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Superspreader events drive global SARS-CoV-2 transmission
November 24, 2020 -- So-called "superspreader events" have been a major contributor to widespread transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, according to a new analysis of outbreaks in Austria. Researchers used deep viral genome sequencing to trace the evolution of the pandemic in the country and how the virus spread beyond its borders, according to a study published in Science Translational Medicine on November 23.  Discuss
Families weigh risks of coronavirus exposure over Thanksgiving
November 23, 2020 -- Parents are weighing the risks and benefits of gathering with extended family this year, amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic. Most parents are planning to prioritize continuing Thanksgiving traditions while reducing transmission risks, according to a new national Mott Poll.  Discuss
CRISPR phage offers precision medicine tool to fight bacterial infections
November 20, 2020 -- In an attempt to combat bacterial infections, Locus Biosciences is developing bacteriophage therapies that deliver CRISPR-Cas3 machinery directly to specific, targeted pathogens to obliterate them. Locus CEO Paul Garofolo discusses the company's technology and recent updates with The ScienceBoard.net.  Discuss
Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine strongly efficacious in older adults
November 19, 2020 -- Similar safety and immunogenicity profiles were observed in adults and older adults who received the Oxford/AstraZeneca SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidate, ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, according to data from the phase II clinical trial. The findings were published in the Lancet on November 18.  Discuss
Pfizer, BioNTech just days away from applying for EUA for COVID-19 vaccine
November 18, 2020 -- Pfizer and BioNTech have passed another milestone in their effort to deliver a vaccine for the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The companies on November 18 reported that their BNT162b2 vaccine candidate has met safety milestones and that they plan to apply for an emergency use authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the product in the coming days.  Discuss
What are the unresolved questions about SARS-CoV-2 T-cell responses?
November 18, 2020 -- Researchers have shed light on the "known unknowns" of preexisting and acquired T-cell responses in relation to SARS-CoV-2 infection. In a perspective piece, published in Science Immunology on November 18, scientists from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden discuss the role and durability of T-cell responses in COVID-19.  Discuss
Metabolic control of Tregs is critical for immune tolerance
November 17, 2020 -- A new study identifies how metabolism exerts control over regulatory T (Treg) cells, which play a key role in the recognition of foreign and self-produced molecules. The findings, published in Cell Metabolism on November 17, may help scientists identify new drug targets for autoimmune diseases and cancers.  Discuss
Why are children more resistant to SARS-CoV-2 infection?
November 16, 2020 -- Why do children seem to be more resistant to SARS-CoV-2 infection than adults? The answer may lie in the age-dependent presence of a key viral enzyme, transmembrane protease serine 2, according to a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation on November 12.  Discuss
Interactive virtual reality system helps drug designers fight COVID-19
November 16, 2020 -- A new virtual reality tool offers scientists a chance to "step inside" the SARS-CoV-2 virus's main enzyme responsible for replication and manipulate it in atomic detail to find ways to shut it down. The technology could enable researchers in different locations to collaborate on drug development within a virtual environment.  Discuss
Moderna reports 94.5% efficacy for COVID-19 vaccine
November 16, 2020 -- A COVID-19 vaccine under development by Moderna had 94.5% efficacy in a phase III clinical trial, according to an independent data safety monitoring board that notified the company of the results. The news builds on positive sentiment that a solution to the COVID-19 pandemic could be around the corner.  Discuss
Why the most common SARS-CoV-2 strain spreads so easily
November 13, 2020 -- A new study confirms that the D614G mutant SARS-CoV-2 virus, which is now the most common form of the virus, is more easily transmitted among hosts but does not cause more severe disease than the original virus. The findings were published in Science on November 12.  Discuss
Improving the safety of gene therapies 2 different ways
November 12, 2020 -- Two groups of researchers have developed unique approaches to overcome the limitations of delivery of gene editing therapeutics. In a pair of new papers, researchers describe methods for more efficient and safe delivery of CRISPR components to targeted cells and tissues.  Discuss
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