TWiV reveals all that we know so far about the variant of concern B.1.1.529, also called Omicron, and describes a study on the ability of the alpha, beta, and delta variants to reproduce in cells in culture and induce membrane fusion.
Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Alan Dove, Kathy Spindler, and Brianne Barker
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Download TWiV 836 (66 MB .mp3, 111 min)
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Links for this episode
- Omicron genome changes (Covariants) 7:06
- Omicron shared changes with other variants (Covariants) 17:34
- Update on Omicron (WHO) 23:07
- Spike polymutant PMS20 (bioRxiv) 26:16
- Syncytium formation of variants of concern (EMBO J) 36:39
- Variants as super cell fusers (EMBO J) 1:05:56
- Letters read on TWiV 836 1:10:34
- Timestamps by Jolene. Thanks!
Weekly Picks 1:37:49
Brianne – Immune
Kathy – Elizabeth Lee Hazen and Rachel Fuller Brown, discoverers of nystatin one and two
Alan – Four Lost Cities by Analee Newitz
Vincent – Deadly Choices by Paul Offit
Ryan – Ronny Jackson (one and two)
Intro music is by Ronald Jenkees
Send your virology questions and comments to email@example.com
I got two Pfizer back in March. This time I got the J&J. Reaction? 100.1 fever the next day.
The tax deductibility is a definite maybe:
Thank you, Twivs! Always engaging and very informative. My question concerns the latest discovery regarding the trigger for rare blood-clotting with the Astra-Zeneca vacine. AstraZeneca used an adenovirus (specifically a common cold virus from chimpanzees) combined with Covid genetic material injected into muscle, which then leaked into the bloodstream and attracted platelet factor 4 – then attacked by supposedly “unusual antibodies” in certain people, clumping together to form dangerous blood clots. ‘Prof Alan Parker, one of the researchers at Cardiff University, told BBC News: “The adenovirus has an extremely negative surface, and platelet factor four is extremely positive and the two things fit together quite well.’ Apparently, 73 out of 50 million people in the UK have died as a result of blood clots.
The question is: Because blood clots move around the body, is it likely that people will have blood clots that have not yet become apparent, as these are not so far causing a blockage that would lead to death or serious harm?
I ask because, after my first Astra Zenaca jab, I experienced the usual flu-like symptoms for about a day, then recovered. However, about two weeks later I noticed that I developed a headache when bending over – this went on for a few days. I put it down to increased blood pressure when lowering my head, but my blood pressure is near perfect. But, I reasoned that there may be some calcium clotting and began a course of K2 MK7. This was before talk of the vaccine problem. Therefore, I declined the second dose, just in case. (I use a quality N95 mask always when in crowded areas.) Best wishes!
The study on the spike polymutant discussed in this episode has already been published: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-021-04005-0
Paul D. Bieniasz’s paper was published in Nature on the September 20th.