a boy in white shirt holding green oxygen mask

DAILY DOSE: Evidence that children mount different immune responses against Covid-19 than adults; China’s Mars rover paying dividends.


A recent Australian study adds to the growing body of research indicating that children mount a different immune response to Sars-CoV-2 than adults. According to Nature, “Children infected with SARS-CoV-2 are less likely than adults to produce antibodies against the virus, despite having similar symptoms and levels of virus in their bodies, according to a small study in Australia. Researchers say the findings add to the growing body of evidence suggesting that children have a more robust initial immune response to COVID-19 and can clear the infection quickly, compared with adults. But because antibodies are likely to be important for guarding against reinfection, the findings raise questions about how well protected children might be against future infections.” The study in JAMA Network Open looked at 57 children with a median age of 4 and 51 adults with a median age of 37, who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 between 10 May and 28 October 2020. Participants had mild symptoms, such as headaches and fevers, or were asymptomatic. https://go.nature.com/34vtelE


Having missed the Covid-19 mRNA vaccine revolution, pharmaceutical giant Sanofi is looking to use its financial clout to elbow its way into the field. Per FierceBiotech, “Sanofi’s $2.2 billion commitment to beefing up its messenger RNA work, unveiled in June 2021, has come into clearer view this week with more than a billion dollars of that sum now earmarked toward making the French Big Pharma’s home country a ‘pioneer mRNA nation.’ The 935 million euro ($1.02 billion) investment, from now until 2026, will bankroll a complete and autonomous value chain in mRNA technology, the company revealed on its French webpage Monday.” Among the advantages of mRNA platforms is the ability to pivot to new uses on short notice. https://bit.ly/3vWjtbF


A few months back, the citizens of Oregon voted in favor of legalizing certain psychedelics with the idea being that they will be used therapeutically. Unfortunately, there was a lot of ambiguity in the passage and fuzziness in how to implement the change. Per STAT, “Everything around the bill, though, is unavoidably focused on mental health. It was widely promoted as a way to treat depression and trauma and, even among those figuring out regulations, there is confusion and debate around how medical Oregon’s psychedelics will be. ‘I think there’s been a disconnect in what voters were told to expect when they voted and now. People will want mental health treatment but it’s not medical,’ said Kimberley Golletz, a licensed psychologist and member of the Oregon Psilocybin Advisory Board giving guidance on the rules.” https://bit.ly/36a6kko


China’s Mars rover is yielding valuable data, especially about the role weather played in shaping the planets geography. Per space.com, “A new study based on data from Zhurong’s first 60 sols (roughly 62 Earth days) on the planet reveals how weather and interaction with water altered the rocks around Zhurong’s landing site over millions of years… In the study, a team of researchers led by Liang Ding of the Harbin Institute of Technology in Northeast China, used images from the rover’s Navigation and Topography Cameras (NaTeCam) to look at the structure of the rocks. In many of the studied rocks, the researchers found grooves and etchings from particles carried by wind, but also flakes which appear to be evidence of interactions with water or brines.” https://bit.ly/3MFAzk0

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

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