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Viral-fighting antibodies persist in New Zealand’s Covid-19 patients | Instant News

Viral-fighting antibodies have been found in Kiwi Covid-19 patients for up to eight months after they were infected – a finding that could bode well for the upcoming vaccine rollout.

The new research, released before peer review, has also proven to be of global importance, given that antibodies persist even when no viruses are circulating in the community.

The study analyzed antibodies in a group of 112 New Zealand patients previously infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, most of whom had mild symptoms.

Antibodies play an important role in the immune system against pathogens such as the coronavirus.

Once a new virus is recognized, antibodies are specially crafted to bind to the “spike protein” and stop it from entering our cells – while signaling other parts of the immune system to destroy foreign invaders.

“Because antibodies are very specific for an invading pathogen or virus, they also provide a way to track and study a person’s history of infection,” said Dr. Nikki Moreland, an immunologist and biomedical scientist at the University of Auckland.

“In other words, by taking a blood sample of someone, and seeing if there are specific antibodies for SARS-CoV-2 in circulation, it’s possible to determine if they have previously had Covid-19.”

This is useful for diagnosis – especially when the swab has no more virus due to infection several weeks or months ago.

“By studying the level and function of circulating antibodies, it is also possible to determine whether a person has the types of antibodies that might provide protection if they encounter certain viruses or pathogens again.”

The new collaborative study, carried out by PhD student Alana Whitcombe and research scientist Dr Reuben McGregor on the Moreland team, investigates not only the quantity of antibodies in previously infected people – but also their quality.

“Specifically, do people have antibodies that bind to viral spike proteins, can these antibodies neutralize the virus, and how long do these antibodies last?” McGregor said.

In the laboratory, the researchers measured levels of circulating antibodies that bind to spike proteins, as well as whether those antibodies neutralized.

“Since we had samples from people who were infected months earlier, we can use this measurement to see how long the antibodies last.”

Antibodies play an important role in the immune system against pathogens such as the coronavirus.  Photo / 123RF
Antibodies play an important role in the immune system against pathogens such as the coronavirus. Photo / 123RF

“The good news is we observed that the majority of people have neutralizing antibodies that bind to the spike protein and they can be detected for up to eight months after infection.”

While overseas research shows this too, the main difference is that this effect has been demonstrated in countries where Covid-19 has been successfully eliminated.

“People in New Zealand are not re-exposed to the virus like they are in countries with high community transmission rates,” Moreland said.

When someone is re-exposed, he explained, their immune system boosts, which can affect levels of circulating antibodies.

That makes similar data from abroad more difficult to interpret, given it’s unclear whether antibodies were there simply as a result of re-exposure.

“In New Zealand we are fortunate not to have that problem to consider when looking at our data,” said Moreland.

“We believe the antibodies we measured came from the initial infection, so seeing these antibodies last up to eight months was really encouraging.”

What does the vaccine launch mean?

Moreland said the study offers some “positive signals”, given the data from vaccine trials showing the agent induces similar – and in some cases higher – levels of neutralizing antibodies for natural infections.

“So the protection from the vaccine is also likely to last for months and maybe even longer,” he said.

“But we are still studying in real-time, every month we see that the antibodies last one month longer.

“Also, there are several different vaccines and it is important to track the antibody response to different vaccines to measure whether there is a difference in the quality and quantity of the antibodies they produce, and how long the neutralizing antibodies to vaccines last.”

Further studies showed that scientists could accurately measure spike antibodies from finger prick blood samples.

“This could drastically improve the feasibility of large-scale studies to track vaccine antibody responses.” Whitcombe said.

The paper, uploaded to medRxiv’s pre-print server, involved doctors and scientists from the University of Otago, New Zealand Blood Service, Te Punaha Matatini, Callaghan Innovations, the Maurice Wilkins Center, Southern Community Laboratory and the City of Auckland, Starship and Kidz First Children’s Hospital .

