Immunology Sponsored by Beckman Coulter
SARS-CoV-2 spike protein hinges like leg joints to seek receptors
New research demonstrates that the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein may be more flexible than previously thought, with hinges similar to leg joints to seek receptors on a host, according to a new article published in Science on August 18. Understanding molecular dynamics of how the spike protein functions could have implications in therapeutic and vaccine design.  Discuss
Rare immune stem cells could lead to treatments for COVID-19, cancer
Rare stem cells that give rise to neutrophils in human bone marrow could offer a path to developing treatments for diseases that involve the white blood cells, according to a new article published in Immunity on August 18.  Discuss
Microbe-based platform aims for sweet spot between biologics and gene therapy
A microbe-based therapeutics platform that has been in development for nearly 30 years is gaining traction for the treatment of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. The company that is developing the platform, Precigen ActoBio, is advancing a lead candidate through clinical trials with the long-term goal of finding a sweet spot between biologics and gene therapies.  Discuss
Early trials show potential of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine
Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer is making progress on BNT162b1, a COVID-19 vaccine candidate that is undergoing development and for which the U.S. government has secured access to 300 million doses in 2021. The results of the phase I/II clinical trials were published in Nature on August 12.  Discuss
Sharing is caring: Why COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers must collaborate
Sharing knowledge between competitors will be key for establishing the manufacturing capacity needed to produce billions of COVID-19 vaccines in coming months. Such collaboration could change the way that innovation and competition are viewed in the biopharmaceutical industry, according to a policy forum published in Science on August 13.  Discuss
SARS-CoV-2 causes immune paralysis in severe cases of COVID-19
The SARS-CoV-2 virus can cause the paralysis of key immune cells as the COVID-19 disease progresses, and this immune paralysis can be the difference between severe and mild cases of COVID-19, according to a study published in Science on August 11.  Discuss
Biosimulation can mitigate risk of COVID-19 drug development
Drug development can be an expensive and tedious process. Add in the urgency of the COVID-19 pandemic, and you have a recipe for frustration. Biosimulation -- using computers to simulate drug response in humans -- can help accelerate the process, which Certara hopes to achieve with a newly launched platform targeted at COVID-19 vaccine development.  Discuss
COVID-19 vaccine based on peptide nanofibers shows promise
A new technology platform using self-assembling peptide nanofibers tagged with antibodies can be an effective SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, according to a proof-of-concept study published in Science Advances on August 7.  Discuss
Gum disease may affect COVID-19 severity
Patients with inflammation caused by periodontitis may experience more severe COVID-19 complications, according to an article published online July 30 in the Journal of the California Dental Association.  Discuss
Microbes shape antibodies prior to infection
Genetic analysis of antibodies reveals how microbes in the intestines impact overall B-cell populations and humoral responses to pathogens. The research was published in Nature on August 5.  Discuss
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