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Preprint in English | EMBASE | ID: ppcovidwho-326824


The Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant of SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) was only recently detected in southern Africa, but its subsequent spread has been extensive, both regionally and globally1. It is expected to become dominant in the coming weeks2, probably due to enhanced transmissibility. A striking feature of this variant is the large number of spike mutations3 that pose a threat to the efficacy of current COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) vaccines and antibody therapies4. This concern is amplified by the findings from our study. We found B.1.1.529 to be markedly resistant to neutralization by serum not only from convalescent patients, but also from individuals vaccinated with one of the four widely used COVID-19 vaccines. Even serum from persons vaccinated and boosted with mRNA-based vaccines exhibited substantially diminished neutralizing activity against B.1.1.529. By evaluating a panel of monoclonal antibodies to all known epitope clusters on the spike protein, we noted that the activity of 17 of the 19 antibodies tested were either abolished or impaired, including ones currently authorized or approved for use in patients. In addition, we also identified four new spike mutations (S371L, N440K, G446S, and Q493R) that confer greater antibody resistance to B.1.1.529. The Omicron variant presents a serious threat to many existing COVID-19 vaccines and therapies, compelling the development of new interventions that anticipate the evolutionary trajectory of SARS-CoV-2.

Open House International ; ahead-of-print(ahead-of-print):11, 2022.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-1685025


Purpose The purposes of this study are to prove that the content of floor flexibility can be designed objectively with the use of margins, which are an architectural vocabulary visualizing the possibility of formal change, and to conduct a case study on how the existing typical floor plans of South Korean apartments change with the extension of flexibility: the usability of margins and the results. Design/methodology/approach This study reviews two housing projects with different methods of flexible housing design: one is the flexibility to change the sizes of spaces and the other is the flexibility to change the topology of spaces. In this paper, the architectural term "area margin" is used for the former and "linear margin" for the latter. These were applied to the case of current apartments in South Korea to transform them into floor plans with the two types of flexibility and investigated whether the proposed floor plans satisfy the required efficacy structurally and functionally. Findings This case study shows that margins can be used as architectural vocabularies representing flexible sizes of rooms and flexible boundaries with neighbors. The final form of the structural framework became homogeneous, even though it conserved its indigenous spatial characteristics of abundant natural sunlight and airflow. In addition, the transformed structural framework has higher rigidity than the original one, even though the transversal wall was cut off with a margin, as shown by the schematic representations in this paper. Research limitations/implications The alternative plan, designed as a modification process, is not representative as a flexible floor plan. Rather, it is thought more important to make a range of variations rather than prototyping a model. This study starts from the premise that it is desirable for apartment house plans to share and encourage variations rather than aiming at typical sizes and shapes. Furthermore, this study exemplified the process to modify the existing typical floor plan into a flexible one using margins. Through this modification, it is thought that the typology of the South Korean apartment, which has succeeded in gaining social consensus for half a century, can be preserved while accommodating social changes in the future. Social implications The control of future variations of floor plans will extend the socioeconomic and physical life of a building, enabling a reasonable reinvestment of resources. Originality/value This paper deals with a design method applying distinct visual symbols to different contexts of flexibility and using those as architectural vocabularies.