Good News Monday #26: Old Knights, Young Heroes, and Llama Drama

Oh my, oh my. Just as the news covered the 25th anniversary of the deadly heat wave in Chicago, my air conditioning completely died. Loved-One and I are wilting down memory lane about the hot summers of childhood. And yes, it is hot as the dickens in my house. The good news for us is that we have a walk-out basement, which is cooled by Mother Earth. The really good news is four more days and we’ll have a new, efficient air conditioner.

Here’s a bit of good news that came my way this week while I remembered when a summer meant moving as little as possible.

Sir Thomas Moore at 100 years

Remember that 100 year-old geezer that raised 32 million pounds for the British National Health System by walking more than 100 laps in his garden?

While other investitures are on hold during the pandemic, the Queen knighted Sir Tom with a sword that belonged to her father. At an appropriate physical distance, of course.

I love that he laughed at the idea of getting knighted. I love that his childhood inspired him. I love that he’s so surprised that people fell in love with him.

I feel inspired. Don’t you!

Six year-old rescues his younger sister.

Bridger Walker, from Wyoming saved his four-year-old sister when a German shepherd mix lunged at her. The dog turned his attack on Bridger, grabbing his face in a death lock.

“If someone had to die, I thought it should be me,”

That’s what Bridger told his father. Okay, now I have a tear in my eye. No six-year-old should be thinking about who should die and who should be sacrificed.

What bravery!

From the Daily Mail

The Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and Captain America (Chris Evans) wanted Bridger to know what a brave man they thought the six-year-old little boy was. Captain America presented Bridger with an authentic Chaptain America shield.

Llamas have more than drama

photo from Wired

Nanobodies are a strange type of antibody that llamas and their relative have. The nanobodies might help prevent COVID-19 from infecting people.

“These [nanobodies] can block—do block quite potently—the interaction between the virus and the human cell,” says Ray Owens, a professor of molecular biology at the University of Oxford and one of the study’s senior authors. “They basically neutralize the virus.”

Wired, 2020

Scientists think the nanobodies latch onto the little spikes on the Coronavirus, making it unable to attach to human cells.

Using llama antibodies has several potential advantages:

  • nanobodies can be effective against multiple coronoviruses;
  • nanobodies may be more stable than the antibodies developed through traditional immunization;
  • nanobodies are so small they don’t have to be injected, they could be inhaled;
  • nanobodies are stable in extreme conditions, like in the stomach;
  • nano body treatment is already approved by FDA for treatment in some cancers.

The most important advantage, hopes scientist Jason McLellan, is that nanobodies can be identified that have a broad binding and neutralizing ability.

“In the event there’s another coronavirus outbreak in the future, we might then already have the antibody immediately, from day one, that could work and neutralize the virus.”


Now that’s some really good news!

What’s on your good news radar this week? More is always better.