Monday, 4 May 2020

IDiot Designer Blunder - He Got The Wrong Species!

Scientists were inspired by antibodies produced by this llama, named Winter, to develop their antibody against SARS-CoV-2. Winter is four years old and still living on a farm in the Belgian countryside operated by Ghent University’s Vlaams Institute for Biotechnology.
Photo credit: Tim Coppens.
Antibodies from Llamas Could Help in Fight Against COVID-19 - UT News

You'd expect an intelligent designer to know what it's doing, wouldn't you?

Not so creationism's intelligent (sic) designer, it seems. It's only gone and given a species that doesn't even suffer from Covid-19 the ability to create immunity to it!

Researchers at the University of Texas, Austin, Texas, USA and the National Institutes of Health and Ghent University in Belgium have discovered that a llama produces two natural antibodies when vaccinated with Covid-19 'spike' proteins, that, when linked together:

...binds tightly to a key protein on the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. This protein, called the spike protein, allows the virus to break into host cells. Initial tests indicate that the antibody blocks viruses that display this spike protein from infecting cells in culture.

As the University of Austin press release explains:

When llamas’ immune systems detect foreign invaders such as bacteria and viruses, these animals (and other camelids such as alpacas) produce two types of antibodies: one that is similar to human antibodies and another that’s only about a quarter of the size. These smaller ones, called single-domain antibodies or nanobodies, can be nebulized and used in an inhaler.

Their report is currently available online in the form of a “pre-proof,” meaning it is peer-reviewed but undergoing final formatting for publication.

Central to this research was 'Winter', a 4 year-old llama living on a farm in Belgium along with 130 other llamas. She was used in 2016 when about 9 months old by researchers studying two earlier coronaviruses: SARS-CoV-1 and MERS-CoV. She was injected with the 'spike proteins' with which these viruses, like Covid-19, stick to cell surfaces to gain access to the cell. She subsequently developed antibodies to these proteins which were shown to bind to the viruses and prevented them infecting cells in cell-culture.

Researchers have now engineered these antibodies and demonstrated that they are effective against Covid-19 virus particles. The team is now preparing to conduct further trial in other animals such as hamsters or non-human primates. The goal is to develop a treatment that could be given to patients soon after infection with Covid-19.

This research is just one of over a hundred programs of investigation and development as the world's scientific community races to find effective treatments and cures for this pandemic. Meanwhile, creationists are left to explain why an intelligent designer would give llamas a much more effective immune system than it gave to humans.

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