Cell Biology
Breakthrough in coronavirus research provides map for vaccines
Critical research reveals the 3D atomic-scale map of the spike protein of the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), which is responsible for infecting humans. This breakthrough will aid in the development of vaccines and antiviral drugs to combat the spread of the virus. The research was published in Science on February 19.  Discuss
Atomic structures revealed by cryo-EM may lead to new antiviral drugs
Using cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM), researchers found unique structures of paramyxoviruses that can lead to a better understanding of viral replication, which in turn can be leveraged to develop improved antiviral drugs. The details were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on February 17.  Discuss
Phages containing huge amounts of DNA are found around the globe
An inventory of over 350 DNA sequences from phage genomes revealed that these genomes can be over 200,000 base pairs in length and found the largest phage genome ever described at 735,000 base pairs in length. The report published in Nature on February 12, evaluated the prevalence, diversity and ecosystem distribution of phages with large genomes.  Discuss
Could a plant virus help create a new MRI contrast agent?
What's old is new for University of Texas at Dallas researchers who are resurrecting an organic, biodegradable compound that someday might be the foundation for a nongadolinium-based magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agent, according to a preclinical study published online on February 5 in Chemical Science.  Discuss
Chinese researchers mobilize to classify 2019-nCoV
In response to a recent outbreak of the novel coronavirus (2019-CoV), scientists in China have uncovered genetic similarities with severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronaviruses by analyzing patient samples from the source of the outbreak. Their findings provide crucial evidence that will aid in the classification and identification of 2019-CoV, according to a new report published in Nature on February 3.  Discuss
Wuhan coronavirus spread may be vastly underestimated
Up to 75,800 people in the city of Wuhan, China, are estimated to be infected with the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), which is vastly more than official reports, according to a mathematical modeling study by Hong Kong experts that was published online January 31 in the Lancet journal.  Discuss
NGS of China coronavirus shows bat origins, intermediate host
Next-generation sequencing (NGS) of 10 genomes of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) from nine patients in China demonstrated that the virus is closely related to two coronaviruses that originated in bats, but that an intermediate host may be responsible for the spread to humans, according to a study published in Lancet on January 29, 2020.  Discuss
Research sheds light on how bacteria 'take one for the team'
It's already known that bacteria under assault by phages can occasionally program themselves to die before they become infected. But a pair of new papers published January 10 in Molecular Cell sheds more light on the process by which bacteria "take one for the team." The findings could provide new avenues in the treatment of multidrug-resistant bacterial infections.  Discuss
Designer DNA traps dengue virus
Researchers from Rensselear Polytechnic Institute have developed a new approach to trap the dengue virus, a close relative to the Zika virus, in the bloodstream using innovative nanotechnology. The technique was published in Nature Chemistry on November 25.  Discuss
New CRISPR Cas13 system offers powerful antiviral protection
A first-of-its-kind study conducted by researchers at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard demonstrates that Cas13, a class 2 CRISPR system, can be used as an antiviral in cultured human cells. The research, published in Molecular Cell on October 10, suggests that the RNA-cutting enzyme can be programmed to detect and destroy RNA-based viruses.  Discuss
Conferences
2nd Annual BioIT World Conference & Expo West
March 1-4
San Francisco, California United States
BioProcess International US West
March 9-12
Santa Clara United States
Microbiology Society Annual Conference 2020
March 30 - April 3
Edinburgh, Edinburgh, City of United Kingdom
Experimental Biology 2020
April 4
San Diego, California United States
BioProcess International Europe
April 28 - May 1
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland Netherlands
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