensively done. The big drawback is that physicians don’t make money, about $2,000.

Thinking about the GDP and obesity, we can read this from STAT, a newsletter about drugs: “The condition has long been framed as a result of poor lifestyle decisions and a failure of willpower — eating too much and exercising too little. But a new generation of highly effective obesity medications, and the overt and subtle messaging from the pharmaceutical companies making them, are starting to change the narrative.” Further, ““This is really changing the conversation, changing the understanding of the fact that this is an actual disease and not something that’s just a matter of a moral failing on the individual patient’s part,” and “This is really changing the conversation, changing the understanding of the fact that this is an actual disease and not something that’s just a matter of a moral failing on the individual patient’s part,” said Fatima Cody Stanford, an obesity medicine physician at Massachusetts General Hospital who also consults for companies making the new medicines, an obesity medicine physician at Massachusetts General Hospital who also consults for companies making the new drugs.” In other words, physicians who work for drug companies are changing the narrative on obesity from one of lifestyle modification, to one of taking drugs instead. As stated in the article, “For drug companies, this represents one of the biggest financial opportunities ever.” The same is true for physicians. In this way of thinking, health will diminish given this focus on pills, with direct effects due to the drugs, but also because of the continued negative effects of a poor diet, on which we loose focus as attention is turned toward the drugs. As Brittany Burgunder, a certified professional life coach and eating disorder specialist, has said in reference to eating disorders, “Drugs like this clearly do not treat the root cause of eating disorders, instead, it places a temporary bandage on internal woes until it no longer works, resulting in a recipe for relapse.” And, yes, GDP will go up thanks to more medicalization and continued consumption of excess food. As Dr. Arnold Relman, M.D. called it in the New England Journal of Medicine back in 1980, The Medical-Industrial Complex, prospers as health suffers.

The US has the most expensive healthcare system in the world, with the worst outcomes. Writing in 2023 about medicine’s Salve Lucrum in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Dr. Donald Berwick, M.D. writes, “Unchecked greed is not the only driver of that failure, but it is a major one.” Another problem is incompetence. “The problem is that physicians don’t know what they’re doing, and they’re overpaid to perform what they don’t know” David Eddy, M.D, Ph.D., Member of Institute Of Medicine. One in four patients who have been hospitalized will be harmed at the hospital. Women who have had both ovaries surgically removed for a benign condition such as endometriosis have an increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease or parkinsonism. Physicians make money, patient develops tremor. Then other physicians have the money-making opportunity to treat the surgical-Parkinson’s. Medics like Ashok Jain in Houston, TX, who has a 5 year undergraduate medical degree from India, which has highly corrupt medical schools, will unnecessarily create magnetic fields in your brain for money. Mona Gosh, another medic trained in India with one of those 5 year undergraduate degrees and (mal)practicing in Illinois, will unnecessarily remove part of your uterus for profit. The US medical system allows these people to slap the term “M.D.” behind their names once they’ve passed their medical board tests, even though they didn’t earn an M.D. degree. This also allows them to be called “doctor” even though they are just physicians without a doctorate. Parade them around in a white coat, and their newly found authority figure status can sell the gullible just about anything, including an unneeded procedure. When they ask you, “Where does it hurt,” be very careful how you reply. In our system, so called opinion leaders, such as the physician David Agus, M.D., a prominent medical school professor, will write, or put his name on (called ghostwritten) books that highly plagarize other people’s work. All of his books contain plagarism, and apparently all were written by another person. This medic just sticks his name and a big smiley photo on the book cover and pretends he had something to do with what’s inside the book. Another physician, Howard Maibach, M.D., has attached his name to over 3,000 research publications, some of which were unethical. Unprofessional behavior, a form of sophistry, such as this is a predictor of poor performance in the physician’s practice. And ghostwriting is a huge problem in the medical field. Ghostwriting, to be clear, is: “Some of the authors who appear prominently on the articles have neither worked on them nor are they often aware of the details of the study.” Further, 55% of all meta-analysis publications in the medical field had conclusions altered by publications with falsified data, and 41% of all the analyses had a considerable change in the outcome of the treatment. Former BMJ editor, Richard Smith says the “prevalence of fraudulent studies has reached a point where one can now assume health research is fraudulent until proven otherwise.” Do you really want to take drugs that are sold by physicians that were approved by drug company-paid physicians based on fraudulent data? Physicians, such as Steven Haffner, M.D., at Baylor College of Medicine in Texas who have put their names on papers written by pharma companies, continue to practice. “Universities kick students out for putting their names on papers they didn’t write. But, doctors [sic] are often financially rewarded for it.” The Lancet’s chief editor Richard Horton lamented that “journals have devolved into information laundering operations for the pharmaceutical industry.” And “physician whores,” as they’re called in the pharma industry, do the laundering. When I consulted to the drug industry, I heard this term repeatedly. Altruistic physicians use the term too. Again, ghostwriting and like behavior among physicians is a predictor of the poor treatment you will receive from the medical industry. Bad behavior by physicians, includes psychiatrists. Mark Schiller, M.D., president of the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons, admitted: “I have frequently seen psychiatrists diagnose patients with a range of psychiatric diagnoses that aren’t justified, to obtain [insurance] reimbursements.” This often means prescribing drugs that only do harm. Physician whore means corruption other than ghostwriting too. Sadly, many physicians are on the take from pharma companies. Drug companies make a big return on their investments with physicians. More than $2 billion a year was paid by pharma companies to physicians, “fueling an increase in prescriptions, according to a new report published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.” All of this is so that the physicians sell more drugs, both legal and illegal. While pharma spent $20 billion advertising directly to their sales people, physicians, pharma companies also spent $6 billion on TV drug ads in 2016 to the physician’s consumers. Corruption, high paid salespeople in white coats, and gobs of advertising in our capitalistic healthcare system leads to the most expensive in the world, and the worst outcomes and declining life expectancy. It’s the food, stupid. Along with all those ads on TV for drugs, are the ads for fast food. Ads for foods that are brown from deep frying with nothing green on the plate are the norm. One group of ads promotes the food to make you sick, then the other group of ads promote pills to treat the symptoms, which often cause additional disease, such as Lupus. In the US, 42% of adults are obese. “The average American diet consists of excess salt, saturated fat, refined grains, calories from solid fats and added sugars.” Only 6.8% of adults have optimal cardiometabolic health, meaning 93.2% of US citizens are unhealthy. If you think these data reflect poor health conditions among the poor, and that wealthy US citizens are doing just fine- think again. Wealthy US citizens have poor health compared to the wealthy in other countries. Across lifespan, and across every demographic group, US citizens die at younger ages than their counterparts in other wealthy nations. Instead of relying on drug companies and their physician salespeople who are peddling too many pills, read the book by Dr. Colin Campbell, Ph.D., “Whole,” to learn how to bring about health and reduce your chances of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, dementia and many other ailments. The Medical Industrial Complex won’t promote the books by Dr. Campbell, because it greatly reduces their customer base – sick people who have been erroneously taught their health is beyond their own control and that they must rely on physicians and the drugs that they peddle to regain their health.

As Robert Whitaker writes: “In my book Anatomy of an Epidemic, I investigated this storytelling process [the psychiatric narrative on the value of drugs]. In the first sections of the book, I reported on a number of studies funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, the World Health Organization, and other governmental agencies that told of unmedicated psychiatric patients doing better over the long-term than those who stayed on the drugs. In the latter part of the book, I investigated whether these studies were ever written about in psychiatric texts. Here’s what I found: None of the studies was discussed at any length, and in the few instances when one of the studies was mentioned in a textbook, the authors spun the results to protect the image of the drugs.” Some of the psychiatric patients develop serotonin syndrome, a “potentially life-threatening” disease. Instead, the narrative should be about diet and exercise for psychological problems, not the deadly drugs brought to the market by a fraudulent medical scheme. If you think the better answer is the latest and greatest new drug, think again. “New prescription drugs have a 1 in 5 chance of causing serious reactions after they have been approved. That is why expert physicians recommend not taking new drugs for at least five years [after initial marketing of the drug] unless patients have first tried better-established options, and have the need to do so.” And as we hasten the approval of drugs, the drugs become less effective and less safe. Accelerated approval of drugs has been brought about by intense lobbying of the pharma industry, and now we have drugs on the market with no evidence that they work. As Dr. Steven-Huy Han, M.D., a UCLA liver specialist, has said about these drugs, “I have no idea if the drug will make them better.” But it is good for the medical and drug business, where FDA-regulated products account for about a fifth of every dollar spent by U.S. consumers. In our current business model of medicine and drugs, Janet Woodcook, M.D.,  then (2016) director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, would approve a drug because if she didn’t, the company making the drug, “would see its stock price crash and probably go out of business.” In other words, the FDA was acting to promote a drug company and its drug, not doing its job to protect US citizens from ineffective and dangerous drugs. Physicians sell more than 4 billion prescription drugs per year in the US. Many of these drugs don’t work, and when they do, often it’s because of the placebo effect.  For example, published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), “less than five per cent of patients receiving long-term treatment with statins are likely to obtain any benefit whatsoever.” Cheap “sugar pills” sold by someone in white jacket would often yield better results without the adverse side-effects. What works better than drugs to lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease? A plant forward diet.

In our capitalist healthcare system, billionaires, such as Mark Cuban, create companies with hype, stating that they’ll lower the cost of prescription drugs. In reality, in many cases, the price quotes that patients see on the Cuban’s website are higher than they’d get at their local pharmacy, and the only drugs they sell are the cheaper generic drugs. And many of the drugs in the US have been manufactured overseas, particularly India and China, where quality control is lacking. Many pharmaceutical companies, such as Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, and Pfizer, often use contract manufacturers. This means the company distributing the medication is not the one that manufactured it. Drug companies purposely make it difficult to know where their drugs are made, but it is possible to find out. Although I don’t use any drugs (none, no aspirin, no Ibuprofen, no acetaminophen, nothing), I always encourage family and friends to check the country of origin for the drugs they consume. BTW, acetaminophen toxicity is the second most common cause of liver transplantation worldwide and the most common cause of liver transplantation in the US. If the country of origin for your drug is India, I suggest they look for an alternative drug. If you’re using eye drops, for example, you may want to know where the product was manufactured. Vision loss from eye drops manufactured in India is yet another example of profits over health. People are dying, others are having their eyes surgically removed because of these eye drops. While the eye drops made in India may blind you, the cough syrup from India may kill you. With a lack of proper manufacturing processes and regulatory oversight, India can manufacture drugs cheaply and enable higher profits for US drug companies. Part of the Reagan Revolution, the medical industrial complex uses the trickle down business model where manufacturing is done overseas using child labor, cheap wages, and deregulation to keep costs low and profits high. In this business model no one wins other than the wealthy. The US middle class is gutted, and poor people overseas are exploited, and those taking these drugs are often diseased from the drug itself. , termed an iatrogenic disorder in the medical business. In one example of iatrogenic disease, “about 7% of people with parkinsonism have developed their symptoms following treatment with particular medications. This form of Parkinsonism is called ‘drug-induced Parkinsonism’.” And if you land in the hospital after being harmed by a prescription drug, watch out for the rapidly spreading Candida auris, a drug resistant fungus spreading in hospitals that may be killing between 30-60% of those infected. My point here is not to scare you, rather to bring about a realization that lifestyle factors, including diet and exercise, can prevent these deadly scenarios involving drugs, physicians, and hospitals. Prevention is key, and diseases such as colorectal cancer, the incidence of which is rising quickly in the US among young people, and is obviously due to lifestyle factors, such as binge drinking and the consumption of sugary drinks and processed foods, can likely be brought under control by diet.

And now, thanks to the privatization of Medicare, insurance companies are using artificial intelligence to deny healthcare to their customers. Medicare Advantage plans, which are neither Medicare nor an advantage, are another means by which industry uses tax dollars to rip-off people. The privatization of Medicare through the Advantage plans is driving up the cost of Medicare, a winner for big corporations and a loser for tax payers. Corporations selling you Medicare Advantage programs are using artificial intelligence (AI) to determine whether to fund drugs and procedures. And guess what, the bean counters (aka Libertarians) who wrote the algorithms for the AI programs biased them to cut care for seniors. After the corporate AI rejects the insurance claim, a physician working for the corporation signs the reject document without ever having analyzed the patient or their medical data. Just as Medicare Advantage is neither Medicare nor an advantage, in this case, AI is neither Artificial nor intelligent. Rather, it is real and it is stupidly robbing people of healthcare that they paid for in their social security taxes. Further, thanks to corporatized search algorithms, if you Google the term Medicare Advantage, about 90% of what you see extolls the virtues of enrolling in an Advantage plan. And, private equity is moving into to healthcare to profit by hurting your health. Noble Health, a private equity group in Utah, was also among the 2022 winners of the Shkreli Awards. It bought two rural hospitals in Missouri, leading to shortages of drugs and supplies, and stopped paying employees’ health insurance despite deducting money for that purpose from their pay. Dentistry is no different. One drill-and-filler was purposely breaking his patient’s teeth so that he could then fix them for profit. Another has been accused of child abuse for performing seven root canals on a 3 year old who didn’t require the procedures. Has your dentist ever told you about using toothpaste with hydroxyapatite to prevent cavities and re-mineralize the enamel of your teeth? Probably not, because prevention of dental caries does not fit the privatized dental business model and means no more drill-and-fill for profit. Like physicians, the more procedures done by a dentist, means a higher price will be paid for their practice when they sell their practices to private equity firms. This is big business. As the  Journal of Insurance Fraud in America has said, “Medicaid fraud is the most lucrative business model in U.S. dentistry today.” However, if you find the right dentist, such as Dr. Peter Rechmann, DMD, Ph.D, at UCSF, health can be restored such as in this case: “Rechmann forewent an easily billable procedure [crowns] and instead, advised his patient to use a high-concentration fluoride toothpaste, anti-bacterial rinse, and xylitol chewing gum. When she returned a few months later, her teeth enamel had remineralized so much that she was no longer a candidate for crowns.”

Did you know that eating soy and walnuts that contain D-serine, can prevent aging of the hypothalamus and help maintain our cognitive abilities? It’s important to point out that there is much misinformation about soy and the estrogen-like compounds found in soy. These compounds are called isoflavones and even though they are structurally similar to estrogen, they don’t have the negative effects associated with estrogen replacement treatment. Soy isoflavones bind to different receptors (ER-Beta) than estrogen and reduces the risk of breast and other types of cancer. Soy is safe and does not cause cancer, but actually prevents it, and doesn’t cause early onset of puberty in girls, it doesn’t cause fibroids or thyroid disease and it does not affect male hormones. Soy and soy products such as Tofu are excellent sources of protein, fiber and many other healthful nutrients. But, as Dr. Eric Reinhart, M.D., Ph.D. says, “The American medical profession has been part of a cartel, more or less. It’s been a trade union that has sought to protect its own economic interest, very often at the cost of patient well-being.” Healthy diets are a loser for physician income, but drugs make money. As I’ve written in The Medicalization of America, the AMA is largely responsible for our greedy and dangerous healthcare system. Dr. Reinhart goes on to say, “From the 1930s onwards, doctors [physicians] have been part of political organizing to prevent what was regarded a little bit later as socialized medicine — the idea that medical care might become a matter of rights rather than something governed by a revenue interest. The AMA [American Medical Association] was largely formed to do this, to advocate for doctor’s [physician’s] interests, their financial interests, and also their desire for autonomy to not have any kind of interference from government.” When the US government brought about Medicare and Medicaid, the AMA helped to setup the programs realizing that government funding, the people’s tax dollars, could be used to fund their privatized medical treatment system. This meant more income for procedures and drugs that more frequently than not, don’t work. Their mantra was and is, “let practicing physicians decide what works for their patients.” Who cares if most medical procedures don’t work, so long as I make money. In other words, good food is for health so we’re mum on that and actually promulgate bad information on diet, such as the keto diet, medical treatment is about money.

Thinking about nature and all of the miraculous molecules that plants provide us, I’m often asked, if natural ingredients work so well, why aren’t drug companies using natural ingredients to develop their therapeutics? The simple answer: natural ingredients cannot be patented. Here’s why this matters to drug companies, and to physicians. Only ingredients that are man made, not natural, can be patented. Once a patent is attained for a novel ingredient, then that ingredient can be sold by only the patent holder for about the next 20 years. Drug development is hugely expensive, so no company will develop a drug unless a big return on investment can be realized with great certainty, and the patent affords that high level of certainty. If a drug company were to develop a natural ingredient as a drug, no significant patents could be attained, and other companies could quickly copy the success of the original drug developer, leading to little or no return on the big investment to bring that product through the drug development process. As for physicians, their business model is to sell prescription drugs – that is, drugs that can only be attained if a physician prescribes it. Physicians therefore are the salespeople for the drug company’s patented drugs. If physicians were to emphasize prevention, and the use of natural ingredients, then the current business model for medics would cause them to lose income because natural ingredients can be easily purchased and at low cost. Both groups, physicians and drug companies, make much money using this business model of treatment with prescription drugs. Only they can sell these products. And sell drugs, they do. In copious quantities. In a description of one physician arrested and sentenced for overprescribing opioids, the DOJ said, the physician “practiced as a drug dealer, not a doctor.” In Florida, physicians can overprescribe opioids, make lots of money, be caught overprescribing, then use the money they made overprescribing to pay a small fine, and continue to practice. Another physician in Miami Beach, who attained a truncated medical degree in Mexico, will give you cocaine and then rape you. As my mother says, “they have a license to steal.” The business model of physicians and drug companies is therefore treatment, and nowhere is the incentive for prevention. Even vaccines, which can sometimes prevent disease or the severity of a disease, are money-making treatments. As I’ve published in peer-reviewed PubMed listed scientific journals, some of the vaccines don’t work well and are repeatedly given at yearly intervals as a means to maintain revenue, but could be better made to better prevent the disease. And some poorly made vaccines continue to cause disease, such as polio. One of the latest Covid-19 vaccines, the so-called bivalent booster, begins to loose its efficacy for preventing bad outcomes (it doesn’t prevent transmission) in about 2 months following dosing. Transient vaccines are big money-makers. Although “vaccines are holding up against admission to hospital and mortality,” says Dr. Linda Bauld, Ph.D., professor of public health at the University of Edinburgh, “but not so much against transmission,” I have to ask, what is the point of a Covid-19 vaccine mandate? If the vaccine is not preventing or significantly reducing transmission, allow people to choose whether to vaccinate or not. But mandates make money for corporations and physicians (they have many schemes, many, many thanks to privatization of healthcare, and you’re paying billions of dollars for physicians and their conspirators to do little or nothing to improve health). On the other hand, a vaccine that is safe (I’ve discussed the safety issues of mRNA vaccines) and works well, keeping people out of the clinic, and that doesn’t have to be dosed on a yearly basis, is a money loser for physicians and drug companies alike. In contradistinction to many of our current vaccines, a mask mandate does make sense because masks reduce the probability of transmission, and if infected, reduce the viral load and may therefore reduce the severity of the symptoms. Masks are also easy to use, inexpensive, and have no adverse side effects. But they don’t make money for drug companies or physicians, and therefore were not recommended by Fauci early-on in the pandemic. I detail in my book, The Medicalization of America, how Fauci’s public health policies allowed the virus to spread and how his mentality is vaccine-focused. Part of Fauci’s vaccine-focus was to fund gain-of-function experiments in coronaviruses, performed in China and with one goal to better develop coronavirus vaccines, something that may have led to the Covid-19 pandemic. We still don’t know with certainty whether the pandemic started through a lab leak or a natural (if we define natural as animals held in captivity in close quarters where they continuously share their urine, feces, and sputum) spillover from animals because health care officials in the US and China have covered-up relevant data, including Fauci and Collins at the NIH. If Covid-19 was lab created, then this one heck of a medical business model- have tax payers fund the very studies that created the disease (thank you Fauci), and then have tax payers pay for development of poor vaccines that don’t stop the spread of the disease so that the money keeps rolling into the drug companies, the NIH, and to Fauci himself. Privatization of healthcare sure is great. Under Francis Collins, even the NIH would become privatized, with drug and soda companies funding disastrous “NIH” studies, as well as funding other national health organizations. As part of the Reagan Revolution, with the NIH funded by corporations and about half of the FDA budget funded by companies (funding 75% of its drug division), physicians on the review panels of the FDA paid by drug companies, little wonder is required to understand why we live in the treatment paradigm of healthcare in the US. Regardless, given a more than $32 billion public money investment in these mRNA vaccines for Covid-19, and while the CEO of Moderna, who manufactured one of the mRNA vaccines, made (I won’t say earned) $398 million in 2022, the public should demand better vaccines and reduced compensation for those who made these sub-par vaccines. But with the world’s largest lobby controlling the narrative, few know how inadequate is our current business model of medicine and healthcare.

If you want to drastically limit your chances of having heart disease, diabetes, dementia, autoimmune disease, osteoporosis, cancer, and so many more illnesses, you need to take control of your diet. The healthcare system won’t do it for you. It’s up to you. Not eating well, for example, can lead to the use of laxatives and the consequences of an increased risk of dementia. If you’ve heard these health conditions are hereditary, sometimes confused with genetics (genetics is only one factor in heredity), you’ve been led astray. For example, transgenerational epigenetic inheritance, something that doesn’t involve changes in the DNA sequence, has profound effects on heredity. Rather, chemical changes to the same DNA sequence can turn on or off DNA expression, and those chemical changes can sometimes be passed on to one’s progeny. This means some of the unhealthy behaviors in which you indulge, such as eating processed foods, may be passed on to your children, biasing the child to act unhealthy. Epigenetic changes, such as DNA methylation, can have major consequences to health. DNA methylation is an important marker of aging and health status, and is profoundly affected by our exposome and social conditions. In other words, genetics doesn’t matter much for most diseases, but what you are exposed to in life matters to your health, and likely to your children’s health. This is true for diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). As I’ve written in a peer-reviewed, PubMed listed study, ALS is largely a disease due to toxic exposure, not genetics. Yet our focus is on drugs to treat the disease, instead of regulations to prevent toxic exposure and subsequent disease causation. I’ve also published studies laying out additional means, a new approach to therapeutic development using systems therapeutics, to better prevent and treat neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS using non-toxic supplements. Because my therapeutic methods utilize natural ingredients, my patent portfolio is relatively weak, and therefore investors and partners avoid such methods in preference to money-making, patented, toxic drugs that can be sold by physicians.

