SpaceX quietly recruited 4,300 employees for the coronovirus antibody study as it prepared for its historic crew mission to the International Space Station.
Endeavor earned SpaceX chief Elon Musk on byline Research Paper The study published in the journal Nature last week and details its findings.
Researchers who tested SpaceX staffers’ blood once a month found that people who caught COVID-19 could develop “durable” protection from reabsorbing it if they produced enough antibodies to ward off the virus. Huh.
SpaceX sent an email to search for volunteers for the study starting in April last year, a month before it launched the first manned spacecraft from US Earth.
It was also the month that Musk called Coronavirus sanctions “fascist” after an unsuccessful fight to shut down Tesla’s factory in Northern California, where officials issued one of the country’s first lockdowns.
SpaceX worked with two researchers, Eric Niles and Galite Alter, to establish a blood-test plan at a time when regular COVID-19 tests were difficult to track down, According to The Wall Street Journal
, Which first reported on Saturday.
Musk – who tested himself positive for coronavirus in November – personally joined the study and the scientists working on it and other SpaceX lawmakers dressed as an epidemic, the paper reported.
Anil Menon, the medical director at Musk and SpaceX, is credited with helping design the study, and the Tech Billionaire’s charity, the Musk Foundation, provided support for the research.
The research paper notes that the study points to the existence of an “immunologic threshold” that determines permanent immunity to the virus in survivors of COVID-19, meaning that individuals with enough antibodies are re-ill. Can be saved from being, says the research paper.
The volunteers at SpaceX were not really a diverse group – about 84 percent of them were male and their average age was 32, according to the study.
The study noted that some 120 employees contracted COVID-19 and developed antibodies that researchers could detect – 61 percent that did not have any hallmark symptoms of the bug, such as fever, cough, or loss of taste and smell. . .
According to the study, people suffering from such asymptomatic infections may not generate sufficient immune responses to clear antibody thresholds.
The researchers wrote, “The findings may direct surveillance efforts and prioritize vaccination campaign efforts.