The ground is sinking and several cities are in danger

Cindy Fernández Juan Jose Villena 17 Ene 5 min
Subsidence Earth
This map shows, in red, the areas with the greatest potential for subsidence. IGME.

A group of scientists, led by Spanish researchers, has created the first world map of subsidence of the land caused by the extraction of underground water. According to the study, 10% of the earth’s surface is gradually sinking and in the areas of the Earth most likely to suffer subsidence 1.2 billion people live and 21% of the world’s most important cities are located. In Asia, the most affected continent, 86% of the population is exposed. In terms of economic impact, up to 12% of world GDP is in danger.

The determining factors that increase the probability of subsidence are several: lithology (type of soil), topography, land use or climate. “The greatest probability occurs in arid or temperate zones with periods of drought”, comments the author Herrera-García. He Trigger for subsidence is excessive water withdrawal, either for agricultural, industrial or urban use. They are gradual processes that affect large areas, over long periods of time, and tend to end fissures in the earth, damage buildings and civil infrastructure, and increase the susceptibility and risk of flooding.

“In overexploited aquifers, the natural recharge is less than the volume that is extracted,” explains Pablo Ezquerro, also from IGME and co-author of the study. The pores of these soils are left empty, compacting themselves due to the lack of water that contributed to sustaining the infrastructure.

During the next decades, world population and economic growth will continue to increase demand for water and the depletion of groundwater. In addition to the acceleration of the processes of urbanization and agrarian intensification in some of the most exposed regions, such as the Ganges and Brahmaputra basins in India or the plains of northeast China, climate change also has a role. Increased temperatures and recurrence of droughts further weaken the natural recharge of aquifers, increasing the occurrence of land subsidence and related damage or impacts.

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The study also shows that by the year 2040 some 635 million people could suffer the consequences of this process silent. The results of the study were presented in an article titled “Global threats of land subsidence due to groundwater depletion” in Science magazine: “To raise awareness and inform decision making, we assess potential global subsidence due to groundwater depletion, a key first step toward formulating effective land subsidence policies that are lacking in most countries of the world ”, explain the authors.

Centimeter by centimeter

To carry out the study, the team led by Herrera García reviewed a large amount of scientific literature and found that, during the last century, there were up to 200 sinks by subsidence in 34 different countries motivated by the depletion of groundwater.

Several well-known examples of subsidence are represented in the Italian city of Venice, whose subsidence due to the extraction of underground water has been accentuated since the 40s of the last century. Another example is Mexico City, which due to being planned on clay soils some areas sank up to 8 meters in the last 250 years. Another example, perhaps less known, can be found in the city of Berenizkí, in Russia, a city whose inhabitants have been forced to leave the area.

But not all is lost. The scientific and technical knowledge available from this type of study allows us to understand the processes and take steps to slow down and even reverse subsidence, as is the case in Tokyo. The Japanese capital had been sinking since the end of the 19th century, lowering its ground to four meters. In the decade of 1969, the management of the aquifers and the sustainable policies for the exploitation of groundwater managed to stop it.


‘Covid language’, the new symptom of the coronavirus that a British epidemiologist alerts

The British Epidemiologist Tim Spector has alerted through a message posted on Twitter of a new symptom of the coronavirus that until now has gone largely unnoticed by experts. It is, as defined, the ‘Covid language’.

As he has also explained professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College From london, one in five people with Covid-19 in the UK “it still has less common symptoms that are not on the official Public Health England (PHE) list, such as skin rashes.”

Related to this symptom is the “Covid language”, which Spector says he is observing “an increasing number” of cases with “covid tongues and strange mouth ulcers”.

“If you have a strange symptom or even just headaches and fatigue, stay home! “Spector warned.

The expert has accompanied the message with a photograph of one of the observed cases, in which a stained or discolored tongue.


Difficult London Hospitals Transfer Covid-19 Patients to Newcastle

The hospitals of the city of London are in difficulties due to the health emergency. Some of them started send patients infected with the Covid-19 coronavirus to Newcastle. The medical facilities of the capital of England observe an overload in their intensive care units.

For this reason, they are forced to transport seriously ill patients more than 300 miles away. The crisis is so serious that in recent days patients they were also taken to Northampton, Birmingham and Sheffield. The NHS England called the Northern hospitals to open hundreds of additional ICU beds.

The public body hopes to have these venues to take patients from London, the South East and the East. In those regions the new variant of SARS-CoV-2 increased hospitalizations at unexpected levels. UK medical facilities are struggling to care for 36,489 people infected with the virus.

