BusinessDaily briefing: Omicron struggles to infect the lungs

Daily briefing: Omicron struggles to infect the lungs

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A physician in Uzhhorod, Ukraine, examines the lungs of an individual with COVID-19. The Omicron variant would possibly have an effect on the lungs lower than do beforehand circulating variants.Credit: Serhii Hudak/Ukrinform/Barcroft Media through Getty

Mounting proof from animal research means that the Omicron coronavirus variant doesn’t multiply readily in lung tissue. This affords a tantalizing rationalization for early hints that it causes less-serious illness than does the Delta variant: Omicron might not infect cells deep in the lung as readily as those in the upper airways. Experiments in lung cells and lung organoids counsel that this might be due to a protein referred to as TMPRSS2, which protrudes from the surfaces of many cells in the lungs. Omicron struggles to infect cells by way of TMPRSS2. Scientists emphasize that Omicron nonetheless threatens to overload well being techniques due to its hyper-transmissibility.

Nature | 5 min read

Reference: Research Square preprint, bioRxiv preprint 1, bioRxiv preprint 2, bioRxiv preprint 3, bioRxiv preprint 4 and medRxiv preprint (all not peer reviewed)

On 24 October, two folks died following an explosion at the Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics. The deaths are the newest in a series of fatalities caused by explosions in academic laboratories in China, typically involving college students in chemistry departments. The tragedies have some scientists in China involved a couple of lack of oversight and standardized security protocols, particularly in educating labs.

Nature | 7 min read

A gasoline cloud may coalesce right into a child star ten occasions faster than beforehand thought. Astronomers noticed that the feeble magnetic fields outside the core of Lynds 1544, the beginnings of a star that’s forming in the Taurus Molecular Cloud, are even weaker than predicted. That provides gravity free rein in that area to crush sufficient gasoline collectively to spark nuclear fusion. “The paper basically says that gravity wins in the cloud: that’s where stars start to form, not in the dense core,” says astrophysicist Paola Caselli. “If this is proven to be the case in other gas clouds, it will be revolutionary for the star formation community.”

Science | 5 min read

Reference: Nature paper

Features & opinion

Crystallographer Donald Caspar, who died on 27 November, defined the rules that govern the self-assembly of simple viruses. This laid the foundations for a brand new mind-set about the molecular techniques that regulate and drive all residing cells. Caspar was recognized for his brilliance, kindness and keenness for Grecian urns — and for his loquaciousness, writes longtime-colleague Lee Makowski. “Group members would set a lab timer before going to ask him a question,” says Makowski. “When the timer went off, they could plead the need to check an experiment.”

Nature | 5 min read

Whatever the circumstances of a departure from a place, there are methods to be certain that you allow on good phrases, say consultants and scientists who’ve finished so. The key’s to be open and transparent about your reasons for leaving, and to try to reduce the impact of your departure on workers members. If you are supplied an exit interview, use it as a possibility to provide frank, constructive suggestions on the position — don’t simply air grievances. “It’s good to leave on a good note, and then to leave it behind,” says Rosemary Guyatt, basic supervisor of individuals and tradition at the Australian Human Resources Institute.

Nature | 12 min read

The satirical movie Don’t Look Up, through which an asteroid stands in for the menace of local weather change, handily demonstrates the myths that bolster science denial, write analysis psychologists Gale Sinatra and Barbara Hofer. From the concept that we are able to’t act except the science is 100% sure to the perception that expertise alone will save us, they spell out five misconceptions to watch out for — and the way to fight them.

The Conversation | 5 min read

Image of the week

Tianwen-1 pictured in front of the Northern Pole of Mars.

China’s Tianwen-1 Mars orbiter captured this beautiful selfie above the crimson planet by jettisoning a small digicam that beamed its images again to the mothership over Wi-Fi. (Space.com | 5 min read)CNSA/PEC

Today, I’m checking in with Methuselah, the oldest fish in captivity, who lives at the Steinhart Aquarium in San Francisco, California. The Australian lungfish (Neoceratodus forsteri) — whose intercourse continues to be unknown — is a super-gentle ‘underwater puppy’ who likes belly rubs, says its long-term carer, biologist Allan Jan. Methuselah arrived on a steamship in 1938 and might be a minimum of 90 years outdated.

Like Methuselah, I desire my figs recent and in-season — however I’m grateful on your e-mails any time. Please ship your suggestions on this text to briefing@nature.com.

Flora Graham, senior editor, Nature Briefing

With contributions by Anne Marie Conlon



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