The absurdity of the genetics fashionistas has led to every gene that has been sequenced to be categorized as linked to cancer. Yes, absurdly, every gene in the body has been claimed to be linked to cancer. This genomics fashionistism was brought forth by a physician, Francis Collins, the former head of the National Institutes of Health, who believed all diseases could be understood by knowing a person’s full genetic sequence. A religious man, genetics was one of his religions. Collins was so devoted to his preconceived notion of genetics as the cause of all disease that he was caught authoring five fraudulent scientific papers on genetics. Disseminating misinformation on behalf of his inane genomics revolution included fraudulent studies. Blaming the problem on a junior worker in his lab, Mr. Collins obviously had little to do with the papers if indeed the blame was with his junior partner. If we are to believe the blame lies elsewhere, did Collins even read the papers to which his name is attached? Someone else read the papers, and found the fraud. All one had to do was read the papers. Apparently, Collins had not. Yet, this man, Collins, who appears not to even read the genomics papers to which he attaches his name, ushered in the ridiculous notion that all disease can be understood be genomic sequences, a huge and expensive failure. His was profoundly superficial thought. Even Type 1 Diabetes, often said to be a genetic disease, is on the rise and is thought to be caused by a number of factors, including environmental risks. Our genetics haven’t changed much over time, but our environment, including diet, has. Healthcare, and specifically genomics is a big business, and many people will do almost anything for money and deliver bad healthcare. The global genomics market was about $23 billion in 2020. If physicians can convince you that all diseases are genetic, then that means there’s nothing you can do about your disease, other than go to see the physician for overprescribed drugs and overprescribed procedures, including surgery. Physician hubris and greed is nothing new. George Bernard Shaw, besides bringing us Pygmalion and My Fair Lady, described some of the problems in a play he wrote in 1906 called The Doctor’s Dilemma. The genius of Shaw was made into a movie in the 1950s and an updated version is sorely (literally) needed.

And most of the drugs don’t work, as is the case for medical procedures too. Here’s the latest discovery of unneeded medical procedures: surgery or radiotherapy for prostate cancer when doing nothing yields an equivalent life expectancy. Doing unneeded medical procedures for profit not only does no good for the patient, but causes harm, including increasing the patient’s risk of developing cancer. The healthcare lobby, composed of physicians and physician groups, drug companies, health insurance companies, and hospital/clinic organizations is the largest lobby in the world. Larger than the defense lobby. Physicians are a big part of this lobbying effort. They’re all in together to drive home the false narrative that there is little you can do to better your health other than to take prescription drugs and have procedures. “Rampant surgical overuse” is part of their greed. This is nothing new. In the 1950s, Paul Hawley, M.D., the Director of the American College of Surgeons, stated that “the public would be shocked if it knew the amount of unnecessary surgery performed.” Similarly, radiation treatment, something that increases your chances of cancer, is overused and keeps radiation oncologists as one of the highest paid physician categories at $544,000 annually. Unnecessary medical care, sometimes violent, in the US has been described as an epidemic by a prominent physician. Violence can be insidious, such as “A healthy adult is sent for a ‘regular medical check-up’, considered a business venture in medical circles, and walks out a depressed, harried patient.” On the other hand, Dr. Death, a surgeon in Texas, was infamous and his story was made into a miniseries. But most cases go unreported, as do most medical errors – about 90 percent of all hospital mistakes go unreported, and medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the US. Sadly, when medical errors occur, the medical institution and their physicians entrench into a defensive mode, such as happened to a young woman when part of her lung was mistakenly removed at the Cleveland Clinic. Cover-ups such as this perpetuate the problems and tend to prevent corrective actions.

However, violent behavior by physicians in their practice does sometimes lead to a revocation of their license to practice by the state medical board, such as happened to John Sanderson, a physician who trained in Canada, receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Medicine (a five year undergraduate degree, MBBS, not an MD) and then practiced in California. Having lost his license for sexual misconduct and incompetence, he would then go on to start a cosmetic company named AnteAge, a company using technology (bone marrow mesenchymal stem cell cytokines) that is potentially harmful, including oncogenic, i.e. cancer causing, to consumers. Scientific studies have repeatedly found that the technology AnteAge uses promotes tumor growth. Sanderson’s scientific advisor, Jonathan Lakey, another Canadian, would leave his country in disgrace after he was fired from his university in Canada for fraud, as well as at a Canadian non-profit, and would later be charged with conspiracy and racketeering in a company where he was the director. They would recruit other physicians to use these harmful ingredients and procedures, using their authority figure stature to potentially harm unwitting clients. I’ve reviewed in the peer-reviewed journal, Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, why bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells can be dangerous, inducing cancer in recipients of bone marrow transplants, and why physicians must be careful in using these cells or the molecules they produce in therapeutic and consumer products.

The use of medical products and personal care products with harmful chemicals is widespread in the US, and is especially problematic in children who are highly vulnerable to these chemicals in their developmental stage of life. Why does this happen? Short answer, money: “A panel appointed by the national Cancer Advisory Board, USA, has found that highly reputed scientists could deviate from accepted standards of integrity when tempted to bolster their theorems and prejudices with huge sums of the public’s money, and an American scientist has advised other scientists: ‘Stay out of cancer research because it’s full of money and just about out of science.'” And when other countries, such as the UK, emulate the privatized healthcare system of the US, what happens? As a cardiologist in the UK has said, physicians who “treat patients privately [the private healthcare system, not the socialized medicine system in the UK] are like the ‘greedy preying on the needy.'” A commonly used chemical, trichloroethylene, may cause Parkinson’s Disease and has been found in many consumer products (used to decaffeinate coffee, degrease metal, and dry clean clothes) and, more to the point, medical products, including in the past (banned in 1977) as an anesthetic. Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC) are commonly found in medical devices and equipment, along with the prescribed drugs. As stated by endocrinologists, “Providing ethically competent care requires an open acknowledgment of endocrine risks imposed by the medical community that have heretofore been ignored.” The pathogenesis of various reproductive, neuropsychiatric, and metabolic disorders are linked to EDCs, and exposures occurring during sensitive developmental period early in life are now thought to confer long-term disease risk.

But most diseases are a result of our exposome, not genetics. This means diseases are under the control of what you do, all of that to which you are exposed, including all the various factors in your diet. Want sarcopenia? Then eat lots of protein, “Load up on eggs, tofu, Greek yoghurt, fish and lean meat,” just as your physician recommended. Scientists have found that eating higher amounts of protein are associated with sarcopenia, muscle degeneration. One physician has said, “Most cancers are, essentially, bad luck.” Never mind how diet is critical to cancer development, or that the gas stove you use to cook is emitting cancer-causing chemicals such as benzene, something the hydrocarbon industry doesn’t want you to know about. Don’t worry, be happy. And when what you do in life causes your cancer, you’ll have a chance for physicians to irradiate you to kill the cancer cells, but to also induce more cancer due to the radiation treatment. All of these X-ray procedures that physicians and dentists do for added income may also induce heart disease. Heart disease can also be caused by breathing high levels of oxygen during medical procedures, including hyperbaric oxygen, leading to protein damage that decreases mitochondrial function, and results in pulmonary dysfunction. This means the use of antioxidants, which can mitigate reactive oxygen species to some degree, is unlikely to be sufficient to prevent oxygen toxicity. As an example, this knucklehead physician will even use protein- and mitochondrial-destroying hyperbaric oxygen as an antiaging treatment. He’s an emergency room physician who is crating emergencies. Great for his business: first he creates the disease with his hyperbaric treatment, and then he later treats it at the ER.

Want obesity and heart disease? Then eat the Atkins diet with lots of meat, butter, and processed oils that a medic made famous. Reduced exercise and a high-calorie diet lead to an increase in the fat mass and obesity-associated (FTO) protein, which has numerous deleterious consequences, including an increased chance of vision loss. When a physician recommends a calorie-dense, high fat diet, expect poor health, and possible death due to cardiac arrest as happened to one of the most famous medics promoting this nonsense, Robert Atkins. Newer fad diets from physicians that build on the stupidity of the Atkins diet include the South Beach Diet and the Keto Diet, which may, among other problems, induce dysbiosis, cancer, and poor cardiovascular health. Instead, educate and inspire yourself by reading The Blue Zones Kitchen and take part in a way of life that the longest lived, most healthy people on the planet practice. This will keep you out of the hospital or clinic, where you have a significant probability of becoming ill from diseases such as Covid-19 and Legionella.

As I wrote in my book, Thinking and Eating for Two, many people in the modern world are overfed, but undernourished, leading to much disease. With many people relying on their physicians for medical advice, disturbingly most US medical schools (86/121, 71%) fail to provide the recommended minimum 25 hours of nutrition education to medical students. Given that most diseases are result of our exposome, and the most critical aspect of our exposome is diet, physicians profoundly lack any understanding of the root cause of most diseases. It’s even worse than this. At the Texas A&M University, poor studies paid for by the meat industry and published in scientific journals without disclosure of the funding, sell beef under the disguise of science. The money paid to scientists and physicians to publish advocacy studies is laundered through industry-funded non-profits, such as the International Life Sciences Institute. Fortunately, a number of scientists and physicians have educated themselves about nutrition and are not beholden to the corporate food industry.

My early foray into nutrition began in high school as QB of my football team, and a tall, skinny kid with mild asthma. I wanted to improve my game through better health, and found Adele Davis’ book, Let’s Get Well, in our local health food store. She was a graduate of UC Berkeley’s nutrition program, the first in the US, had a master’s in biochemistry from USC in Los Angeles, and was an advocate for improved health through better nutrition. She wrote an early nutrition textbook in 1942, followed by four best-selling books for consumers which praised the value of natural foods and criticized the diet of the average American. Based on the evidence of the time, she believed that most Americans inflicted harm on themselves with their typical diets, which was excessively high in salt, refined sugars, pesticides, growth hormones, preservatives and other additives, and thereby “devitalized” of its essential nutrients by the excessive processing. Another UC Berkeley trained scientist, a giant in the field of nutrition, Dr. Ancel Keys, Ph.D., influenced me with his 1960s book, The Benevolent Bean, researched and written with his wife, Margaret, who was a chemist. Ancel died at 100 years old, and Margaret at 97 – they practiced what they preached! Yes, despite the blithering nonsense of a surgeon, Steven Gundry, who claims beans are bad for health in a poorly researched and written book, other scientists and physicians who have educated themselves on nutrition, and now educate others through the popular media include, Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D. of Cornell University; Dr. Joel Fuhrman, M.D.; Dr. John McDougall, M.D.; and Dr. Michael Greger, M.D.

Further to diet, exposure to a mixture of synthetic chemicals found widely in the environment alters and upsets many critical biological processes, including the metabolism of fats and amino acids. The disruption of these biological processes is connected to an increased risk of many diseases, including developmental disorders, cardiovascular disease, metabolic disease and many types of cancer. Two massive train derailments in Ohio in one month, spewing toxic chemicals throughout the region will likely be causative or partially causative for many people’s afflictions. Thanks to the deregulation mentality of the US, “Cuts in manpower and inspections, combined with reductions in regulations via waivers and changes have resulted in the deterioration of rail safety in the industry.” Deregulated states such as Florida and Texas are becoming havens for industrial polluters. Examining water quality across the U.S. shows Florida ranking first for the highest total acres of lakes too polluted for swimming or healthy aquatic life. That means water can have high levels of fecal matter and other bacteria that can sicken people. As for Texas, a new report by Environment America, a Denver-based nonprofit, Texas ranks first among U.S. states for toxic discharges into streams, rivers and lakes, a title held by Indiana since the organization began analyzing nationwide water pollution in 2009. “Texas has a pretty lax regulatory environment where it’s very easy to permit new polluting facilities and very difficult to get fined for violations,” said Luke Metzger, director of Environment Texas, the local affiliate of Environment America. “They know they’ll likely get away with it.” Again, rising rates of disease are not due to changes in our genetics, which hasn’t changed much in modern times, but is due to our exposome, something that includes all of the pollutants to which we are exposed, and some of which is growing exponentially. In Texas, laws may be passed to thwart the adoption of electric vehicles, continuing the pollution of our air by petroleum fueled vehicles. Among the many other diseases linked to tailpipe emissions, now eczema, also called atopic dermatitis, has been linked to isocyanates from gasoline engines. Isocyanates have been found in the lesions of those with eczema. Rates of eczema are growing steadily from year to year.

Artificial sweeteners are another exposome problem. For example, increased chances of heart attack can follow the consumption of erythritol given that platelet reactivity and thrombosis is enhanced by this chemical. If you’re addicted to meat, which is bad for the heart, eat mycoprotein (fungi stems of the mushrooms you’re accustomed to) instead. Mycoprotein is meaty, and has sufficient protein and much fiber to help keep one healthy, helping to create a healthy microbiome and increase short chain fatty acids (important for immune regulation and reducing inflammation). Fermentation of mycoprotein by bacteria in the human gut yields lower concentrations of ammonia, and the many negative effects it produces. Studies have found cardiometabolic benefits when replacing meat with mycoprotein that is partly attributable to its fiber composition. Companies such as Better Meat Co. in Sacramento, CA, are developing meaty products based on mycoprotein. For myself, grilling or roasting oyster (or similar) mushrooms, there are many varieties and many producers in CA, yields a tasty, meaty dish. Eating a whole food plant-based diet that include fruits and vegetables and mycoprotein will help to prevent and remediate many diseases.

You are not a victim of the hereditary factors with which you were born. A simple example is how eating added sodium induces inflammation throughout the body by modifying the immune system such that immune cells (T-cells) no longer properly regulate themselves. In such states of the immune system, autoimmunity results. Autoimmunity, such as eosinophilic esophagitis, can be effectively treated simply by eliminating dairy. For myself, following a whole food plant-based diet with little or no added sodium, sugar, or processed foods, I haven’t taken a drug in over 5 years. No aspirin, no ibuprofen, nothing. I’m over 60 years old and have never felt better. You can too. Eat well, predominantly plants, exercise (walking an hour a day does wonders), and stay socially and mentally active. Healthspan and lifespan will benefit greatly. Let’s bring new meaning to a saying, which I’ll call here, “Wholier than thou.” Eat whole foods, not processed plants and not animal products, and lead a whole and healthy life.

February is National Heart Health Month – So, Let’s Talk About the Skin 

Caring for your skin is not superficial. Your skin is not only a reflection of your overall health, but, indeed, the health of your skin contributes to overall health, and likely, your heart health. The popular idiom, “Beauty is more than skin deep” takes on new meaning when we consider how well cared for skin is not only beautiful, but as research studies teach us, well cared for skin can reduce inflammation throughout the body. As I described in my 2017 and 2019 PubMed listed papers, even the microbiota on the skin can influence overall health. While we all understand that the appearance of the skin can be indicative of deep-rooted health issues, we now understand that poor skin health can be a contributing factor to inflammatory diseases throughout the body. Although heart health may be foremost to our thinking this February, during what the CDC calls American Heart Month, skin health should also remain part of our thinking. Based on emerging evidence, many think the two are more intertwined than previously thought.

Chronic inflammation is a critical factor in almost all diseases, including cardiovascular disease. And given skin inflammation can induce general inflammation in the body, heart disease may be exacerbated by inflammation in the skin. Studies have found that more severe skin conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis, are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, likely associated with inflammation in the body. But as the 2019 study at UCSF found, skin problems don’t have to be severe to potentially lead to cardiovascular issues. Simply degrading the outer layer of the skin, the stratum corneum of the epidermis, can lead to skin inflammation and then to systemic inflammation. Stratum corneum provides a barrier to the outside world, and all the toxic insults from the world, and simple skin barrier degradation associated with age has been found to increase circulating blood markers of inflammation, so-called inflammatory cytokines that can easily be assayed from a small blood sample. Measures of these inflammatory cytokines in the blood are an important means by which scientists can measure overall inflammation in the body, and are predictive of overall health, including our health status as we age. The term inflammaging is used to describe this field of study. The common and most debilitating age-related health issues, such as heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, and dementia, are also associated with an increase in these markers of inflammation.

So, what do we do to restore barrier function in the skin? The aforementioned 2019 study, found that using barrier repair moisturizers, that included three types of lipids, could reduce pro-inflammatory cytokines in the blood, and the skin. I developed a topical product to restore the skin’s natural barrier without using artificial barrier products such as petrolatum. Yes, as the name implies, such products are derived from petroleum and they don’t build a normal stratum corneum replete with natural barrier formation. My product, called NeoGenesis Barrier Renewal Cream, has no petrolatum, and uses three types of skin-identical lipids, called 1. free fatty acids, 2. cholesterol, and 3. ceramide. These ingredients help to build the stratum corneum and once again provide a natural barrier to toxic insults. Inflammation is thus reduced, both in the skin and in the rest of the body.

I also recommend using a gentle cleanser so as not to strip away your skin barrier lipids, and use warm or cold, but not hot water, to further reduce stripping of the barrier. Harsh cleansers and hot water can lead to xerosis, the scientific term for dry skin. This, of course, can lead to skin inflammation, and hence, systemic inflammation. To sum up, beautiful skin is healthy skin, and beautiful skin with a healthy barrier means a more healthy body.


“Systems Therapeutic for Physiological Renormalization,” A Paradigm Shift in Therapeutics

As Dr. Thomas Kuhn, a former physics professor at Harvard and Berkeley, taught in his book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, scientific fields undergo periodic “paradigm shifts” rather than progressing in a linear and continuous way, and that these paradigm shifts lead to new approaches in understanding what scientists would never have considered valid before. Such a paradigm shift is now underway for drugs and therapeutics, and has been described as “Systems Therapeutics for Physiological Renormalization.” Until now, the paradigm for drug and therapeutic development has been reductionistic, where a small molecules was developed to target one pathway in an attempt to remedy the diseases or condition. Goodman and Gilman’s The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, long believed to be the oracle for teaching pharmacology to physicians and other practitioners, taught that “the small molecule had to specifically hit its target, and only its one target.” That is, develop a drug that specifically hits one target, and only one target, and that is the best way for drug development. However, most diseases and conditions involve many perturbed pathways, and a drug that targets only one of these many pathways is a drug doomed to failure or suboptimal therapeutic effect. Such is the case for well over 50% of the FDA-approved drugs on the market today, they don’t work. The drugs that don’t work include many cancer drugs, that are toxic and only cause harm. While this problem has received media attention, the world’s largest lobby, the medical-industrial complex, drowns out these reports by saturating the media with drug propaganda. This problem only became worse when physicians, such as Francis Collins, ushered in genomic fashionistaism, teaching that the small molecules should not only hit just one target, but that the target should be at the level of the genome. As Dr. Stephen Rappaport, Ph.D. at Berkeley teaches us, over 90% of diseases are caused by our exposome and the genome is not the underlying cause. Yet, Collins in all of his ignorance, called for genetically sequencing everyone, carrying your genetic sequence on a card that can be read by physicians, such that the physician can then treat you based on the information contained on your “genomics card.” Another physician, Leroy Hood, was quoted as saying, ” your entire genome and medical history will be on a credit card. You just put it in there [a computer] and a physician will instantly know what he’s dealing with.” Besides irrational thought underlying Collin’s call for a “genome card,” fraud was in his calling to make such ignorant claims. When found out, Collins said, “the significance and the scope of the fabrication in this circumstance, of which I had not the slightest idea, began to be very apparent.” In other words, Collins had no idea what was going on in his lab, and was attaching his name to “scientific papers” of which he had nothing to do with. This is called “ghostwriting,” where physicians put their names on “scientific papers” yet have had nothing to do with the study. The practice is rampant for practitioners, i.e. physicians. Leading other physicians astray, who control over 95% of biological research spending in the US given that physicians control the National Institutes of Health, Collins would cause biological research in the USA to be highly biased towards looking for diseases in all the wrong places – the genome. This bias continues today and has been taken to such an absurd level that almost every gene studied has been linked to a disease. Further upsetting those who believe that mutations in the genome underlie disease, is that mutations in the genome don’t happen just by chance, but are driven by environmental influences. Basically, one’s health status is not only influenced by your current environment acting at the protein level of your body, but also by what your ancestors experienced in their environments acting on their genetics and epigenetics. So what you do in life, including your diet, directly effects your health and can cause most diseases, but also will have consequences to your children and their children. As such, when what one has experienced in life disrupts their physiology, mostly acting at the protein level of the body, the resulting disease can be treated by renormalizing the physiology. This means, renormalizing the protein (and other molecules such as lipids) content of the afflicted tissues. As an example of the therapeutic benefit of this “systems therapeutic for physiological renormalization” approach, our group has demonstrated its efficacy in the skin for a number of conditions, including radiation dermatitis in cancer patients. The approach was also shown by Maguire and colleagues to be effective in protecting the nervous system from neurodegenerative diseases in an experimental animal model. The safety of this technology has been demonstrated, and the mechanism of action partially described. The approach has also been discussed in an interview of Dr. Greg Maguire by Dr. Tom Kleyman of the Physiological Society. Dr. Maguire has also recently described in a journal publication, Human Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics, how the “systems therapeutics for physiological renormalization” approach may help to make safer and more efficacious vaccines, helping to better prevent the spread of the disease. Stay tuned, there is much more to come, including our approach in treating immune and autoimmune conditions as I began to describe in my 2021 paper.