This is an increase of 5,872 hospital admissions in just seven days. The health entity reported that this Thursday there were 48,682 positives. Dr. Claudia Paoloni, head of the Association of Hospital Consultants and Specialists, said long distance transfers put patients at risk.

The expert estimated that exposes that the NHS is “on the ropes” after years without funds and lack of staff. “No one would consider doing this unless the situation was exceptionally bad,” said the doctor. Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson acknowledged that the service was in “a race against time.”

The Guardian reports that Newcastle intensive care physicians are concerned that Royal Victoria and Freeman Hospitals can’t cope with the influx of patients from London. NHS chiefs are considering transferring patients to Coventry, Wolverhampton, Leicester, Nottingham and Derby.

Covid-19 patient is transferred by paramedics in England


What the historian thinks about Trump and Brexit

Berlin Religion, political power and the awareness of the times are the three big topics that Christopher Clark deals with in his new book “Prisoners of Time”. The historian, who teaches at Cambridge, draws a wide historical arc in it, ranging from the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar to Donald Trump.

“We always have the feeling that our present will last forever, especially in dark times,” said Clark in an interview with the Handelsblatt. The Trump era, which is just coming to an end, and the corona pandemic would, however, prove the opposite. “The election of the US president and the discovery of a vaccine by two German scientists, both from Turkey, were the good news for me last year.”

Australian-born Clark is a chronicler of political power and powers. In Germany he was mainly recognized by his book “Die Schlafwandler. How Europe moved into World War I ”is known – and controversial. In it, Clark questioned the prevailing opinion of German historiography that the German Empire was solely responsible for the outbreak of war.

The metaphor of sleepwalking powers has made a career since then and is also used, for example, to describe the constant escalation between the great powers USA and China. It is all the more important to Clark that the metaphor is used correctly: “Sleepwalkers don’t slide like on an ice surface,” he emphasizes. In sleepwalking, one has a specific intention, but awareness of the broader context of one’s actions is limited. It was the same before the First World War: “The powers that be at that time tried to pursue their interests, but they had a very narrow horizon that neglected the well-being of the entire political order.”

Many of his fellow historians have completely misunderstood the metaphor, says Clark. They would have interpreted his picture to mean that the Germans fell asleep before 1914 and should therefore be acquitted of war guilt. “For me, this is far too narrow a reading, which also has to do with the historian Fritz Fischer’s assessment of the First World War.” of the First World War blamed.

Christopher Clark: Prisoners of Time. History and Temporality from Nebuchadnezzar to Donald Trump.
Munich 2020
336 pages
26 Euro

Clark sees sleepwalking forces at work again today. “If you look at how the EU reacted to the financial crisis in Greece or the crisis in Ukraine, you can see here too that it was not well thought out. Helmut Schmidt once said that he saw sleepwalkers everywhere in the Ukraine crisis. “

Doesn’t that also apply to the British and the recently completed Brexit from the EU? “Yes, Brexit is also an example of sleepwalking,” agrees the historian. The supporters and opponents of Brexit would have understood the fateful referendum of 2016 completely differently: “For me, as a Brexit opponent, it was a question of the mind: is it more useful to us if we are inside or outside the EU?” Supporters it was a question of their identity: “Are you a free Brit or a servant of the EU in Brussels?”

For the historian, the fact that the image of Europe was so distorted in the Brexit debate has to do with the fact that Europe has not yet succeeded in countering the critics of the EU with a positive narrative. “It’s very difficult to make a European narrative,” says Clark. Why? Because the European nation-states had monopolized the image since the middle of the 19th century.

“At the moment I’m writing a book about the European revolutions of 1848,” reports the 60-year-old. “If there was an event in world history that was really European, then it was the revolutions of that time in 20 to 30 European cities that were deeply networked with one another.” Nevertheless, these events were only remembered nationally. “We have to start with European education,” demands the historian.

As unhappy as the “Australian European”, who is married to a German and speaks excellent German, is about the departure of his adopted home from the EU, Clark is confident about the coming change of power in the USA. For him, the election of Trump is a historic turning point that also extends beyond America. “Nobody leaves the stage of world history without leaving something behind,” warns Clark, referring to the legacy of Trumpism.

The crisis of confidence will remain

However, he doubts that Trump’s socio-cultural fan base will politically survive the populist US president. Trump profited greatly from the normative power of the factual, i.e. from his presence as US President. “If the plug of power is pulled now, his very heterogeneous following will probably fall apart,” the historian predicts.

