Cell Biology
New model could improve vaccine, immunotherapy design
A new model used to predict the outcomes of pathogen detection systems as a function of innate immunity may lead to more effective cancer immunotherapies and vaccines against existing and novel pathogens, according to results published in Cell Systems on October 27.  Discuss
New COVID-19 immunogen could help with early diagnosis
A new assay that detects the unique SARS-CoV-2 orf8 protein in the sera of COVID-19 patients in the early stage of the infection is a strategic step in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic, according to research published online October 20 in mBio.  Discuss
Who should get the 1st COVID-19 vaccines?
Once a vaccine for SARS-CoV-2 is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to be administered to the public, who should receive it first, given that its supply will be initially limited? A new perspective published in Science on October 21 fleshes out different COVID-19 vaccine distribution strategies that would ensure optimal protection from the disease under conditions of vaccine scarcity.  Discuss
Researchers discover important 2nd SARS-CoV-2 receptor
Researchers have identified a second receptor that might be important in SARS-CoV-2 infectivity, according to a new report published in Science on October 20. This cofactor helps facilitate virus-host cell interactions in cells with low levels of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, the primary receptor on host cells, and might explain the increased pathogenicity of SARS-CoV-2.  Discuss
Validating drug repurposing workflows may help identify new COVID-19 treatments
A research team has strengthened COVID-19 drug repurposing workflows through independent in vitro validation followed by clinical pharmacology data assessments, with the goal of launching clinical studies of currently approved drugs. The protocol was published in ACS Pharmacology & Translational Science on October 14.  Discuss
New methods could improve AAV quality for viral vector manufacturing
Developing well-characterized adeno-associated viral vectors (AAVs) is a significant obstacle for the biomanufacturing industry. A group of analytical researchers is trying to overcome this challenge by developing novel analytical methodology specifically designed for AAVs.  Discuss
How are asymptomatic COVID-19 carriers different from symptomatic patients?
A new retrospective study reveals that asymptomatic COVID-19 patients may have higher levels of lymphocytes, specifically T cells, compared to symptomatic COVID-19 patients despite carrying similar viral loads. The results were published in mSphere on October 7.  Discuss
Can SARS-CoV antibodies be used to develop universal coronavirus vaccines?
Can antibodies developed against SARS-CoV during the 2003 outbreak be used to prevent infection by SARS-CoV-2? In an October 9 study published in Science Advances, researchers analyzed precious serum collected from convalescent SARS-CoV patients to find out.  Discuss
Long-lasting IgG antibodies found in blood and saliva of COVID-19 patients
Researchers have discovered that immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2 virus are longer lasting in the blood and saliva of COVID-19 patients compared to the relatively short-lived IgM and IgA responses. The finding, presented in a pair of studies published in Science Immunology on October 8, suggests that IgG antibodies could be a promising target to detect and evaluate immune responses to the virus.  Discuss
Flood of COVID-19 papers allows substandard research to slip through
This year's deluge of COVID-19 research publications has allowed substandard research to be published by academic journals or to be housed on preprint servers, resulting in the retraction of some papers. The chaotic publishing environment has potentially harmful implications for COVID-19 patients during treatment, a leading bioethicist wrote in a brief published in the Journal of Medical Ethics on October 1.  Discuss
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