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Those who had COVID-19 may only need one vaccine dose, study suggests: Second vaccine important for those who have not had COVID-19 to reach strong immunity -- ScienceDaily

These findings were also reflected in an analysis of antibodies against the D614G mutation and the B.1.351 South African variant of COVID-19. For those who did not have COVID-19, it took a second dose to get a robust enough immunity level against the mutation and variant, whereas those recovered from COVID-19 had a strong enough antibody response after one dose.

Without these lipid shells, there would be no mRNA vaccines for COVID-19

But details on how Moderna arrived at its optimal formulation in the first place are scant. The company did not grant an interview to talk about its nanoparticle development, and neither did Pfizer or BioNTech. For its COVID-19 vaccine, Moderna ultimately used an ionizable lipid that it calls SM-102, which it first described in a 2018 study on alternatives to MC3. Pfizer and BioNTech licensed an ionizable lipid called ALC-0315 from Acuitas.

Without these lipid shells, there would be no mRNA vaccines for COVID-19

LNPs that looked good in the lab often floundered in the clinic, however. The first versions of ionizable lipids were still toxic. And early formulations of the nanoparticles didn’t degrade fast enough, causing them to accumulate after repeated injections. Protiva found that one of its experimental LNP therapies caused a more severe immune reaction in humans than it had in the lab, and the company pinned pegylated lipids as a major factor.

Copper foam as a highly efficient, durable filter for reusable masks and air cleaners -- ScienceDaily

The researchers fabricated metal foams by harvesting electrodeposited copper nanowires and casting them into a free-standing 3D network, which was solidified with heat to form strong bonds. A second copper layer was added to further strengthen the material. In tests, the copper foam held its form when pressurized and at high air speeds, suggesting it's durable for reusable facemasks or air filters and could be cleaned with washing or compressed air. The team found the metal foams had excellent filtration efficiency for particles within the 0.1-1.6 µm size range, which is relevant for filtering out SARS-CoV-2. Their most effective material was a 2.5 mm-thick version, with copper taking up 15% of the volume. This foam had a large surface area and trapped 97% of 0.1-0.4 µm aerosolized salt particles, which are commonly used in facemask tests.

New evidence COVID-19 antibodies, vaccines less effective against variants: Worrisome new coronavirus variants can evade antibodies that neutralize original virus -- ScienceDaily

"We don't exactly know what the consequences of these new variants are going to be yet," said Diamond, also a professor of molecular microbiology and of pathology & immunology. "Antibodies are not the only measure of protection; other elements of the immune system may be able to compensate for increased resistance to antibodies. That's going to be determined over time, epidemiologically, as we see what happens as these variants spread. Will we see reinfections? Will we see vaccines lose efficacy and drug resistance emerge? I hope not. But it's clear that we will need to continually screen antibodies to make sure they're still working as new variants arise and spread and potentially adjust our vaccine and antibody-treatment strategies."

Goldman CEO Warns Remote Work Is Aberration, Not the New Normal - Bloomberg

“This is not ideal for us and it’s not a new normal,” Solomon said at a Credit Suisse Group AG conference. “It’s an aberration that we are going to correct as quickly as possible.”

Internet search patterns reveal clinical course of COVID-19 disease progression and pandemic spread across 32 countries | npj Digital Medicine

Temporal correlation analyses were conducted to characterize the relationships between a range of COVID-19 symptom-specific search terms and reported COVID-19 cases and deaths for each country from January 1 through April 20, 2020. Increases in COVID-19 symptom-related searches preceded increases in reported COVID-19 cases and deaths by an average of 18.53 days (95% CI 15.98–21.08) and 22.16 days (20.33–23.99), respectively.

Introducing Working From Anywhere | HR Blog

A flexible working culture is built on trust, communication, collaboration, and connection and acknowledging that we’re all individuals, with different needs and rituals gives us the right frame of mind to let go of a few chosen truths and instead find what’s right for our business and our people. We have considered labour law, tax and insurance readiness for our workforce to be ‘working from anywhere’ – whether that’s working from home, in a café, hotel lounge or a co-working space. And, not forgetting the investment required to make sure the safety and growth of our people. Part of our DNA has always been controlled chaos. So, in the spirit of this, we’re trying this out knowing that there are likely to be some adjustments to make along the way. By experimenting and unlocking all talent we also enable diversity and inclusion, and making new jobs and markets available.

Preventive blood thinning drugs linked to reduced risk of death in COVID-19 patients: Strong evidence that prompt anti-clotting therapy may prevent deaths in hospital patients -- ScienceDaily

Some covid deaths are believed to be due to blood clots developing in major veins and arteries. Anticoagulants prevent blood clots forming and have antiviral and potentially anti-inflammatory properties, so might be particularly effective in patients with covid-19, but results from previous studies have been inconclusive. To explore this further, a team of UK and US researchers set out to estimate the effect of prophylactic anticoagulants when given promptly after admission to hospital on risk of death and severe bleeding among patients with covid-19.