The religious evangelists from Trump’s fan base had little to do with the brothers-in-arms of the “Proud Boys”, whom the Republicans had repeatedly defended.

Clark predicts that the geopolitical style of old power politics will suffer a significant loss of legitimacy as a result of Trump’s departure. “On the other hand, the crisis of confidence that was exacerbated by Trump but began with the global financial crisis will remain.” Many people have lost their trust in politics, governments, authorities and financial institutions. The crisis of confidence is the headline for our time. “

Even before the First World War, there was a similarly large crisis of confidence. Today, however, is much deeper and more complex: “Think of the credibility of the big newspapers, which was huge back then and continues to decline today.” At that time one read newspapers to find out what one should think about the world. “Most of them don’t do that anymore.”

At that time, the universities, too, enjoyed tremendous respect among the population. “That is no longer the case today either. The acquired knowledge, the expertise no longer enjoys this appreciation. “

This is particularly evident in the corona pandemic, which has made many people extremely insecure. “Pandemic experiences have always been drastic and dramatic,” says Clark, “it is no different this time.” For those affected they often felt like upheavals and turning points.

“If you look at pandemics historically, however, you realize that they were often anything but upheavals,” states the historian, “afterwards people mostly plunged back wildly into the old normal.”

The forgotten pandemics

For Clark this is only one reason why pandemics are disappearing from our historical memory. “The pandemics were often forgotten very quickly,” reports the Cambridge professor, “think of Heinrich Heine, who was unable to discover any trace of it after the cholera outbreak in Paris in 1832.” And that was much worse than the Corona at the time Pandemic today. Both in terms of the number of deaths and the course of the disease itself.

“It is a peculiarity of our historical memory that these human catastrophes disappear from our consciousness so quickly,” says Clark. This also provides guesswork among historians. Some of his colleagues suspected that this was also due to the male view of historiography. “The fact that women tend to care for the sick is less interesting for male historians,” says Clark of the discussions in his guild.

The American scholar Gary Gerstle also points out that deathbeds in intensive care units do not win wars or defend human rights. “This is what makes the historical narrative of pandemics so difficult. They fill us with horror and shame, but offer little room for historical highlights. ”In addition, the virus is not a historical figure. “We experience this as a fight against an invisible, non-human opponent.”

More: Four scientists explain what the working world will look like after Corona


Turkish Scientists Create 99% Reliable COVID-19 Test in 10 Seconds

Scientists at a Turkish university research center claim to have an ultra-fast 99% accurate coronavirus test that can return results in 10 seconds, all without the need to take an uncomfortable nasal swab.

Diagnovir, developed by researchers at Bilkent University, is a diagnostic kit that, the team explains, uses nanotechnology to detect COVID-19 in a patient.

First, a swab is taken from the patient’s mouth before mixing it with a solution. The mixture is added to a pathogen detection chip. “It detects the presence of pathogens with great precision by receiving a fluorescent signal,” said Ali Aytac Seyman, a researcher at the National Center for Nanotechnology Research (UNAM).

He then noted that, unlike the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, the most widely used, which detects specific genetic material in a sample before amplifying it, Diagnovir “focuses on the existence or non-existence of the virus using advanced optical methods. “

This, he says, can give a patient a positive result in 5-10 seconds, but it would take up to 20 seconds if the result is negative. PCR test analysis can take much longer.

The researchers are trying to get approval from the Turkish authorities to begin mass production of the kits in the next two months. They hope that they will eventually replace PCR testing.

“Quickly discover that a person is positive [por la COVID-19] then quarantining it is very important to control the pandemic, “Bilkent University Rector Abdullah Atalar told Anadolu Agency. He suggested that this type of technology could also be used to detect other coronaviruses.

Has nanotechnology been used to detect coronaviruses before?

Yes, and other experts around the world have been using this line of research to develop their own rapid tests for COVID-19.

“The coronavirus is a particle with a diameter of 150 nanometers,” Atalar said, adding that UNAM researchers have been working on nanoparticles for years. “This is exactly their field of expertise. As soon as the first cases were reported in Turkey, they started working on the project.”

In 2019, South Korean scientists also released details on the use of gold nanoparticles to test for MERS-CoV, the coronavirus that causes Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). Such a test takes 10 minutes for the results to be visible and can be carried out in the early stages of the disease.

Using this logic, researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the University of Naples Federico II have separately conducted their own studies to create a nanotechnology-based test for COVID-19.

