As expected, early studies are beginning to appear about omicron immune escape using in vitro assessments. We will also have large scale epidemiological studies, which are key. 1/
Leading scientist @sigallab who authored this paper on escape of SARS-CoV-2 501Y.V2 from neutralization by convalescent plasma in @nature in March… just released data about immune escape and omicron using South African sample. 2/
Here is @sigallab thread on omicron immune escape: The paper will soon appear on medRxiv (and was accessible on his lab website earlier today). 3/
The results (in small N=12) show a ~41x reduction in neutralisation with omicron (among those who got the @pfizer vaccine or vaccine + natural infection). This is in line with initial expectations about immune escape considering the known mutations. 3/
So, based on this small, rapid, initial study, it looks like omicron may not completely escape neutralisation in those with meaningful immunity (e.g., those with three shots or those with prior infection plus a shot). 4/
And remember, it’s not just about antibody efficacy; memory immunity (T-cells) is also crucial in assessing omicron’s capacity for immune escape with respect to serious illness or death from SARS-2 COVID19. 5/
However, keep in mind that, given how much more intrinsically infectious (spreadable) omicron also is, it could still cause a steep rise in cases and also hospitalizations around the world, despite extant immunity. 6/
Let's also acknowledge what a marvelous thing it is that we humans are capable of such science, which can help our bodies and address our ignorance. It's amazing that we pursue and support this enterprise. We're all beneficiaries of this capacity, as discussed in #ApollosArrow 8/
More results out today: “the loss of neutralization against omicron (relative to the pandemic founder) is exceptionally variable, with some samples showing almost no loss, and some showing ±25-fold loss relative to the pandemic founder variant.”… 9/
More information about this analysis of omicron immune escape, from Sweden, in this thread via @BenjMurrell 10/

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More from @NAChristakis

29 Nov
There’s a new COVID19 variant that has people worried. Let’s talk about “omicron.” This assessment must necessarily be very preliminary, since we are in very early days (partly thanks to South Africa generously sounding the alarm!). 1/
Three key issues are whether omicron is 1) more transmissible, 2) more deadly, and 3) more capable of evading current vaccines (or, somewhat analogously, whether it evades current antibody treatments or immunity conferred by prior natural infection, aka “immune escape”). 2/
Based on currently available technical data and on news reports from around the world, here is a *preliminary* opinion about these three issues, along with my level of confidence in these guesses. 3/
Read 47 tweets
15 Nov
More Republicans try to ban books on race, LGBTQ issues. Some want them burned.

It’s fine and good that a novel on queer identity is *available* at a *high school* *library*.

Banning (and burning!) books is never a good look. ⁦…
Here is a tweet with images deemed most offensive. My sense is that having such a book available in a high school library is in keeping with the sexual awareness of most students that age. And similar content should be available for straight students, too.
I suppose I start from presumption that high school students (95% of whom have access to a smartphone --…) can access sexual materials. To have a librarian who has (hopefully thoughtfully) chosen a book is more educational and developmentally supportive.
Read 4 tweets
3 Nov
Students at University of Sussex, acting immaturely & engaged in a kind of modern witch burning, should be deeply ashamed.

But even more ashamed should be Professor Stock's colleagues, who should have rallied to publicly defend her & principle of open discourse at a *university*
For views like this “I feel very worried for teenagers who are now foreclosing reproductive possibilities and their future... based on an idea that they may come to relinquish at a later date” students at Sussex engaged in a kind of modern witch-burning.…
"Three of Stock’s four fellow professors of philosophy at Sussex told me that they supported her academic freedom, but none would say so publicly."… via @harrytlambert This is how witch-burning happened. It's worth publicly defending principles.
Read 4 tweets
1 Nov
I recently learned of these written records regarding the father of Agamemnon. The myths, and the history, and the archaeology are all so moving — stretching across time (almost) immemorial.
The site of Mycenae is stunning. So different than what one thinks of classical Greece. ImageImageImageImage
On the other side of this wall was likely the bath where Clytemnestra killed Agamemnon. Image
Read 5 tweets
15 Oct
Blow by blow of appalling administrator behavior via @TheFIREorg: 'When Colbert hadn’t apologized, Cosgrove sent an email to Yale Law’s entire second-year class to “condemn in the strongest possible terms” the assertedly “pejorative and racist language.”'…
Such a public email, at odds with the facts, is indeed an administrative sanction of the student, and was unwarranted. This indicates the falsity of the claim by this elite law school that 'nothing was done' to the student.
I am confused because Yale Law School says "at no time was any... disciplinary action taken in this matter" but the deans required meetings and they sent an email to all of the student's peers falsely claiming his email was racist and "condemning" him and "addressing" his actions ImageImage
Read 19 tweets
5 Oct
MIT cancels geophysics lecture by @DorianAbbot about the climates of extra-solar planets after some people are outraged re his unrelated views on the harm arising from certain kinds of diversity initiatives. Prof. Abbot reacts with grace.…
There is no right to be invited to speak at a college. But, once a person is invited, a college should never yield to demands to withdraw an invitation. People can protest if they want. But honoring demands for disinvitation is incompatible with the mission of a great university.
Read 4 tweets

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