The Daily Dose: COVID-19 protection can last up to 9 months; Humans have big brains because…

Researchers in China did a study exploring how long antibodies last in people who have recovered from COVID-19. They found that in some cases antibodies lasted as long as 9 months. Per Nature, “The researchers found that only 7% of the population had been infected with the virus, of whom more than 80% had had no symptoms. Around 40% of the infected people produced neutralizing antibodies that could be detected for the entire study period.” Unfortunately, in some instances, people had no antibodies at all. https://go.nature.com/33PgaTF


AstraZeneca is doing some damage control. In light of being called out due to providing old clinical trial data, they have released adjusted numbers. Per Science, “The two-dose vaccine, made by AstraZeneca with technology developed by the University of Oxford, had 76% efficacy against symptomatic COVID-19 among the 32,000 trial participants in the United States and South America, the company stated in a press release distributed late last night. That’s 3% lower than AstraZeneca reported in a press release on 22 March. The new analysis is based on 190 COVID-19 cases that occurred in people who had received the vaccine or a placebo; the previous one evaluated 141 cases, which AstraZeneca says was a pre-specified cutoff point for an interim analysis.” Let’s hope that’s the end of that PR disaster. https://bit.ly/3tU5D59


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Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, Africa was spared the worst Infection numbers. Unfortunately, the second wave is hitting the continent much worse. According to a study in the Lancet, “Our analysis showed that the African continent had a more severe second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic than the first, and highlights the importance of examining multiple epidemiological variables down to the regional and country levels over time.” https://bit.ly/2QITpyd


Humans have decently big brains compared to the rest of their body (though in no way on the level of the almighty chihuahua). Scientists believe they may have the answer as to why human brains get so big. According to the Guardian, “Tests on the tiny “brain organoids” reveal a hitherto unknown molecular switch that controls brain growth and makes the human organ three times larger than brains in the great apes. Tinker with the switch and the human brain loses its growth advantage, while the great ape brain can be made to grow more like a human’s.” https://bit.ly/3spBpqv

Thanks for reading. Let’s be careful out there.


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