Ron Fouchier explains why increased transmission of SARS-CoV-2-variants has not been demonstrated, and their ability to displace ancestral variants is due to greater fitness, much like influenza virus antigenic variation leads to better fitness and replacement of previously circulating variants.
Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Kathy Spindler, and Brianne Barker
Guest: Ron Fouchier
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Links for this episode
- Ron Fouchier on TWiV 177, 291, 557 1:08
- Mutations driving H5N1 airborne transmission in ferrets (Cell) 2:37
- SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 transmission among ferrets (Nat Comm) 7:15
- Avian influenza virus transmission among seals (Cell Host Micr) 4:05
- Letters read on TWiV 777 1:02:45
- Timestamps by Jolene. Thanks!
Weekly Picks 1:29:02
Brianne – The Science News Cycle
Kathy – mRNA Day Kariko & Weissman lectures and Q&A
Vincent – Just Planes
Intro music is by Ronald Jenkees
Send your virology questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
While we don’t talk about the flu the way we talk about Covid, isn’t part of the problem that the flu is not associated with a “long flu” but Covid is definitely associated with that: https://s3.amazonaws.com/media2.fairhealth.org/whitepaper/asset/A%20Detailed%20Study%20of%20Patients%20with%20Long-Haul%20COVID–An%20Analysis%20of%20Private%20Healthcare%20Claims–A%20FAIR%20Health%20White%20Paper.pdf
Brianne said that a cartoon was in Wired; actually it was in PhD comics.
But that was a serendipitous mistake. I searched for “Wired covid-19” and discovered that Wired has some great stories. There’s a reason for that: One of their reporters is Adam Rogers, who had a Knight fellowship at MIT.
You’re always (justifiably) complaining about journalists, but I wonder if you could find a flaw in Rogers’ stories. Here’s the story Michelle Goldberg wishes she could have written (on medical statistics!):
The Statistical Secrets of Covid-19 Vaccines
They’re really very good, and they’re the only way out of the pandemic. But a tour through the numbers could bring the vaccine-hesitant into the tent.
And here’s a story on the lab leak theory that frames it in a way that explains a lot:
The Covid-19 Lab Leak Theory Is a Tale of Weaponized Uncertainty
Scientists almost never say they’re sure, and it could take years to pin down the pandemic’s origins. Until then: People are trying to scare you.
Always a pleasure to hear a father talking about his son.