“This work would not have been possible without a national network of doctors, nurses, researchers and scientists and highlighted the collaborative nature of New Zealand’s science during the pandemic,” said Moreland.


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Swiss- Study: some patients suffered from persistent lung damage after Covid-19 | Instant News

(MENAFN – Swissinfo) Severe Covid-19 can result in prolonged oxygen damage to the lungs even four months after infection, a Swiss-wide study found.

This content is published January 8, 2021 – 12:37 January 8, 2021 – 12:37 Keystone-SDA / Bern University Hospital / ilj View in other languages: 1

“Long-term monitoring and treatment of these patients is urgent and important,” he concluded.

Research that has been published in European Respiratory Journal External link , conducted as part of the Swiss national Covid-19 lung study by the University of Bern Hospital in collaboration with the University of Bern.

Statement released by External Hospital link said that since the summer of 2020 various studies around the world have reported the symptoms and side effects of what is known as long-Covid. The Swiss observational study aims to document the medium and long-term trajectories of disease with a focus on the lungs.

“ This study provides important baseline data for the long-term clinical care of Covid-19 patients worldwide, ” the statement said.

Reduced oxygen uptake

Using data from nine Swiss hospitals, the researchers looked at 113 cases of Covid-19, 66 of which were severe and 47 of which were mild to critical. It is known that while the second group was almost completely healthy after a few months, the first group struggled hard.

“ Even four months after severe Covid-19 infection led to a one-fifth reduction in oxygen uptake capacity compared to healthy people, ” said the statement.

“It is important that the plight of these people is taken seriously even after they have recovered from infection,” the pneumologist Manuela Funke-Chambour External link , who initiated the research, told Swiss news agency Keystone SDA-ATS.

Most of the patients who are more strongly affected fall into one of the Covid-19 risk groups: the elderly, overweight, or people with high blood pressure.

“This emphasizes the importance of encouraging prevention among these groups, for example by vaccination,” he added. But there were also severe cases requiring longer treatment among non-risk patients, the researchers explained.




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Australian Toby Price leads the Dakar Rally motorcycle class after winning the first stage over Bisha | Instant News

Two-time Australian winner Toby Price has launched his search for another Dakar Rally title in a big way by taking the award in the opening stages of the 2021 edition.

Price, 33, has opened up a narrow 23-second lead overall in the big race motorcycle class after winning the first stage 277 km from Jeddah to Bisha in Saudi Arabia.

Perhaps more significantly for the Gold Coast rider, defending American champion Ricky Brabec had a miserable opening day, finishing the stage in 24th place, having lost 18 minutes and 32 seconds to his Australian rivals.

“The opening stage is going well! Reach the finish line, take care of the tires and the bike but the navigation is very complicated. Glad to go on stage, “said Price on his Twitter account.

“It’s been a nice clean day for us with a few minor glitches, just have to stay calm and succeed!”


It was a great day of work for the Red Bull Factory KTM riders Price, who won both in 2016, became the first Australian to win any class in the Dakar Rally, and in 2019 when he broke his wrist.

Price said he had made a navigation error towards the end of the stage but that did not stop him from clinching his 13th career win at the Dakar stage.

“I lost a little about seven kilometers from the finish. I took a little time trying to get back on track here,” Price said on the race’s official website.

“I think you will see a lot of changes and changes in the standings in this race. You have to stay calm and let it go on and make it work,” added the man who has finished in the top five of the last three. six editions of the race.

Price, who is ninth after the prologue, took the lead over French racer Xavier de Soultrait at 135km and finished the stage 31 seconds ahead of Argentine Honda rider Kevin Benavides, who is now second overall.


Price’s teammate from Red Bull Austria, Matthias Walkner, is one minute 12 seconds behind the Australian in third place.

The Husqvarna de Soultrait racer finished sixth and is now five minutes 23 seconds behind Price.