What kinds of tests are currently being used?

The PCR test is said to be the gold standard for COVID-19; however, the results may take some time as samples must be sent to a laboratory for analysis with specialized equipment. The deadlines range from 3 or 4 hours, in the best case, up to 48 hours depending on the saturation of the laboratories.

More recently, lateral flow tests or rapid antigen tests have been introduced that are supposed to give the COVID-19 test result in less than 30 minutes. However, they have doubts have arisen about the precision of this test, and some patients, for example those who already have symptoms, are advised not to do it due to the risk of a false negative.

ELISA-type tests, which detect antibodies as well as antigens, can also be used, although they are less widespread. The process is relatively simple but requires a specialized laboratory.

Testing difficulties are one of the biggest puzzles in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic.


The fight against Covid-19, the climate and Mars, protagonists of science in 2021

Twelve months ago We did not imagine that in 2020 science would have to park many of its ongoing projects to work towards solving the urgency of a pandemic. Quoting a Danish proverb, physicist Niels Bohr used to say that it is difficult to make predictions, especially about the future. But now we know with certainty that the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and Covid-19 will continue to account for much of the scientific research in the new year, since there is still much to do and know.

The first year of the pandemic ended with a spectacular achievement, the achievement of the first vaccines in just a few months, compared to the 15 years it used to take to develop these drugs. Those of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna-NIAID, Sinopharm, Sinovac or Sputnik V of Russia are already being administered or are close to doing so in different countries, but in the year that begins Oxford-AstraZeneca, Novavax, Janssen and others will follow. In 2021, the scientific work will be intense to collect data on the deployment of vaccines and clarify the panorama of their effectiveness in the real world, their limitations, contraindications and possible side effects.

All of it help refine and target immunization programs more effectively to move towards the most optimistic prediction, that before the end of 2021 the pandemic can be mastered and that the chimes of next December 31 find us in a situation as close to normal as possible.

Covid-19 vaccine.
Lisa Ferdinando/U.S. Secretary of Defense

At the same time, investigations into other aspects of the pandemic will continue. A universally effective treatment for Covid-19 could not be found in 2020, while improved therapies have saved many lives that would otherwise have been lost. At present there is no reason to trust that throughout this year we will have that saving treatment that makes Covid-19 something innocuous in all cases, but we should not rule out new advances either.

On the other hand, we should expect news regarding one of the great unknowns of the pandemic. This January a working group of the World Health Organization (WHO) will initiate a comprehensive investigation in Wuhan, which will be extended if necessary to other regions of China and the world, in order to clarify the origin of the virus. WHO experts face an immensely complex scientific task, a search for the needle in the haystack, during which they must also deal with possible political interference. There is no certainty that the investigation will conclude successfully. Doing so would not only solve one of the great mysteries surrounding this global crisis, but the lessons learned would also serve to help prevent future similar threats.

Beyond the pandemic: climate change, Mars …

Perhaps the possible control of the pandemic will return the focus of attention to another of the great global problems, climate change. In 2020 we learned that the previous year a new maximum was reached in the warming of the oceans, which in Antarctica broke the historical record for high temperatures and that climate change is accelerating, with the 1.5 ° C increase compared to pre-industrial levels set as a limit in the 2015 Paris Agreement could be exceeded by the middle of this decade.

In November the nations will meet in Glasgow for COP26 of the United Nations, a conference that should end with more demanding objectives in the reduction of CO2 emissions. Following the US abandonment of the Paris Agreement by decision of Donald Trump, the new president Joe Biden is expected to rectify and return his country to the path of fighting this global scourge.

A hidden island emerges in Antarctica due to the glacial melt.
A hidden island emerges in Antarctica due to the glacial melt.

As Earth continues to occupy herself with dealing with her problems, another nearby planet will see an unusual level of activity this year. In February three probes from as many countries will reach the Martian orbit. La Al Amal / Hope from United Arab Emirates study from above the meteorology and climate of Mars, while China’s Tianwen-1 and US Mars 2020 They will send two robotic vehicles to the surface. NASA’s Perseverance rover and its Chinese counterpart will search for traces of life in the past and present of Mars. The US mission also has the Ingenuity drone, the first device to fly over the surface of another world. For its part, the Chinese mission, if it succeeds in making landfall, will break for the first time the US monopoly on the exploration of Martian soil.

NASA's Perseverance rover
El rover Perseverance.

