Hey, Hey, I Saved the World Today

As crazy as the politics have been, this year may be remembered for scientific strides that, in some cases, saved the world (which is not a bad achievement to have on your curriculum vitae). From vaccine creators, to virus hunters, to crisis leaders, to science defenders, here’s Nature’s list of ten people who helped shape science in 2020. He’s not on the list, but it’s worth noting the contribution of Dr Li Wenliang who warned the world about the virus and later died of it.

+ “Scientists and investors born outside of the U.S. played crucial roles in the development of vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna. It’s a remarkable vindication for the argument — often made by the biotech industry — that innovation depends on the free movement of people and ideas.” NPR: If COVID-19 Vaccines Bring An End To The Pandemic, America Has Immigrants To Thank.

+ “Pfizer makes hundreds of medicines and vaccines and operates at least 40 manufacturing facilities registered with the FDA around the world. Despite being founded a decade ago, Moderna has never had a product win FDA approval. And it only has one factory registered with the FDA — and the registration occurred just this week.” Talk about starting off with a bang.

+ “For measles, the booster dose is given years after the first dose. If the booster dose could be given six months or a year after the first dose, while maintaining high efficacy before the second dose, that would allow twice as many people to get vaccinated between now and later next year.” Zeynep Tufekci and Michael Mina in the NYT: Can We Do Twice as Many Vaccinations as We Thought?

+ Mike and Karen Pence have received the first dose of the vaccine on live TV. From his comments, we know that the shot doesn’t cure obsequiousness (and it sure as hell ain’t truth serum).

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