Covid 19: The Science explained

Coronavirus, how it works and its history

About the author

Dr. Jay Gralla is emeritus professor of Biochemistry at UCLA. He has done research at Yale, Harvard, The Pasteur Institute, MIT and of course at UCLA.

Blog Posts:

NOTE: to read the whole blog beginning with Post 1 click here.

21: Omicron: the real science and when to test for it.

You’ve heard it all about Omicron. It’s twice as contagious. No, it’s 20 times more contagious. It evades the antibodies induced by vaccines. No, the vaccines work fine. Omicron’s symptoms are milder than those of other variants. No, they’re just the same. Breakthrough infections are rampant. Or maybe not. So, what’s really going on? WeContinue reading “21: Omicron: the real science and when to test for it.”

17. Variant viruses: should we worry?

Mutant virus variants have been much in the news lately. Breathless reporters look serious as they pronounce that mutants are coming. Scary headlines shout the dangers. The internet is full of dire predictions. Will they spread uncontrollably? Make you sicker? Render the vaccines useless? These variants are no fantasy and are indeed beginning to dominateContinue reading “17. Variant viruses: should we worry?”

16. COVID turns one: how it spread and killed

December marks the first birthday of COVID-19. Just a year ago, in the dark days near the Winter Solstice, a lethal combination of exotic genes emerged from the Wuhan wild animal market. Somehow, coronaviruses from bats, pangolins and humans mixed, exchanged genes and caught hold in a human. Doctors started seeing cases of “atypical pneumonia”Continue reading “16. COVID turns one: how it spread and killed”

14. Trump’s extraordinary treatment: the science behind it

This update covers the science behind the extraordinary treatment that President Trump is receiving for his infection. In addition, at the end of this post there is a link to a slide show talk about the spread of COVID-19. I presented this show 2 days before he was diagnosed.  As I write this, the presidentContinue reading “14. Trump’s extraordinary treatment: the science behind it”

8. Antibodies try to come to the rescue

The two Foreign Service officers were brolly-carrying, buttoned-up, career diplomats, not health experts. Who knows what they thought upon disembarking in Shanghai, an 11-hour flight from London. They had been sent by Boris Johnson, the increasingly desperate British Prime Minister. Johnson, like his role model Trump, had mostly dismissed the dangers of Covid-19. But nowContinue reading “8. Antibodies try to come to the rescue”

7. Covid-19 vs. your immune system: the first few days

During the deadly 1918 flu pandemic the hospitals filled up with young people. Soldiers, having survived the horrors of trench warfare, were laid out, lifeless, on gurneys in hallways. Their sweethearts were there too, girls and young women in their prime. Who was missing? Old people.  But in the morgues holding victims of the 2020Continue reading “7. Covid-19 vs. your immune system: the first few days”

4. The mutant takes over cells and multiplies

After the Wuhan market was shut down, legions of health inspectors, clad in white protective suits, looking as if they had just landed on the moon, scurried around the dirty corridors. They swabbed pretty much everywhere, floors, walls, abandoned tables and cages, wherever there was a surface. They wore respirators and probably didn’t take themContinue reading “4. The mutant takes over cells and multiplies”

3. A mutant is born

A lot of what we know about coronaviruses comes from experience with the SARS epidemic of 2003. The Chinese government tried to suppress knowledge of that epidemic and in a sense the world was lucky; that coronavirus was not as infectious as the one causing Covid-19. Indeed, their initial response to Covid-19 was also denial.Continue reading “3. A mutant is born”


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