Disruption: potentially the biggest catalyst for innovation…
Photo by Paul Lequay. Cover photo by Joakim Honkasalo
It’s the September of 2020, you are confined in the medical catacombs that form your research lab. You sit here pondering to yourself solemnly
You, a creative and ambitious virus pathologist. You scratch your noggin, socially distanced from others — narrowly distanced from greatness.
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You’ve been prompted to action by the creative force we call ‘change’. The completely unavoidable and life-affecting, globally disruptive, locked-down-from-society kind of change.
Beleaguered, you sit there: “How can I make history this year?”
“Will this chapter usher me into greatness?”. “Could I chance upon the greatest advancements in the history of virusology?” You continue to muffle to yourself behind the hypoallergenic mask.
This pandemic, you find yourself contorted on the steps of your own metaphorical Great Library of Alexandria. You look to the sky; your vision is crystal clear (Only figuratively — quite literally the fog on your safety goggles is making clear vision a luxury).
Here, now, you sit at the base of your own Mount Olympus, sworn to greatness, yearning to place yourself among the summit of man’s greatest medical achievements. All it takes is one medical breakthrough. 💪
A worn copy of Da Vinci’s Vitruvian man pulled out of your laptop carry case, now clutched within your latexed hand, hanging from heavy shoulders. Your brain whirring like a centrifuge.
And you ask: Will the great pandemic of 2020 drive me to finally make a name for myself in the research? Will I finally break through the thick ice of science — nay, humanity’s greatest innovations!?
To Valhalla. Source: shutterstock
And the answer, is yes
Case In Point:
A boss accidentally turned on the potato filter during a virtual meeting and her staff couldn’t keep a straight face
Who could say that without the forced indefinite lockdown, we could have ever ended up with such a watershed moment in modern science as this .
The future is now.
Research during the pandemic: 5 Fascinating breakthroughs
For sure this last year has driven a huge amount of scientific innovation — It’s been a juggernaut. And it’s exposed us to some absolutely unique and fascinating medical creativity (not just innovation in the field of human-vegetable hybrid teleconferencing). Some of which have flown under the radar.
These I resurface to you today.
So I gift to you a little levity from the laboratory. Here are just some of my favorite coronavirus research breakthroughs, from the pandemic days past.
Courtesy of your favorite submicroscopic infectious agent, the novel coronavirus by all accounts…
Move aside Papillomaviridae, there’s a new favorite in town. Source: ictv
1. Coronavirus can infect cats
As it turns out, cats are very sensitive to the virus.
Cats can infect each other with coronavirus, Chinese study finds
Cat owners may wish to be more cautious about contact with their pets, as a study from China has revealed Covid-19 can…
A veterinary study last year investigated the impact of COVID19 transmission between some animals, and found that among others, both cats and ferrets are actually highly susceptible to contracting the virus. 😿
(Fortunately if you’re a pig, chicken or duck, odds are good; you can keep counting your lucky stars).
This was originally prompted by a case of a Belgian owner noticing sickness in their beloved feline. (The cat recovered 9 days later. No tearjerkers here). And then more supporting cases were noticed.
It even followed later that some pet dogs were also found to have contracted the virus, though to a lesser extent.
“The feline ACE2 protein resembles the human ACE2 homologue, which is most likely the cellular receptor which is being used by Sars-CoV-2 for cell entry,”
Feline existential risk count: Curiosity – 1 vs Coronavirus – also 1. Photo by JD Hancock
Fortunately no evidence of transmission back to humans. And evidence points more to contraction, rather than infection. Meaning that cat-owners can return to their safe old past time of worrying only about: Toxoplasmosis, enabling addictive compulsions towards lasagne, and fostering unbridled hostility towards days of the weeks starting with ‘M’, among other things.
2. Camels and llamas may unlock the key to covid
Nanobodies from camelid mice and llamas neutralize SARS-CoV-2 variants
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, SARS-CoV-2 has caused millions of deaths worldwide. While many vaccines have…
In newer news. A study this month published in Nature journal professed a way to harness the COVID-conquering qualities of llamas. That’s right, llamas.
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