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Our data also demonstrated that a similar breadth of antibody repertoire develops in adolescents compared with adults against VOCs such as Beta, Delta, and Gamma. This provides evidence for cross-protective binding antibody responses after BNT162b2 vaccination in adolescents against VOCs with no evident difference in the neutralizing antibodies between vaccinated adolescents and adults for VOCs. With the recent emergence of the Omicron SARS-CoV-2 viral variant, children and adolescent populations are experiencing higher infection rates (8). This prompted us to also evaluate the antibody magnitude and functional breadth against the recent Omicron variant. The highly mutated Omicron variant can evade vaccine-induced immunity in adults except for vaccinees that have received a third dose, or previously infected and then vaccinated individuals (16, 24). These issues have not been fully characterized in adolescents and children. Here, we observed a marked reduction in neutralizing antibody responses to the Omicron variant. This finding underscores the potential for this VOC to evade preexisting vaccine-induced immunity and cause breakthrough disease. This is a serious concern and illustrates the urgent need for evaluating humoral immune response against Omicron infection after the third vaccine dose in adolescents, as has recently been reported for adult vaccine recipients (25).
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One of my two former firms, King & Spalding, is hosting a free interactive web seminar on cybersecurity and M&A on February 25 at 12:30 p.m. Thought the web seminar might be of interest to some of our readers. The description is reproduced below.
Amazon Prime Now has debuted in Nashville. Amazon Prime Now offers free two-hour delivery on many items for Prime members. The service is amazing and is already changing the way I shop. I really dislike shopping malls, especially during the busy holiday season, but I also dislike waiting weeks (or even days) for shipments to arrive, so Amazon Prime Now is a perfect solution.
Brick and mortar retailers may find differentiation through community building services. I already see some retailers attempting this. Running footwear and apparel stores are offering free group runs starting from their storefronts and/or group training programs for a fee. Grocery stores are offering group cooking classes. Book stores are offering book clubs. The list goes on.
I'd also like to cut back the number of times I check e-mail and the amount of time I spend responding to e-mails in general. If any readers, have suggestions on the appropriate amount of time on e-mail (for a professor), I would be interested. Obviously, it may vary a bit from week to week, but I am thinking about moving to checking e-mail twice a day during the week for 15 minutes each. I think this will allow me to continue being "responsive" to students and colleagues, but will also free up a great deal of time. Most of the longer e-mails I write could probably be much shorter or would be better as conference calls or in-person meetings.
Ants are among the most ubiquitous and harmful invaders worldwide, but there are few regional studies of their relationships with habitat and native ant communities. New Caledonia has a unique and diverse ant fauna that is threatened by exotic ants, but broad-scale patterns of exotic and native ant community composition in relation to habitat remain poorly documented. We conducted a systematic baiting survey of 56 sites representing the main New Caledonian habitat types: rainforest on ultramafic soils (15 sites), rainforest on volcano-sedimentary soils (13), maquis shrubland (15), Melaleuca-dominated savannas (11) and Acacia spirorbis thickets (2). We collected a total of 49 species, 13 of which were exotic. Only five sites were free of exotic species, and these were all rainforest. The five most abundant exotic species differed in their habitat association, with Pheidole megacephala associated with rainforests, Brachymyrmex cf. obscurior with savanna, and Wasmannia auropunctata and Nylanderia vaga present in most habitats. Anoplolepis gracilipes occurred primarily in maquis-shrubland, which contrasts with its rainforest affinity elsewhere. Multivariate analysis of overall ant species composition showed strong differentiation of sites according to the distribution of exotic species, and these patterns were maintained at the genus and functional group levels. Native ant composition differed at invaded versus uninvaded rainforest sites, in the absence of differences in habitat variables. Generalised Myrmicinae and Forest Opportunists were particularly affected by invasion. There was a strong negative relationship between the abundance of W. auropunctata and native ant abundance and richness. This emphasizes that, in addition to dominating many ant communities numerically, some exotic species, and in particular W. auropunctata, have a marked impact on native ant communities. PMID:23840639
Over the past century, two introduced Eurasian trees, saltcedar (Tamarix spp.) and Russian olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia) have become wide spread on western United States of American (U.S.) rivers. This paper reviews the literature on the following five key areas related to their distribution and abundance in the western United States: (1) the history of introduction, planting, and spread of saltcedar and Russian olive; (2) their current distribution; (3) their current abundance; (4) factors controlling their current distribution and abundance; and (5) models that have been developed to predict their future distribution and abundance. Saltcedar and Russian olive are now the third and fourth most frequently occurring woody riparian plants and the second and fifth most abundant species (out of 42 native and non-native species) along rivers in the western United States. Currently there is not a precise estimate of the areas that these species occupy in the entire West. Climatic variables are important determinants of their distribution and abundance. For example, saltcedar is limited by its sensitivity to hard freezes, whereas Russian olive appears to have a chilling requirement for bud break and seed germination, and can presumably survive colder winter temperatures. Either species can be dominant, co-dominant or sub-dominant relative to native species on a given river system. A number of environmental factors such as water availability, soil salinity, degree of stream flow regulation, and fire frequency can influence the abundance of these species relative to native species. Numerous studies suggest that both species have spread on western rivers primarily through a replacement process, whereby stress-tolerant species have moved into expanded niches that are no longer suitable for mesic native pioneer species. Better maps of current distribution and rigorous monitoring of distributional changes though time can help to resolve differences in predictions of potential