Posts

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    Emergence of a SARS-CoV-2 variant of concern with mutations in spike glycoprotein

    24 Mar, 2021
    Abstract
    Continued uncontrolled transmission of the severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in many parts of the world is creating the conditions for significant virus evolution1,2. Here, we describe a new SARS-CoV-2 lineage (501Y.V2) characterised by eight lineage-defining mutations in the spike protein, including three at important residues in the receptor-binding domain (K417N, E484K and N501Y) that may have functional significance3–5. This lineage was ident...
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    SARS-CoV-2 Mpro inhibitors with antiviral activity in a transgenic mouse model

    15 Mar, 2021
    Abstract
    The COVID-19 pandemic caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus continually poses serious threats to global public health. The main protease (Mpro) of SARS-CoV-2 plays a central role in viral replication. We designed and synthesized 32 new bicycloproline-containing Mpro inhibitors derived from either Boceprevir or Telaprevir, both of which are approved antivirals. All compounds inhibited SARS-CoV-2 Mpro activity in vitro with IC50 values ranging from 7.6 to 748.5 nM. The co-cr...
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    Can COVID vaccines stop transmission? Scientists race to find answers

    15 Mar, 2021

    As countries roll out vaccines that prevent COVID-19, studies are under way to determine whether shots can also stop people from getting infected and passing on the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Vaccines that prevent transmission could help to bring the pandemic under control if they are given to enough people.

    Preliminary analyses suggest that at least some vaccines are likely to have a transmission-blocking effect. But confirming that effect — and how strong it will be — is tricky because a ...
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    What you need to know about J&J’s newly authorized one-shot COVID-19 vaccine

    15 Mar, 2021

    And then there were three: A single-shot vaccine is the latest weapon to join the battle against COVID-19 in the United States.

    On February 27, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave emergency use authorization for Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. South Africa is the only other country to OK Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine so far, though other countries are poised to follow suit.

    The FDA determined that Johnson &am...
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    Variant-proof vaccines — invest now for the next pandemic

    12 Feb, 2021
    COVID’s evolution signals the importance of rational vaccine design based on broadly neutralizing antibodies.

    The rapid development and delivery of highly effective COVID-19 vaccines less than a year after the emergence of the disease is a huge success story. This was possible, in part, because of certain properties of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 that favour vaccine design — in particular, the spike protein on the virus’s surface. This prompts the body to make protective neutralizing an...
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    Vaccinemakers ponder how to adapt to virus variants

    2 Feb, 2021

    News from U.S. manufacturer Moderna that its COVID-19 vaccine is still “expected to be protective” against a virus variant first detected in South Africa came as a relief to scientists and the public. But the 25 January announcement included a caveat: Antibodies triggered by the vaccine appear to be a little less potent against the new variant, named B.1.351, than the one the vaccine was developed for. So researchers were perhaps even more relieved to hear the company will start developme...
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    J&J COVID-19 vaccine could be available in Europe in April: source

    18 Jan, 2021
    Johnson & Johnson could deliver the first doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to Europe in April, an EU official told Reuters on Wednesday after a top lawmaker said the U.S. healthcare company was likely to seek EU regulatory approval in February.
    Clinical data on the vaccine has been assessed by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) since Dec. 1 under a rolling review to speed up possible approval.

    A senior EU official, who is involved in negotiations with vaccine makers and spoke on c...
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    Immunological characteristics govern the transition of COVID-19 to endemicity

    18 Jan, 2021
    Abstract
    We are currently faced with the question of how the CoV-2 severity may change in the years ahead. Our analysis of immunological and epidemiological data on endemic human coronaviruses (HCoVs) shows that infection-blocking immunity wanes rapidly, but disease-reducing immunity is long-lived. Our model, incorporating these components of immunity, recapitulates both the current severity of CoV-2 and the benign nature of HCoVs, suggesting that once the endemic phase is reached and prim...
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    Coronavirus Vaccine Tracker

    18 Jan, 2021








    Vaccines typically require years of research and testing before reaching the clinic, but in 2020, scientists embarked on a race to produce safe and effective coronavirus vaccines in record time. Researchers are currently testing 68 vaccines in clinical trials on humans, and 20 have reached the final stages of testing. At least 90 preclinical vaccines are under active investigation in animals.
    New additions and recent updatesJan. 14The Isr...
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    Covid-19: Breastfeeding women can have vaccine after guidance turnaround

    11 Jan, 2021

    The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has revised its guidance so that pregnant and breastfeeding women can receive the covid-19 vaccine.

    Writing in BMJ Opinion, Helen Hare, an acute medicine trainee, and Kate Womersley, an academic foundation trainee, said that the change had come after strong pressure from campaigners, clinicians, and some of the women affected.1

    The MHRA had previously recommended that breastfeeding women should not be g...
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    Increased expression of hypoxia-induced factor 1α mRNA and its related genes in myeloid blood cells from critically ill COVID-19 patients

    28 Dec, 2020
    AbstractBackground
    COVID-19 counts 46 million people infected and killed more than 1.2 million. Hypoxaemia is one of the main clinical manifestations, especially in severe cases. HIF1α is a master transcription factor involved in the cellular response to oxygen levels. The immunopathogenesis of this severe form of COVID-19 is poorly understood.
    Methods
    We performed scRNAseq from leukocytes from five critically ill COVID-19 patients and characterized the expression of hypoxia-inducibl...
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    The U.K. Coronavirus Mutation Is Worrying but Not Terrifying

    28 Dec, 2020
    There is evidence the new variant could be more transmissible, yet vaccines work very well against it
    A new mutated form of the novel coronavirus that appears more transmissible than the original has raised alarm in the U.K. and around the world. It does not appear to cause more severe disease, and the newly available vaccines do seem to protect people against it. Yet on December 19—after an announcement that the variant, dubbed B.1.1.7, had suddenly accumulated 17mutations and was spreadi...
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