A paradigm shift.
What a time, no? Filled with so much upside down oddity, so much counter-intuitive strange. Who could have ever thought that pumping tons and tons of free money into an economy makes the price of goods go up? Who would have ever dreamed that shark, generally misanthropic, hold the secret to curing mankind of its current dreaded ailment?
Not surfers, certainly, but a new study just released in the scientific journal Nature Communications makes it entirely clear that sharks, broadly man-eating, have proteins that act as antibody to Covid-19 and its variations.
Single-domain Variable New Antigen Receptors (VNARs) from the immune system of sharks are the smallest naturally occurring binding domains found in nature. Possessing flexible paratopes that can recognize protein motifs inaccessible to classical antibodies, VNARs have yet to be exploited for the development of SARS-CoV-2 therapeutics. Here, we detail the identification of a series of VNARs from a VNAR phage display library screened against the SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domain (RBD). The ability of the VNARs to neutralize pseudotype and authentic live SARS-CoV-2 virus rivalled or exceeded that of full-length immunoglobulins and other single-domain antibodies. Crystallographic analysis of two VNARs found that they recognized separate epitopes on the RBD and had distinctly different mechanisms of virus neutralization unique to VNARs. Structural and biochemical data suggest that VNARs would be effective therapeutic agents against emerging SARS-CoV-2 mutants, including the Delta variant, and coronaviruses across multiple phylogenetic lineages. This study highlights the utility of VNARs as effective therapeutics against coronaviruses and may serve as a critical milestone for nearing a paradigm shift of the greater biologic landscape.
I am almost loathe to share the wonderful news, as sharks have long been a natural deterrent to the VAL invasion but maybe no longer.
Maybe many soft toppers will head out to the lineup hoping to catch a little nibble along with the other great passion of clogging the inside.
The shark proteins have not been tested on humans yet but will be soon and I think surfers, for all the frontline work done amongst the toothy beasts, should be first in line.