California’s Emerging Lithium Valley at the Salton Sea 2023: California Overtook Germany as the World’s Fourth Largest Economy And Still Growing

Sixteen years ago, a big change in transportation was unveiled in Santa Monica, California, and as Martin Eberhard, the man behind the change, explained, the battery was the key to this transformation of transportation. California’s becoming the fourth largest economy in the world is largely because of it’s role as changemaker. To make our planet more livable, and, indeed, keep the planet Earth habitable for humans, we need to innovate and electrify almost everything and ignore the petroleum and gas industry’s smear tactics against renewable energy. Electrification includes automobiles. California is already the largest car manufacturing state in America, and Tesla’s Fremont (the happiest city in the US) plant is the busiest plant in North America with plans to produce more than 600,000 vehicles in the coming year (2023). After a short stent in Texas, Musk has moved Tesla’s HQ back to California so that the company can stay in the forefront of innovation. Realizing tax breaks don’t lead to innovation, Tesla returns home to the land of innovation where 44 manufacturing companies in the electric vehicle space have their HQs. While the oil industry prospers in Texas, because it doesn’t require a brain to dig a hole, the science and engineering of electric cars requires a vast, highly educated talent pool offered by California. Although most of the industrial world continues to move to clean energy, 17 Republican-led, regressive states looking to revoke California’s Clean Air Act waiver, which allows the state to set emissions standards higher than federal standards for itself and any states wishing to adopt them, the auto industry is backing California and Republican-led states fall further behind. As UC Berkeley professors have reported, moving to a clean energy grid and the sale of only electric cars by 2035 is doable and will create jobs, save money and lives, and improve health. And as Dr. Mark Jacobson, Ph.D. professor at Stanford, author of No Miracles Needed, says, “The total amount of mining that’s going to be needed for wind, water, solar, compared to the fossil fuel system, is much less than 1% in terms of the mass of materials.” Moving to clean energy systems includes electric vehicles, which are much cleaner than combustion vehicles. California is leading the way to do this. Include in the vehicle mix bicycles, including electric bikes, with cities that are bike oriented, and pollution can be reduced and health increased. Emeryville CA, adjacent to Berkeley, is the most bicycle friendly city in the US. And people are happier because of it. Green energy means not only generating most energy from renewables, but also making energy use more efficient. “It is often said that where the golden state of California leads, others will follow.” True to form, Berkeley was the first city, in 2019, to ban gas hookups in new homes. Gas stoves are not only inefficient, but are detrimental to human health, including cancer causing. Now, more than 70 cities throughout the country, except for regressive Texas, have followed Berkeley’s lead. California tore up and put the Republican’s negative memo about woke capitalism and ESG (environmental, social, governance) investing in the recycling bin. That recycled paper became the blueprint for a sustainable, inclusive future that California wrote. ESG is a framework designed for an organizational strategy that considers the needs and ways in which to generate value for all of organizational stakeholders, not just the corporate owners. Democracy, not plutocracy and authoritarian rule is what this means. These values are part of the reason why people are flocking to California, where Sacramento is the leading city for new residents and San Diego follows close behind. Places in California, such as San Diego, including downtown San Diego, and nearby University of California, San Diego, are booming. And with California’s Lithium Valley now beginning to produce lithium for EV batteries, California will continue its growth that great Democratic Governors such as Pat Brown built, the father of Modern California, Jerry Brown, the son who continued his father’s innovation and then later brought the state back to the 5th largest economy in the world after Republicans had torn it down to #8, and Gavin Newsom, who brought the state to #4 in the world. California had been officially the fifth largest economy, and is now the 4th largest economy on the planet, growing rapidly, and is the leading manufacturing state in the US and the innovation hub of the world. “The competitive advantages that have made the California economy the envy of the world remain very much intact.” While other areas of the country are experiencing tech layoffs, California continues to gain more tech jobs, with San Diego having the lowest unemployment rate of any large metropolitan area in the US, a rate that keeps falling thanks to a burgeoning tech sector. For California, it’s not just the money. Cities in California dominate the rankings for best quality of life, the happiest cities (Freemont and San Jose are #1 and 2) in the US, and electrification is part of the quality. Keep in mind as you read this article, that the California and US governments acting as and through other public institutions, such as the University of California, drive California to continually dominate the US economy and to propel the state as the innovation leader of the world.

Despite what Ronald Reagan’s handlers, self aggrandizing plutocrats, told him to say, government is the solution to most, if not all, problems. Saying that government, the power of the people in a democracy, is the problem, was a damnation of democracy by Reagan. Without proper democratic regulations, “free markets” (there is no such thing as a free market) become unstable and often crash – such as the Savings and Loan Crisis that Reagan ushered in, and the rich become richer. Reagan’s Neoliberalism would gut the middle class and manufacturing, and lead to a government run by plutocrats. Essentially, Reagan would make the government an enemy of the people, and then blame the government for gutting the people. Stupid people believed him, rich people prospered. To bring plutocracy to the US, Reagan would even commit treason by cutting a deal with Iran to block President Carter from bringing back the US citizens held hostage in Iran, thus diminishing Carter’s bid for reelection. The Republican plutocratic strategy works by persuading white working class voters to focus not on financial self-interest, but on race, conservative religious values and other perceived identity threats, and this blights the US economy. The national debt soared 3X under Reagan and the US moved from a creditor nation to a debtor nation. Other people’s money, taken from the middle class, fueled the Republican ideology of making the rich even richer. Reagan’s privatization and deregulation of healthcare, including for example, an FDA where the clinical trials are run by companies and half of the budget of the FDA comes from the companies being regulated, would lead to the medicalization of America and the world’s worst and most expensive healthcare system. As governor, Reagan would cut one of the most important things driving the innovation in California, the great public universities in the state. All of this meant that Reagan was moving money away from innovation and the public good, and into the hands of the wealthy.

Many innovations important to EVs were developed at UC Berkeley, one of Reagan’s targets for cuts. Some of the current innovations at Berkeley include a new means for lithium-ion battery recycling. The current recycling process includes shredding, grinding, and pyrolysis of the materials, which is highly energy intensive and has a large environmental footprint. A Quick-Release Binder technology from Berkeley Lab eliminates these processes–as well as the production of toxic gases–by using water processes for manufacturing and recycling. All the battery components simply dissociate in pH adjusted water and are easily recovered and reprocessed. Dr. Peidong Yang, Ph.D., a professor of chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley, whose team helped pioneer photocatalytic water splitting for the production of hydrogen from sunlight 20 years ago. This new means of generating green electricity, important for charging EVs, is thought to be nearing commercialization. A transformative, environmentally friendly and cost efficient means to cool things, including EV batteries, was just invented at Berkeley. Many fundamental discoveries and inventions were made at Berkeley and other UC schools, as I explain later. Reagan was a moron’s favorite moron, and a puppet of the wealthy. California, under Republican governors, and their unwise programs of austerity, would eventually fall from the 5th largest economy in the world to the 8th. Democrat governors Jerry Brown (UC Berkeley grad) and Gavin Newsom (Santa Clara Univ grad) would bring the California economy back to 5th and very recently to 4th in the world. Public ventures drive innovation, and public-private ventures help to bring those innovations to market. Such ventures, unlike financialization of the economy, bring new products to market, increase the GDP, and bring value to mankind. This has always been so for the US, from the beginning where home industries were supported by the US government, and protectionism was central to growing the US economy. Government funding and support can propel companies from ideation all the way through market domination. Qualcomm, the communications, microelectronics, and software giant in San Diego, is one example of being government funded and supported at all phases of its business. Qualcomm’s cofounder, Dr. Irwin Jacobs, professor of engineering at UCSD, was supported by state and US funding as a professor, Qualcomm was funded by an SBIR grant from the US, government contracts supported it throughout its life, and when a hostile takeover from a foreign company was likely to happen while Qualcomm dominated its market, the US government stepped in to stop the deal. A big loss of IP, intellectual assets and physical assets would have occurred, shifting those assets overseas to a foreign power. In 2023, we see libertarian billionaires who are venture capitalists, such as Peter Thiel, cry for help from the US government after they created a “bank run” on Silicon Valley Bank. Some believe Peter Thiel created the “bank run” to make the Biden Administration look bad as another means to have libertarian-leaning politicians, such as Trump, retake the US government. There are a number of culprits behind the SVB bank run, including Trump Republicans who deregulated the banks during the Trump presidency. The eponymous Mike Crapo (R-ID) led the move in Congress to deregulate. Thank you, Crapo. Once again, the bailout of the wealthy (no government rules or taxes when we’re making money, but if we loose money, please help) means the US is biased toward socialism for the wealthy and capitalism for the middle class. For guys like SVB’s CEO Greg Becker, a graduate of Indiana University’s business school, their bank is too small to regulate and too big to fail. In other words, we’ll use government money to build our business and our personal worth, but don’t tax us and don’t tell us how to use tax dollars, but once we fuck up our business, please give us more money to protect our personal wealth. Once the bank collapses, I’m off to my home in Hawaii to spend the money you gave me.

Despite the screw-ups of some of the libertarians, who mostly moved to Texas (Musk and Thiel- good riddance), in 2020, California continued its innovation leadership, accounting for one-quarter of the nation’s technology productivity, and received $84.3 billion in Venture Capital investment, while #2 New York had $17.8, Massachusetts $15.9, and lowly Texas received just $4.4. Ron DeSantis, and his regressive Florida regime, are nowhere to be found. So behind is this state, that they revel in being #17 in innovation in the US. Yes, the 3rd most populous state is # 17 in innovation. Such a disaster is Florida, that some cities literally cannot turn on their lights because the state lacks money to help repair the city’s broken lighting system. According to 2022 money laundering statistics by state, Florida has the highest number of offenders. Building an economy on drug smuggling and money laundering doesn’t lead to innovation, but does lead to dumb people on big boats. Few are dumber than DeSantis, and suffering from apparent Anusitis due to corporate money insertion, mixed with his authoritarian zeal, he developed a consequent love of big, polluting boats such that locals cannot protect their own environment.

With 3 of the 4 top tech hubs (#1 San Francisco Bay Area, #3 Los Angeles, and rapidly growing #4 San Diego; NYC area is #2), California is a growing industrial giant and the world’s leader in industries such as aerospace, green technology, and biotech (which far exceeds that of #2 New York). Los Angeles County has the largest GDP of any county in the country. The city of San Francisco itself has at least 139 companies worth one billion or more, and two-thirds of American decacorns (over $10 billion in valuation) are headquartered in the Bay Area. Sprouting-up in San Francisco are companies such as Living Carbon, led by CEO, Maddie Hall, a graduate of the prestigious Claremont Colleges in the beautiful foothills above Los Angeles. They produce and sell sprouts of genetically engineered plants that are able to capture large amounts of carbon. In nearby Santa Clara, Astera Labs is a new electronic chip design company that was listed on Forbes “Next Billion Dollar Startup” list of 2022. Electronic data flow in the EV industry is enormous, and Astera offers chip designs to support the industry needs. Another company emerging in the Bay Area is Ionblox, led by UCSD graduate Herman Lopez, a cofounder, they offer a new lithium ion battery technology with 50% greater energy density and five times more power over lithium-ion batteries, while enabling fast-charge times of 10 minutes. The battery cell performance has been verified by Idaho National Laboratory. Electronics giant, Apple, continues to expand in Cupertino, as has Google in Mountain View, having just announced a partnership with Mercedes. And over in Palo Alto, Tesla is opening a new engineering headquarters, part of what Musk describes as Tesla being a “dual headquarter company,” meaning the brains of Tesla are in California. Musk himself, spends most of his time in California, not Texas. Reestablishing Tesla in California is a means to return the company to an innovation-based company, not one that spirals downward in the land of regressives where nothing new was created other than Bar-b-cue parties in Austin. Meanwhile on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, part of Los Angeles, Carbonics is revolutionizing traditional electronics by employing earth abundant carbon nanomaterials to enhance the performance limits of existing CMOS, semiconductor, and silicon technology. A spin-out of UCLA and UC Santa Barbara’s California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI), developed by Gov. Gray Davis, Carbonics has products being used by the US military and a number of private aerospace companies. In nearby Lancaster, UCLA grad, Michael Stern, a mechanical engineer, is cofounder of B2U Storage Solutions. They recycle batteries that have lost enough of their power so as to be too inefficient for vehicle use. The repurposed batteries are used for energy storage, and cleverly, can be installed into large scale battery storage systems in their existing battery pack. Also in the Los Angeles area, Machina Labs is building new high tech factories using advanced AI-driven robotics technologies. Continuing south to San Diego, Fabric8Labs, led by Cal Poly San Luis Obispo grad, Jeff Herman, is using 3D printing to make nano and microelectronics. They just raised $50 million in a second round to expand their factory in San Diego. Better performing and sustainable electronics will greatly benefit the EV industry. The number one innovation hub, the San Francisco Bay Area, includes Silicon Valley’s hub, the most inventive city on the planet, San Jose. Having previously started the semiconductor and computer industry, the internet, and biotech, California has created another industry. The electric vehicle revolution, powered by lithium ion batteries, has begun, with much thanks to the two engineers who founded Tesla, Marc Tarpenning and Martin Eberhard, working in Berkeley, and to government funding from the Obama and Biden administrations and the state of California. The state of California is booming as its policies and funding propels the EV revolution, and with a $97 Billion surplus this year and $75 Billion last year, California is investing in green technology, including major investment in the state’s grid to meet the anticipated electrical demand. Yes, government does most of the risk taking and funds most innovation. As Dr. Mariana Mazzucato, Ph.D., professor of economics, says, “Every major technological change in recent years traces most of its funding back to the state.” If you’re reading this on a computer or a mobile phone, almost all aspects of the technology allowing you to read this article was government funded. The US government and State of California funded the 2nd generation transistor (created at UC Berkeley) powering the chipset in your device. For example, relating to EVs, as we continuously watch the fire and explosion of Tesla automobiles because of a number of reasons, including spontaneous combustion, and phantom braking (the latest 8 car pileup caused by Tesla phantom breaking), faulty camera systems, broken suspension, or the autopilot system fails and crashes the car, leading to a battery explosion and long lasting fire, government funded companies, such as Safecore, a spin-out of American Lithium Energy (maker of silicon anode lithium ion batteries for the Dept of Defense and others) in Carlsbad, CA (this is a beautiful tech hub in North County San Diego), are focused to solve the problem that Elon Musk ignores., forcibly hides, and knowingly allowed to continue despite safety issues. As Frank Herbert, author of Dune, has said: “I wrote the Dune series because I had this idea that charismatic leaders ought to come with a warning label on their forehead: May be dangerous to your health.” The lying Elon Musk’s “hubris” is leading to a huge downfall of Tesla. Musk is a far-right nutjob whose antics are destroying the company, Tesla, that was built by Eberhard and Tarpenning. As Dan O’Dowd, a Caltech trained engineer and successful creator of safe software writes, we simply don’t know how dangerous the Tesla autos are because Tesla fails to release the necessary data to understand Tesla crashes. To help prevent battery failure and explosions, Stanford scientists have invented a new polymer lithium technology that appears to conduct and not explode even at high temperatures. Although what Musk has done to harm Tesla diminishes the image of the EV industry in general, since the days of Jimmy Carter’s creation of the DOE and his promotion of the solar industry (including solar panels on the White House), many have understood the importance of moving away from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. President Carter is a Naval Academy trained nuclear engineer, who was called in to lead the team to diffuse North America’s first nuclear reactor meltdown, so he has had a deep understanding of energy systems and understood early-on the importance of solar. Experts world-wide agree, 100% of our energy can be renewable. However, when Reagan, a near-moron who dressed well, subsequently became president, he lacked this understanding and had the solar panels removed from the White House. Articles continue to be written and published in the popular media that disparage the move away from oil and gas, without the author disclosing his conflicts of interest, working for oil and nuclear companies such as Reliant Energy, Devon Energy, Energy Futures Holdings, the Nuclear Energy Institute, the American Petroleum Institute. Despite Republicans failing to understand the importance of solar, solar technology would continue to be developed as the governments of Germany, Japan, and China would take the US-developed technology and commercialize it. Obama would restore a national energy plan that Carter had started. Thus, the energy needed to recharge batteries will come from a number of sources, including solar panels that were invented at government funded Bell Labs, and the lithium ion batteries were invented by groups of scientists at the State University of New York and the DOE, after the whole field of lithium ion electrochemistry was started at Berkeley Lab in California in the 1950s by Dr. Charles Tobias, Ph.D, chairman of Chemical Engineering at UC Berkeley. New technologies and government policies are now bringing wind powered turbines to the deep offshore waters of the California coast. Offshore wind power is expected to be another important green energy for the state, and can now be realized in the deep waters of California due to new floating windmill technologies. EVs need computers to manage their electrical system, and the transistor in computers was invented at government supported Bell Labs and later commercialized in California with support from Caltech professor Dr. Arnold Beckman, Ph.D. The next generation transistor, the 3D transistor, commercialized by Intel, was invented at UC Berkeley by Dr. Chenming Hu, Ph.D. an immigrant from Taiwan who was educated at Berkeley. Constructing circuit boards composed of many transistors was made possible by another technology invented at Berkeley, the SPICE program that allowed integrated circuits to be analyzed so that they could be properly constructed. Now, scientists at UC Merced and UC Santa Cruz have discovered that solar panel canopies over California’s massive canal system have multiple positive effects, including more efficient solar panels due to the cooling effects of the water on the panels and also that shading the water leads to much less evaporation and more available water. Working with the universities, the state of California and its program called New Energy Nexus, and the Trulock Irrigation District, the private company Solar AquaGrid in Marin County is spearheading this new project. Project Nexus as it is called, is innovative and will be widely deployed over the coming years and feed efficient solar energy into battery storage systems throughout the state of California. A recent study from the University of California, Davis, finds that farmers may soon be able to harvest crops and energy together, on common ground. Researchers concluded that wavelengths within the visible light spectrum can be filtered and harnessed separately—blue lightwaves to generate solar power and red lightwaves to grow fruits and vegetables—to make maximum use of farmland, all while lowering heat stress and reducing crop waste. The renewable energy grid across the US is being built by companies such as EDF Renewables in San Diego. The have renewable grid projects throughout North America. Monitoring and protecting the grid and all that is attached to it is a company called Siloxit in Concord, and another named Gridware in Walnut Creek. They’ve developed sensors and communication methods to monitor the integrity of the grid. If the Siloxit technology finds a problem, ALD Technical Solutions of San Diego (ranked the 2nd most inventive city in the world) can fix it with their new composite repair technology. Their technology was developed with the help of CalTestBed, a California funded program at UC campuses to support the development of green energy. California’s universities are not only educating the high-tech workers for these industries, but are instrumental in developing and deploying new technologies. If you’re off the grid, Moxion in Richmond (part of the Berkeley-Oakland megaplex), can provide power with its battery-powered electric generators. Amazon and Microsoft are backing this technology. Another innovation occurring in solar panels is the development of transparent solar panels originally invented at MIT and Michigan State University and being commercialized by Ubiquitous Energy in Redwood City. Under intense study, imagine the enormous amount of energy that could be generated by these organic solar panels if they covered the many “glass skyscrapers” in our cities. And solar tiles for roofing applications are now being made by GAF Energy in San Jose (the most innovative city in the world). This is actual roofing solar technology that works, not the fraudulent solar tiles that Elon Musk was selling, for which he was taking $1,000 deposits. Fraud is the key to Musk’s financial success. “Tesla and Bitcoin may have more in common than you think,” writes Nobel Laureate, Dr. Paul Krugman, Ph.D. As Arwa Mahdawi has written about Musk, “He’s managed to position himself as a brilliant visionary who has devoted his life to saving human civilization. There is very little evidence to support this image when you look deeper but that hasn’t stopped an enormous number of people (mainly men) from buying into Musk’s bullshit.” Others have coined a new term for Musk and his bullshit: ““bullionaire,” an unusual purveyor of infantile jackassery, whose unfathomable wealth makes it possible, and even likely, that he’ll carry out even the most ridiculous plan.” Part of his bull is telling people Musk will land people on Mars in 2025, yet in 2023 his company can’t even properly test fire the engines on the rocket ship that is to land people on Mars 2 years henceforth. An enormous amount of capital and talent is flowing into the EV revolution. Unfortunately, too much of the capital is flowing into Tesla, where the high price of Tesla stock became what the Nobel laureate economist Dr. Robert Shiller, Ph.D. has called a “naturally occurring Ponzi process”, in which an asset rises in price because people hear that others are buying it, and the price comes to depend on more people joining the bottom of the pyramid. “Naturally occurring” may not describe the overpricing of Tesla stock. Instead, Musk used Twitter bots to artificially drive-up the price. While some people spend their days on Twitter pretending to have founded companies and created the company’s technology, many others are quietly doing that actual work. As examples, Blue Current in Hayward, California was founded by UC Berkeley professor Dr. Nitash Balsara, Ph.D. and Stanford professor Dr. Joseph DeSimone, Ph.D. with $30 million from Koch Strategic Platforms. They are pioneering a solid-state silicon technology for EV batteries, an alternative to the massive lithium ion battery industry. Koch has also funded ($90M) San Diego’s Wildcat Discovery Technologies, to develop a new EV “supercell” based on using novel battery materials discovered through its high throughput screening platform. In San Francisco, Aikido Technologies, is a start-up led by Dr. Sam Kanner, Ph.D., who attained his doctorate in engineering from UC Berkeley, works on developing wind turbine technologies for offshore deployment in the deep waters off the California Coast. A spin-out of the University of California, San Diego is Tyfast Energy, developing a new battery technology that uses vanadium anodes for faster-charging and longer-lived batteries. And in Berkeley, scientists from the Berkeley Lab founded a company, Poly Plus, making a new lithium solid state battery with a glass (thin and conducts ions) protected lithium anode that greatly increases charge density. SK Batteries, one of the largest battery producers, has partnered with Poly Plus to develop this new technology for their batteries. Another spin-out of Berkeley Lab, in adjacent Emeryville, is Sepion Technologies, a materials science company that has new membrane technology to protect lithium from degradation during charging and discharging. The world’s first technology incubator, Teknekron, was formed in Berkeley in 1968 by Harvey Wagner and Berkeley professor, Dr. George Turin. Their program of “guided entrepreneurship” led to the successful formation of many tech companies, and many young tech entrepreneurs who would go on to help build the “Silicon Valley,” the place that undergirds the EV revolution, which is anchored by Berkeley, whose graduates created Apple (Steve Wozniak), Intel (Gordon Moore), Google Earth (John Hanke), Marvell Technologies (Sehat Sutardja; developed in-car WiFi connectivity), Tesla (Marc Tarpenning), and Lucid Motors (Sam Weng), OpenAI (John Schulman, Ph.D.), and Stanford, whose graduates created Google (Larry Page and Sergey Brin, and a UC Berkeley grad, Dr. Eric Schmidt, Ph.D, would bring it to preeminence), Nividia (Jensen Huang) and Hewlett-Packard (Bill Hewlett and David Packard), and OpenAI (Andrej Karpathy, Ph.D.). Key to EVs are the computers that control them. If interested in learning how UC Berkeley built the first university-based integrated circuit laboratory, pioneered the development of electronic microcircuits, so-called integrated circuits that make the EVs run, and developed the “interactive programming environment,” a computer programming language that allows the creator to make changes to the program while it is already running, important for spreadsheets and word processing for example, some of the key players at Berkeley are interviewed here. Continuing the tradition of UC Berkeley working with incubators, is the partnership of San Francisco’s Otherlab with UC Berkeley. Led by MacArthur Fellowship (“genius grant”) awardee, Saul Griffith, a number of innovative projects are underway.

