Immunology Sponsored by Beckman Coulter
How are asymptomatic COVID-19 carriers different from symptomatic patients?
A new retrospective study reveals that asymptomatic COVID-19 patients may have higher levels of lymphocytes, specifically T cells, compared to symptomatic COVID-19 patients despite carrying similar viral loads. The results were published in mSphere on October 7.  Discuss
New method reclaims resolution of single-cell RNA-seq
A new approach to RNA sequencing can enable scientists to extract 10 times more information from a single cell, including gene expression and subtle differences between healthy and diseased cells. The study, published in Immunity on October 13, reveals the power of the improved Seq-Well method and provides evidence of its efficacy in five inflammatory skin diseases.  Discuss
Can SARS-CoV antibodies be used to develop universal coronavirus vaccines?
Can antibodies developed against SARS-CoV during the 2003 outbreak be used to prevent infection by SARS-CoV-2? In an October 9 study published in Science Advances, researchers analyzed precious serum collected from convalescent SARS-CoV patients to find out.  Discuss
Long-lasting IgG antibodies found in blood and saliva of COVID-19 patients
Researchers have discovered that immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2 virus are longer lasting in the blood and saliva of COVID-19 patients compared to the relatively short-lived IgM and IgA responses. The finding, presented in a pair of studies published in Science Immunology on October 8, suggests that IgG antibodies could be a promising target to detect and evaluate immune responses to the virus.  Discuss
Will mutation of the SARS-CoV-2 virus affect vaccine effectiveness?
What impact will mutation of the SARS-CoV-2 virus have on the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines that are in development? In a new study published in NPJ Vaccines on October 8, Australian researchers say they believe that a recent change in the genetic material of the virus shouldn't reduce the effectiveness of vaccines coming to market.  Discuss
FDA issues guidance on submitting EUA requests for COVID-19 vaccines
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on October 6 issued a new guidance with recommendations for developers of COVID-19 vaccines regarding the scientific data and information that would be required to support emergency use authorization (EUA) for the products.  Discuss
Novel nanoparticles deliver genetic therapy to bone marrow
Specialized nanoparticles can be used to deliver small interfering RNA to the bone marrow where they can turn off specific genes in bone-marrow endothelial cells to help treat heart disease or boost stem cell production, according to new research published in Nature Biomedical Research on October 5.  Discuss
Flood of COVID-19 papers allows substandard research to slip through
This year's deluge of COVID-19 research publications has allowed substandard research to be published by academic journals or to be housed on preprint servers, resulting in the retraction of some papers. The chaotic publishing environment has potentially harmful implications for COVID-19 patients during treatment, a leading bioethicist wrote in a brief published in the Journal of Medical Ethics on October 1.  Discuss
Specialized T cells have unique role in severe COVID-19 cases
An unconventional subset of T cells may be strongly activated in patients with severe cases of COVID-19, according to a new study published in Science Immunology on September 28. This finding may lead to a new understanding of how the immune system responds to SARS-CoV-2 infection.  Discuss
COVID-19 concerns may undermine vaccine rates for seasonal flu
Only a third of parents believe that the flu vaccine will be more important this year, and 1 in 7 parents will not vaccinate their child due to concerns about COVID-19, according to the results of a new poll. The poll results underscore concerns that there could be a double impact of seasonal flu and COVID-19 this winter.  Discuss
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