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Analysis Suggests Decreased Effectiveness

The SARS-CoV-2 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson may be less effective against the Delta and Lambda viral variants, the New York Times reports.

In a preprint posted to BioRxiv, a team of New York University researchers compared the neutralizing antibody titers elicited by the J&J, Pfizer-BioNTech, and Moderna vaccines by viral variants. They found that while the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines exhibited modest neutralization against the viral variants tested, the J&J vaccine showed decreased neutralization against Delta and Lambda.

"The message that we wanted to give was not that people shouldn't get the J&J vaccine, but we hope that in the future, it will be boosted with either another dose of J&J or a boost with Pfizer or Moderna," study author Nathaniel Landau from NYU tells the Times.

The Times notes that this analysis, which has yet to undergo peer review, contrasts with analyses from J&J that indicate that the vaccine is effective against the Delta variant. A J&J spokesperson adds there that the data "do not speak to the full nature of immune protection" and that their own studies showed the vaccine "generated strong, persistent activity against the rapidly spreading Delta variant."

The Scan

Pig Organ Transplants Considered

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Food and Drug Administration may soon allow clinical trials that involve transplanting pig organs into humans.

'Poo-Bank' Proposal

Harvard Medical School researchers suggest people should bank stool samples when they are young to transplant when they later develop age-related diseases.

Spurred to Develop Again

New Scientist reports that researchers may have uncovered why about 60 percent of in vitro fertilization embryos stop developing.

Science Papers Examine Breast Milk Cell Populations, Cerebral Cortex Cellular Diversity, Micronesia Population History

In Science this week: unique cell populations found within breast milk, 100 transcriptionally distinct cell populations uncovered in the cerebral cortex, and more.