Beyond the fact that CO2 and methane in the Earth’s atmosphere continues to rise and has reached it’s highest level in history, not to mention death-causing pollution such as PM2.5 (small, 2.5 micron particles that traverse through the lungs), weaning ourselves from vehicles powered by petroleum and gas is especially important during times when murderous dictators, such as Putin and even the Texas oilmen, lawyers, and bankers who support Putin, control much of the world’s hydrocarbons. The United States is estimated to provide a total of $20 billion in fossil fuel subsidies every year to hydrocarbon companies. Regressive policies fueled by the wealth of big oil is killing our planet. Progress in fighting these fossil fuel companies is arising in California, with other progressive states, such as New York and Massachusetts, following. Companies, such as Frost Methane in Oakland, are using new technologies to destroy methane before it reaches the atmosphere. Pachama in San Francisco is using satellite imagery to monitor deforestation and then funds reforestation to efficiently capture CO2. Texas is the leading emissions producer in the US, accounting for 15% of greenhouse gases in 2019. And when companies in Texas, the most polluted state in the country, illegally pollute the state and are fined, often the money collected by the state is funneled back to the polluting company. Elon Musk is trying to make pollution in Texas worse by drilling for gas in the state, and by destroying a nature preserve in Boca Chica in violation of an FAA agreement, and for no reason other than to watch failed spaceships explode in an inane stated goal to colonize Mars. And, while Texas discourages, even punishes, companies who are moving to more sustainable energy practices, California promotes the movement of a clean energy industry. In addition to the Texas law that punishes companies, driving financial institutions away from Texas and driving-up costs in Texas’ cities, part of the regressive policies in Texas include their independent, deregulated power grid that frequently fails, not only killing people, but also shutting down businesses. Few electric cars are currently sold in Texas compared to California, but should Texans want to use EVs in the future, their grid will not support a significant move in that direction. Moving clean energy forward in the US has been and continues to be difficult in the face of conservative politicians, particularly in places like Texas that is hydrocarbon-centric, who receive dark money from these dirty corporations. As a new CNN documentary says, “Texas is one of only 10 states with no limitations on campaign donations to candidates, and as a result, a few wealthy donors with strong religious views have an outsized influence on the government.” In other words, those who have made their money in the hydrocarbon business, largely run the state of Texas. In Texas, high taxes on the middle class, higher than in California, and few taxes on the wealthy, along with tax breaks and cash payments to wealthy corporations, means that the middle class pays for billionaires like Musk to come pollute the state of Texas and freeload off the middle class. The corporate neoliberal narrative is that California has taxes that are too high, and Texas does it right with low taxes. Sadly, the low taxes in Texas are for the rich people and their wealthy corporations, whereas the middle-class pays high taxes to support the rich. So woeful are the people in Austin that hundreds of people are fighting for food at the dumpsters behind grocery stores. Just the opposite occurs in California, where the middle-class pays lower taxes than in Texas, and the rich people and corporations pay higher taxes. This is just the way taxation worked in the days of Eisenhower and Kennedy, before Reagan’s tax breaks to the wealthy, when the US was the great innovation and manufacturing hub of the world. As economists who have analyzed these tax breaks for the rich have said, “In fact, if we look back into history, the period with the highest taxes on the rich — the postwar period — was also a period with high economic growth and low unemployment.” In return for his tax breaks from Texas, Musk pollutes Texas, including Austin, and provides lousy jobs to people, where they work 60-80 hrs per week at low wages. The corporate narrative wins in Texas. So stupefied are many middle-class Texans by the corporate, fascist (this means control of the many by a few) narrative, that they’ll arm themselves and cause an insurrection for the sake of those who control them- the wealthy individuals and corporations. Texas is a state full of Trump-loving, fascist-loving morons who have built themselves a hellish place to live. So lax are laws in Texas that once you buy a home, the builder can take it away from you if they see profit in doing so. In Austin, Texas, the residents are regularly required to boil their drinking water because of pollution. Musk will likely make a bad situation even worse. As an example of that dark, illegal money from Texas driving the hydrocarbon industry, the FBI charged Larry Householder, Ohio’s Republican Speaker of the House, with a conspiracy to pass a $1.5 billion bailout in return for $61 million in dark money. The racketeering was allegedly orchestrated by Householder and the utility FirstEnergy to kill Ohio’s renewable energy law and prop up aging coal and nuclear power plants. Billions of dollars from the American Petoleum Institute in Texas is used as dark money to purchase Republican politicians and a Republican appointed Supreme Court. Meanwhile, Republicans beclown Wyoming with a failed state bill to outlaw EVs – a bill they planned to mail to Gov. Newsom of California. In 2023, the Propane Education and Research Council plans to spend $13 million on its anti-electrification campaign, including $600,000 on “influencers” like Matt Blashaw, an HGTV host who blatantly endorses propane on his shows. Government policies initiated by Reagan that strip money from workers and allow wealthy corporations to accumulate piles of cash to consolidate their plutocracy continue. Despite the piles of cash funneled to Republicans from dirty energy companies, legacy automakers are now racing to catch the company that two engineers, Martin Eberhard and Mark Tarpenning, founded in 2003, Tesla Motors ( The two made a great combination given that Martin Eberhard had trained as a mechanical engineer at the Univ. Illinois, and Marc Tarpenning had trained as a computer scientist and electrical engineer at UC Berkeley (Berkeley fosters the 2nd highest number of entrepreneurs, 2nd only to Stanford in nearby Palo Alto). The combination of talents was perfect for developing an electric car. Working hard and quietly, not spending their days on Twitter, Eberhard and Tarpenning had the vision, created the company using their own money, developed the technologies that underly Tesla’s success (e.g. motors, electric battery packs, and gearing), and led the team that designed Tesla’s first two models. Martin and Marc had been influenced to build an electric car when they drove the iconic tzero built in San Dimas by AC Propulsion, an electric propulsion company led by a number of Caltech alumni. The work at Caltech on sustainability will grow exponentially in the coming years as the university’s new $750M Resnick Sustainability Center has broken ground. Had the erratic Elon Musk not been so wealthy and able to take control of Tesla, Eberhard and Tarpenning would have built a better car than what Tesla currently makes. As Sandy Munro has said, “If that car [Tesla] was made anywhere else, and Elon wasn’t part of the manufacturing process, they would make a lot of money.” In December of 2022, Musk seems to have realized to move out of the way at Tesla, saying: ”I continue to oversee both Tesla & SpaceX, but the teams there are so good that often little is needed from me.” Instead, Musk is now creating chaos at Twitter, and using the platform to support his fascist ideology. Musk is creating his biggest factory, similar to the “Fox News Bullshit Factory,” where behind the scene is much different than the money-making persona in the media. But morons will never know, because their sole source of “news” is from Fox. Examples of Musk’s bullshit factory include the multiple occasions Musk has aligned with the fascists controlling the Russian people, and returns to Twitter Neo-Nazi’s such as Andrew Anglin after they were previously banned. Those who oppose Musk’s ideals of plutocracy, are personally cancelled by Musk, their Twitter accounts suspended. Musk, the self-proclaimed free speech absolutist, removes links to stories that expose fellow fascists Jason Linkins has written, “Musk is what desperation for attention looks like at a plutocratic scale.” And what better vehicle than Twitter to garner attention. Continuing his egomania, Musk personally had the Twitter algorithms changed to increase the number of people seeing his tweets. And as Thomas Zimmer has written, “Musk’s actions are fully consistent with the worldview that dominates among far-right reactionary extremists.” More to the point, Musk is an asshole, who would best fit into Dr. Aaron James, Ph.D., a professor at the Univ of California, Irvine, category of “Smug Asshole.” As a modern day Robber Baron, Musk has people at Twitter’s HQ living in the offices and sleeping on the floors. Thank god that California doesn’t put up with this kind of abusive behavior by a plutocrat, the state that funded this plutocratic ingrate. Musk’s right-wing behavior is tarnishing the image of Tesla and driving away Tesla customers. Although the Guardian has used a literary device to describe Musk, “Elon Musk is a Jekyll and Hyde character,” the Jekyll part of Musk is a disguise for fooling people into thinking that he is a caring person. According to Consumer Reports, a report on one of Mr. Hyde‘s products in 2021, Tesla ranked 27th out of the 28 auto brands for reliability. Sandy Munro, who takes apart and reverse-engineers cars to assess quality, issued a brutal appraisal of the Model 3 citing “flaws that we would see on a Kia in the ’90s.” He noted inconsistencies such as uneven gaps between exterior panels and paint job issues, saying “I can’t imagine how they released this.” One Tesla customer reported that his roof fell off. Others report the paint peeling off. A Tesla Plaid owner asked whether his $120,000 car was built by toddlers. The build quality of his car is unbelievably bad. Cold weather prevents Tesla cars from being charged and greatly decreases the cars driving range. The flaws in Tesla automobiles are even worse than stated by Sandy Munro. In Germany, all cars must be inspected by the TUV to make sure dangerous flaws don’t exist. Upon inspection by the TUV, Tesla cars are failing. One in ten Tesla cars inspected by the TUV are defective, the worst EV on the market. Structural problems have been found that may explain why Tesla cars can explode. One in 20 Tesla autos have had a serious no-start situation or a breakdown serious enough that it had to be taken off the road, and these “hellish” experiences continue to happen. Many have resorted to suing Tesla in an attempt to have their poorly made cars fixed, including reattaching the steering wheel that fell off while driving. Musk, in a hostile takeover, having stumbled into a PayPal fortune despite not working for and not being a founder of PayPal, gained control of Tesla and ruined what was once an innovative company making innovative cars. Musk would create a cult to hide the nonsense that he had orchestrated at Tesla. Now under Musk, Tesla “lacks a low carbon strategy” and “codes of business conduct,” along with racism and poor working conditions reported at Tesla’s factory in Fremont, California, led to the company being dropped from the S&P 500′s ESG index. Now that Musk has used government money from the US and California, taxpayer’s dollars, to monetize the company that others built, he doesn’t wish to share what we, the people, helped him to monetize. True to form, Musk moved Tesla from the land of innovation, California, to the land of where the technology was innovated elsewhere and monetized by Robber Barons, Texas. In Austin, TX, Musk will be able to exchange great ideas with fellow fascist, Alex Jones, Greg Abbott, and Trump-loving actor Matthew McConaughey, facilitated by the state’s leaders in Austin who support fascism. Mark Cuban is also there, the guy who bullshits everyone about how he is lowering the price of drugs. In reality, “the price quotes that patients see on the [Mark Cuban] website are higher than they’d get at their local pharmacy. ” Other fascist clowns, such as Peter Thiel, will set-up shop there and burn other people’s money in support of fellow fascists. Perhaps they’ll become faculty at the new University of Austin, an anti-woke universe of regressives, and possibly the only university in Texas without a football team. This is wasting capital that could have been used for useful purposes. Even the Attorney General in Texas is a fraud, so Musk should have little trouble continuing his schemes in Texas. Perhaps Musk can also confer with fellow fraudsters in Texas, such as the Enron clan in Houston, and the daughter of an Enron executive, Elizabeth Holmes. Holmes, a college dropout, was born in Houston, and learned well from daddy how to defraud people on a grand scale. Theranos was her baby. Her fraud was larger than Musk’s – at least Musk stole technology from others that really had market value. Between 2015 and 2019, about 2.3 million Texans moved out of Texas, and most went to California – these are mostly college educated people coming to work in California’s high tech job sector. In the same period, those moving to Texas were mostly not college educated and embraced conservative, fascists ideals. The state will become more regressive as the years pass, and will feature dodo companies such as Southwest Airlines (Dallas, TX) with its dirty jets and really stupid, antediluvian infrastructure that has stranded thousands of people for days, even weeks. In California, we’re happy to see conservative, fascists leave the state and join their fellow fascists in Texas. From 2010 to 2019, California attracted almost 400,000 more college graduates from other states than it lost, where the average wage is about $80.000/yr and rising in CA versus $57,000 in TX. This is good for Musk. In the tradition of his family owning emerald mines in Africa where slave labor is used, Musk can leverage Austin’s low minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, a non-livable wage in a very polluted city, in a very polluted state. Austin is the 5th most expensive large city in the US. Despite moving its headquarters to Texas, Tesla still greatly benefits from the policies and dollars that California lavishes upon Tesla, as the state promotes a green economy. Texas is a place where Musk will be able pay employees wages so low that he later apologizes for his contempt of workers and continues his polluting of the environment without consequence. Pollution is rampant in Texas, and Tesla will fit well into the lax environmental laws of Texas. Half of the waterways in Austin, Texas are contaminated with fecal matter. Tesla, in addition to swindling the taxpayers of Texas through overpromising benefits to the state, landing huge tax breaks, while underperforming, and having been given $50 million by the city of Austin to locate there, can join other companies that pollute Austin, leading to pollution problems such as orange water from household taps and the waterways unsafe for swimming. In Austin, Texas, environmental awards are given to companies who repeatedly dump toxic waste into Austin’s waterways. Anything goes as long as the state’s GDP is increased regardless of diminished quality of life. Perhaps Elon will find hydrocarbon deposits at the Round Rock factory and drill there. Having diesel powered back-ups is one of his tricks to fool his cult following. What Musk is doing matters, because he is using huge amounts of capital that could be otherwise used for sound and useful purposes. To better subvert free speech, and to self-promote and espouse libertarian values that enhance robber barons such as himself, Musk purchased Twitter and will take the company private. Once private and not a public company, the SEC no longer regulates the company and Musk can say and tweet robber baron proclamations without regulatory scrutiny, and block those who oppose him or his companies. That’s a major sales and marketing tool for Musk, and a loss for intellectual discourse within a public forum. Controlling Twitter is also a great platform for creating the false narrative that he, Musk, founded Tesla and created its technology. Like a mad dog, Musk has savaged Twitter for his own personal purposes, leaving the company in a shambles and desperate for advertisers. Someone should give Musk a copy of Dr. Dacher Keltner’s, “The Power Paradox” so that he can learn how power and money creates what Musk has become. Professor Keltner explains, “My own research has found that people with power tend to behave like patients who have damaged their brain’s orbitofrontal lobes (the region of the frontal lobes right behind the eye sockets), a condition that seems to cause overly impulsive and insensitive behavior.” Thanks to his impulsivity, another problem Musk has brought to Tesla is his obsession with the self-driving system, a “disaster waiting to happen.” Musk refuses to talk with government officials about the problem, and gets away with it. Sandy Munro has judged the Tesla self driving system to be “crap.” Every Tesla sold with FSD has been recalled because of crash risks. More hype from Musk includes his promotion of the 4680 lithium ion battery being produced for Tesla by Panasonic. This is a bigger battery cell than what is currently used, and Musk says it’s revolutionary. But the release of the 4680, like much of what Musk promises, has not materialized and the design may have major flaws, such as electrochemical instability (teardown shows abnormal salts throughout the battery cell’s interior) and unsafe levels of heat and rapid degradation. When Tesla purchased San Diego’s Maxwell Technologies in 2019, the superficially thinking Elon Musk apparently believed Maxwell’s methods were a quick fix to making the 4680, and promised the batteries would be in production in 2021. In the process, electrodes are coated using different binders that use much less liquid, meaning the electrodes don’t need to be dried, so the whole process is cheaper, faster, and less harmful to the environment. It’s now 2023, and the 4680 is not in production.

Further, as written in the Verge about the supposed robot that Musk has promised his cult followers, with “Musk, it’s difficult to parse the reality from the smokescreen of bullshit he tends to throw out.” Musk is a man who opines on many things he clearly doesn’t understand, such as declaring the Covid-19 pandemic would be over in April 2020. Thanks to the hard work of two engineers who don’t pretend to know everything, Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning, and despite Musk’s technical inabilities, but thanks to his con artist capabilities, a so-called “snake oil salesman” who builds a cult of followers using Twitter bots, last year, 2021, Tesla sold 936,000 vehicles, most of which were built in California. As Nobel Laureate, Dr. Daniel Kahnman, Ph.D. teaches us, “luck plays a large role in every story of success; it is almost always easy to identify a small change in the story that would have turned a remarkable achievement into a mediocre outcome.” Musk has been very lucky, starting with his birth into a wealthy family, followed by being associated with geniuses who have created technologies and companies from which he would prosper.

