Researchers at the University of Bath in the UK and biopharma company UCB have found a way to produce miniaturised antibodies, opening the way for a potential new class of treatments for diseases.
Until now, the smallest humanmade antibodies (known as monoclonal antibodies, or mAbs) were derived from llamas, alpacas and sharks, but the breakthrough molecules isolated from the immune cells of cows are up to five times smaller. This is thanks to an unusual feature of a bovine antibody known as a knob domain.
The potential medical implications of the new antibodies’ diminutive size are huge. For instance, they may bind to sites on pathogens that regular antibody molecules are too large to latch on to, triggering the destruction of invasive microbes. They may also be able to gain access to sites of the body which larger antibodies can’t.
Antibodies consist of chains of amino acids (the building blocks
Officials this week released statistics showing that the positivity rate in some Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods had grown to anywhere from 3 percent to 6 percent, significantly more than the city’s overall rate of between 1 percent and 2 percent. Officials are especially worried about the positivity rates in the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Borough Park, Midwood and Gravesend, which they have referred to as the “Ocean Parkway Cluster.”
Mr. de Blasio said on Friday on the Brian Lehrer radio show that the city had closed four yeshivas over violations of social distancing rules. “This is an indicator of something we’ll be fighting for a little while here,” he said.
The uptick in these neighborhoods amounts to the first major virus challenge for the city after months of declining or flat numbers. The concern now is that if the outbreak spreads further in the Orthodox community, it could begin to take hold
People infected by the novel coronavirus can have symptoms that range from mild to deadly. Now, two new analyses suggest that some life-threatening cases can be traced to weak spots in patients’ immune systems.
At least 3.5 percent of study patients with severe COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, have mutations in genes involved in antiviral defense. And at least 10 percent of patients with severe disease create “auto-antibodies” that attack the immune system, instead of fighting the virus. The results, reported in two papers in the journal Science on September 24, 2020, identify some root causes of life-threatening COVID-19, says study leader Jean-Laurent Casanova, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator at The Rockefeller University.
Seeing these harmful antibodies in so many patients — 101 out of 987 — was “a stunning observation,” he says. “These two papers provide the first explanation for why COVID-19 can be so