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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
Digital microfluidic technique connects cells to their environment
November 11, 2020 -- A new digital microfluidic technique allows researchers to connect physical cell properties with the molecular makeup of individual cells. This new approach, published in Nature Communications on November 11, will enable a deeper study of stem cells and other rare cell types for therapeutic development.  Discuss
Can vaccine resistance be predicted with test samples?
November 10, 2020 -- The likelihood of SARS-CoV-2 developing resistance to COVID-19 vaccines currently under development can be determined using repurposed blood and nasal test samples that are already being collected as part of clinical trials, according to Pennsylvania State University researchers. The perspective piece was published in PLOS Biology on November 9.  Discuss
If successful, COVID-19 vaccines could be worth $27B
November 9, 2020 -- Vaccines are considered one of the most effective public health measures preventing diseases in the modern world. They could also be very profitable endeavors, according to a new report from Kalorama Information, which estimates the market for COVID-19 vaccines could be as high as $27 billion.  Discuss
RNA interactions may hold key to drugs targeting SARS-CoV-2
November 9, 2020 -- Researchers have unearthed how the SARS-CoV-2 virus employs genomic "origami" to infect and replicate inside host cells, a discovery that may hold the key to developing novel antiviral drugs that target specific areas of the virus's genomic structure. The findings were published on November 5 in Molecular Cell.  Discuss
Canadian experts discuss somatic gene therapy approval and use
November 6, 2020 -- Gene therapies offer great benefits to patients but could strain healthcare budgets and exacerbate existing treatment inequities in Canada, according to an expert panel that was commissioned to write a report by the Council of Canadian Academies.  Discuss
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