Solar energy the least expensive energy available today, will fuel this revolution by charging the batteries. Enphase, cofounded by Dr. Daniel Kammen, Ph.D, professor of energy at UC Berkeley, in Freemont was the first company to commercialize the micro-inverter, which convert the direct current (DC) power generated by a solar panel into grid-compatible alternating current (AC) at the individual panel level. Research at UC Berkeley has developed a new material for use in solar panels. The new ferroelectric material – which is grown in the lab from cesium germanium tribromide (CsGeBror CGB) – opens the door to an easier approach to making solar cell devices. Unlike conventional solar materials, CGB crystals are inherently polarized, where one side of the crystal builds up positive charges and the other side builds up negative charges, no doping required. This sets-up an electrical field, needed to generate electricity from the incident sunlight. Because most of the population of California lives near the coast in a mild climate, and because California is much more energy efficient than the rest of the US thanks to state energy programs, more of the state’s energy can be devoted to production rather than simple cooling or heating (such as Austin, Texas where it freezes in the winter and scalds in the summer at 110 deg F with high humidity). To be clear, every kilowatt of energy produced and used is done much more efficiently in California than in other states because of CA state regulations that support energy efficiency. These regulations help to propel businesses in California and are part of the reason why California is the leader in innovation. The electric revolution, moving away from hydrocarbons, includes electric stoves and ranges. In Berkeley, Channing Street Copper Company has an induction range/stove that plugs into a standard 110V outlet. Induction stoves work much better than gas stoves. Chefs love induction cooking because of the extremely fast heating and precise heat control and moving away from gas appliances will cut down on cancer-causing chemicals leaking into your house, and greatly increase energy efficiency of cooking. Restoring old homes, and taking advantage of the older home’s energy efficient design before the days of modern AC and heating systems, is CarbonShackDesign in Los Angeles. Moving away from petroleum is Checkerspot in Alameda, whose motto is, “Algae In, Petroleum Out.” This is a materials science company, whose starting material is algae, a renewable resource. If you’re downhilling above Lake Tahoe, the largest alpine lake in all of the Americas, you may be on skis made from algae. Commercial jets are now flying with the use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). Aviation is a leading polluter. The world’s first and North America’s only commercial-scale SAF production facility is just south of Los Angeles, in Paramount. Besides the large California companies, such as Chevron, start-up companies such as Aemetis, in Cupertino, and Indaba, in Newport Beach, are developing new technologies to produce SAF.  According to Lauren Riley at United, SAF had been mixed into the fuel of every United flight that had departed from Los Angeles International Airport since 2016. Helping businesses and other organizations to build their projects to the energy codes is a non-profit called, CodeCycle, in Oakland, funded by CalSeed and providing a suite of online tools for builders. In San Diego,  PowerFlex, has developed a proprietary line of software and hardware that integrates and optimizes onsite solar and EV charging, centralizing the control, data collection, and reporting into a single digital platform. Massive solar energy products are underway in California. For example, Clearway Energy Group in San Francisco is developing a project with 482 MW of solar power and 394 MW of energy storage capacity in San Bernadino. To put this value into perspective, 1 megawatt of solar power generates enough electricity to meet the needs of 164 U.S. homes (so the project powers close to 80,000 homes). Deployment of small green energy solutions, including solar, wind, and battery storage for individual use has been commercialized by Primo Energy in San Diego. One of the largest solar panel manufacturers in the US is Qcells in San Francisco. In Oakland, California, a startup called Leap Photovoltaics is working on a redesigned solar cell that could cut the cost of manufacturing in half. Solar generators to replace diesel generators are built by King Solarman in Ontario, CA. As these solar panels age and need to be recycled, start-up SolarCycle in Oakland, working initially with solar provider, Sunrun of San Francisco, will bring these used panels into the circular economy. Another example of the robust efforts world-wide to recycle solar panels is Silicon Specialists in Hayward, CA. Notably, they offer a silicon wafer reclaiming process, i.e., the recycling of silicon wafers. The manufacture of solar panels is becoming more efficient, resulting in less waste of precious materials, by a new cutting process developed by Stanford spinout, Halo Industries, in Santa Clara. They’ve been funded by the California Energy Commission and the US Dept of Energy. Higher efficiency and reduced cost of installation on uneven terrain has been accomplished by a new compressed air suntracking system developed by Sunfolding in Alameda. The power of solar to electrify our grids was recently demonstrated by California when 100% of the state’s energy was derived from clean energy, mostly solar, sources on April 30, 2022. In 1995, the US made about 40% of solar panels worldwide, but today it’s about 5%. Technologically advanced solar companies in the US, such as Solyndra in San Jose, would lose market share and go bankrupt as Republicans in the US Congress failed to support our companies when the Chinese dumped cheap, subsidized solar panels on the market. Once the Chinese force the US solar companies into bankruptcy, it’s the Chinese who then buy the companies to acquire their technology and expertise. The Chinese continue to drive US companies into bankruptcy as Republicans continue to believe in something that doesn’t exist, namely “free markets.” This continues to happen today. Also in San Jose, Auxin Solar, a manufacturer of solar panels, acting through a petition to the Dept. of Commerce, continues to fight unfair Chinese government supported solar panel manufacturers. Although the Obama, Trump, and Biden administrations have placed tariffs on Chinese solar panels, the Chinese skirt these tariffs by selling their panels in the US through shell companies located in non-tariff countries. An easy bolster to US manufacturing, including solar panels, would be the Build Back Better bill in Congress, which won’t be passed because of Republicans along with Senator Joe Manchin who continue to allow the Chinese to surpass the US in technological capabilities. As an example, the US government has solar powered vehicles on Mars, including a flying helicopter, remotely controlled from Earth, while billionaire-led space companies, subsidized by NASA technology and by diminution of the billionaire’s taxes, recreate what NASA did 60 years ago, putting men into suborbital space. The transfer of economic output of the US from government technology programs to billionaire technology programs, where billionaires take polluting joyrides into suborbital space occurs as the Chinese government, using the old US playbook where taxes drive new technologies, new companies, and new industries, means that the Chinese now have their own space station, a successful lunar lander, and a space ship orbiting Mars. More to the point, the Chinese government has positioned their country into a place of EV dominance by supporting its home industries and leveraging the continued weakness of US Republicans to understand how to build and support, for the long-term, US industries. As the US has embraced Reaganomics, China has embraced the successful economics that Eisenhower and Kennedy used to build the world’s most advanced country. Sadly, the US can no longer even build the most advanced semiconductor chipsets as Reagan failed to support the building of new advanced fabs in the US, while Japan did. The trend continued until President Biden announced government funding to the US semiconductor industry to regain our lead in semiconductor manufacturing and design. EVs, and many things electronic, don’t work without advanced semiconductor chipsets. For example, Tesla uses chips from Intel and AMD, and Nvidia has their new Drive Hyperion platform – all are located in the Silicon Valley. The “government is not the solution, it is the problem,” and “I don’t want intellectuals in my government” mindset espoused by Reagan, and taken to heart by right-wing shibboleths, would allow the Japanese, Germans, and Chinese to overtake the US in most areas of high tech. Want the world’s most advanced semiconductors, go to Taiwan or South Korea. Want solar panels, go to China. Want lithium ion batteries, go to Japan (Panasonic makes the batteries for Tesla). And for innovation, as a country, Germany is the leader. The Reaganesque euphemism for allowing US high tech manufacturing to move overseas in quest of quick bucks would be, “we’re building a knowledge-based economy.” Dr. Andy Grove, Ph.D., the successor at Intel to Dr. Gordon Moore, Ph.D., Intel’s founder, both of whom were educated in chemistry at Berkeley, warned us many times about this “knowledge-based economy” nonsense. The importance of manufacturing was told to us back in 1987 when two Berkeley professors, Stephen S. Cohen and John Zysman, published their treatise on the subject, “Manufacturing Matters: The Myth of the Post-Industrial Economy.” Once a country loses its high-tech manufacturing base, it forgets how to do most things, and loses its ability to innovate and scale in a new marketplace. The spoils go to those who retain a competitive manufacturing base, and that is now overseas for many high tech industries. This is important to not only semiconductors for EVs, but also for EV batteries, where the US-invented lithium ion battery is now dominantly manufactured in Asia. US companies have focused on return-on-investment (not investing in capital intensive manufacturing) and the stock market for rapid gains, and lost sight of the long-term benefits to investing in manufacturing of what they design. As Robinson Meyer writes in the Atlantic, “the era of passive, hands-off government is over.” Although it was never embraced in California, and that’s why the CA economy leads the nation, the 40 years stupidity of Reagan’s “government is the problem” is coming to end with Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act.

Bolstering the slouching US, is the state of California where the state had more than 222,000 business startups from January 2020 through March 2021 – more than Texas and Florida combined. During this period, California accounted for nearly 16% of the country’s new business starts.  If California were a country, the state would be the world’s greatest innovator, but the rest of the US drags down what could be. Why does California lead the nation in innovation? One important reason is the world’s greatest university system, the University of California, the world’s leader in new patents. Remember, government funding creates whole new industries, such as the biotech industry when the DOE funded Nobel Laureate Dr. Donald Glaser, Ph.D. at UC Berkeley to create the world’s first biotech company, Cetus Corporation, in Berkeley CA. That was back in 1971 before Reagan’s anti-government mentality hit the US. From the company would arise not only PCR (invented at Cetus by UC Berkeley-trained chemist, Dr. Kerry Mullis, Ph.D., a Nobel Laureate), the technology underlying many scientific advances, and many of the Covid-19 diagnostic tests, but the whole biotech industry would emerge in California and then spread to Boston and the rapidly growing San Diego area (biotech and tech sectors), the fourth biggest startup hub in the US. In the third leading startup hub in the US, behind San Francisco and New York, Los Angeles, government funding would create the internet, beginning at the University of California, Los Angeles. That was 1969, before Reagan’s “government is the problem, not the solution” mentality hit US Republicans. Thanks to recent, beginning in the 80s under Reagan, deregulation, privatization, and a drastic reduction in taxation of corporations and the wealthy, great mansions would be built in the US, but building innovation would be transferred overseas as the wealthy monetize what taxpayers helped to build. For many more examples of what government has brought us, read Dr. Mazzucato.

Those government funded solar panels aren’t the only way to collect solar energy. In Pasadena, Department of Energy-funded Heliogen is using AI-controlled mirrors to concentrate the solar energy to produce heat and other forms of power such as hydrogen. Also in Pasadena, a consortium of California universities, the Liquid Sunlight Alliance, led by CalTech is working on the molecular capture of solar energy in liquids. Stay tuned on this – even the conformational change of a molecule in liquid is a means to store energy for later use. And solar power generated in space and beamed back to Earth may become a reality in the decades ahead. Caltech has a project to do just that, and tests in space are currently underway. The electricity generated in space may be transferred to the Earth’s surface using LASER technology. Hopefully, the current group of Republican yahoos, funded by oil companies, and much like their Trump and Tea Party anti-science GOP members of a decade ago, won’t cut funding of this program and allow the Germans and Chinese to be the ones to commercialize US-developed technology. Bringing new meaning to the phrase, “A Star is Born,” other new technologies, such as fusion power, will help make the energy to charge batteries like that being developed by TAE Technologies, spun-out of the University of California, Irvine, in Foothill Ranch, California. TAE uses different reactants than what others use. The reactants they have successfully used, hydrogen and boron, are abundant in nature, non-toxic and non-radioactive, and the reaction itself produces no neutrons, only helium in the form of three alpha particles. In close-by Irvine where Kronos Fusion Energy is located, at MIFTI located in nearby Tustin, and at the National Ignition Facility in Livermore, CA. True to form, the government lab in Livermore, California is the first reactor in the world to produce net fusion. According to Dr. Tammy Ma, Ph.D., who earned her doctorate in physics from UCSD and is a staff scientist at the University of California’s Livermore lab, a temperature hotter than the Sun, indeed the hottest temperature in the Solar System, was achieved during that machine-driven ignition event. This is an important milestone, giving evidence that a commercial fusion reactor for the generation of electricity is possible. Xcimer Energy in Redwood City is leveraging the technology developed at the Livermore lab, as is Longview Fusion Energy Systems in nearby Orinda. Led by Dr. Edward Moses, Ph.D., former director of the National Ignition Facility, Longview is planning to build a test facility within 5 years. In Berkeley, Helicity Space is developing fusion energy power systems, including for space ships. However, much engineering will be required, years of work, before commercial applications can be realized. Fusion reactors will create energy in the same way stars do, without toxic waste, and produce the electrical power in the coming years (about 2035 according to the Natl Academies of Sciences) needed to recharge the batteries of electrical vehicles. Some of the obstacles to be overcome in a commercially viable fusion reactor have been discussed, and include parasitic power consumption. General Atomics, in San Diego, has been doing fusion research since the 1950s, and, along with such things as making nuclear-powered spaceships, makes many of the key components , including magnets, for the reactors. On Oct 20, 2022, General Atomics announced it was building a new fusion reactor, likely in the San Diego Area, in cooperation with the DOE. The infrastructure for these clean energy storage systems is now being built using 3D concrete printing techniques developed by RCAM Technologies in Los Angeles. Parenthetically, 3D printing is making great gains in many industries, including rocket engines and rocket ships as exemplified by Relativity Space in Long Beach, led by two University of Southern California engineering grads, Tim Ellis and Jordan Noone. Autonomous, electric construction equipment to finish these projects is being made by Canvas in San Francisco. The physical layout of the construction site can now be made, more accurately and much faster, using an EV made by Dusty Robotics in Santa Clara. Other promising energy generating technologies include Low Energy Nuclear Reactions as explained by chemist Dr. Robert Tanzella (who trained at UC Berkeley Chemistry and was a scientist at SRI International in Menlo Park), currently being developed for commercialization at Brillouin Energy in Berkeley, CA. As I understand it, Brillouin Energy is using an electrolytic reaction that use hydrogen and palladium, and has been found to yield excess energy levels of between 30-400%. Another technology to store excess energy from solar and wind sources is carbon capture of thermal energy, being pioneered by Antora Energy in Sunnyvale. If you need to quantify the thermal conductance in your thermal energy storage device, look no further than Quantum Design in San Diego. Working to make solar panels more efficient by capturing and storing heat energy in the solar panels is Icarus RT in San Diego. In San Carlos, Swift Solar, founded by Drs. Joel Jean, Ph.D and Max Hoerantner, Ph.D., who trained in electrical engineering and physics, is developing perovskite solar cells instead of silicon solar cells for more efficient solar panels. And wind power is now benefitting from new vertical wind turbines by California Energy & Power in Ontario, California. Their wind turbines are more efficient than previous designs and can be easily and safely deployed close to the end user. Uprise Energy in San Diego is designing and manufacturing portable wind turbine-battery systems for mobile deployment. Among others, the US military is backing their technology. A long duration zinc bromine flow battery for the grid, called the EnergyPod, is being developed to store renewable energy by Primus Power in Hayward, CA. In San Jose, Lyten , a highly regarded battery manufacturer, is developing lithium-sulfur batteries for storage and mobility. In Mountain View, Mitra Chem, led by Caltech and Stanford grads, is using machine learning to create new cathode materials that combine iron with other metals, such as manganese, to increase the energy density of lithium ferro-phosphate (LFP) batteries. And, of course, green hydrogen is another means by which energy will be produced and used to charge batteries. NASSCO, in San Diego, is one of the nation’s leading shipyards specializing in the construction and repair of commercial and military ships and has now begun to manufacture wind energy systems at sea.

Hydrogen has the highest energy density of any fuel and is considered a solution for ground transportation, aircraft, and marine vessels. However, hydrocarbon fuel outperform compressed hydrogen gas in terms of volumetric energy density, motivating the development of alternative, higher-density materials-based storage methods. Scientists at the University of California have recently created a new means for high density hydrogen storage. When commercialized, this solves the problem of volumetric energy density. Electric Hydrogen in San Mateo makes the equipment to produce green hydrogen. Verdagy in beautiful Moss Landing, New Hydrogen in Santa Clarita, and Bloom Energy in San Jose, founded by a NASA scientist who developed fuel cells for spacecraft, Dr. KR Sridhar who has a Ph.D in Nuclear Engineering, are using electrolyzer technology to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. Among other projects, Bloom Energy has recently set-up a green energy system to turn cow waste into renewable electricity at Bar 20 Dairy Farms in Kerman, CA. Maas Energy Works in Redding converts manure to biofuels. The system combines a methane digester, gas clean-up skid, and Bloom Energy fuel cells for an end-to-end, waste-to-electricity solution. Located in Escondido (San Diego County), Acuacycl has a system that produces energy as it cleans wastewater. In San Francisco, Charm Industrial uses the roughly 110 billion tons of CO₂ that cycles out of the atmosphere via photosynthesis every year, and that normally returns to the environment by respiration (e.g. rotting) and fires. Charm takes advantage of the CO₂ capture work that plants are already doing, by sourcing sustainable biomass as an input into their pyrolyzers to make bio-oil. Dr. Wilson Hago, a physical chemist, has created Hago Energetics, located in Thousand Oaks, to use carbon capture technology to make green hydrogen from biomass waste. In San Diego, Oberon Fuels is converting waste to low- and negative carbon fuels, including hydrogen. From “Stump to Pump” is the motto of Yosemite Clean Energy in Mariposa. They make green hydrogen and biofuels from organic waste. Mote Inc in Los Angeles is making hydrogen from wood waste, and injecting the CO2 waste into the deep layers of the geological formations that underlie Kern County’s oil fields. AirCapture in San Francisco captures carbon from the air onsite during industrial processes that emit carbon, and use the captured carbon in the industrial process. AirMyne, a startup in Berkeley, is using acid-base chemistry to capture carbon from the air. Also in Berkeley, Carbon6 captures CO2 from seawater and processes it into Calcium carbonate. San Francisco’s Heirloom enhances a natural process, called carbon mineralization, to help minerals absorb CO2 from the ambient air in days, rather than years in the natural process. Also in San Francisco, Noya retrofits cooling towers to capture carbon. In Southern California, Manhattan Beach’s CarbonBuilt is producing concrete with captured carbon. In nearby Pasadena, CarbonCapture builds machines that sequester carbon from the atmosphere. A game changer in carbon capture may be a new technology invented at Berkeley by Dr. Omar Yaghi, professor and head of the new institute at Berkeley, The Bakar Institute of Digital Materials for the Planet (BIDMaP). The new institute will develop cost-efficient, easily deployable versions of two classes of ultra porous materials – known as metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) and covalent organic frameworks (COFs) – to help limit and address the impacts of climate change by capturing carbon. Farther south, CarbonBlade in San Diego is is using a combined wind turbine and electrochemical process to extract CO2 from the air. Even the big oil company, Chevron, in San Ramon (near Oakland) is making green energy through several programs, including anerobic fermentation of manure to make natural gas in Chowchilla, CA. Calwave, a spin-out of UC Berkeley and Berkeley Lab and its Cyclotron Road incubator, is harnessing the constant power of ocean waves. All of these technologies, along with solar from companies such as Spectrolabs in Sylmar and NanoSolar in San Jose, likely have a place in generating clean energy for charging EV batteries. Companies such as 8 Minute Solar in Los Angeles implement the latest technologies into solar systems that include battery storage. While lithium ion batteries are dominant in the EV application, and new lithium ion battery technologies, such as a new mechanical wave technology from UCSD spinout, SonoCharge in San Diego, other battery technologies may also work well, and complement lithium ion. For example, Enzinc located at the UC Berkeley Richmond Station in Richmond CA, has developed a new 3D sponge technology that allows zinc to be safely and efficiently used as the battery’s ion. While lithium may have a greater energy density than does zinc, the zinc sponge battery has less energy loss than the lithium ion batteries. Enzinc is funded by the CalSEED program, which is The California Sustainable Energy Entrepreneur Development Initiative, a $24m grant program created to help early stage California clean energy startups bring their concepts and prototypes to market. CalSEED is administered by CalCEF Ventures, in Oakland, on behalf of the California Energy Commission. Sodium ion batteries have already been commercialized by Natron Energy in Santa Clara, and a sodium all solid-state battery system is being developed by Unigrid in San Diego. In San Francisco, NDB is developing self-charging batteries, the so-called Nano Diamond Battery, that is powered by recycled nuclear waste. CO2 is produced to some degree in most manufacturing processes, including green manufacture of solar panels. Other means to store solar energy include using compressed air, being developed by Kepler Energy Systems in Sacramento. To capture the CO2 that is generated during manufacturing of these technologies, Twelve, located in Berkeley, has a process that is capturing carbon from CO2 in the air for use in making industrial chemicals, part of the circular economy. Twelve has recently received $130 million to scale-up their technology. And in nearby Pleasanton, Kiverdi, led by Dr. Lisa Dyson, a physicist at Berkeley Labs, is using carbon capture to make a number of commercial products, including food at its subsidiary, Air Protein. California Culture in Sacramento is culturing coffee and chocolate to prevent destruction of the rainforests, major ecosystems that capture carbon, and Transparentsea in Los Angeles sustainably produces pollution-free shrimp using culture techniques. Carbon capturing algae is used to make a substitute for plastic, algae pellets, by Loliware in San Francisco. Green, synthetic fuel is being made by Prometheus Fuels in Santa Cruz using carbon capture, with a large investment from BMW and venture capital, while algae is being used for carbon capture to make synthetic fuel by Viridos in San Diego, with manufacturing plants at the Salton Sea. Spun out of UCLA is CarbonBuilt in Los Angeles, using carbon capture to make concrete. And in San Carlos, Ebb Carbon uses an electrochemical technique to draw carbon from the air and sink it into the ocean. Incubated at UC Merced is Sierracrete, making building materials from wood waste. Organic waste is converted to hydrogen by Kore in Los Angeles, and also in Los Angeles, stuff in the dump goes to the pump when Wasteful converts garbage to fuel. Electrolysis equipment for some of these carbon capture technologies is made by Aepnus in Oakland, founded by two Berkeley alum. All of these companies generate and utilize massive amounts of data, from R&D, production, supply chain management, and sales and marketing. A number of companies in California, such as Teradata in San Diego, serve to manage those data sets.