Also in space we will have other interesting news. In October NASA will launch the James Webb Space Telescope, the largest and most complex eye ever sent into space, which will serve as a relay for Hubble by increasing the capacity of its predecessor, especially in the infrared band.

It is expected that in 2021 we will receive new data on two of the most intriguing science news of the past year, the presence of phosphine gas – a possible sign of life – in the atmosphere of Venus, a finding that was disputed, and the strange radio signal picked up by the Australian radio telescope in Parkes that appears to come from the nearby star Proxima Centauri and that some experts have described as the most suggestive indication of a possible alien civilization since 1977, although it is likely that its origin is terrestrial.

Will it finally be possible in 2021 to decide if the drug aducanumab is capable of slowing down the progression of Alzheimer’s, after conflicting data in this regard? Will we have encouraging results from gene therapy trials with the CRISPR genome editing system? What new physics will the Large Hadron Collider find, which will restart in May? How will NASA’s Artemis program’s new moon race progress? The future is difficult to predict. But as another physicist, Albert Einstein, said, it comes sooner than later.

Dates to watch in 2021

  • January: WHO starts its investigation in Wuhan on the origin of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.
  • 18th of February: NASA’s Perseverance rover will land on Mars along with the Ingenuity drone.
  • April 23rd: China’s Tianwen-1 mission will land a robotic vehicle on Mars.
  • Mayo: The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) starts up again in Geneva.
  • 31 October: NASA will launch the James Webb Space Telescope.
  • November 1st: COP26, the United Nations conference on climate change, begins in Glasgow.


The Barcelona 2020 Awards will grant 225 cultural, scientific and educational projects

This year, the City of Barcelona Awards are reconverted, in an exceptional way, into the Barcelona Awards 2020 scholarship program. 225 scholarships worth 1.6 million euros will be awarded to cultural creation, research or innovation projects in the fields of culture, science and education. The objective is to help reactivate sectors that have been severely affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

The 225 scholarships will have a value of between 6,000 and 10,000 euros each, depending on the modality, and will be distributed in three areas: cultural, education and scientific dissemination and the arts and sciences.

The initiative is part of the third package of measures that was presented in October for support the cultural fabric of the city. The scholarships are intended to maintain the dynamism and cultural, scientific and educational leadership of Barcelona and contribute to the reactivation of sectors that have suffered greatly from the effects of the COVID-19 crisis.

A total of 225 scholarships spread over three areas

Scholarships for the cultural field are divided into two lines. On the one hand, 155 scholarships of 6,000 euros each are offered to support artistic creation. In this sense, they will be valued performing arts, visual, musical, audiovisual or popular culture projects, literary creation or hybrids. The initiatives will have to be innovative and newly created, and they must take into account factors such as interculturality and the gender perspective.

On the other hand, 14 scholarships of 10,000 euros are offered for innovation and research projects in heritage spaces and community cultural actionEither to energize the young public who visit museums or to innovate in community cultural projects.

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With regard to scholarships in the field of education, there are 34 scholarships of 10,000 euros each, intended for projects that generate knowledge from concrete practices or that improve educational and cultural possibilities.Finally, there will be 22 scholarships endowed with 10,000 euros for science dissemination projects and the arts and sciences, with the aim of promoting the creation of innovative scientific dissemination proposals, the creation of educational content digital or audiovisual and the creation of audiovisual artistic projects that link the territories of art and science.

The deadline for submitting applications will be from December 30 to February 17 and projects can be submitted electronically through the culture support website or at the Citizen Office of Culture. You will find more information on the web


Neptune’s storm changes direction and puzzles NASA

Cindy Fernández Juan Jose Villena 1 hour ago 4 min
neptune, nasa, storms, blotch, vortex
Two spots were observed in Neptune’s atmosphere.

The storm, which is wider than the Atlantic Ocean, was born in the northern hemisphere of the planet and was discovered by Hubble in 2018. Observations show that a year ago it began to move south, towards the equator of Neptune, where it is Such storms are expected to begin to weaken and disappear. However, to the surprise of the observers, the vortex changed direction again to the north, moving away from its end, as reported by the NASA. Hubble has been tracking these storms for 30 years and this is the first time it has captured this atmospheric behavior.

Usually, a as a storm moves toward Neptune’s equator, the Coriolis effect weakens and the storm disintegrates. In computer simulations performed by several different teams, Neptune’s storms always follow a more or less uniform path, but the last giant storm did not quite migrate to the equatorial “death zone”.

