A weekly look at stories from near and far
Antibody nasal spray For people who don’t like injections, here’s an exciting new idea covered by Nature. Antibodies to Sars-Cov-2 could be administered by a nasal spray. For those with more time, there’s a nice link to the main article.
A nasal spritz of a designer antibody offers strong protection against variants of SARS-CoV-2 — at least in mice. Since the pandemic’s early days, scientists have been developing antibody treatments for COVID-19. But those available have not been very popular with doctors, partly because they are delivered through intravenous infusions rather than directly to the respiratory tract, so it takes high doses for them to be effective. Now, researchers have engineered an antibody that can be delivered directly into the nose. They envision the spray being used by people who have been exposed to the virus, and as an extra line of defence for those who might not be fully protected by vaccines.Nature | 4 min read
Older people and climate change So much of the history of the last ten years can be explained by the fact that older people hold most of the financial, political and social power, especially in countries like the USA and England. Understandably, they tend to be deeply conservative and suspicious of change. But that is all the morer reason to try to engage them, as Aled Jones and Bradley Hiller argue in this thoughtful piece from The Conversation
Inconceivable microbes Apparently there are organisms deep in the earth which seem to feed off of radioactivity. This has profound inplications for the search for life on other planets and star systems Nature again:
Scientists have long puzzled over how microbes living deep underground feed themselves without sunlight or heat. Now, two studies suggest that these organisms could feed off the radioactive decay of hydrogen and other elements. The findings open up new possibilities for life on other worlds — and could shed some light on our planet’s own history.Quanta | 11 min read
References: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta paper; Nature paper
Big Data finds new talent Residents of West London will doubtless cheer the return of Brentford FC to the big time. How have they done it? According to David Hellier of Bloomberg (via the superb Apple News feed) they have stolen a march on their competitors by clever use of AI and data to pick undiscovered new players. Sports fans, read on!
We thank Mr Peter Seymoiur of Hertfordshire for this story
Well, if we see a common thread this week, it is the unexpected and different in all these stories. In the meantime, enjoy your weekend, and remember-always expect the unexpected.
#sars-cov-2 #covid-19 #big data #brentfordfc #seti #microbes #radioactivity