Many EV manufacturers call the state of California home, including the four different Tesla factories in the Fremont area, currently covering a floor area of almost 7,000,000 sq/ft (, the Tesla Design Center in Hawthorne (near Los Angeles), and plans to greatly expand even more in California. The electric motors themselves are becoming more efficient for many reasons, including additive manufacturing technologies that replace coil winding in the motors, produced by Elmworks in Berkeley. Energy management systems for these EVs is critical to their performance and has been developed for many of the cars, including Tesla, by AutoMotivePower in Los Angeles. Some of the other EV companies include Lucid in the Silicon Valley. The Lucid Air, with over 500 miles range on one charge, was awarded Motor Trend’s 2022 Car of the Year. Lucid uses a Nvidia, located in Santa Clara, chipset to implement its self-driving technology. Peter Rawlinson is the CEO of Lucid, having left Tesla, where he was VP of Vehicle Engineering before leaving because of Elon Musk’s bizarre behavior and huge ego. Mr. Musk creates competition for Tesla by bleeding talent. Parenthetically, Musk is not only not the founder of Tesla or PayPal as he claims, but also not the founder of reusable rockets. Masten Space Systems in Mojave, CA first developed reusable rockets, which captured the imagination of Musk (at 4 min into the video, the reusable rocket is shown). Masten is currently developing a lunar lander for NASA along with a GPS system for the moon. Model rocket maker, BPS.Space in Los Angeles, also makes rockets using thrust vectoring that can land the rocket. Faraday Future in Los Angeles, who has their manufacturing plant in Hanford, CA, which is on the California High Speed Rail line, is expected to begin production Q3 2022. California’s high speed rail, will be all electric, and the cars will be built in Sacramento by Siemans Mobility, which builds hybrids and all-electric trains. Faraday Forward is led by Dr. Carsten Breitfeld, a doctor of engineering and founder of Byton and former VP of engineering at BMW. As one might expect of a company led by a doctor of engineering from Germany with experience at BMW, the Farady Future is technologically advanced, more so than the Tesla vehicles, well engineered, and has been reviewed very favorably by industry technologists. Unfortunately, this company has had a poor Board and is unlikely to succeed. Some of the other EV companies include Zoox in Foster City, an autonomous city car that is currently operating on the streets of California, Karma Motors with its design center and manufacturing in Moreno Valley, Rivian in Irvine with its highly rated truck (the aforementioned Sandy Munro loves this truck so much that he bought one) and another company in Irvine is Alpha with its much talked about Wolf, Fisker in Manhattan Beach, Mullen Automotive in Brea, Eli Electric Vehicles in Long Beach, Indie EV in Vernon, Edison Future in Anaheim, Seres in Santa Clara, truck makers XOS in Los Angeles, Motiv in Foster City, Battle Motors in Venice, Boulder Electric Vehicles in Chatsworth and Vantage Vehicle in Corona, Green Power Motor Company in Los Angeles building purpose specific trucks, such as school buses, Taylor-Dunn in Anaheim building electric utility vehicles, and TransPower in Escondido (San Diego County) building electric propulsion systems for commerical trucks. XOS is supplying many partners with Class 5 through 8 trucks. Indie EV of Los Angeles is planning to release their crossover in 2023. Brightdrop, a last-mile electric truck manufacturer launched by General Motors is located in Palo Alto. Electric buses are made by El Dorado National in Riverside. In Torrance, US Hybrid specializes in designing and manufacturing zero-emission powertrain components for electric, hybrid and fuel cell medium and heavy-duty municipality vehicles, commercial trucks, buses and specialty vehicles worldwide. Facilitating commercial electric trucking is WattEV in Long Beach. Their infrastructure offerings include truck stops for the EVs and electric truck swapping for long-haul deliveries. Phoenix Motorcars in Anaheim builds medium duty electric trucks and forklifts, and in Foster City, Motiv Power Systems converts medium duty trucks to EVs. Wrightspeed in Alameda, founded by Ian Wright, who helped to found Tesla, converts ICE trucks into EVs. In Harbor City, Balquon is building large drayage EVs, buses, and EVs for use at ports. Although Canoo was founded in Torrance, and still maintains engineering facilities there, the company moved to Arkansas (bad move given Arkansas is the 4th worst state to live) after it received funding from investors in that state. Wiggins Lift in Oxnard, working with XOS, is making commercial electric lifts. Making a successful auto company is difficult and capital intensive, and many will not succeed. Canoo is likely one that will fail. Aptera in San Diego and Humble Motors in Los Angeles both build solar/battery designed EVs. Aptera’s solar car uses a radical design, including a fuselage-like body to reduce aerodynamic drag, and 3 wheels with motors at the wheels to reduce mechanical friction. If you live in beautiful San Diego, where the Aptera is made, the sun shines almost everyday for at least some part of the day- meaning you’ll never need to plug-in your car because the solar panels do the charging. If you do need to plug-in your EV, a spin-out of CalPoly San Luis Obispo (located in a beautiful coastal city), NeoCharge, has made a device that allows people to install their own homecharging system without an expensive, specialized panel. Ampere Motors of Santa Monica offers three-wheel electric vehicles. EV companies also include the bus makers BYD and Proterra in SoCal, and Gillig in Hayward, heavy-duty electric trucks are designed and built by Trans Power in Escondido (San Diego County), electric RVs by San Francisco-based Lightship, electric tractor makers Soletrac in Santa Rosa, Monarch Tractor (a CNBC top 50 disruptor) in Livermore, and ZTractor in Palo Alto, small electric commercial vehicles made by Karrior Transelectric in Gardena and by Biliti Electric in Culver City, motorcycle makers Zero Motorcycles in Scotts Valley (Santa Cruz area), Onyx in El Segundo, and Lightning in San Jose, and Ryvid in the Los Angeles area, with manufacturing in San Bernardino and battery production in El Cajon. Small last-mile delivery bikes are made by URB-E in Los Angeles, VEO in Santa Monica, an e-scooter and e-bike-sharing startup, Razor making escooters in Cerritos, Boosted making electric skateboards and skooters in San Rafael, Electric Bike Co in Costa Mesa, Himiway in Los Angeles and Bird Bike in Santa Monica making electric bicycles, Eglide making electric skateboards in Santa Monica, and Siemans Mobility in Sacramento building electric trains in a solar powered factory. Parallel Systems in Culver City, CA, is working on electric trains that are fully automated. Need to deliver a package locally, but don’t have time to drive the package to its destination? Faction, in South San Francisco has a small driverless car that can do it for you. Nuro of Mountain View has also commercialized a robotic delivery vehicle, and the next time you order a pizza for home delivery, Nuro may be the carrier. In Los Angeles, Coco has developed a small battery powered delivery cart for local use (seen here delivering pizzas in Austin, TX), while Serve Robotics in Redwood City has a similar technology. Also in Redlands is ERSI, a company that is the world leader in mapping software, something crucial to those electronic maps in your car and to self driving systems that must have well-mapped environments through which they are driving. Udelve in Burlingame has developed a fully autonomous EV for multiple deliveries, which is in operation in San Mateo. Cruise in San Francisco is building the Cruise Origen, a self-driving city automobile. The Cruise vehicle is now, as of June 2022, in commercial operation in its hometown of San Francisco. Cruise robotaxis are operating day and night in San Francisco, with their operations in Austin and Phoenix expected to run 24 hours a day sometime soon. In nearby Moutain View, electric, autonomous robots are made by Knightscope for security purposes. And, if you need a custom designed electric vehicle, including battery design and powertrain, Evolectric in Long Beach can do it for you. Slip on your Rothy’s of San Francisco driving shoes, made of recycled plastic water bottles or your Blueview shoes, created by UC San Diego professors, made from algae that are fully recyclable, for the next car. Sit down in the seats of the car made from sustainable, energy efficient methods utilizing fungi. Bolt Threads in Emeryville was founded by 2 UCSF and 1 UC Berkeley grad, and is currently commercializing leather-like materials made from mycelium. If an EV supercar, capable of well over 200 mph is what you need, Drako Motors in San Jose can build it for you. Meanwhile, in San Francisco, Open Motors is focusing on the MaaS market. Mobility as a Service, where cars are made for and sold to large fleet companies, such as Uber Technologies in San Francisco, and not at the retail level, is forecast to be a huge, perhaps, dominant market. Even legacy automakers, such as Mercedes-Benz , BMW, Volkswagon, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Porsche, Volkswagon, Volvo, Hyundai, and Ford have major EV research centers in the Silicon Valley, as well as in San Diego County where Mercedes designed their Vision EQXX and Nissan does design work, and in Pasadena where General Motors has a new design center. BMW just opened a new design center in Santa Monica, Feb. 2023. The venture capital group of BMW, BMW i Ventures, is also located in the Silicon Valley, and one of the key BMW design studios, called Designworks, is located in Los Angeles. Bosch of Germany, has a research center for batteries and electronics in the Silicon Valley. IBM Research- Almaden, in San Jose, works on sustainable EVs, including new battery technologies. While Apple’s Tim Cook has said an Apple Car is being developed, and rumors say it will be launched in 2024 or 2025, no details have been forthcoming. Google has also been working on its own car for over a decade, and Waymo, located in Mountain View, is now Google’s self-driving car company. Their self-driving cars are now operating in San Francisco. Watch a Waymo autonomous vehicle navigate the most beautiful big city in the US, San Francisco. They also have self-driving trucks through their program called Waymo Via.  PlusAI in Cupertino, is a self-driving technology company that was recently named to Fast Company’s list of most innovative companies. Semiconductors for applications in self driving cars such as GPS navigation, integrated entertainment ecosystem and anti-collision radar, are made by psemi in San Diego. TuSimple in San Diego, led by Dr. Xiaodi Hou, awarded a Ph.D. from CalTech in Neural and Computer Systems, has developed self driving cargo trucks (Class 8) that currently operate between Dallas and Phoenix. Kodiak Ai in Mountain View, has commercial autonomous trucks running between Dallas and Atlanta. Note, these autonomous big-rigs are hydrocarbon powered for long-haul applications given that long-range, heavy-load EV trucks are not commercially viable with current technology. Shorter-haul applications using Class 8 electric trucks are well served by companies such as XOS in Los Angeles. These commercial trucks are aerodynamically inefficient at highway speeds where 65% of energy expended is air friction. With a 2021 IPO valued at over $8.5 billion and the only company operating self driving trucks carrying cargo, TuSimple has been viewed as a leader in automated driving. However, a recent accident, where a TuSimple truck veered into a center median, has the company under investigation by the NHTSA. The company says the problem was human error, having incorrectly programmed the onboard computer. Embark in San Francisco, Aurora in Mountain View, which has partnerships with Volvo Trucks and Paccar Inc., the parent of Kenworth and Peterbilt, and Plus in Cupertino are also self-driving cargo truck companies. GUSS in Kingsburg, part of the California central valley that produces about 25% of the food in the US, makes automated farm spraying vehicles. In San Francisco, Built Robotics and Safe AI in Santa Clara, build autonomous construction vehicles. The largest test facility in the US for autonomous vehicles is GoMomentum Station, located in Concord. All of these “smart cars” will be enabled by one of the world’s largest and most successful satellite companies, ViaSat, located in San Diego County, and Planet in San Francisco. Drive trains for electric medium- and heavy-duty trucks are made by US Hybrid in Torrance. And in Los Angeles, electric trams are made by Trams International. Aeromutable in Palo Alto, a spinout of Stanford Univeristy, has an add-on active flow control device capable of reducing the power required to overcome aerodynamic drag by over 16%. Another Silicon Valley company, located in Milpitas, Nanosys, is making quantum dots for better electronic displays, something important for all cars, especially EVs. In San Francisco, Pronto is is making self-driving commercial hauling vehicles. Gatik, in Mountain View, makes self-driving trucks that are hauling wood pulp and paper for Georgia-Pacific. Another company in San Diego developing autonomous driving systems is the wireless communications giant, Qualcomm, who recently announced a collaboration with BMW. Qualcomm has about $30 billion in contracts with automobile companies for its Snapdragon digital system, the so-called “digital chassis.”. Also in San Diego is the Brain Corporation that produces small robotic, electric powered vehicles, such as industrial floor cleaning robots and delivery tugs, with over 16,000 of their robots deployed in businesses throughout the world. Electric motors and drivetrains for EVs are designed and made by AC Propulsion in San Dimas. Autonomous EVs are used by San Carlos-based Iron Ox to move indoor grow stations in their sustainable farming system. They have large commercial grow facilities in CA and TX. And for farming out in the large fields of Central California, Verdant Robotics of Hayward, CA, is is making robotic, autonomous farm vehicles that precisely spray chemicals where needed. In this way, energy and chemical efficiency is achieved given the precise spraying.Another type of EV is the Virgin Hyperloop, based in Los Angeles, and planned to allow passenger and cargo vehicles to travel at 1,000k/hr in a vacuum tube running between San Francisco and Los Angeles. The hyperloop was originally conceived and patented in 1945 by Dr. Robert Goddard, Ph.D., the famous physicists who is the originator of liquid fuel rockets. Perhaps in another 75 years someone will figure out how to make this work, but it will require someone other than a charlatan to make it happen.

Electric airplanes, space ships, drones, and helicopters are part of the California EV revolution too, such as Wright Electric in Los Angeles, Surf Air in Hawthorne, Joby Aviation in Santa Cruz is now proceeding through FAA certification, Kitty Hawk in Palo Alto, Archer Aviation, in Palo Alto, successfully using its technology to transition from vertical to forward flight and signing deals with United Airlines for orders and Stellantis for funding and manufacturing. They are currently in a major expansion in San Jose. United Airlines has said service using the Archer EVTOL will begin in 2025. Perhaps the most famous helicopter is the solar/battery powered Ingenuity currently flying on Mars. Built by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, founded by and part of Caltech, near Pasadena, this solar vehicle flies autonomously 94 million miles away from Earth. ES Aero in San Luis Obispo is working with NASA to provide the electrical system for the new X-57, all electric aircraft. Others include Wisk Aero in Mountain View, and Ampaire in Los Angeles (currently flying commercial flights in Hawaii). ZeroAvia in Hollister is powering aircraft using hydrogen fuel cells to produce electricity. The aerospace industry in California is huge. As GO-Biz Director and Senior Advisor to Governor Gavin Newsom, Dee Dee Myers says, “This industry provides more than 500,000 high-paying jobs and generates more than $66 billion in annual economic activity. That’s more than the agricultural and entertainment industries combined – and it generates more than $7 billion in state and local taxes.” The City of Los Angeles is actively fostering this movement to electric powered aircraft. Robinson Helicopter in Torrance, for the past six years, has been working with Tier 1 Engineering of Santa Ana, CA, flight-testing and refining an electric-powered version of the Robinson R44 — the world’s best-selling general aviation helicopter for the past 22 years — with more than 7,200 delivered. M4 Aerospace Engineering in Long Beach, working with UC San Diego, the #3 rated public university and 15th overall, has been funded by NASA to develop an electric powered air taxis. San Diego County not only has 3 top tier public universities, but for a variety of reasons, is rated one of the best places to start a tech comapny. Commercial drones are made by Hitec in San Diego, Inovadrone in San Diego, and Skydio in Redwood City, and commercial heavy-lift hybrid drones by Parallel Flight Technologies in Santa Cruz. Autonomous, electric air and sea vehicles for defense are made by Anduril in Irvine. Software for autonomous flight of the drones is made by Auterion in Moorpark. Another clean technology for aircraft is hydrogen power, such as that being developed by Universal Hydrogen in Los Angeles. They have received FAA certification to fly their new 40 passenger hydrogen powered aircraft. Leaving the surface of the Earth for space can now be accomplished with electric pump rocket engines pioneered by Rocket Labs in Long Beach, CA and New Zealand. Rocket Lab’s Rutherford Engine uses a lithium ion battery to power the engine’s pump, a first in the industry and a game changer. In nearby El Segundo, part of the world’s largest space hub in the Los Angeles area, Impulse Space, founded by the co-founder of SpaceX (in Hawthorne, CA), Tom Mueller, who developed most of the propulsion systems for SpaceX, including the Merlin rocket engine, is developing new propulsion systems for ships that are already in space. Battery and solar will be part of the mix. In support of the aerospace industry, additive manufacturing (3D printing of components) is done by Morp3D in El Segundo and Relativity Space in Los Angeles. Once you arrived to your destination, the moon perhaps, get onboard the battery-solar operated FLEX vehicle from Venturi Astrolab in Hawthorne. Currently flying through the skies fighting murderous Russians in Ukraine is the battery powered Switchblade drone made by AeroVironment in Simi Valley. A more secret EV drone, called the Phoenix Ghost, deployed in the Ukraine comes from Aevex Aerospace in beautiful Solana Beach, part of North County San Diego. Analysts speculate that the Phoenix Ghost is a comparatively small weapon that could be hard to see against the cloud cover that shrouds much of Ukraine in late April and in May. Medical supplies are being delivered to remote areas by drones manufactured by Zipline in South San Francisco, and Wing in Palo Alto is delivering food and medicine throughout the world. If you need to travel on the water or under the water, EVs are available. Bedrock in Richmond, CA, is developing electric submarines and Lear Boats in Garden Grove and Arc in Los Angeles can make for an electrifying experience on the surface. SeaSatellites in San Diego makes small sea-going solar-EVs for data collection. Also in San Diego, a spin-out of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UCSD, Marine Robotic Vehicles makes electronic vehicles for capturing data in the oceans. Capturing data under the water is performed by electric drones produced by SeaDrones of Palo Alto. Of course, electric boats for use in the harbor have been available for years from Duffy in Newport Beach. Bigger electric boats, including ferries, are being built in Alameda by Switch Maritime. Impossible Mining in Pasadena makes electric mining vehicles that travel the ocean floor collecting precious metals for use in battery production. Selective harvesting of the rocks that contain minerals means that the ocean floor ecosystem will be minimally perturbed. Last year, electric vehicles became California’s No. 1 export. When you order yours, don’t forget to look for the vegan leather option for the interior. Companies such as Mycoworks and Bolt Threads, both of which are located in Emeryville have pioneered making leather from mushrooms (certain mushrooms form much collagen, the same material that forms the dermis of the skin and composes animal leather), an eco-friendly, renewable source of leather.

Batteries play an important role at EV charging stations too, and can include wireless, inductive charging stations being developed by Mojo Mobility in Santa Clara. As an example, for rapid charging and to better keep charging stations off of the grid, companies such as Freewire in Oakland, ChargePoint in the Silicon Valley, Volta in San Francisco, Noodoe in Irvine, EV Connect in El Segundo, EV Safe Charge in Los Angeles, Sema Connect in Santa Barbara, KIGT eChargers in Ontario, Webasto in Monrovia, Amply in Mountain View, Simpliphi Power in the picturesque seaside city of Oxnard, Envoy Technologies and Chargie in Culver City, ClipperCreek in Auburn (near Sacramento), and EVgo in Los Angeles use batteries, including recycled EV batteries, to generate the energy needed to recharge your EV. EV Safe Charge in Los Angeles now has a charging bot, called Ziggy, that is, itself, an autonomous EV used to charge other EVs. Rapid charging and discharge used for rapid power delivery is implemented by using super capacitors made by Maxwell Technologies in San Diego and Licap Technologies in Sacramento. Qmerit in Irvine sets-up integrated charging stations, and has partnered with Lucid. Recycled EV batteries are being repurposed by RePurpose Energy in Fairfield, Smartville in Carlsbad (San Diego County), and Rejoule in Signal Hill (Long Beach Area). EcoATM in San Diego recycles mobiles phones, including their lithium-ion batteries. New battery technologies have emerged in California too, including the solid-state lithium battery makers, QuantumScape, Sparkz, and Sakuu. Solid-state lithium ion battery technology is one means to limit thermal runaway and battery explosions. Defective lithium ion batteries, such as those found in some Tesla automobiles, can lead to thermal runaway. Sakuu, located in San Jose, has a prototype 3D battery printer in operation. Yoshino Power in City of Industry makes portable charging stations using solid-state lithium ion technology. Sparkz has developed a lithium-phosphate battery that it hopes will challenge the Chinese dominated manufacturing of these batteries, and is building a new manufacturing plant in Livermore. Battery manufacturers headquartered in other states, such as ONE in Michigan, are expanding their engineering facilities in the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles because of California’s well educated talent pool. A number of new lithium ion battery technologies are being developed, for example, by Sienza in Pasadena, CA. They use a technology originating from CalTech, where the architecture of the battery increases the area of charge and decreases the distance of charge movement. Battery Streak in Thousand Oaks is developing lithium batteries based on a new technology developed at UCLA, the #2 public university in the US, by materials scientists Dr. Bruce Dunn and Dr. Sarah Tolbert, that enables fast charging times. They’ve been funded by the National Science Foundation. Battery Streak uses Niobia that charges more like a capacitor than a chemical battery where the battery charges without chemical phase change. This new material yields faster charge times, less generation of heat during charging, and extended battery life. In San Leandro, at Coreshell Technologies, a group of scientists and engineers who trained at UC Berkeley, the highest ranked university in the US, have developed a new thin-layer electrode technology for lithium ion batteries. Coreshell’s new technology looks so promising in the short term that Tesla cofounder, Mark Tarpenning has invested. Ensurge in San Jose develops microbatteries using precise semiconductor manufacturing technologies. In Santa Clara, Gridtential is making batteries with a new silicon wafer technology. A 3d battery technology has been developed by Enovix in Freemont, and a 3d printing technology was developed by Sakuu for its sold-state battery production, a manufacturing process that saves about 30% in weight and space and makes the batteries more efficient ( New materials for batteries are developed and tested in San Diego at Wildcat Discovery Technologies. Imprint Energy in Alameda is making ultrathin, flexible, printed batteries for IoT (internet of things) devices, sensors, wearables. One of the companies making the 3D printers to manufacture these parts is Carbon in Redwood City. Other compamies, such as ErectorBot in Anza, make large scale 3D printers for many EV applications, including building the factories. Safer and more efficient lithium metal batteries are being developed by Cuberg in San Leandro. In San Diego, UCSD-spinout, South 8 Technologies, has developed a new Liquified Gas Lithium Electrolyte technology that provides stability of the lithium electrolyte. They’ve been funded by the US government, State of California, and a number of private companies. To enhance battery design, AI is used by Chemix, located in Mountain View. Mitra Chem in Mountain View is developing new cathode technologies for batteries. Rapid, robotic battery swapping in EVs is being developed by companies such as Ample in San Francisco. This allows you to pull into a battery station, much the same as “paleoliths” did with their ICE vehicles at gasoline stations, and rapidly change your battery and then drive-on. Once installed, batteries are typically difficult to diagnose for remaining battery life and wear. Rejoule in San Diego makes battery diagnostics easier and is developing the means to revitalize operating batteries. Even the iconic German microscopy company, Zeiss, has an innovation center in California (Dublin) for optoelectronic innovations in battery technologies. To better distribute energy during times of great demand, energy can be stored in EV batteries during low demand periods from sustainable sources, and then, using a technology from Nuvve in San Diego, send the energy from the vehicle to the grid, so-called vehicle-to-grid technology. Longer term storage of energy from in the grid can be accomplished by flow-batteries, such as those made by Primus Power Solutions in Hayward. San Francisco’s Sunrun will implement vehicle-to-grid charging for a new partnership between General Motors and San Diego Gas & Electric. Sinewatts, who recently moved from North Carolina to Bakersfield, CA (home to rock-influenced “Bakersfield Sound” country music pioneered by Buck Owens and Merle Haggard, and still heard at the Crystal Palace), is working on a similar fast charging and vehicle-to-grid technology. BTW, those electric guitars powering the Bakersfield Sound were invented in Los Angeles by Adolph Rickenbacker

Co-locating the lithium supply with battery and battery pack manufacturers such as Amprius in Fremont (they have been battery specialists for California’s huge aerospace industry of 760 companies), Sila Nanotechnologies (silicon anode technology) in Alameda, Evolectric in Long Beach, Octillion in Richmond, Romeo Power in Los Angeles, Unigrid in San Diego (solid state batteries for storage), Ampcera in the Silicon Valley, OneCharge in Irvine, Totex in Torrance, SimpliPhi Power in Oxnard, Zeronox in Porterville, Enevate in Irvine, Trojan Battery Co in Sante Fe Springs, Zelos Energy in San Leandro, TerraWatt in Santa Clara, Totex in Torrance, and Flux Power in San Diego County, and EV manufacturing in a single area is a terrific opportunity for developing an environmentally friendly supply chain and removing 20 or more inefficient links from that chain. To this end, building a hyperlocal battery production region, California-based Statevolt plans to build a $4 Billion EV battery gigafactory with 54 GWh output planned at Salton Sea area, supplying 650,000 electric vehicles annually. This is a new company, so how well it performs remains to be seen. Implementing these batteries into the EV is complicated, and the battery packs for EVs are a big part of the complication. CelLink in San Carlos, makes high-conductance circuits that integrate busing, fusing, voltage monitoring, and temperature monitoring wiring systems into a single circuit. This circuitry saves space and weight over traditional wiring systems. Meanwhile in Santa Clara, AyarLabs has developed a new optical input-output (I/O) technology to integrate different circuits. By forgetting wires, connectors have more speed and bandwidth, and are lighter. The company was part of UC Berkeley’s Citrus Incubator, and has garnered $130M in Series C funding and established a number of significant partnerships. Solar-battery systems are made by YouSolar in Santa Clara. Working to make existing lithium ion batteries more efficient, using a simple drop-in additive is Sili-Ion, also funded by CalSEED, in Riverside.

