Cell Biology
Analysis of COVID-19 literature identifies possible knowledge gaps
An analysis of COVID-19 scientific abstracts using natural language processing and machine-learning techniques suggests that the literature currently lacks basic research on the pathogenesis and viral transmission of SARS-CoV-2, according to a September 16 article published in Patterns.  Discuss
Structural changes of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein facilitate infection
The SARS-CoV-2 spike protein can adopt at least 10 sequential structural conformations when in contact with the human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 receptor, according to a study conducted by researchers from the Francis Crick Institute and published in Nature on September 17.  Discuss
Are T cells more important than antibodies in COVID-19?
A new study stressed the importance of a multilayered, virus-specific immune response for controlling SARS-CoV-2 during acute COVID-19, with an emphasis on the critical nature of T cells over antibodies during the process. The work was published in Cell on September 16.  Discuss
Could heparin-based therapies be a viable treatment for COVID-19?
Researchers have identified a novel approach to treating SARS-CoV-2 infection, spurred by a new understanding of viral attachment involving a heparan sulfate, a common glycoprotein. The results are presented in a September 14 article published in Cell.  Discuss
Antibody fragments may be exceptionally effective against SARS-CoV-2
An engineered antibody fragment has been developed as a highly potent neutralizer of SARS-CoV-2. For the first time, one of these tiny molecules has been tested for efficacy in in vitro and in vivo infection models. The results of the collaborative study were published in Cell on September 14.  Discuss
How willing are U.S. adults to accept a COVID-19 vaccine?
A recent online survey of adults residing in the U.S. found that close to 70% of those surveyed would accept a COVID-19 vaccine if one were widely available. The study findings were published in the journal Vaccine on August 20.  Discuss
Experts draw lessons from FDA's hydroxychloroquine EUA controversy
Public health and regulatory experts advocated for changes to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) emergency use authorization (EUA) process in a viewpoint published online August 31 in the Journal of the American Medical Association. They offer a set of recommendations to improve the process going forward as more COVID-19 vaccines and treatments emerge.  Discuss
New gene therapy destroys latent oral herpes in mice
Researchers recently reported that they were able to eliminate latent herpes simplex virus 1 in mice using a new gene editing technique that targets the root cause of oral herpes. The findings were published on August 18 in Nature Communications.  Discuss
Protein engineering creates highly potent experimental SARS-CoV-2 vaccine
A bioengineering technique that utilizes various naturally occurring sequences and de novo design of messenger RNA (mRNA) components was applied to develop an mRNA-based vaccine that could be highly effective against SARS-CoV-2, according to a new article published in Advanced Materials on September 2.  Discuss
Gateway receptor for SARS-CoV-2 helps explain variability of COVID-19
A wide variety of symptoms and organs are involved in SARS-CoV-2 infection. This phenomenon could be explained by the distribution of the virus's gateway receptor, which is found in tissues throughout the body. Characterization of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 expression is detailed in a recent Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology article.  Discuss
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