Common asthma drug cuts COVID-19 hospitalization risk, recovery time - Oxford study | Reuters

The 28-day study of 146 patients suggested that inhaled budesonide reduced the risk of urgent care or hospitalization by 90% when compared with usual care, Oxford University said.

Wearable devices can detect COVID-19 symptoms and predict diagnosis, study finds -- ScienceDaily

The Warrior Watch Study found that subtle changes in a participant's heart rate variability (HRV) measured by an Apple Watch were able to signal the onset of COVID-19 up to seven days before the individual was diagnosed with the infection via nasal swab, and also to identify those who have symptoms.

Denmark's coronavirus sequencing shows U.K. variant cases exploding - The Washington Post

In a long Facebook post this month, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen told people to imagine sitting in the top row of Copenhagen’s Parken Stadium, a soccer arena with a capacity of 38,000 people. A dripping tap is filling it up, one drop the first minute, two drops the second, four drops the third. At that rate, Frederiksen said, the park will be filled in 44 minutes. But it will seem almost empty for the first 42 minutes, she said.

Vaccinology in the post−COVID-19 era | PNAS

Reverse vaccinology, structural vaccinology, synthetic biology, and vaccine adjuvants, that so far had been used independently to develop vaccines, were combined in an unprecedented worldwide effort to design and develop COVID-19 vaccines.

Post-COVID lungs worse than the worst smokers' lungs, surgeon says - CBS News

She says patients who've had COVID-19 symptoms show a severe chest X-ray every time, and those who were asymptomatic show a severe chest X-ray 70% to 80% of the time.

Protective immunity against SARS-CoV-2 could last eight months or more: Why declining antibodies don't spell disaster for long-lasting immunity -- ScienceDaily

"It is possible that immune memory will be similarly long lasting similar following vaccination, but we will have to wait until the data come in to be able to tell for sure," says Weiskopf. "Several months ago, our studies showed that natural infection induced a strong response, and this study now shows that the responses lasts. The vaccine studies are at the initial stages, and so far have been associated with strong protection. We are hopeful that a similar pattern of responses lasting over time will also emerge for the vaccine-induced responses."

France Accelerating Covid-19 Vaccinations, Parisien Reports - Bloomberg

France’s government is under pressure after a much slower debut of the vaccination campaign than most other European countries. As of Dec. 31, only 352 people had gotten at least one dose of the vaccine, versus 131,626 in Germany and 944,539 in the U.K., according to data cited by Le Parisien.

Study finds evidence of lasting immunity after mild or asymptomatic COVID-19 infection

Dr. Corinna Pade, a Postdoctoral Research Scientist at Queen Mary, said: "Our study in asymptomatic and mild cases gives a positive insight into the durability of immunity to SARS-CoV-2 after four months of infection. A remarkable number of around 90 percent of individuals have a joint force of strong antibodies that prevent the virus from entering, coupled with T cell responses to various parts of the virus to interfere with its survival. This is an important find as mild or even no symptoms of COVID-19 are very common and representative of most infections in the community. Such abundant immune responses also give hope for the long-lasting efficacy of vaccines."

Study shows anticoagulation therapy beneficial for COVID-19 patients

Of the patients analysed, 900 (20.5 percent) received a full-treatment dose of anticoagulants. Another 1,959 patients (44.6 percent) received a lower, prophylactic dose of anticoagulants and 1,530 (34.5 percent) were not given blood thinners. There was a strong association between blood thinners and reduced likelihood of in-hospital deaths: both therapeutic and prophylactic doses of anticoagulants reduced mortality by roughly 50 percent compared to patients on no blood thinners.

Here's why conservatives and liberals differ on COVID-19: New Lehigh University College of Business study looks at getting everyone to agree on the pandemic threat -- ScienceDaily

According to the paper, "Getting Conservatives and Liberals to Agree on the COVID-19 Threat," published in the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research in September, conservatives tend to see free will as the primary driver of outcomes in life, whereas liberals are more accepting of the idea that randomness plays a role. Compared to liberals, conservatives tend to attribute outcomes to purposeful actions. So in the context of the pandemic, they're more likely to blame any negative outcomes in their lives on these more agentic policymakers or fellow Americans rather than the virus itself.

