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Ontario researchers find how some COVID-19 vaccines can trigger blood clots – cjoy.com

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A team of researchers from McMaster University has mapped out how certain COVID-19 vaccines can trigger a rare but sometimes fatal blood clotting reaction in some recipients.

The findings, published Wednesday in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Nature, suggest some people formed unusual antibodies after receiving an adenoviral vector vaccine, and those antibodies could stick to certain blood platelet components, triggering clot formation.

COVID-19 vaccines from Oxford-AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson, which both use adenoviral vector technology, are associated with rare cases of vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia or VITT, a clotting disorder characterized by low blood platelets.

“We do not know why these rare antibodies form in the first place, and we do not know why they cause blood clots in unusual places, but we do know the specific target of the VITT antibody,” McMaster researchers said in the study.

Ishac Nazy, the principal investigator and corresponding author, said some people formed VITT antibodies after being vaccinated with the adenoviral vaccines. Those unusual antibodies then bound to a platelet protein in the blood called platelet factor 4 (PF4) “in a very unique and specific orientation.”

The antibodies cluster PF4 proteins together to form immune complexes, which bind and activate platelets and leads to “a self-perpetuating vicious cycle of clotting events,” Nazy said in a release.

The research team used a molecular mapping technique to study the interaction between the VITT antibodies and the PF4 protein, finding the precise location on the PF4 where the VITT antibodies bound.

Read more:
Health Canada warns capillary leak syndrome possible side effect of AstraZeneca vaccine

The study also compared blood samples from five VITT patients to 10 with a similar clotting condition known as heparin-induced thrombocytopenia, or HIT, and found patterns of platelet activation that were distinct from the HIT patient samples. That indicates the tests used to diagnose HIT aren’t suitable to diagnose VITT, the study said.

The study also found that VITT antibodies could bind “very tightly to PF4, more tightly than HIT antibodies.”

Nazy, who’s also the scientific director of the McMaster Platelet Immunology Laboratory, says he hopes the findings can make it easier to diagnose and treat VITT, as well as make vaccines safer.

John Kelton, co-investigator of the study and co-medical director of the McMaster Platelet Immunology Laboratory, said the next step is to “develop a rapid diagnostic and accurate test to diagnose VITT.” The researchers say current rapid tests are time-consuming and prone to false-negative results.

“Our major interest is now to move upstream from how the clots happen to preventing them from occurring,” he said in a release.

VITT was found to occur in one in 60,000 AstraZeneca recipients in Canada.

Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization recommended last month that provinces stop administering the AstraZeneca vaccine in most cases, adding that it preferred those who received first doses of AstraZeneca get an mRNA vaccine from either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna to complete their two-dose series.

In June, the estimated rate of developing VITT after a second dose was one in 600,000.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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M2 MacBook Pro SSD pales in comparison to M1 predecessor and Windows laptops – Windows Central

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What you need to know

  • Apple recently released its 13-inch MacBook Pro which features an M2 processor.
  • The base model of the laptop delivers SSD performance that is significantly slower than the M1 MacBook Pro.
  • Read and write speeds for the M2 MacBook Pro lag even further behind the best Windows laptops and even PCs that feature slower PCIe3 storage.

Apple launched its M2-powered 13-inch MacBook Pro recently. Reviews of the device have been somewhat mixed. Positive comments focus on the excellent battery life of the new MacBook Pro and its impressive single-core performance. Most negative reviews raise concerns about how the new MacBook Pro will differentiate itself from the upcoming MacBook Air, which also features an M2 processor. There is, however, another concern about Apple’s latest laptop, its surprisingly slow SSD.

YouTuber Created Tech tore apart a 13-inch MacBook Pro to find out why the device has such slow read and write speeds. He found that the base model of the device has just a single NAND flash storage chip. In contrast, the base model of the M1 MacBook Pro featured two NAND flash storage chips.

This is one of those cases in which two is better than one. A device with two NAND chips, such as the M1 MacBook Pro, can handle more bandwidth because the chips can work in parallel. Created Tech analogizes this to lanes on a highway. The M2 MacBook Pro having just a single NAND  chip effectively creates a bottleneck.

The concept of using two NAND chips in tandem is similar in concept to RAID 0 on Windows, though it’s not exactly the same.

Max Tech’s Max Yurvey shared SSD benchmarks of the M2 MacBook Pro and compared it to its predecessor in an extensive vs. video. Yurvey also found the base model of the laptop to have just a single NAND flash storage chip.

