I probably should have titled this "Incredibly Well-Worth Reading," but since we have our regular title for such things, we'll stick with tradition. But first, a little housekeeping to know where all this comes from --
Delthia Ricks is an award-winning science writer who was the health and science writer for Newsday for 22 years. She’s written four books in the field, was a Summer Fellow in molecular biology computer research at the Farber Cancer Institute, and is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Among many other accomplishments.
Laurie Garrett is one of the leading reporters on medical science. To give just some of her credentials, she has received the Pulitzer Prize, two Polk Awards and the Peabody Award. (Yeah, I know, not bad.) Among her books are The Coming Plague, Ebola, and Betrayal of Trust: The Collapse of Public Health, as well as Epidemic! The World of Infectious Disease. So, she not only really knows her stuff, but as you can see, she doesn’t sugar coat anything, but is very blunt and extremely pointed. She was a frequent guest on The Rachel Maddow Show in the very early days of the COVID-19 outbreak and spoke warningly of what was ahead.
I mention both their credentials, because it was notable a couple days ago when I saw tweets from them (especially the always deeply-blunt Laurie Garrett) that were actually about something encouraging in the pandemic. I didn’t want to make note of this as just Something I Saw on the Internet. Rather, this is something I saw from Laurie Garrett and Delthia Ricks.
It began with a tweet from Ricks about an article from the National Institute of Health on research into COVID antibodies. She wrote --
“The map: Researchers have mapped where various antibodies bind to SARSCoV2's spike protein. Results could help in the design of new antibody therapies for Covid. Map includes 370 antibodies that target the spike protein.”
This brought a response from Laurie Garrett, never one to be upbeat encouraging unless it is absolutely warranted. Her reply was –
“There are many targets on #SARSCoV2 for antibodies -- some more effectively neutralize the virus than others. Future, better #vaccines and treatments should hit multiple targets, perhaps stopping variants from emerging.”
The point of all this is that research is beginning to show some very positive advances in COVID vaccines. The COVID virus has many protein spikes, each which are “targets” for antibodies. And it seems that some antibodies are able to neutralize these spikes especially well which, if successful, could mean the ability to block variant mutations of the coronavirus from forming.
That’s my very simplistic layman’s sort-hand explanation. For those interested in the NIH article which will be actually detailed and fully correct, you can find it here.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
Feedspot Badge of Honor