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Brazilian health regulators have not authorized Sputnik V, the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Russia’s state-run Gamaleya Institute. Regulators cited a lack of information guaranteeing the jab’s safety, quality and effectiveness. They also flagged quality-control issues, including the presence of un-neutralized adenoviruses that could infect those who get the vaccine. The Russian Direct Investment Fund, which is managing Sputnik V’s global sales, said the decision was politically motivated. “The Gamaleya Center, which carries out strict quality control of all Sputnik V production sites, has confirmed that no replication-competent adenoviruses (RCA) were ever found in any of the Sputnik V vaccine batches that have been produced,” it said. Sputnik V has been authorized in Russia and 60 other regions.
Features & opinion
Brazilian chemical engineers Gidiane Scaratti and Rafael Kenji Nishihora have spent about three of their eight years together separated by their careers. Now, both are back in Brazil — albeit in two different cities — and they’ve shared their advice for getting through a long-distance relationship in science.
The process of turning a loop of DNA containing the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein into the Pfizer–BioNTech vaccine takes 60 days and a jaw-dropping amount of dry ice. Walk through the process and meet the scientists in this step-by-step recipe.
Gamma-ray signals could be coming from antistars — stars made up completely of antimatter. Astrophysicists analysed 10 years of observations from the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope and found, among nearly 5,800 sources, 14 that might fit the profile of antistars. Extrapolating from that data, researchers estimate that somewhere between one in 10 and one in 400,000 stars could be made of antimatter — if they exist at all. “If, by any chance, one can prove the existence of the antistars … that would be a major blow for the standard cosmological model,” says theoretical astrophysicist Pierre Salati. It “would really imply a significant change in our understanding of what happened in the early universe”.
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