Genomics
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
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
Major class of probiotics gets new taxonomy
A new paper published in the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology proposes major changes to the classification and naming of Lactobacillus probiotics based on new information gained by modern DNA analysis tools.  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
Directed evolution shows promise in reducing drug discovery times
A research collaboration between scientists at the University of Leeds and AstraZeneca resulted in the development of a technique that can significantly reduce the discovery time for possible new antibody-based therapies. The approach, published in Nature Communications on April 14, shows how protein fragments can be screened for susceptibility to aggregation in early drug discovery.  Discuss
It's time to enlist research labs in the COVID-19 fight
Careful incorporation of research laboratories into the COVID-19 testing effort could increase capacity in the U.S. and globally, writes molecular diagnostics expert Rahul Sharma, PhD, in this second opinion article.  Discuss
COVID-19 shuts down research labs as concern grows among scientists
Almost half of all scientific research labs that participated in a recent survey were shut down due to concerns about the COVID-19 outbreak. Survey results indicate that scientists are quite concerned and that their work is considerably impacted by the pandemic, according to a new COVID-19 scientist sentiment tracker.  Discuss
Conferences
BioProcess International Europe
July 13-17
Central European Time Zone (CET) Netherlands
2020 ACCP Annual Meeting
September 20-22
Bethesda, Maryland United States
Bioprocess International West
September 21-24
Eastern Standard Time Zone (EST) United States
General Discussion
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