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Weekend Reads 5/23/20

Sorrento finds a coronavirus antibody that blocks viral infection 100% in preclinical lab experiments

The nature of the antibody’s efficacy means that Sorrento currently believes it will be the first antibody to be included in the cocktail it is developing, which will be made up of a large number of different antibodies that show efficacy in blocking the attachment of the spike protein, in order to provide multiple avenues of protection that are designed to remain effective even if the virus mutates in transmission from person to person, or within the same individual.

Some evangelicals fear the 'mark of the beast' from a coronavirus vaccine

Prominent evangelical pastors, including one who has since died of COVID-19, have promoted baseless claims about Bill Gates, implantable microchips that could be used to control the population under the guise of tracking COVID-19 infections and immunity, and a link between coronavirus vaccination and the mark of the beast, a signifier, in biblical prophecy, of submission to the Antichrist. Such ideas have since spread beyond evangelical circles.

Humans are complicated—do we need behavioral science to get through this?

If humans didn’t insist on being quite so messily human, pandemic response would be much simpler. People would stay physically separated whenever possible; leaders would be proactive and responsive to evidence; our fight could be concentrated on the biomedical tools we so urgently need. The problem is that our maddening, imperfect humanity gets in the way at every turn, and getting around those imperfections demands that we understand the human behavior underlying them.

Why Weren’t We Ready for the Coronavirus?

“Because it was so contagious, and so lethal,” he said. “And we were very lucky to stop it.” SARS was the bullet that went whistling past humanity’s ear. This was on our lunch break, I had stopped taking notes, and it was fourteen years ago, so I can’t swear that Khan mentioned the other thing that is most relevant about SARS: It was caused by a novel coronavirus.

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