Cell Biology
New evidence shows SARS-CoV-2 mutations are not more transmissible
In direct contrast to previous research, researchers found that SARS-CoV-2 mutations are not tied to increased transmissibility in humans. The findings, published in Nature Communications on November 25 suggest that mutations such as D614G, while common, are neutral to viral evolution.  Discuss
Superspreader events drive global SARS-CoV-2 transmission
So-called "superspreader events" have been a major contributor to widespread transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, according to a new analysis of outbreaks in Austria. Researchers used deep viral genome sequencing to trace the evolution of the pandemic in the country and how the virus spread beyond its borders, according to a study published in Science Translational Medicine on November 23.  Discuss
Families weigh risks of coronavirus exposure over Thanksgiving
Parents are weighing the risks and benefits of gathering with extended family this year, amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic. Most parents are planning to prioritize continuing Thanksgiving traditions while reducing transmission risks, according to a new national Mott Poll.  Discuss
What are the unresolved questions about SARS-CoV-2 T-cell responses?
Researchers have shed light on the "known unknowns" of preexisting and acquired T-cell responses in relation to SARS-CoV-2 infection. In a perspective piece, published in Science Immunology on November 18, scientists from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden discuss the role and durability of T-cell responses in COVID-19.  Discuss
Why are children more resistant to SARS-CoV-2 infection?
Why do children seem to be more resistant to SARS-CoV-2 infection than adults? The answer may lie in the age-dependent presence of a key viral enzyme, transmembrane protease serine 2, according to a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation on November 12.  Discuss
Why the most common SARS-CoV-2 strain spreads so easily
A new study confirms that the D614G mutant SARS-CoV-2 virus, which is now the most common form of the virus, is more easily transmitted among hosts but does not cause more severe disease than the original virus. The findings were published in Science on November 12.  Discuss
Can vaccine resistance be predicted with test samples?
The likelihood of SARS-CoV-2 developing resistance to COVID-19 vaccines currently under development can be determined using repurposed blood and nasal test samples that are already being collected as part of clinical trials, according to Pennsylvania State University researchers. The perspective piece was published in PLOS Biology on November 9.  Discuss
RNA interactions may hold key to drugs targeting SARS-CoV-2
Researchers have unearthed how the SARS-CoV-2 virus employs genomic "origami" to infect and replicate inside host cells, a discovery that may hold the key to developing novel antiviral drugs that target specific areas of the virus's genomic structure. The findings were published on November 5 in Molecular Cell.  Discuss
Different immune response helps kids clear SARS-CoV-2 quickly
Why does the SARS-CoV-2 virus seem to have less of an impact on children than adults? A new study published November 5 in Nature Immunology investigates this question, finding that the immune systems of children respond differently to SARS-CoV-2 in a way that allows them to more easily clear the virus from their bodies.  Discuss
Synthetic nanobodies show potential for new COVID-19 therapies
Synthetic nanobodies may provide a practical avenue for the development of novel COVID-19 therapies compared to human antibodies, which are bulkier and require greater research investment. A study on synthetic nanobodies was conducted by a group of German researchers and published in Nature Communications on November 4.  Discuss
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January 28-29, 2021
London, Greater London United Kingdom
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May 11-12, 2021
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