Cell Biology
COVID-19: A double-edged sword for the pharma industry
The COVID-19 pandemic is causing major disruptions to pharmaceutical R&D activities, despite the pressing need for treatments and diagnostics for the novel coronavirus. In a new article, Ivan Gandayuwana of Strategic Directions International examines the multiple impacts COVID-19 is having on pharma.  Discuss
Bringing order to the viral multiverse
A new taxonomic classification system for viruses has been proposed by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses, the group that oversees the official classification of viruses and naming of taxa. A consensus statement on the proposal appears in Nature Microbiology.  Discuss
What is the impact of aerosolized SARS-CoV-2 in hospitals?
A study evaluating viral RNA from two hospitals in Wuhan, China, during the COVID-19 outbreak reveals that although there are several hotspots for airborne viral RNA within hospitals, the implementation of careful sanitization, proper ventilation, and open spaces can reduce the risk of exposure to the airborne virus. The results were published online in an April 27 article in Nature.  Discuss
Experts discuss promising strategies for tackling SARS-CoV-2
What's the best strategy for developing treatments for the SARS-CoV-2 virus? The most promising approaches for a rapid response are antivirals and gene therapy, according to a new review article published April 24 in Frontiers in Microbiology.  Discuss
Does SARS-CoV-2 use host defenses to infect susceptible cells?
A new study pinpoints the most likely cell types that SARS-CoV-2 infects. Unexpectedly, the study indicates that one of the body's main defenses against viral infections may actually help the virus infect susceptible cells. The findings were published on April 21 in Cell.  Discuss
Bioinformatics helps pinpoint evolutionary mutations of SARS-CoV-2
A new bioinformatics approach to classifying genetic variants of SARS-CoV-2 helps to answer questions such as whether there are one or more circulating strains of the virus with different virulence levels and, if so, which of those strains should be used for therapeutic research. Australian researchers explore this technique in an April 19 article in Transboundary and Emerging Diseases.  Discuss
The jury is still out for SARS-CoV-2 intermediate host
Scientists have been searching for the intermediate host between bats, which are known to carry coronaviruses, and the first introduction of SARS-CoV-2 into humans. Conflicting research argues the merit of dogs as intermediate hosts of the virus.  Discuss
Scientists explore SARS-CoV-2 main protease as a drug target
A team of researchers report the structure of the main protease of the novel coronavirus and have identified several drugs that show promise in combating the virus, according to an April 9 article published in Nature.  Discuss
New antiviral drug could work against many viruses, including SARS-CoV-2
An antiviral drug called EIDD-2801 that's in preclinical testing has potential to be developed into the silver bullet that medical professionals seek to treat COVID-19, according to new research published in Science Translational Medicine on April 6.  Discuss
Could a MERS vaccine candidate be the answer for COVID-19?
As researchers urgently work to develop vaccines to prevent COVID-19, many strategies have been considered. Now, a parainfluenza virus 5-based vaccine expressing MERS-CoV spike protein may provide an avenue for a COVID-19 vaccine based on the similarity of the two viruses, according to a study published in mBio on April 7.  Discuss
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