Benefits of high-dose blood thinners in COVID-19 patients remain unclear -- ScienceDaily

At the beginning of the pandemic, all patients admitted with COVID-19 to the GW Hospital were treated with standard dose anticoagulation, unless contraindicated. As awareness of the elevated risk of blood clots developed, many providers began treating patients with high-dose blood thinners. At GW Hospital, for non-critically ill patients, medical teams were advised to especially consider initiating a high dose of anticoagulation if a patient's D-dimer level exceeded 3 micrograms per milliliter. The research team previously published a study finding higher levels of the biomarker D-dimer, a medical indicator found in the blood, is associated with higher odds of clinical deterioration and death from COVID-19. This study is the first of its kind to utilize D-dimer levels to analyze clinical outcomes of anticoagulation in patients who are not critically ill.

Fluvoxamine may prevent serious illness in COVID-19 patients, study suggests: Antidepressant drug repurposed for patients with coronavirus infection -- ScienceDaily

Researchers compared the outcomes of those treated with fluvoxamine to the outcomes of those given an inactive placebo. After 15 days, none of the 80 patients who had received the drug experienced serious clinical deterioration. Meanwhile, six of the 72 patients given placebo (8.3%) became seriously ill, with four requiring hospitalization.

On Randomized Trials and Medicine - Insight

If we had more proper randomization and tracing of these various approaches, we’d have more dexamethasones at hand. The WHO is leading some randomized trials at the moment, but we have little to none going on in the United States.As we learn more about some effective clinical practices, it’s getting harder to do novel ones: ethically, we cannot withhold known best practices from patients. It’s possible that we have found ourselves stuck at a local optimum, but much less than the upside potential we might have had, had we tried proper randomization from the beginning, when we had little to no idea what worked anyway, we could have conducted randomized trials. We should have.. This oversight will go down as yet another major failure of our health infrastructure and response to this pandemic.

On Randomized Trials and Medicine - Insight

Clinical trials for non-pharmaceutical interventions in health are relatively rare because there is little to no money to be made from recommending them. Conversely, drugs which require trials to go on the market are  sponsored heavily by pharmaceutical companies.

Air pollution and COVID-19 mortality in the United States: Strengths and limitations of an ecological regression analysis | Science Advances

We found that an increase of 1 μg/m3 in the long-term average PM2.5 is associated with a statistically significant 11% (95% CI, 6 to 17%) increase in the county’s COVID-19 mortality rate (see Table 1); this association continues to be stable as more data accumulate (fig. S3). We also found that population density, days since the first COVID-19 case was reported, median household income, percent of owner-occupied housing, percent of the adult population with less than high school education, age distribution, and percent of Black residents are important predictors of the COVID-19 mortality rate in the model.

Study finds 1.7 million New Yorkers have been infected with SARS-Cov-2 and virus was in NYC earlier than reported -- ScienceDaily

Notably, seropositive samples were found as early as mid-February (several weeks before the first official cases) and leveled out at slightly above 20 percent in both groups after the epidemic wave subsided by the end of May. From May to July, seroprevalence and antibody titers stayed stable, suggesting lasting antibody levels in the population. "Our data suggests that antibody titers are stable over time, that the seroprevalence in the city is around 22 percent, that at least 1.7 million New Yorkers have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 so far, and that the infection fatality rate is 0.97 percent after the first epidemic wave in New York City," said Florian Krammer, PhD, Mount Sinai Professor in Vaccinology at the Icahn School of Medicine and corresponding author on the paper. "We show that the infection rate was relatively high during the first wave in New York but is far from seroprevalence that might indicate community immunity (herd immunity). Knowing the detailed dynamics of the seroprevalence shown in this study is important for modeling seroprevalence elsewhere in the country."

Seven different 'disease forms' identified in mild COVID-19: Study provides new information for a better understanding of the disease -- and potential biomarkers for vaccine development -- ScienceDaily

In the study involving 109 convalescents and 98 healthy individuals in the control group, the researchers were able to show that various symptoms related to COVID-19 occur in symptom groups. They identified seven groups of symptoms: 1) "flu-like symptoms" (with fever, chills, fatigue and cough), 2) ("common cold-like symptoms" (with rhinitis, sneezing, dry throat and nasal congestion), 3) "joint and muscle pain," 4) "eye and mucosal inflammation," 5) "lung problems" (with pneumonia and shortness of breath), 6) "gastrointestinal problems" (including diarrhoea, nausea and headache) and 7) "loss of sense of smell and taste and other symptoms." "In the latter group we found that loss of smell and taste predominantly affects individuals with a 'young immune system', measured by the number of immune cells (T lymphocytes) that have recently emigrated from the thymus gland. This means that we were able to clearly distinguish systemic (e.g., groups 1 and 3) from organ-specific forms (e.g. groups 6 and 7) of primary COVID-19 disease," says Pickl.