Price’s Australian counterpart, Daniel Sanders, who made his racing debut well by finishing third in the prologue, fell back to 25th overall after the stage, almost 20 minutes behind.

The Honda Brabec racer, having a bad day after his triumph in the brief prologue, ran into all kinds of navigation problems.

In the car class, defending champion Carlos Sainz won the first stage, finishing 25 seconds ahead of his French teammate Stephane Peterhansel.

Overall, three-time winners Spain held the narrowest eight-second lead over Peterhansel.



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Kim and Kanye’s Wedding: Meek Mill’s photo that opens up Kim and Kanye’s wedding | Instant News

They are two of the most scandal-prone people in the entertainment industry, and a few months ago, their marriage looked like a mess.

While Kim and Kanye’s celebratory season look shining recently may have made their relationship look bad for life, the scandal that raged on Twitter in July opened wide their marriage, with drama playing out in front of the world.

And in the middle of it all is a photo from two years ago.

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have been dogged by divorce rumors throughout the years, with Kanye's public crash in July seemingly causing irreparable harm.  Photo / Getty Images
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have been dogged by divorce rumors throughout the years, with Kanye’s public crash in July seemingly causing irreparable harm. Photo / Getty Images


A photo of Kim meeting with rapper Meek Mill to discuss prison reform in 2018 at a Los Angeles hotel was found during Kanye’s infamous series of tweets earlier this year.

West shocked fans when he claimed he had been “trying to divorce” from Kim since the meeting at Waldorf in Beverly Hills, suggesting something unwanted was happening and he was “out of line”.

She wrote: “Meek is my man and respect. That’s my dog ​​Kim out of line. I’m worth 5 billion dollars and more through Christ. But you won’t listen to MJ and now you will believe them?”

The photo that emerged as a result of the fiery tweet showed Kim, 40, and the 33-year-old rapper, real name Robert Rihmeek Williams, joining philanthropist Clara Wu at the rooftop restaurant, where they are believed to have discussed prison reform. – reasons they support passionately.

In response to Kanye’s wild claims, Mill wrote: “Sh ** is cappp cmon,” which is slang for lies.

Later, when the photo appeared, Mill added to the following: “Being in the wrong environment and the wrong people will make you forget your grades! Stay focused.”

It came after Kim received smoldering praise from Mill last year, with the rapper calling him “friend” and praising him for his work on prison reform.

Recent reports suggest Kim Kardashian West is still considering leaving her husband, and father of four children.  Photo / Getty Images
Recent reports suggest Kim Kardashian West is still considering leaving her husband, and father of four children. Photo / Getty Images


Among a series of now deleted tweets, Kanye, 43, lashed out at Kim and his mother-in-law, Kris Jenner, claiming they tried to “lock me up”.

It came after the rapper held a presidential campaign rally in North Carolina where he shared intimate details about him and the reality star’s decision not to abort their daughter North.

During an emotional rally, West broke down in tears as he talked about how he and his wife were considering ending the pregnancy.

In another tweet, West claimed his wife tried to fly a doctor to Wyoming to “lock me up like Get Out” because she cried about “saving” her daughter North’s life.

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West with their kids Chicago, Saint, and North.  Photo / Instagram
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West with their kids Chicago, Saint, and North. Photo / Instagram

The film Get Out, which is compared to his life by West, is about an African American man who is taken to the family home of his white girlfriend and reveals a series of disturbing details about them.

The majority of West’s tweets were quickly deleted but only 24 hours later he let go of his family again.

He then apologized to his wife.

“I would like to apologize to my wife Kim for announcing something of a personal nature,” he wrote. “I didn’t protect her like she protected me. To Kim I want to say I know I hurt you. I’m sorry. Thank you for always being there for me.”

Kim gave her support behind her husband after the explosion.  Photo / Getty Images
Kim gave her support behind her husband after the explosion. Photo / Getty Images


Kardashian-West broke her silence about her husband’s mental health shortly after her nagging, posting a statement to Instagram in which she defended the rapper and mentioned bipolar disorder.

