Difference between revisions of "2446: Spike Proteins"

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| number    = 2446
| date      = April 6, 2021
| title    = Spike Proteins
| image    = spike_proteins.png
| titletext = Ugh, it's stuck to my laptop. It must have bound to the ACER-2 receptor.
{{incomplete|Created by a RIBOSOME from HTmL codes. Please mention here why this explanation isn't complete. Do NOT delete this tag too soon.}}
This is another comic in a [[:Category:COVID-19|series]]. The series is related to the {{w|2019-20 coronavirus outbreak|2020 pandemic}}. The pandemic is caused by the {{w|coronavirus}} {{w|SARS-CoV-2}}. SARS-CoV-2 causes {{w|COVID-19}}.
This is also another comic about the current [[:Category:COVID-19 vaccine|vaccine against COVID-19]]. A vaccine is designed to provoke an immune response from the body of the recipient, part of which is the creation of {{w|spike protein}}s that stimulate an immune response from the recipient, which "trains" the immune system to attack spike proteins on actual viruses and infected cells.
[[Beret Guy]], in his [[:Category:Strange powers of Beret Guy|usual fashion]], misunderstands how reality works, then reality alters to fit his view of it.
After receiving the vaccine, he tells this to [[Cueball]] and [[Megan]], and claims he will now go make spike proteins. But he literally means that he (not his immune system) will build the spike protein. When he returns he is carrying such a self made spike protein which is many, many orders of magnitude larger than a real spike protein. He then loads it of on Cueball's desk where he is working with his laptop, that is hit by the protein. So rather than retaining the protein in his body where it would be effective, if it were a normal spike protein, he just unloads it. This is unusual, as when the body naturally makes a spike protein, they are made in small amounts to be distributed throughout the body. When Beret Guy makes it, he makes a large, damp wad through unknown means. This provokes an understandable response of both disgust and confusion from both Cueball and Megan, who asks why it is so wet. Proteins are [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2271157/ highly hydrated molecules] where water — through the moderation of its presence and absence in specific locations — plays a central role in shaping the structure and function of the protein. Beret Guy then leaves, with the intention of making more spike proteins.
The title text is a pun on Acer, ACER2, and ACE2. {{w|Acer Inc.|Acer}} is a brand of computers including laptops. The {{w|Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2|ACE2 receptor}}, is an [https://theconversation.com/what-is-the-ace2-receptor-how-is-it-connected-to-coronavirus-and-why-might-it-be-key-to-treating-covid-19-the-experts-explain-136928 entry point on a cell] to which the SARS-COV-2 virus attaches during the process of entering the cell. {{w|ACER2}} is a real enzyme in humans which, although unrelated to ACE2 or SARS-COV-2, helps tie the pun together.
:[Cueball is sitting in an office chair at a desk with an open laptop in front of him. Megan stands behind him looking over his shoulder. Beret Guy is in front of the desk, walking away and looking back at the two while holding a hand to his shoulder, where he got the vaccine shot.]
:Beret Guy: Got the vaccine!
:Megan: Congrats!
:Beret Guy: Time to go make spike proteins.
:[Cueball continues to work on his laptop while Megan is looking on.]
:[In a frameless, narrow panel, Beret Guy walks back carrying a large object in his arms that looks like a spike protein. But it is about half as long as he is tall, fluffy and dripping wet, flexing slightly along its length, with the Y-shaped head pointed forwards, away from Beret Guy]
:Beret Guy: OK!
:Beret Guy: Here's my first try.
:[Beret Guy drops the spike protein onto Cueball's desk with the Y-shaped end on the desk up against the back of Cueball's laptop. The movement is shown with several lines and a sound follows when it hits the desk. The head of it takes up the entire desk area not covered by the laptop, while the tail  overhangs the desk. Cueball is grabbing the lid and base of his laptop with both hands, pulling it partially closed and away from the spike protein, and Megan reflexively leans away.]
:Spike Protein: Plop
:[Beret Guy turns to leave, with an outstretched finger pointing skyward. The overhanging part of the spike protein has sagged, and it is dripping some wet material over both the floor and desk. Cueball is sitting with his hands on the partially closed laptop, Megan stands normally again.]
:Beret Guy: ''More!''
:Cueball: Ewww.
:Megan: Why is it so ''wet??''
{{comic discussion}}
[[Category:COVID-19 vaccine]]
[[Category:Comics featuring Beret Guy]]
[[Category:Comics featuring Cueball]]
[[Category:Comics featuring Megan]]
[[Category:Strange powers of Beret Guy]]

Revision as of 13:55, 6 April 2021