Immunology
New technique reins in inflammatory response of adjuvants
Adjuvants are often added to vaccines as a method for promoting an immune response in recipients. But what happens when that immune response goes haywire, causing too much inflammation? Researchers believe that adding an "immune potentiator" to adjuvants that strengthens the immune reaction and modulates excess inflammation could lead to vaccines that are better tolerated in humans, according to a September 9 article in Science Advances.  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 CRISPR-repressor system improves efficiency of gene therapies
Researchers have developed a CRISPR-based system that can simultaneously provide transcriptional control and gene editing on demand to improve the efficacy of gene therapies. The details were published in Nature Cell Biology on September 3.  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
Study investigates pharmacogenomics of COVID-19 therapies
Human genetic variation may alter the interactions of drugs being used to treat patients with COVID-19 symptoms, resulting in a range of clinical responses -- from no effect to high toxicity in some patients, according to a study published in Nature Genomic Medicine on August 18.  Discuss
New mouse-adapted model helps accelerate COVID-19 vaccines, therapies
A new mouse-adapted SARS-CoV-2 model developed with engineered virus can help accelerate vaccine and therapeutic candidates to clinical trials. The results of the preclinical studies were published in Nature on August 27.  Discuss
NIH establishes Centers for Research in Emerging Infectious Diseases
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), has awarded 11 grants for a first-year total value of approximately $17 million to establish the Centers for Research in Emerging Infectious Diseases.  Discuss
Will a COVID-19 vaccine really let us go 'back to normal'?
Will the arrival of a COVID-19 vaccine be enough to allow society to go "back to normal" in the near future? The answer to that question depends on a wide range of variables, such as how effective the vaccine is and how many people get vaccinated, according to an article published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine on August 25.  Discuss
Pharmacists issue guidance for mass COVID-19 vaccination
As society prepares for the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists has issued 10 guiding principles for development, distribution, allocation, and oversight of vaccines. The guidelines build on the organization's research and best practices expertise in pandemic preparedness, supply chain management, distribution, and clinical practice.  Discuss
Maps of natural killer cells offer insight into COVID-19 immune response
New research that sought to classify immune white blood cells, called natural killer cells, during COVID-19 infection revealed that certain cellular subtypes may contribute to the severity of disease progression, according to a recent Science Immunology article.  Discuss
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