BREAKING: Major and Champ Biden are dogs who do normal dog things
And all the people saying normal dogs don't poop in the house has never owned a senior dog or a pug of any age.
Also BREAKING: Ripley thinks Major and Champ seem cool and she’d like to compare indoor pooping techniques with them at some point
Gratuitous Ripley photo. Not pictured: sign saying it’s been 12 days since last indoor pooping incident

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More from @angie_rasmussen

2 Apr
For all those wondering how variant mutations can screw up antibody responses, have I got the preprint for you!

Buckle up for a long ride down epistasis & biochem road, thanks to this great study by @Dr_MattMcCallum and colleagues in the @veeslerlab & collabs at @Vir_Biotech.
First, some background. All the variants have different constellations of mutations in SARS-CoV-2 spike. This is the protein on the surface of the virus particle (virion) that bind the receptor ACE2 and allow the virus to enter & infect cells.

It looks like this (h/t @profvrr): Image
As you can see from the above virion, spike is a 3D structure on the surface of the virion. Antibodies bind all over the surface of the spike protein. Some of these bind to important parts of spike that render the virus non-infectious, or neutralize it. Image
Read 33 tweets
31 Mar
I’ll always make time for @apoorva_nyc, especially about great news like this: top line trial results show safety, robust antibody production, & 100% efficacy in 12-15 year olds!
W/ the wise & wonderful @VirusesImmunity, @JenniferNuzzo, & Kristin Oliver.…
Approach the efficacy data cautiously, because it was based on just 18 cases, all in the placebo group, but this is what we’d expect to see: the vaccine works in adolescents at least as well as in adults (maybe better, at least in terms of antibody responses).
While this data still needs to be evaluated by FDA and we need to see the full trial data, parents of teens can rest easier knowing their kids will likely be able to get vaccinated before school starts in the fall.
Read 5 tweets
30 Mar
Barely out and already my feed is filling up with (some pretty racist) complaints that this report is incomplete and dissatisfying.

But did you really expect a 2 week mission to yield a definitive answer about SARS-CoV-2 origins?

Origin investigations take years, even decades.
The purpose of this mission was really to lay the groundwork for collaborative studies moving forward.

Like it or not, that requires working cooperatively with China.

Like it or not, @WHO isn't equipped to conduct an audit of WIV's freezers or records or interrogate its staff.
This report contains some new information: about excess mortality, ILI, environmental testing, retrospective sample testing, animal testing. It also acknowledges there is a lot more to do.
Read 9 tweets
21 Mar
2 things have been troubling me lately:

1. The notion that recognizing the nuances & uncertainties of SARS-CoV-2 transmission is somehow "denying" that respiratory transmission occurs.

2. This is all @WHO's fault for giving bad guidance.

Are these true? Let's look at the data.
1. SARS-CoV-2 is a respiratory virus. That means it infects cells of the respiratory tract in both the upper (nose) and lower (lungs) airway. Naturally, this means you become infected after exposure to virus via inhalation, direct contact (droplets), or indirect contact (fomites)
Infection occurs not from exposure to purified virus, but from virus that's emitted in particles of saliva and mucus that an infected person exhales (or speaks, sings, etc).

Go outside on a cold day and breathe out. That cloud of steamy breath? Those are respiratory particles.
Read 48 tweets
19 Mar
No, you can’t. Kids being lower risk does not mean “same as an already vaccinated grandparent.”

I value other perspectives, like economics, in vaccine discussions. All are stakeholders in public health. But have the humility to know when you’ve hit the limits of your expertise.
This is insufficient. The problem wasn't just the headline. The problem is that two of the fundamental arguments are wrong.

1. Risk of infection is just as relevant as risk of disease.

2. Vaccinating only adults won't get us to herd immunity by summer.
And I should add there's another risk that wasn't addressed at all: the vaccines are not 100% effective (though they are very good). Failing to mitigate transmission risk by relying on flawed risk assessments still presents a danger, especially to more vulnerable adults.
Read 4 tweets
18 Mar
So, here's another great paper out today from my friend and colleague @DrSimonAnthony.

It will be of particular interest to those pondering possible SARS-CoV-2 origins, and viral evolution enthusiasts in general.

Brace yourself: it's about how different sarbecoviruses use ACE2.
In short: Dr. Anthony and his PREDICT colleagues found 3 isolates of a novel sarbecovirus (SARS-like betacoronavirus) in bats...from Uganda and Rwanda. Hey, that's nowhere near China, so what does that have to do with SARS-CoV-2?
A lot, actually. Sarbecoviruses are not exclusive to China or East Asia. That's where they've been studied most extensively, but they aren't restricted to that part of the world. Here's how these viruses and host bat species relate to each other and where they were discovered.
Read 19 tweets

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