“Anyone who has this or has had a loved one in their life who has done it, knows how incredibly complicated and painful it is to understand,” he wrote.

“I’ve never spoken publicly about how this affects us at home because I really protect our children and Kanye’s right to privacy regarding his health.”

The couple first met in 2003.Photo / Getty Images
The couple first met in 2003.Photo / Getty Images

But Kardashian said she felt compelled to speak up because of “mental health stigma and misconceptions.”

“Those who understand mental illness or compulsive behavior know that families are helpless unless members are minors,” he continued.

“People who are unconscious or distant from this experience can be judgmental and don’t understand that the individual himself must be involved in the process of getting help no matter how hard the family tries.”

Divorce RUMOR

Reports from December 13th recently suggest all is still not well with the pair, despite their efforts to put a united front in place.

According to the New York Post, the couple may still be together, but “lead separate lives”.

“Kim has a job and a project that is important to him, and Kanye has it,” a source told People. “Their lives don’t overlap much.”

“Kim looks happy,” and “very focused on work and goals,” they added.

“He firmly believes he can make a difference in terms of prison reform. This is his passion. His family is very proud of him.”


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New Zealand scientists studying sperm whales on their Antarctic voyage | Instant News

Sperm whales can dive to a depth of 3000m. Photo / NIWA

New Zealand scientists will leave Wellington next month with the tail of a sperm whale off Antarctica.

A program led by the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) will take 20 scientists on the Tangaroa research vessel to the Ross Sea, Antarctica.

NIWA’s principal scientist, Matthew Pinkerton, is leaving on a 40-day expedition, which will be the third in a series of four voyages.

On previous trips, they set up moorings with hydrophones attached, to listen to the sound of sperm whales on the shores of the Ross Sea – the best way to count how many there are in the area.

“The first mooring dropped in 2018, we got it back in 2019 and several new moorings were installed,” he said.

“So when we go there in 2021, we’re going to take that mooring from two years ago so we’re really excited to see what sounds the sperm whale might pick up.

“This will definitely show us if there are a few sperm whales there and at what time of year they are there.”

Sperm whales are not like seals in that they cannot punch holes in the ice, so they have to find holes in the ice so they can get out for air.

Pinkerton says at some point in the year there may be too much ice for sperm whales to survive, so their research is critical to determining where these populations are.

“They have moorings at different latitudes, so a certain distance south. We wanted to see if sea ice affects where sperm whales go at different times of the year.”

Although old records and surveys suggest the Ross Sea is a hotspot for sperm whales, Pinkerton said people stationed on research and fishing vessels in the area rarely report seeing them.

Giacomo Giorli marine mammal acoustics with passive acoustic mooring.  Photo / NIWA
Giacomo Giorli marine mammal acoustics with passive acoustic mooring. Photo / NIWA

“We are very interested in finding out why we didn’t see any sightings of the sperm whales, but we think they were there,” he said.

“We’re really excited to try to look at that data and try to put down another piece of the puzzle and try to figure out the life cycle and emergence of these sperm whales.”

Sperm whales – particularly the large male whales that eat toothfish in the Ross Sea – were subject to the whaling industry in the 19th and 20th centuries, causing more than 70 percent of their population to disappear. They are now classified as vulnerable.

Pinkerton said the species was “cryptic.”

“We don’t really know their annual cycle – where their populations are concentrated and how different groups of whales interact.”

Scientists know that whales eat a lot of fish with teeth, and can dive to a depth of 3000m to find them.

“The abundance of dental fish on the slopes of the Ross Sea has diminished due to fishing and will continue to decrease in the future,” he said.

“We want to know if it affects the sperm whales there.”

“To do that, we need to look at where they are now and look for ways to monitor changes in the future.”

The Tangaroa research vessel will leave Wellington on 8 January, and return on 17 February.


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