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Analysis of COVID-19 literature identifies possible knowledge gaps
September 21, 2020 -- An analysis of COVID-19 scientific abstracts using natural language processing and machine-learning techniques suggests that the literature currently lacks basic research on the pathogenesis and viral transmission of SARS-CoV-2, according to a September 16 article published in Patterns.  Discuss
Structural changes of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein facilitate infection
September 21, 2020 -- The SARS-CoV-2 spike protein can adopt at least 10 sequential structural conformations when in contact with the human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 receptor, according to a study conducted by researchers from the Francis Crick Institute and published in Nature on September 17.  Discuss
Celebration of postdocs transitions to virtual platform
September 18, 2020 -- For the first time ever, the National Postdoctoral Association will celebrate National Postdoc Appreciation Week from September 21-25 as a virtual, collaborative event among multiple institutions. Executive Director Tom Kimbis discusses how the organization is adapting to meet the challenges of COVID-19 to support and advocate for postdocs.  Discuss
Are T cells more important than antibodies in COVID-19?
September 17, 2020 -- A new study stressed the importance of a multilayered, virus-specific immune response for controlling SARS-CoV-2 during acute COVID-19, with an emphasis on the critical nature of T cells over antibodies during the process. The work was published in Cell on September 16.  Discuss
Could heparin-based therapies be a viable treatment for COVID-19?
September 16, 2020 -- Researchers have identified a novel approach to treating SARS-CoV-2 infection, spurred by a new understanding of viral attachment involving a heparan sulfate, a common glycoprotein. The results are presented in a September 14 article published in Cell.  Discuss
Antibody fragments may be exceptionally effective against SARS-CoV-2
September 15, 2020 -- An engineered antibody fragment has been developed as a highly potent neutralizer of SARS-CoV-2. For the first time, one of these tiny molecules has been tested for efficacy in in vitro and in vivo infection models. The results of the collaborative study were published in Cell on September 14.  Discuss
Optofluidics technology accelerates discovery of COVID-19 treatments
September 14, 2020 -- Known for its transformative technology, Berkeley Lights is a pioneer in optofluidics, which has supported the biopharmaceutical industry for years with its deep cell characterization capabilities. These efforts are highlighted by the rapid impact that Berkeley Lights' Beacon systems had during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Discuss
How willing are U.S. adults to accept a COVID-19 vaccine?
September 11, 2020 -- A recent online survey of adults residing in the U.S. found that close to 70% of those surveyed would accept a COVID-19 vaccine if one were widely available. The study findings were published in the journal Vaccine on August 20.  Discuss
New approach to cancer immunotherapies combines 2 mAb treatments
September 11, 2020 -- A new approach to increasing the effectiveness of current cancer immunotherapies combines existing therapies with new monoclonal antibodies (mAb) that block inhibitory cytokines in tumor microenvironments, allowing the body to effectively eliminate tumors. The results of the study were published in Nature Communications on September 11.  Discuss
New technique reins in inflammatory response of adjuvants
September 10, 2020 -- 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
Making CRISPR safer with new enzyme-based prediction tool
September 9, 2020 -- A new technique will help scientists choose the best available gene editing option for any given indication, making CRISPR technology safer, cheaper, and more effective. The tool is outlined in a September 7 article in Nature Biotechnology.  Discuss
Customized gene therapies successfully target rare eye diseases
September 8, 2020 -- Can gene therapies prove effective for the treatment of rare genetic diseases? One company may have found a solution that incorporates a high degree of customization, manufacturing expertise, and years' worth of knowledge.  Discuss
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