Posts Tagged ‘x57s’

The unseen covid-19 risk for unvaccinated people

July 17, 2021

This is the first newspaper article I’ve seen with a *methods* section at the end (which describes how #covid19 death rates could be “adjusted” for vaccine status)

The unseen covid-19 risk for unvaccinated people

By Dan Keating and Leslie Shapiro

This story was published a few weeks ago but remains incredibly important as the delta variant spreads throughout the U.S.

The country’s declining covid-19 case rates present an unrealistically optimistic perspective for half of the nation — the half that is still not vaccinated.

As more people receive vaccines, covid-19 cases are occurring mostly in the increasingly narrow slice of the unprotected population. So The Washington Post adjusted its case, death and hospitalization rates to account for that — and found that in some places, the virus continues to rage among those who haven’t received a shot. Read more »

How to Spot a Military Impostor | The New Yorker

July 7, 2021

U.S. Has No Explanation for U.F.O.s, Does Not Rule Out Aliens – The New York Times

July 1, 2021

Found this an amusing & unusual article for @NYTimes. Not sure whether it’s science or fiction – or both. Also, found a related @NewYorker piece useful for background & context

How the Pentagon Started Taking U.F.O.s Seriously
For decades, flying saucers were a punch line. Then the U.S. government got over the taboo.
By Gideon Lewis-Kraus April 30, 2021

Couple Who Defaced $400,000 Painting in South Korea Thought It Was a Public Art Project – The New York Times

May 7, 2021

Honestly, I’m wondering if this was secretly the intention all along. It’s in a public and high traffic space, paint cans and brushes just laying around, and no security barriers. It’s almost begging for people to mess with it

I agree: perhaps the intent was to appear to invite participation but then, in the end, to reject it.

Nine Days in Wuhan, the Ground Zero of the Coronavirus Pandemic | The New Yorker

April 10, 2021

Midnight sky – Poland’s coal-fired home heating creates widespread pollution | Graphic detail | The Economist

April 3, 2021

Sunlight Changes Unequally All Year Long – Scientific American

March 21, 2021

Today is the Vernal #Equinox. Related to this, found this graphic from @SciAm illuminating. It implies that today has the greatest gain in daylight for the year. (~3′ increase here in New England.)

6:56 AM
Friday, March 19, 2021 (EDT)
Sunrise in Branford, CT

7:02 PM
Friday, March 19, 2021 (EDT)
Sunset in Branford, CT

6:54 AM
Saturday, March 20, 2021 (EDT)
Sunrise in Branford, CT

7:04 PM
Saturday, March 20, 2021 (EDT)
Sunset in Branford, CT

JPG File Sells for $69 Million, as ‘NFT Mania’ Gathers Pace – The New York Times

March 11, 2021

Wonder how much a PDF of a PhD student’s thesis would be worth?

The Risks of Building Too Many Bio Labs | The New Yorker

March 10, 2021

The Plague Year | The New Yorker

February 14, 2021

Nice discussion on the mistakes on aerosols + a vaccine development chronology

During the study’s initial stages, in February and March, the researchers were discomfited by the implications of their data. “The rapidity and degree of spread suggested it wasn’t a series of one-to-one-to-one transmissions,” Dr. Jacob Lemieux, a lead author, told me. Rather, it was “one-to-many transmission events.” That raised the question of airborne transmission. “At the time, the idea was heretical,” Lemieux said. “We were afraid to consider it, because it implied a whole different approach to infection control”—one in which masks played a central role, especially indoors. But the W.H.O. had repeatedly proclaimed that large respiratory droplets—as from a sneeze or a cough—drove the spread. This wasn’t based on data about the new virus, Lemieux said: “It was received wisdom based on how previous respiratory viruses had behaved. The global public-health
infrastructure has egg on its face. There’s a component of human nature that, until you get burned, you don’t know how hot the fire is.”

Until recently, one of the main imaging tools used by vaccinologists, the cryogenic electron microscope, wasn’t powerful enough to visualize viral proteins, which are incredibly tiny. “The whole field was referred to as blobology,” McLellan said. As a work-around, he developed expertise in X-ray crystallography. …McLellan showed me an “atomistic interpretation” of the F protein on the RSV virus—the visualization looked like a pile of Cheetos. It required a leap of imagination, but inside that murky world Graham and McLellan and their team manipulated the F protein, essentially by cloning it and inserting mutations that kept it strapped down. McLellan said, “There’s a lot of art to it.”

In 2013, Graham and McLellan published “Structure-Based Design of a Fusion Glycoprotein Vaccine for Respiratory Syncytial Virus,” in Science, demonstrating how they had stabilized the F protein in order to use it as an antigen—the part of a vaccine that sparks an immune response. Antibodies could now attack the F protein, vanquishing the virus. Graham and McLellan calculated that their vaccine could be given to a pregnant woman and provide enough antibodies to her baby to last for its first six months—the critical period. The paper opened a new front in the war against infectious disease. In a subsequent paper in Science, the team declared that it had established “clinical proof of concept for structure-based vaccine design,” portending “an era of precision vaccinology.”

Within a day after Graham and McLellan downloaded the sequence for sars-CoV-2, they had designed the modified proteins. The key accelerating factor was that they already knew how to alter the spike proteins of other coronaviruses. On January 13th, they turned their scheme over to Moderna, for manufacturing. Six weeks later, Moderna began shipping vials of vaccine for clinical trials. The development process was “an all-time record,” Graham told me. Typically, it takes years, if not decades, to go from formulating a vaccine to making a product ready to be tested: the process privileges safety and cost over speed.

After the vaccine was tested in animals, it became clear that Graham’s design choices had been sound. The first human trial began on March 16th. A week later, Moderna began scaling up production to a million doses per month.