M1 MacBook Pro M2 MacBook Pro
SSD read speed 2,900 MB/s 1,446 MB/s
SSD write speed 2,215 MB/s 1,463 MB/s

High-end models of the M2 MacBook Pro, such as the 512GB storage version, have similar SSD speeds to the M1 MacBook Pro, according to MacRumors. As noted by the outlet, shoppers would need to spend at least $1,499 to get the same SSD speeds as those seen in the previous-generation MacBook Pro.

Notably, devices sent out to reviewers under embargo appear to have been higher-end models with two NAND chips.

This is all just on the Apple side of things. When compared to the best Windows laptops — and to be honest, even some average Windows PCs — the new 13-inch MacBook Pro pales in comparison. 

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The M2 MacBook Pro’s read and write speeds are dramatically below high-end Windows PCs like the ASUS ZenBook Pro 14 Duo OLED and MSI GE76 Raider. That’s to be expected, as those Windows computers have PCIe4 SSDs. But Apple’s new laptop also compares poorly against the Surface Laptop Go 2, which has a PCIe3 SSD like the M2 MacBook Pro.

Apple’s use of a single NAND chip is, to borrow a word from our executive editor Daniel Rubino, odd. While the M2 MacBook Pro improves upon its predecessor in some areas, a step backward on the SSD side of things is a strange choice.

Slower SSD speeds can negatively affect overall device performance as well as bog down workflows that require transferring content to an external drive.

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It's official: Xiaomi 12S series with Leica-tuned cameras is coming on July 4 – GSMArena.com news – GSMArena.com

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The Xiaomi 12S that leaked last month will be officially unveiled next week – on July 4. This revelation comes from Xiaomi, which also said that the 12S will be joined by the 12S Pro and 12S Ultra at the event.

Xiaomi also confirmed its partnership with Leica for the cameras on the 12S series and gave us a glimpse of the three smartphones.

Judging by the leaked image of the 12S, we believe the smartphone with the white-colored back panel is the 12S, while the one in the center might be the 12S Pro, and the smartphone on the left might be the 12S Ultra. It has a golden metal frame with a green-colored leather panel.

It's official: Xiaomi 12S series is coming on July 4

Xiaomi hasn’t detailed the specs sheets of the 12S series smartphones yet, but the company said the 12S is a small-sized high-end flagship, whereas the 12S Pro is 2022’s new flagship standard. The 12S Ultra is touted as the “new height of mobile imaging flagship.”

You can expect Xiaomi to share more information about the 12S lineup in the lead-up to the event next Monday.

Source 1, Source 2 (both in Chinese)

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Apple MacBook Pro M2 SSD performance falls short of its M1 predecessor – XDA Developers

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Apple’s recently announced MacBook Pro 13 (2022) hit retail shelves this past week, which means it not only got into the hands of eager customers but also got into the hands of more reviewers. This latter part is important because apparently, testing of the base model has revealed what could be a major drawback for some.

YouTube creators Max Tech and Created Tech ran tests on the latest Apple MacBook Pro 13 and found that the storage speeds of the new base M2 model were slower when compared to the older M1 MacBook Pro 13. Now, this wouldn’t be a huge deal if it was a small difference, but according to Max Tech, the difference is pretty major. Running the test numerous times using Blackmagic’s Disk Speed Test app, he was able to find that the write speed of the M1 MacBook Pro was 2,215, while the M2 MacBook Pro scored 1,463. On read speed, the former scored 2,900, while the latter scored 1,446.

Apple’s latest isn’t its greatest when SSDs are involved.

Max Tech took things a step further by opening up both laptops and checking the physical differences in hardware. They spotted an immediate difference with regards to the SSD count. In the older M1 MacBook Pro 13, there are two soldered SSDs, while the newer M2 MacBook Pro 13 has just one SSD. Max Tech explains that having two chips working in tandem is much more efficient than having just one SSD chip shouldering the load. This is probably not what many would expect, but it is something to consider when purchasing the newer model.

These tests were performed on the base model, and reports have shown that higher models have better and faster SSD scores. What will be interesting is to see how well the upcoming MacBook Air 13 (2022) will perform when it is released. Be sure to check out our full review of the MacBook Pro 13 (2022).

    The Apple MacBook Pro 13 with M2 processor


Source: Max Tech and Created Tech (YouTube)
Via: MacRumors

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