“It was really exciting to see the dark spot act like it was supposed to and then all of a sudden it just stops and steps back,” Wong said. “That was surprising.”

Just as disconcerting was that the storm was not alone. Hubble saw another smaller dark spot in January of this year, which temporarily appeared near the largest vortex. “We are excited about these observations because this smaller dark fragment is potentially part of the dark spot disruption process,” said Michael H. Wong of the University of California at Berkeley.

“It was also in January that the dark vortex stopped its movement and began to move north again. Perhaps, having managed to get rid of that fragment was enough to prevent it from moving towards the equator,” Wong added, referring to the more vortex. little which scientists informally named as “Junior.”

The great storm It is 7,500 km in diameter and is the fourth dark spot Hubble has observed on Neptune since 1993; while Junior reaches 6000 km long. Two other dark storms were discovered by the Voyager 2 spacecraft in 1989, but disappeared before Hubble could observe them. Since then, only Hubble had the sharpness and sensitivity in visible light to track them. On average they last for about two years each and the Hubble telescope discovered this latest storm in September 2018.

The investigation

It is still a mystery how these storms form, but This latest giant dark vortex is the best studied so far. The dark appearance of the storm may be due to a raised layer of dark clouds and could be informing astronomers about the vertical structure of the storm.

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Another unusual feature of the dark spot is the absence of bright companion clouds around it, which were present in the Hubble images taken when the vortex was discovered in 2018. Apparently, the clouds disappeared when he stopped his journey south. Bright clouds form when airflow is disturbed and deflected upward over the vortex, likely causing the gases to freeze into methane ice crystals. The lack of clouds could be revealing information about how the spots evolve, the researchers say.


UNESCO’s response to the COVID-19 emergency in Peru

The Peruvian Government, after declaring a State of National Emergency as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, has implemented a series of measures to face this situation. Part of these measures has included the closure of schools and higher education centers, both public and private, as well as of all the sites declared World, Cultural and Natural Heritage by UNESCO.

UNESCO, through the actions of the UNESCO Office in Peru, the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, the UNESCO Regional Offices for Latin America and the Caribbean (in Santiago, Montevideo and Havana), the IESALC (based in Caracas ), the UNESCO Chairs, and the CRESPIAL (UNESCO Category 2 Center), among others, have placed themselves at the service of the Peruvian State and society in all sectors, in response to the emergency situation.

UNESCO in Peru frames its response strategy in the global directives of UNESCO, as well as in the specific needs of the country and the work with other Agencies of the United Nations system in Peru.

On this page, UNESCO in Peru presents the second edition of its report: “UNESCO in Peru in the face of the COVID-19 emergency: A strategic response”. The brochure offers a complete report and the infographic a brief summary of the actions carried out by UNESCO throughout 2020, in response to the COVID-19 crisis in Peru.


Immunity against Covid begins to decline a month after the onset of symptoms, according to a study

A study published by American researchers in the journal Science Inmunology which reveals that immunity against coronavirus is higher in patients requiring hospitalization, and that this immunity begins to decrease one month after the onset of symptoms.

The study reveals that SARS-CoV-2 specific antibodies, particularly those that prevent the interaction of the viral peak receptor binding domain (RBD) with the host’s angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor, can neutralize the virus.

The researchers analyzed 983 plasma samples of 79 hospitalized patients with Covid-19 and of 175 infected outpatients and asymptomatic patients. Of them, 25 patients died from their disease. “Higher proportions of IgG antibodies directed to the S1 or RBD peak domains were observed compared to nucleocapsid antigen in outpatients who had mild disease versus severely ill patients,” the researchers say in their conclusions.

On the other hand, the study maintains that “the SARS-CoV-2 antibodies of outpatients and asymptomatic patients, including IgG, progressively decreased during observation up to five months later infection “.

“A more complete understanding of the role of antibodies in acute Covid-19 disease will guide the effective use of plasma products convalescence therapy and recombinant antibodies directed against SARS-CoV-2 “, the study says.

Researchers also wonder how long the antibodies elicited by vaccination will last and if it will be necessary. frequent reinforcement to maintain protection.

On this matter, the study says that “current vaccination strategies undergoing clinical trials differ from natural infection in a variety of ways, including the method of generating or introducing viral antigens into the body, the site of exposure, and the presence of adjuvants. “

The research concludes that “a more detailed study of the generation of memory B cell populations, short- or long-lived plasma cells and memory T cells for SARS-CoV-2, as well as other coronaviruses, it should start to clarify some of these key mechanical points. “