DAILY DOSE: Jair Bolsonaro accused of mass murder; Pig organs transplanted to humans.

Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro has been an ardent Covid-19 and vaccine denier ever since the pandemic began. He’s been dismissive of mitigation efforts such as facemasks, social distancing, and vaccinations. It has contributed to the country having one of the highest rates of infection and deaths around the world. Now, the country’s congress has declared that Bosonaro would face murder charges for all of his Covid-19 obfuscation. Per Reuters, “The senator leading a congressional probe into Brazil’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic has recommended that President Jair Bolsonaro be charged with homicide for alleged government errors that led to the deaths of thousands.” https://reut.rs/3vtdfOb

Russia has struggled with the coronavirus pandemic even though it was one of the first country’s to have an effective vaccine. A spike in cases has prompted a new week-long lockdown. Per the Associated Press, “Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday backed the Cabinet’s proposal to declare a non-working week and keep Russian workers away from their offices as coronavirus deaths surged to another daily record. The government task force on Wednesday reported 1,028 coronavirus deaths over the past 24 hours, the highest number since the start of the pandemic. That brought Russia’s total death toll to 226,353 which is by far the highest in Europe.” https://bit.ly/3C1C0mT

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The Covid-19 rollout enters a new phase in the United States, prompted by the Food and Drug Administration clearing Pfizer’s vaccine for younger children. Per the Los Angeles Times, “Children aged 5 to 11 will soon be able to get a COVID-19 shot at their pediatrician’s office, local pharmacy and potentially even their school, the White House said Wednesday as it detailed plans for the expected authorization of the Pfizer vaccine for younger children in a matter of weeks. Federal regulators will meet over the next two weeks to weigh the benefits of giving shots to kids, after lengthy studies meant to ensure the safety of the vaccines.” https://lat.ms/3vsFGvs

The Covid-19 pandemic has been full of scientific surprises and mysteries. One of the most perplexing pertains to the immune response of people who were previously infected and then had vaccines. Their bodies launch a vigorous response that results in a long-term immunity. A team of researchers believe that they have found an explanation. Per Nature, “Those who had recovered from COVID-19 months before receiving their jabs harboured antibodies capable of defanging the mutant spike, which displays much more resistance to immune attack than any known naturally occurring variant. These peoples’ antibodies even blocked other types of coronaviruses. ‘1It’s very likely they will be effective against any future variant that SARS-CoV-2 throws against them,” says Hatziioannou.” https://go.nature.com/3DXKtIn 

Pigs have very similar biologies to humans. That’s why they are important research models. In light of that fact, they have wondered whether a transplant of a pig organ into a human can be viable. Now, they’ve come one step closer. According to the Associated Press, “Scientists temporarily attached a pig’s kidney to a human body and watched it begin to work, a small step in the decades-long quest to one day use animal organs for life-saving transplants. Pigs have been the most recent research focus to address the organ shortage, but among the hurdles: A sugar in pig cells, foreign to the human body, causes immediate organ rejection. The kidney for this experiment came from a gene-edited animal, engineered to eliminate that sugar and avoid an immune system attack.” https://bit.ly/3aVTPrK

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

IMAGE CREDIT: Marcelo Camargo/Agência Brasil.

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