germinal ˈjer-mə-nᵊl adjective
: containing seeds of later development
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The word germinal has appeared in three articles on NYTimes.com in the past year, including on Feb. 21 in “Got a Covid Booster? You Probably Won’t Need Another for a Long Time” by Apoorva Mandavilli:
Researchers showed last year that the elite school inside of lymph nodes where the B cells train, called the germinal center, remains active for at least 15 weeks after the second dose of a Covid vaccine. In an updated study published in the journal Nature, the same team showed that six months after vaccination, memory B cells continue to mature, and the antibodies they produce keep gaining the ability to recognize new variants.
“Those antibodies at six months are better binders and more potent neutralizers than the ones that are produced one month after immunization,” said Ali Ellebedy, an immunologist at Washington University in St. Louis who led the study.
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