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Maps of natural killer cells offer insight into COVID-19 immune response
August 24, 2020 -- 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
Data-sharing platform could help planning for future pandemics
August 24, 2020 -- In response to the global pandemic, the authors of a new paper are calling for a robust centralized platform to improve international data sharing among scientists and policymakers. The article was published on August 19 in the journal Science & Diplomacy.  Discuss
Genomic mutations can influence disease risk
August 21, 2020 -- The reason why some genetically predisposed individuals may or may not develop a disease is rooted in mutations throughout the genome, according to a new study published in Nature Communications on August 20. The researchers explained how this information can be used to improve disease risk estimations in the clinic.  Discuss
Cytokines may prevent COVID-19 patients from producing the 'best' antibodies
August 20, 2020 -- High levels of some cytokines associated with COVID-19 could prevent long-term antibody responses to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, according to a new study published in Cell on August 19. The findings could explain why immunity to the novel coronavirus does not last long among individuals after they recover from the disease.  Discuss
SARS-CoV-2 spike protein hinges like leg joints to seek receptors
August 19, 2020 -- 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
August 18, 2020 -- 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
August 17, 2020 -- 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
August 14, 2020 -- 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
Can agtech infrastructure be redeployed for pandemic preparedness?
August 14, 2020 -- Marshalling research equipment and expertise of the world's agricultural technology (agtech) laboratories could protect against future pandemics or epidemics, according to a new article published in Nature Biotechnology.  Discuss
Sharing is caring: Why COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers must collaborate
August 13, 2020 -- 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
Thermo Fisher's acquisition of Qiagen falls short
August 13, 2020 -- Thermo Fisher Scientific has terminated its acquisition of Qiagen after the company was unable to secure the number of shares needed to proceed with the deal. The collapse of the deal kills what would have been one of the largest acquisitions in the scientific and lab instrument space so far this year.
SARS-CoV-2 causes immune paralysis in severe cases of COVID-19
August 12, 2020 -- 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
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