Lithium is a key component of the lithium-ion batteries that power electric vehicles and is currently in short supply with shortages to become worse as the world moves to electric vehicles. While other battery technologies show promise, such as trivalent Aluminum ion batteries with a large and readily available supply of aluminum, after 30 years of development they are still not commercially viable and have many disadvantages compared to lithium ion batteries that must be overcome. Lithium demand is estimated to grow 8-10X by 2030. As Dr. Ned Mamalu, Ph.D., a former geologist at the US Geological Survey, teaches us, the USA has all the minerals it needs for battery (and other) technologies, but we don’t extract those minerals for many reasons. Lithium and other rare metals, are critical for batteries and electrification, and to better find and extract these metals, KoBold Metals in Berkeley is using artificial intelligence to explore for these resources. KoBold is currently using their technology to mine copper and cobalt in Zambia. The US government and the State of California have enabled the mining of critical minerals necessary for EV production through a number of means, including funding and tax incentives, but as Dr. Mamalu argues, more must be done to better survey what minerals are present in our lands and laws and regulations must be carefully implemented to allow extraction of those minerals. Mining those minerals on US soil is more eco-friendly than having those minerals mined in parts of the world where regulations are lax that allow massive pollution to occur. Because the US has a number of volcanic, magmatic, plate tectonic, and other geological formations, all minerals are here in the US in abundance. One of these active volcanic fields is at the Salton Sea in Southern California, and has the potential to meet 40% of the future global lithium demand ( The lithium brine 7,000 ft below the Salton Sea has significant advantages over mining lithium from rock sources- namely, the lithium is already in a brine, whereas when mined from Pegmatite rock, much energy is required to put the lithium in a brine. Every 20,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate per year that can be produced through a small well at the Salton Sea represents an entire open pit that does not need to be quarried and eliminates the environmental impacts of pits. ( Due to the thermodynamic characteristics of producing lithium chemicals from solid rock compared to brine, millions of tonnes of CO2 emissions can potentially be avoided by unlocking more brine resources that were previously considered uneconomic because not enough people understood that there were mechanisms to produce lithium chemicals from that brine (see Thus, the lithium brine in the Salton Sea allows for a difficult, energy intensive and expensive step to be skipped, and makes for a “greener” source. And, speaking of green, having the source close to the factories that use lithium-ion batteries is another step in making the process greener. Now, in a project sponsored by the Dept. of Energy, scientists from Berkeley Lab, UC Riverside, and the Geologica Geothermal Group, Inc. in San Francisco, are quantifying and characterizing the lithium in the hypersaline geothermal reservoir at the Salton Sea. Companies currently extracting lithium from the Lithium Valley include Controlled Thermal Resources, in Imperial, using technology developed by Lilac Solutions in Oakland, Berkshire Hathaway Energy and San Diego-based EnergySource Minerals, who has sold their working DLE technology to companies in Argentina (in this video, Dr. Michael McKibben, Ph.D., a geochemist and economic geologist at the University of California Riverside, gives a nice overview of lithium extraction at the Salton Sea). General Motors and Stellantis have contracted with companies at the Salton Sea to source lithium for their EV batteries. The technology to extract the lithium out of the boiling hot brine, which is highly corrosive and loaded with toxins like arsenic and lead, is unproven at commercial scale. However, Controlled Thermal Resources claims that its extraction technology is currently working and is being successfully scaled for commercial production. Another important “green” factor is that lithium ion batteries can be recycled, and using the recycled materials to produce new batteries works well. Companies, such as KBI in Anaheim and Repurpose Energy in Fairfield, have been recycling batteries for years and are working on new methodologies for better lithium ion battery recycling. In Carlsbad (San Diego County), Smartville is developing end-to-end, distributed solutions for EV battery reuse and recycling. Smartville is currently powering some facilities at UCSD with recycled EV batteries. The Imperial County Board of Supervisors has recognized the revolution that is occurring in the county, and has established an extensive plan to foster their natural resource. Tax incentives for businesses to build extraction plants, battery production, and battery recycling facilities are included in the plan, along with the establishment of a new Cal Poly Imperial County university to provide the educational needs, such as engineers and chemists, for the emerging energy sector in the Salton Sea area. San Diego State University is developing a campus in the area to serve the needs of the new tech hub. California’s Lithium Valley Commission is in the process of developing the world’s first Clean Energy Campus at the Salton Sea. In December, 2022, the California state commission voted to approve recommendations that would aid in accelerating lithium mining at the Salton Sea. New cities are currently being developed in the beautiful Palm Springs Area, such as Indio, about 10 miles from the Salton Sea, a bird-rich wetlands currently under restoration. For example, Genesis Capital in Sherman Oaks, is building a new city called Genesis Metropolis in Indio, near the wetlands being restored. General Motors is investing heavily in the area in order to have adequate lithium supplies for its expanding line-up of EVs, and helping in the wetlands restoration.

California is the innovation hub of the world, receiving about 50% of all venture funding – that’s as much as all of the other states combined. Despite the right-wing shibboleths who will tell us that low wages, no regulations, no taxes, giving cash to companies (part of the Texas strategy), and anti-union policies are what makes a business-friendly environment, California booms by doing the opposite and does not impose regressive laws, like Texas does, that include limiting the freedom and reproductive rights of women. As the fifth largest economy on the planet, and in a major growth phase, California is a leader in new housing starts (Trump slanted the 2020 census to diminish California’s population count for political purposes, leading to a massive undercount of non-whites), new business starts, and the Golden State has no peers among developed economies for expanding GDP, creating jobs, raising household income, manufacturing growth, investment in innovation, producing clean energy and unprecedented wealth through its stocks and bonds (Winkler, 2021, Bloomberg). By adding 1.3 million people to its non-farm payrolls between April 2020 and June 2021 — equal to the entire workforce of Nevada — California easily surpassed also-rans Texas and New York. California accounts for 63% of startup Unicorns (startups with a market cap of $1B or more) in the US, with a total market cap of 79% of that for Unicorns in the US. Further, California household income increased $164 billion, nearly as much as Texas, Florida and Pennsylvania combined, according to data compiled by Bloomberg (Winkler, 2021, Bloomberg). Between January 2018 through June 2021, California created or had 133,503 companies move to the state, by far the most in the US. California’s universities lead the nation in graduating founders of new companies, with Stanford and Berkeley neck-in-neck at #1 and #2. Of the top 100 colleges graduating founders, California dominates: Stanford (1), Berkeley (2), UCLA (11), USC (16), UC San Diego (28), UC Santa Barbara (43), UC Davis (51), UC Irvine (74) and UC Santa Cruz (100). Of the 6,924 corporate locations in California, 18% are research and development facilities, a ratio that easily beats the U.S. overall (11%), China (15%), U.K. (14%) and Japan (10%). Only Germany, at 19%, has a higher rate, according to data compiled by Bloomberg ( And, let’s not count out Germany. As erratic and poor decisions are made by Musk at Tesla, Mercedes is about to launch it’s new EV that has over 620 miles of range on one charge. The engineering on the new EQXX , designed in San Diego, is excellent and the car is beautiful. As Volkswagon sells more EVs in Europe than any other manufacturer, Sono in Munich has a new solar car coming, along with BMW moving fast on new EVs. Munich is Germany’s Silicon Valley, indeed many California companies are investing there. The world’s fourth and fifth largest economies are the world’s two great innovators.

While California is home to 12% of the U.S. population, the state attracted 47% of the most sought-after investment dollars deployed nationwide last year, according to National Venture Capital Association data. The investment in California is not big simply because the state is big, because California received nearly four times its share per capita of all such investments in the USA. Add in the emerging Lithium Valley at the Salton Sea, and all that will follow in the coming green revolution that depends on Lithium, California may be poised to overtake fourth place Germany in terms of GDP. To push forward the Lithium Valley, and the EV infrastructure in general, Governor Newsom has called for reform of The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), a California statute passed in 1970 and signed in to law by then-Governor Ronald Reagan, that slows down building important, green infrastructure. Indeed, the Democratic led legislature has made reforms and Newsom has signed them, but more reform is needed. A big thank you to Martin Eberhard and Mark Tarpenning whose vision and hard work at Tesla for many years began this revolution, along with the state of California’s help, including many laws supported and signed by then Governor Jerry Brown and current Governor Gavin Newson, and the US government under the direction of President Obama and VP Joe Biden who, through the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing loan program, provided Tesla with $465 million during a pivotal time in 2010. Two engineers, Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning, working in Berkeley, CA, using their own money, and later with the help of private funding from Elon Musk, who would later become CEO and diminish the quality of the cars, and funding from the State of California and the US government began this revolution, which has now expanded to the beautiful, stark, mountain rimmed desert lands of the Salton Sea.

Coronavirus Covid-19: Some Questions and Answers

Many people have been asking questions about the Coronavirus outbreak. First, if you’re scared, you should be. This pandemic is not a hoax as expressed by people like Trump and Hannity, and the USA is woefully unprepared to diagnose, prevent, contain, mitigate, and treat this exponentially spreading and deadly disease. Understand, even if you don’t die from the disease, if you are severely infected with the disease you may suffer permanent scaring in you pulmonary system, potentially resulting in lifelong  respiratory problems. Be concerned, take action, and don’t panic. Follow good public health practices such as social distancing, cleansing your hands, and not touching your eyes, mouth, or nose unless you have cleansed your hands. To best set your immune system to fight the infection and quell the inflammation induced by your immune system response to the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes Covid-19, eat right, exercise, don’t smoke, limit or stop alcohol consumption, and sleep well. In my book, “Thinking And Eating For Two: The Science of Using Systems 1 and 2 Thinking to Nourish Self and Symbionts,” I detail much of what you can do to become healthier and improve your innate and adaptive immune systems. Eat vegetables, with soluble and insoluble fiber, limit salt and sugar intake, no processed oils, including olive oil, especially coconut oil and even MCTs. I’ll now answer some of the questions I’ve been asked about Covid-19.

Why is it called the novel “coronavirus”?

Novel because we’ve never seen this virus in the human population previously. This virus probably originated in bats and then spread to other animals with whom humans interact, including those animals in our food supply. The virus is called a coronavirus because of the 3 dimensional shape of the virus; named for the crown-like spikes on the virus’ surface.

What does this mean and what is known about how the virus compares to
others in the same family?

Human coronaviruses were first identified in the mid-1960s. There are seven coronaviruses that can infect people. These types of viruses are typically responsible for common colds more than serious diseases. However, coronaviruses are also behind some more severe outbreaks, including Covid-19, SARS, and MERS. These viruses mutate in time and new strains emerge. When the virus mutates, chemical and structural changes can result that may change the viruses’ spread and infection patterns. The dangerous new strain called SARS-CoV-2 started circulating, causing the disease COVID-19 in 2018, but seriously emerged in 2019. Scientists discovered and had warned that this disease would spread in 2018, but the Trump administration had dismantled the “Predict” program begun by President GW Bush and expanded by President Obama. Trump ignored warning after warning that an outbreak was imminent. We were caught totally unprepared for this pandemic because of Trump and his lack of scientists (Ph.D.) in key positions. Scientists, such as Prof. Dr. Wayne Getz, Ph.D. at UC Berkeley have published very recently the specific needs in order to understand, predict, and contain future outbreaks, especially due to zoonotic disease, borne from animal transmission.

I’ve heard that the novel coronavirus may be spread by droplets. Can you explain what this means and what is known thus far about the spread of the virus / how long these droplets may spread the virus between humans/on surfaces?

Yes, SARS-CoV-2 virus spreads most readily in droplets originating from our upper respiratory system and transmitted to others when we cough, sneeze, and even during talking. If you’ve ever smelled onion or garlic on someone’s breath, then you’re inhaling some form of droplets from that person, including any viruses contained in their breath. While the CDC recommends distancing yourself 3-6 ft from someone who is coughing or sneezing, a study from scientists at MIT found evidence that these droplets can travel much farther. Scientists have also found that these droplets that have landed on surfaces can remain active, potentially for hours. If you touch a surface with viral droplets, and then put your hand in your eyes, nose, or mouth, transmission may occur. This is known as fomite transmission. Viruses are not alive, but we refer to them as active or inactive. If you wash your hands with soapy water or 60-90% alcohol, you’ll inactivate the virus. The virus has a lipoprotein (Fat-protein) structure that covers the genetic material to protect the fragile RNA. Also expressed on the outer surface are proteins with specific amino acid sequences that impart a number of functions to the virus, including whether it can bind to proteins in lungs or cardiovascular systems. Washing your hands or applying alcohol can disrupt the lipoprotein coat and inactivate the RNA rendering the coronavirus harmless. This is similar to what is done to inactivated viruses for the development of an inactive vaccine.

Is our healthcare system prepared for this outbreak?

No. We still have few people being tested and have no idea of the spread, rate of infection, and morbidity and death rates from this disease. People who were originally diagnosed with influenza and died have now been found to have died of Covid-19. Our hospitals and clinics are likely to be overwhelmed with severe cases of Covid-19 within a few weeks. In Germany, for many reasons, including the country is run by a scientist (Dr. Merkel is a PhD level physical chemist), has medical care for all, and their physicians who earn an M.D. degree in addition to medical training have scientific training unlike here in the USA, has responded much better to the pandemic than has the USA. Science and evidence based decision making, with scientists who are trained and experienced at solving problems, leads to better outcomes. Unfortunately in the USA our response team is run by physicians, not scientists. Fauci and the rest have done a poor job at protecting the people of the USA. Our healthcare system is a mess in general, and this becomes becomes especially transparent during these times of crisis.

If a package is handled by an infected delivery person and they coughor sneeze on the package, could you theoretically become infected by touching it?

Yes, this would be an example of fomite transmission. A number of variables would contribute to whether you become infected in this way, including the level of infection of the person sneezing, how long the droplets sat on the surface, the volume of the droplet material on the surface of the package, and how much of the droplet you transmitted to your eyes, mouth, or nose. The fomite transmission won’t occur through the skin. A number of studies found evidence that fomite transmisssion is less probable than transmission by breathing-in aerosoled droplets from a cough or sneeze that contain the virus. Be careful, because the SARS-CoV-2 virus remains stable in the air and remain active for hours, perhaps even days, on some surfaces.

How does Covid-19 kill people?

Basically they die of suffocation, even when on a respirator. This virus, SARS-CoV-2 attaches itself to a number of sites in the body using the ACE2 receptor, including in our alveoli in the lungs. This virus also seems to bind to integrins that are expressed throughout the body. This possible pathway of entry is just beginning to be studied. The virus attaches to epithelial cells in the lungs, including in alveoli, where gas exchange occurs (Oxygen comes in, CO2 goes out) and sets up of a dramatic immune response to kill the virus. Along with cells dying from the virus, in the process of our killing the infection, collateral damage occurs where our own cells are damaged or killed. The damaged cells build up in the alveoli. Also liquid begins to seep into the alveoli because the matrix that normally prevents liquid flow has been damaged. Gas exchange stops occurring in the alveoli because of debris and liquid. No matter how much oxygen you pump-in, not enough enters the blood to sustain cellular respiration. If the patient is saved using a respirator, the damaged alveoli will likely suffer from scarring, called fibrosis, with possible ensuing respiratory problems. Scientist and physicians in China report that the those affected by Covid-19 respond well to steroids. Prophylactic and therapeutic low dose steroid oral tablets/inhalers at the earlier stage of COVID-19 and high dose steroid treatment according to the severity of the disease can play important roles in decreasing the fatality and pulmonary fibrosis.

I’ll answer more in an upcoming post.



Coronavirus Covid-19: What is it, and what can be done to mitigate the spread and effects of this virus?

The Trump adminstration is ill-prepared to respond to the current Covid-19 pandemic and is spreading disinformation about the virus (Thielking, 2020). As of Feb. 23, the CDC had tested just 479 people, not including those who were evacuated from other countries. Testing kits sent out by the CDC nationwide turned out to be faulty, meaning that just 12 labs across the country can currently run tests outside of the CDC. And the CDC didn’t allow the State of California and UC Berkeley to begin testing for Covid-19, even though UC Berkeley trained the scientists who developed the technology (PCR – Dr. Kary Mullis, Ph.D.) underlying the diagnostic tests, for over a week after having set-up a testing center. And the Trump administration allowed untrained, non-garbed federal workers to be directly exposed to known Covid-19 carriers in the Davis, California area. As a result, one patient was likely exposed to one of these workers and wasn’t tested as requested by physicians at UC Davis Medical Center, and now the patient is on a ventilator fighting for her life. Trump appointed morons, such as Chad Wolf, acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, said, in a wildly innaccurate statement, the fatality rate is ‘similar to seasonal flu.’ Therefore it is up to you to take good care of yourself during this pandemic, because Trump doesn’t care and Pence is incapable.

Unlike their common-cold-causing viral cousins, the emergent coronavirus Covid-19 can induce a viral-induced inflammatory, immune response throughout many of the patient’s organs. COVID-19 binds angiotensin-converting enzyme 2(ACE2). ACE2 is a receptor, an entranceway for Covid-19 to the airways and alveoli, where O2 – CO2 gas exchange occurs, and blood vessel linings. Death due to massive alveolar damage and progressive respiratory failure can occur.  This is why the Covid-19 epidemic has killed nearly 3,000 people, surpassing the SARS death toll in just weeks. While the death rate for Covid-19 (about 2%) appears to be a fifth of SARS, the novel coronavirus has spread faster (spread factor may be 3-5), although the data for Covid-19 are not yet clear.

For most patients, COVID-19 primarily stays in their lungs, because like the flu, coronaviruses are primarily respiratory diseases – most of the receptors they attach to in our bodies are located in the respiratory system. The virus spreads typically when an infected person coughs or sneezes, spraying droplets that can transmit the virus to anyone in close contact. Best to avoid being near people expressing such symptoms. Coronaviruses typically cause flu-like symptoms, where patients start out with a fever and cough that can progresses to pneumonia or even respiratory failure. Based on early data from China, 80% of the Covid-19 cases are mild and don’t require hospitalization (Zhang et al, 2020).

Initial infection of the Covid-19 coronavirus rapidly invades the two major classes of human lung cells; cells that make mucus and cells with hair-like protrusions called cilia. Mucus, part of the immune system, helps protect lung tissue from pathogens and make sure your breathing organ doesn’t dry out. The cilia cells move the mucus, clearing out foreign agents like pollen or viruses. The physical movement of the cilia may also induce mechanical autophagy (Kim et al, 2017), another means to clear pathogens from our cells. Activated by the presence of a viral invader, our bodies step up to fight the disease by recruiting immune cells to the lungs, including adult stem cells that also have immune cell properties (Maguire, 2020), to clear away the damage and repair the lung tissue. Holes are created in the lung tissue by the immune system’s hyperactive response that also creates scaring that both protect and stiffen the lungs. At this point patients often require ventilators to assist their breathing. The robust inflammatory response also makes the membranes between the aveoli and blood vessels more permeable, that can fill the lungs with fluid, reducing gas exchange and affecting the aveoli’s ability to oxygenate blood. Because the receptor recognition of Covid-19 virus is similar to that of SARS, which affects receptors in the gut, and because a number of patients have reported stomach problems during Covid-19 infection, Covid-19 is likely to present in the small intestine as does SARS when it infects humans (Wan et al, 2020).

So what can be done to avoid and mitigate the effects of coronavirus Covid-19? First, make sure to follow the advice of public health officials, not Donald Trump or his political appointees. These people are numbskulls (Levin, 2019). Second, avoid people with respiratory symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, and labored breathing. Wash your hands frequently, and avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth without having washed your hands. Don’t be led to believe that a surgical mask protects you from the virus- it doesn’t. Only a N-95 mask works well (about 95% filtration of virus particle) if properly fitted to the face. Respiratory viruses transmit mostly through droplet spread — which is coughing or sneezing on somebody — or in some cases by fomite transmission, which means you contaminate a surface which another person then immediately touches, and then touches their mouth, nose, or eyes. Viruses can maintain themselves in active state for hours, even days on surfaces, but Covid-19 is reportedly easily inactivated by alcohol.

To mitigate the effects of a virus infection, including Coronavirus Covid-19, you should be eating a mostly plant-based diet that includes significant amounts of insoluble and soluble fiber. I explain this in my book, Thinking And Eating For Two: The Science of Using Systems 1 and 2 Thinking to Nourish Self and Symbionts, but briefly, without you having to read my book which is a tome, here’s why. Soluble fiber is fermented and regulates the innate and adaptive immune systems to better fight viral infection and to better resolve the inflammation induced by the activation of the immune system (e.g. Trompette et al, 2018). And insoluble fiber will upregulate the immune system in a number of ways, including to induce mechanical autophagy that helps to clear infectious agents (Kim et al, 2017). Also, eating a plant based diet rich in many types of antioxidants sets-up an antioxidant cascade (Villanueva and Kross, 2012) that also helps to fight viral infection (e.g. Beck, 2001; Crump et al, 2013). My video update on Covid-19 is here. Let’s all do our part to mitigate the spread and ill-effects of this dangerous virus so that all may be healthy.



