The Daily Dose: A COVID-19 antibody nasal spray in the making; Imagine a quantum internet.

Medical professionals have been notoriously reluctant to employ the use of antibodies to combat COVID-19 infections. It’s not that they don’t work. Some do. It’s just that in its current form, the medicine needs to be introduced intravenously, far from the site antibodies are needed the most – the upper respiratory tract. This means a lot of antibodies need to be given for improvement to happen. But that may be changing. Nature is reporting that a nasal antibody spray is in the works and showing promise. According to Nature, “The team stitched IgG fragments targeting SARS-CoV-2 to a different type of molecule: IgM antibodies, which act as speedy first-responders to a broad range of infection. The engineered IgMs had a much stronger ‘neutralizing’ effect against more than 20 variants of SARS-CoV-2 than did the IgGs alone. When squirted into the noses of mice either six hours before or six hours after infection, the engineered IgMs sharply reduced the amount of virus in the rodents’ lungs two days after infection, the team reports in Nature.”

It feels like we’ve been hearing about quantum computers and how great they will be for a very long time. What’s more, even when quantum computers are available, the only way to make them really useful is to have them hooked into a network of similar computers. An article in Science examines the efforts to construct a quantum network of connected computers. According to the article, “Billions of dollars have poured into research on quantum computers and sensors, but many experts say the devices will flourish only when they are yoked to each other over long distances. The vision parallels the way the web vaulted the personal computer from a glorified typewriter and game console to an indispensable telecommunications portal.”

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I sound like a broken record when it comes to bacteria, but they really are amazing creatures. An article in The Scientist takes a look at how bacteria are able to construct custom-made nanotubes that connect them with other microbes. Per The Scientist, “In 2011, the microbiology community learned of a brand-new feature of bacteria: nanotubes. Scientists later showed that these membranous, hollow connections between bacteria allow the transfer of materials such as amino acids and toxins that inhibit growth. These tubes were unlike anything the researchers had seen before: in contrast to the conjugative pili that transfer genetic material during bacterial “sex,” the nanotubes were made of lipids, not proteins. They were also more promiscuous than pili, often linking microbes of different species, and even connecting bacteria with mammalian cells.”

The U.S. government continues to put out conflicting evidence when it comes to the existence of U.F.O.s. Specifically, the video the Navy released of strange objects flying among the clouds and moving in ways known aircraft cannot. Now, it appears that Washington has no interest in confirming whether U.F.Os exist. According to the Associated Press, “Investigators have found no evidence the sightings are linked to aliens — but can’t deny a link either. Two officials briefed on the report due to Congress later this month say the U.S. government cannot give a definitive explanation of aerial phenomena spotted by military pilots. The report also doesn’t rule out that what pilots have seen may be new technologies developed by other countries. One of the officials said there is no indication the unexplained phenomena are from secret U.S. programs.”

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

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