Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Transmission 'Plot Twist'

A new analysis indicates the SARS-CoV-2 strain identified in the UK may be more easily transmitted, the New York Times reports.

Earlier this month, officials and scientists in the UK noticed a new viral strain that appeared to be spreading in southern England. The rapid spread of the strain, dubbed B.1.1.7, raised concerns it might be more infectious than other strains.

A modeling analysis from researchers from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine has now suggested the B.1.1.7 strain is 56 percent more transmissible, as they report in a preprint. They further projected how the strain may spread and the resulting number of hospitalizations and deaths that may ensue in the next six months under differing viral control measures and vaccination levels. In their preprint, the researchers argue that additional control measures such as more stringent lockdowns may be needed to curb its spread.

Northeastern University's Alessandro Vespignani tells the Times that the new strain is a "plot twist."

"Evidence is accumulating that the variant is more transmissible, and this implies that it will likely require an even greater effort to keep spreading under control," he adds.

The Scan

More Boosters for US

Following US Food and Drug Administration authorization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has endorsed booster doses of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, the Washington Post writes.

From a Pig

A genetically modified pig kidney was transplanted into a human without triggering an immune response, Reuters reports.

For Privacy's Sake

Wired reports that more US states are passing genetic privacy laws.

Science Paper on How Poaching Drove Evolution in African Elephants

In Science this week: poaching has led to the rapid evolution of tuskless African elephants.