Beck MA (2001) Antioxidants and viral infections: host immune response and viral pathogenicity. J Am Coll Nutr. 20(5 Suppl):384S-388S.

Crump KE et al (2013) Antioxidant Treatment Regulates the Humoral Immune Response during Acute Viral Infection. J. Virology, DOI: 10.1128/JVI.02714-12.

Kim SW et al (2017) Shear stress induces noncanonical autophagy in intestinal epithelial monolayers. Mol Biol Cell. 28(22): 3043–3056.


Maguire G (2020) Stem Cells, Part of the Innate and Adaptive Immune Systems, as an Antimicrobial for Coronavirus Covid-19. Stem cells, health, technology, Feb 23, 2020.

Thielking M (2020) Trump’s no stranger to misinformation. But with the coronavirus, experts say that’s dangerous. STAT, Feb 26, 2020.

Trompette A et al (2018) Dietary Fiber Confers Protection against Flu by Shaping Ly6c Patrolling Monocyte Hematopoiesis and CD8+ T Cell Metabolism. Immunity. 2018 May 15;48(5):992-1005.e8

Villanueva C and Kross RD (2012) Antioxidant-Induced Stress. Int J Mol Sci. 2012; 13(2): 2091–2109.

Wan Y et al (2020) Receptor recognition by novel coronavirus from Wuhan: An analysis based on decade-long structural studies of SARS. J. Virology, DOI: 10.1128/JVI.00127-20

Zhang et al (2020) Vital Surveillances: The Epidemiological Characteristics of an Outbreak of 2019 Novel Coronavirus Diseases (COVID-19) — China, 2020. China CDC.



Stem Cells, Part of the Innate and Adaptive Immune Systems, as an Antimicrobial for Coronavirus Covid-19.

China is in a state of emergency, with 76,936 infections and 2,442 deaths from Covid-19. China’s leader, Mr. Xi has said, coronavirus Covid-19 is the “the fastest spread, the widest scope of infections and the greatest degree of difficulty in controlling infections” of any public health emergency since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. With 600 cases in S. Korea, parts of Northern Italia now on lockdown because of an outbreak there with 132 new cases, 7 deaths in Iran with Pakistan and Turkey having closed their borders with Iran – people are scarred (NY Times, Coronavirus update, 2020-02-23).

So how do we best fight this spreading, deadly disease? Public health measures are our first line of and most important means of defense in this newly emerging epidemic. The development of new antimicrobials is another means of potentially fighting this infectious agent. And stem cells, and the molecules that stem cells release may be an important new means of developing such antimicrobial therapeutics. Although premature, stem cell treatments in clinical trials for Covid-19 infections are currently underway in China. Why would anyone think that stem cells can fight a viral infection such as Coronavirus Covid-19? Let’s have a quick look why. But first, a quick why  not. Stem cell transplants cause the tissue in the host to age; specifically, the very cells needed to fight the infection, the T-cells, have been found to express markers for advanced aging following bone marrow stem cell transplants (Wood et al, 2016). Therefore the immune system that is needed to fight the Coronavirus infection may be compromised by the stem cell transplant. This doesn’t happen when the molecules from the stem cells are used instead of the stem cells themselves (Maguire, 2019).

Now for the rationale. First, as part of the innate immune system, stem cells release peptides, known as antimicrobial peptides (AMPS) (Esfandiyari et al, 2019) that have been found to fight viral infections (Hsieh and Hartshorn, 2016). Stem cells are activated by viral infections to release these AMPs, and, interestingly, the stem cells themselves are protected from the viral infection and remain normally active cells even when infection affects the tissue compartment in which the stem cell resides (Wu et al, 2018).

Now, here’s some new and very powerful research suggesting that stem cells are part of the adaptive immune system. Drs. Shruti Naik, Ph.D. at NYU and Elaine Fuchs, Ph.D. at Rockefeller University found that if patches of skin in mice were wounded, causing inflammation, then allowed to heal, subsequent wounds in the same patch of skin would heal about 2.5 times more quickly than adjacent, previously unwounded skin. The effect in previously wounded skin could last up to six months given the conditions of the experiment. This functional adaptation was attributed to epithelial stem cells (EpSCs) and did not require a canonical immune response because skin-resident macrophages and T cells were not involved. What the study found was that EpSCs maintain chromosomal accessibility, where the DNA is less tightly packed and open to signals from the damaged tissue, at key stress response genes, activated by the inflammatory stimulus. This epigenetic change in the chromatin allowed, during a secondary inflammatory challenge to the same skin patch, genes in that patch of skin to be transcribed rapidly. While the secretome of skin stem cells has previously been shown to be altered by wounding, the exact nature of changes in the secretome was not reported in this study. However, underlying the memory of the stem cells in this study is Aim2, a portion of DNA that encodes an activator of the inflammasome, a conglomerate of proteins that contributes to the skin’s defense against bacteria and viruses. An emerging area of research is quickly expanding as scientists continue to explore stem cell memory, and the field of immune-stem cell interactions, and stem cells as a part of the immune system. The stem cell functions described here also means that your health is not just genetic. What you do, including wounding yourself or having an infection may have long term consequences to your health. And optimizing your health, including through diet, will minimize the negative consequences of these wounding events or infectious events, including viral infections (Maguire, 2020).

Wu and colleagues discovered that stem cells are hardwired to express antiviral interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs), which help them fight viral infections. Further, β-glucan, a bacterial and fungal cell wall component induced IL-1β release, which was capable of training both hematopoietic stem cell (HSCs) and myeloid progenitors. These conditioned HSCs and myeloid progenitors were able to more efficiently ward off inflammatory challenges when compared to naïve HSCs. Further, IL-1β-trained HSCs exhibited dramatic changes in their energy metabolism, displaying augmented glycolysis and cholesterol biosynthesis, adjustments that turned out to be critical for conferring downstream functional changes in β-glucan-dependent HSC training (Mitroulis et al., 2018). Combine this stem cell training with conditioning of the canonical adaptive immune cells, T-cells, through a high fiber diet that induces a allostatic state (Sterling, 2020) and is pro-resolving for viral infections (Trompette et al, 2018). What I’m describing here is a “systems therapeutic” for “physiological renormalization” (Maguire, 2019) so that the body can better fight the viral infection and more quickly and efficiently resolve the ensuing inflammation that induces much of the damage to the body.

So what can you do now why scientists are working on new antimicrobial therapeutics to fight Coronavirus Covid-19? First, follow public health measures as instructed by your local health authorities. Second, eat well, including a predominantly whole food plant based diet that includes soluble and insoluble fiber that will set the immune system in a state to better fight the infection and resolve the inflammation (Trompette et al, 2018; Maguire, 2020) and may induce mechanical autophagy in the gut to help clear infection (King, 2012). Like stem cells that release a rich variety of antioxidant types (Hong et al, 2019), eating predominantly plants will also provide a rich variety of antioxidants to setup the antioxidant cascade (Villanueva and Kross, 2012) to help quell the viral infection (Beck, 2001; Crump et al, 2013). More on this subject can be found in my book, Thinking and Eating for Two (Maguire, 2020).


Beck MA (2001) Antioxidants and viral infections: host immune response and viral pathogenicity. J Am Coll Nutr. 20(5 Suppl):384S-388S.

Crump KE et al (2013) Antioxidant Treatment Regulates the Humoral Immune Response during Acute Viral Infection. J. Virology, DOI: 10.1128/JVI.02714-12.

Esfandiyari R et al (2019) Performance evaluation of antimicrobial peptide ll-37 and hepcidin and β-defensin-2 secreted by mesenchymal stem cells. Heliyon. 2019 Oct; 5(10): e02652.

Hong HE et al (2019) Antioxidant action of hypoxic conditioned media from adipose-derived stem cells in the hepatic injury of expressing higher reactive oxygen species. Annals of Surgical Treatment and Research 97(4):159.

Hsieh IN and Kevan L. Hartshorn KL (2016) The Role of Antimicrobial Peptides in Influenza Virus Infection and Their Potential as Antiviral and Immunomodulatory Therapy. Pharmaceuticals (Basel). 2016 Sep; 9(3): 53.

King JS (2012) Mechanical stress meets autophagy: potential implications for physiology and pathology. Trends in Molecular Medicine, DOI:

Maguire G (2020) Physiological renormalization using systems therapeutics. Future Sci OA. 2020 Jan; 6(1): FSO428

Maguire G (2019) Transplanted stem cells survive a long time: do they make you sick? J Roy Soc Medicine,

Maguire G (2020) Thinking And Eating For Two: The Science of Using Systems 1 and 2 Thinking to Nourish Self and Symbionts. Berkeley Free Speech Press, Berkeley, CA.

Mitroulis I et al. (2018). Modulation of Myelopoiesis Progenitors Is an Integral Component of Trained Immunity. Cell 172, 147–161.e12.

Naik S et al (2017). Inflammatory memory sensitizes skin epithelial stem cells to tissue damage. Nature 550, 475–480.

Sterling P (2020) What Is Health?: Allostasis and the Evolution of Human Design. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.

Trompette A,  Gollwitzer ES, Pattaroni C et al. (2018) Dietary fiber confers protection against flu by shaping Ly6c − patrolling monocyte hematopoiesis and CD8+ T cell metabolism. Immunity 48(5), 992–1005.

Villanueva C and Kross RD (2012) Antioxidant-Induced Stress. Int J Mol Sci. 2012; 13(2): 2091–2109.

Wood WA et al (2016) Chemotherapy and Stem Cell Transplantation Increase p16INK4a Expression, a Biomarker of T-cell Aging. EBioMedicine. 2016 Sep; 11: 227–238.

Wu X, Dao Thi VL, Huang Y, Billerbeck E, Saha D, Hoffmann H-H, Wang Y, Silva LAV, Sarbanes S, Sun T, et al. (2018). Intrinsic Immunity Shapes Viral Resistance of Stem Cells. Cell 172, 423–438.e425.

More Evidence That A Low-Fat, Plant Based Diet Extends Healthspan and Lifespan: Low Concentration MUFAs Activate SIRT1

Studies that have looked at whether consuming a diet rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) leads to reduced risk of heart disease have shown mixed results. The confusion arose because it makes a difference whether the MUFAs come from plant or animal products. In the first study to separately examine types of MUFA sources in relation to heart disease, researchers found that while MUFAs from plant-based foods such as olive oil and nuts do indeed lower risk, MUFAs from animal products such as red meats and dairy do not provide benefits. The studies were of calorie matched consumption of the different fat types and did not compare low fat versus high fat consumption (Zong et al, 2018). Much evidence has accumulated that low-fat, plant based diets have numerous positive effects in the human body, including shifting the innate and adaptive immune systems to a less inflammatory state, and one that resolves the inflammation more efficiently (Maguire, 2020). In other words, the low-fat, plant based diet allows one to regain allostais through physiological renormalization, where the body is healthy and in a state of optimal responsiveness (Sterling, 2020).

SIRT1, acting through PPAR-α/PGC-1α to upregulate mitochondrial biogenesis, has a wide-range of biological functions including chromatin structure maintenance, cell cycle control, metabolism, and the regulation of healthspan. Regulation of these pathways is partially dependent upon fatty acids, specifically monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) .

One study has found that MUFAs do not modulate SIRT1 activity (Feldman et al., 2013). However, this study employed a fixed concentration of 18:1 (100 μM) and used the H3 peptide as a substrate. As Najt et al (2020) have found, MUFAs do not activate SIRT1 at concentrations above 1 μM and do not enhance SIRT1 activity toward the H3 peptide pathway. Thus low-fat, i.e. low concentrations of MUFAs activate the SIRT1 pathway toward the H3 peptide and provide significant metabolic enahncement. These new mechanistic data translate into a recommended regimen of eating plants that are naturally high in MUFAs, and low in other fats, such as saturated fats. Given that low concentrations of MUFAs activate SIRT1, but high concentrations do not, eating refined oils, even if high in MUFAs, should be avoided.


Feldman JL et al  (2012) Sirtuin catalysis and regulation. J. Biol. Chem.2012; 287: 42419-42427

Maguire G (2020) Thinking and Eating For Two: The Science of Using Systems 1 and 2 Thinking to Nourish Self and Symbionts. Berkeley Free Speech Press, Berkeley, CA.

Najt et al (2020) Monounsaturated Fatty Acids Traffic via PLIN5 to Allosterically Activate SIRT1, Molecular Cell (2019). DOI: 10.1016/j.molcel.2019.12.003

Sterling P (2020) What Is Health?: Allostasis and the Evolution of Human Design. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.

Zong G et al (2018) Monounsaturated fats from plant and animal sources in relation to risk of coronary heart disease among US men and women. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 107, Issue 3, March 2018, Pages 445–453

True Food Kitchen – An Inflammatory Nightmare

The ever expanding True Food Kitchen (TFK) purports to be “a restaurant inspired by the philosophy that food should make you feel better, not worse.” The TFK corporation is located in Phoenix, Arizona and has about 30 locations across America, all of which are owned by the corporation and are not franchised. According to Forbes, this a rapidly growing chain and its revenue grew 46% in 2017 from the previous year (Stern, 2019). The menu at TFK offers dishes such as kale guacamole, edamame dumplings, Mediterranean quinoa, turkey burgers, and grass-fed burgers. Entrées include a poke bowl, grilled salmon and grilled fish tacos, and charred cauliflower and creamy tomato soup. To some who bobble their heads to the corporate marketing scheme, this all sounds healthy. But let’s have a look beyond the marketing hype, and delve into the nutritional value of some of the TFK menu items.

Say you start your meal with a bowl of Cream Tomato Soup. That bowl of soup will contain 18 grams of fat, 9 of which are saturated fats, and you’ll ingest 1500 mg of sodium. The recommended daily allowance for sodium is 2,300 mg. That one bowl is 65% of your daily allowance of sodium. Now if you order the chicken sausage pizza to go along with that soup, you’ll ingest 32 grams of fat, 12 of which are saturated, and 1610 mg of sodium. That just brought the amount of sodium in your meal to a total of 3,110 mg, well beyond the recommended allowance. You’ve also just ingested 50 grams of fat, of which 21 grams are saturated. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 13 grams of saturated fat per day.  Eating all this fat, including too much saturated fat, will clog your arteries and induce vascular inflammation. The nutritional chart lists coconut as one of the ingredients in the soup, such that some unknown quantity of medium chain triglycerides  (MCTs) will also be present in the soup. All of these fats, including MCTs (Haghikia et al, 2015) can have both acute as well as chronic effects on host inflammatory responses in both the innate and adaptive immune systems (Maguire 2020).  Likewise, the intake of sodium increases inflammation in the innate and adapative immune systems, and induces dysbiosis in the gut (Maguire, 2020).

Maybe you can have the vegetable crudites instead of the soup. If so, you’ve just ingested 63 grams of fat, 7 of which are saturated, and 1500 mg of sodium. This is no better than the soup, and maybe worse given the 63 grams of fat, about twice as much as in the soup. If you’ve eaten the soup and the pizza, 95 grams of fat was consumed in one meal. Eating that one meal has just exceeded the amount of fat one should eat in the entire day.

Well, you say, this meal is better than going to Burger King for a Whooper and fries. Let’s see: a Whopper has 40 grams of fat, 12 of which are saturated, and 980 mg of sodium. The fries have 10 grams of fat, 1.5 of which are saturated, and 330 mg of sodium. So the Burger King meal of a Whopper and Fries has 50 grams of fat, 13.5 of which are saturated, and 1,330 mg of sodium. The TFK meal of vegetable crudites and pizza has 95 grams of fat, 19 of which are saturated, and 3,110 mg of sodium. Thus, the TFK meal has 45 more grams of fat, 5.5 more grams of saturated fat, and 1,780 mg more of sodium than does the Burger King meal.

The point here is that neither of these meals is healthy, and the meal from Burger King is, in some ways, healthier than the meal from True Food Kitchen, a purported “health-driven seasonal restaurant.” TFK is the penultimate marketing scheme brought to you by a corporation that delivers empty words and poor nutrition, with a measure of inflammation, dysbiosis, and clogged arteries full of foamy macrophages .


Haghikia A et al (2015) Dietary Fatty Acids Directly Impact Central Nervous System Autoimmunity via the Small Intestine. Immunity 43: 817-829.

Maguire G (2020) Thinking And Eating For Two: The Science of Using Systems 1 and 2 Thinking to Nourish Self and Symbionts. Berkeley Free Speech Press, Berkeley, CA.

Stern G (2019) True Food Kitchen: A Growing Restaurant Chain On A Mission. Forbes, Jan. 25, 2019.


Immune Therapy for Cancer: Enabling and Engineering T-Cells

T cell therapies are revolutionizing cancer treatment by achieving long-lasting remission in cancers, such as melanoma, lung cancer, head and neck cancer, Hodgkin lymphoma, stomach cancer, and leukemia and lymphoma. An important function of the immune system is its ability to discern between normal cells in the body and those it sees as “foreign.” This lets the immune system attack the foreign cells, including cancer cells, while leaving the normal cells alone. To do this, it uses “checkpoints.” Immune checkpoints are molecules on certain immune cells that need to be activated (or inactivated) to start an immune response. Cancer cells sometimes develop the means to use these checkpoints to avoid being attacked by the immune system. But drugs that target these checkpoints have much promise as cancer treatments. These drugs are called checkpoint inhibitors, and first originated from the work of Prof. Dr. James Allison, Ph.D. at UC Berkeley. Dr. Allison would later be awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for this work.

Importantly, checkpoint inhibition is a new paradigm in treating cancer, allowing the immune system to operate normally where T-cells can once again attack the cancer cells because of the drug therapy. Unlike previous methods, checkpoint inhibitors don’t work directly on the tumor or over boost the immune system. The checkpoint inhibitors simply institute “physiological renormalization” (Maguire, 2019), restoring normal T-cell physiology. The checkpoint inhibitor works by using a monoclonal antibody, a protein, that blocks the cancer cell signaling to the T-cell’s checkpoint mechanism. Normally the cancer cell is sending a signal to the T-cell that “fools the T-cell into thinking” that the cancer cell is a normal cell and one that should not be attacked by the T-cell. Important to the T-cells acting to kill the cancer cells, even when the patient is taking checkpoint inhibitors, is a plant based diet rich in fiber. The T-cell activity on the cancer cells is facilitated by fiber consumption, allowing the checkpoint inhibitor to work better to destroy the cancer cells (Worcester, 2019). I write about this in my new book, “Thinking And Eating For Two: The Science of Using Systems 1 and 2 Thinking to Nourish Self and Symbionts.”

While Dr. Allison’s work on T-cells began in 1985 at Berkeley, the same year I came to Berkeley and joined the same department, Molecular and Cell Biology, Prof. Dr. Jennifer Doudna, Ph.D. at UC Berkeley would begin work in about 2010 on a technology as revolutionary as that of Dr. Allison. As co-inventor of CRISPR-cas9 technology, along with Prof. Dr. Emmanuelle Charpentier, Ph.D of the Max Planck Institute in Germany, Dr. Doudna invented a technology that would allow cells to be engineered by editing their DNA. Using this methodology, T-cells can now be made to inherently avoid the cancer cell’s evasion mechanisms using their ability to activate the checkpoint in T-cells to stop the T-cell from attacking the cancer. Using the CRISPR-cas9 methodology, the T cell receptor (TCR) complex located on the surface of T cells, which is central for initiating successful anti-tumor responses by recognizing foreign antigens/peptides bound to MHC-molecules, the patient’s own T cells are genetically engineered to express a synthetic (transgenic) TCR that can specifically detect and kill tumor cells. CRISPR-cas9 engineered T cell therapies are just beginning to revolutionize cancer treatment by achieving long-lasting remission in blood-related cancers, such as leukemia and lymphoma. These therapies involve removal of patient T cells, “reprogramming” them to attack cancer cells, and then transferring them back into the patient. Targeted gene inactivation (knockout) using CRISPR-Cas9 can enhance T cell activity and has the potential to expand cell therapy applications (Hamilton and Doudna, 2020).

Until the study of Stadtmauer et al (2020), whether CRISPR-Cas9–edited T cells would be tolerated and thrive once reinfused into a human was unknown. Stadtmauer et al (2020) present data from a phase 1 clinical trial (designed to test safety and feasibility, but not efficacy) on the first three cancer patients treated with CRISPR-Cas9–modified T cells. Given one infusion of the engineered T-cells, the three patients did not experience the feared “cytokine storm” that patients have previously experienced in clinical trials using genetically altered cells. The authors found a high-level engraftment and long-term persistence of the infused CRISPR-Cas9 engineered T cells in one of the patients who was carefully analyzed 4 months after infusion. The procedure uses lymphodepleting chemotherapy, and therefore the negative side-effects associated with this procedure were observed.  Although only three patients were treated, these findings represent an important advance in the therapeutic application of gene editing and highlight the potential to accelerate development of cell-based therapies, however experience with more patients given infusions of CRISPR-engineered T cells with higher editing efficiencies, and longer observation after infusion, will be required to fully assess the safety of this approach.


Hamilton and Doudna (2020) Knocking out barriers to engineered cell activity. Science, DOI: 10.1126/science.aba9844.

Maguire G (2019) Physiological renormalization using systems therapeutics. Future Sci OA. 2020 Jan; 6(1): FSO428.

Sanders R (2018) UC Berkeley research led to Nobel Prize-winning immunotherapy. Berkeley News, Oct.1, 2018.

Staudtmauer EA et al (2020) CRISPR-engineered T cells in patients with refractory cancer. Science, DOI: 10.1126/science.aba7365

Worcester (2019) Diet appears to play an important role in response to anti-PD-1 cancer immunotherapy. MD Edge, March 1, 2019.