The history of the Internet & cybersecurity, and a closer look at rapid antibody tests for COVID-19
In this week’s episode of Ventures, my guests Tony Sager, Sol Cates, and I discuss Tony’s journey through the National Security Agency during the cold war and dawn of the Internet. We talk about how Sol and Tony crossed paths, and how cybersecurity has evolved over the past 50 years, and how the Web 3.0 generation can (and should) learn from the Web 1.0 generation.
Rapid COVID-19 Antibody Tests
One of Prota’s portfolio companies, Zebra Health, is a distributor of a COVID-19 rapid antibody test that actually works and is useful/informative. My team and I recently tested them out. On the left (below) is a result showing no COVID-19 antibodies, which was most of us, but we have a colleague who is a healthcare worker with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine (second dose Jan 8, 2021), and his IgG lit up like a Christmas tree.
Interestingly, I recently tested a neighbor who had COVID-19 in early September and his result was negative, but his wife - who got it later the same month - had a very faint IgG line show up (I enhanced the image to make it easier to see from a photograph):
So - from a very small number of data points, we learned that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine indeed worked for our colleague (as expected), interestingly didn’t show any IgM (it must have been far enough out), and that at least for my neighbors their IgG antibodies didn’t hang out very long.
From my primer article in December on viruses, antigens, and antibodies, I linked to this:
...which is helpful to think about how to interpret rapid antibody test data. Time will tell how long the vaccines will give us immunity, and whether they will be protective against the new strains, but at the very least we’ll soon have easily available tests (hopefully antigen AND antibody tests, which I’ve written about here).
If you’d like to buy the tests, have your pharmacist reach out to my friends at Zebra Health. Currently these tests are only available for point-of-care use. Hopefully we’ll see over-the-counter versions for both antigen and antibody tests available soon.
Have a great rest of your week!