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Hints of Long Immunity

A new study suggests immunity to SARS-CoV-2 may last years after infection, the New York Times reports, a finding that may assuage concerns that immunity to the virus may be short-lived.

Researchers from the La Jolla Institute for Immunology examined circulating immune cells from 185 people who had COVID-19, including a number of people who fell ill more than six months ago. As they report in a preprint posted to BioRxiv, the researchers found that spike IgG levels were broadly stable over time, with slight declines around six and eight months. At the same time, spike-specific memory B-cells were more abundant at six months as compared to one month post-infection, while the number of CD4+ T cells and CD8+ T cells declined a little bit over time.

These findings, the Times reports, provide hope that vaccines developed against the virus may also provide long-lasting protection and may not need yearly updates. "That amount of memory would likely prevent the vast majority of people from getting hospitalized disease, severe disease, for many years," co-senior author Shane Crotty from La Jolla tells the Times.

The Scan

Hormone-Based Gene Therapy to Sterilize Domestic Cat

A new paper in Nature Communication suggests that gene therapy could be a safer alternative to spaying domestic cats.

Active Lifestyle Linked to Type 2 Diabetes Prevention in People at High Genetic Risk

A study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine shows that an active lifestyle goes a long way in type 2 diabetes prevention.

Beneficial, Harmful Effects of Introgression Between Wild and Domesticated European Grapes

A paper in PNAS shows that European wild grapevines were an important resource for improving the flavor of cultivated wine grapes.

Genetic Ancestry of South America's Indigenous Mapuche Traced

Researchers in Current Biology analyzed genome-wide data from more than five dozen Mapuche individuals to better understand their genetic history.