Covid-19: Antibody fragment could prevent infection


RESEARCH suggests that an antibody fragment, or “nanobody,” can neutralize SARS-CoV-2. The authors also say that it is possible to produce the nanobody cheaply and at scale, making it a promising candidate for the widespread prevention of Covid-19.
As cases of Covid-19 continue to rise, the search for an effective vaccine against the disease continues.
A recent report provides encouraging results for a vaccine candidate under development in Russia, but there are still no data showing that any vaccine can prevent Covid-19.
It could be months, if not years, before a vaccine reaches the general population.
In the meantime, however, scientists are busy looking for an effective treatment to mitigate symptoms or, even better, to prevent infection from occurring in the first place.
A nanobody, which is a fragment of an antibody, is less than one-tenth of the size of a normal antibody. Although much smaller, nanobodies are just as specific and effective as regular antibodies.
Camelids — the family of animals including camels, llamas, and alpacas — naturally produce nanobodies. In this study, the nanobody came from an alpaca.
New research has identified a link between heart rate and depression, which could help with the diagnosis and treatment of the mental health issue.
Depression is a mood disorder that can have a debilitating effect on day to day life. It can cause physical symptoms, as well as feelings of sadness, anxiety, irritability, and lethargy and make it more difficult to concentrate, sleep, and talk. Depression may also increase the risk of certain health issues, such as heart disease.
If a person has been experiencing symptoms of depression every day for at least 2 weeks, they may be having a major depressive episode. In 2017, approximately 7.1% of the adult United States population had at least one of these episodes.
Depression can be treated with medication, talking therapies, or both. In either case, treatment can take months to be effective. Also, in some people, depression is resistant to treatment.
Ketamine’s effectiveness has opened the door to new research exploring ways of detecting depression. One such method involves studying heart rate. Previous research has suggested a link between the variability of heart rate and depression. However, because the treatment of depression usually takes a long time, this link can be difficult to study.


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