Tag Archives: SARS-Cov-2

Cover Preview: Science Magazine – December 24

Front Covers: Science Magazine – December 10

Covid-19: The Best Ways To Avoid Virus Transmission

https://sandpit.bmj.com/graphics/2021/transEmbed/index.html

Covid-19: ‘The Variant Hunters’ – Understanding Its Spread (Cambridge)

The variant hunters are helping us to understand how and why the COVID-19 virus is spreading, allowing us to fight back against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hear from some of the scientists behind the UK’s nationwide sequencing effort to track SARS-CoV-2. Sir Patrick Vallance (the government’s Chief Scientific Adviser) also describes how the expertise that came together during the pandemic is now recognised across the world – and why it’s crucially important to continue to sequence to be ready for future pandemics.

This pioneering work is being carried out by the COVID-19 Genomics UK (COG-UK) consortium, which comprises numerous academic institutions, four public health agencies and the Wellcome Sanger Institute, and is administered by the University of Cambridge.

“Incredibly impressive, incredibly high quality and incredibly focused on the mission to make sure that as many people benefited from the science as possible,” Sir Patrick Vallance.

Read more: https://www.cam.ac.uk/stories/variant…

Science & Medicine: Story Behind The mRNA Vaccines

As mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines are deployed to protect hundreds of millions of people across the world from the deadly global pandemic, the University of Pennsylvania scientists whose research breakthroughs laid the foundation for swift vaccine development have been awarded the 2021 Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award. Here, mRNA vaccine pioneers Drew Weissman, MD, PhD, and Katalin Karikó, PhD, share the story behind their development of this groundbreaking technology, and what it means for the future of medicine.

Harvard: ‘Nanobodies’ Evolved From Synthetic Antibody Fragments

A new approach developed by Harvard Medical School researchers uses yeast to rapidly evolve synthetic antibody fragments called nanobodies with the aim to find variants that are effective at binding to selected antigens, including SARS-CoV-2. The antibodies are intended for use in diagnostic tests and disease treatments. Read the full story: https://hms.harvard.edu/news/antibody…

Morning News: New China Coronavirus Lab-Leak Probe, Latin America Slump

The suggestion that the virus first emerged from a Chinese laboratory has proved stubbornly persistent; as calls mount for more investigation, it has become a potent epidemiological and political idea.

Latin America’s strict lockdowns have had the expected calamitous economic effects. We look at the region’s prospects for recovery. And the tricky business of artificially inseminating a shark.

Biotechnology: ‘Genome Sequencing – Unlocking The Covid Code’ (NY Times)

The advent of commercial genome sequencing has recently, and credibly, been compared to the invention of the microscope, a claim that led me to wonder whether this new, still relatively obscure technology, humming away in well-equipped labs around the world, would prove to be the most important innovation of the 21st century.

And unexpectedly, Covid-19 has proved to be the catalyst. “What the pandemic has done is accelerate the adoption of genomics into infectious disease by several years,” says deSouza, the Illumina chief executive. He also told me he believes that the pandemic has accelerated the adoption of genomics into society more broadly — suggesting that quietly, in the midst of chaos and a global catastrophe, the age of cheap, rapid sequencing has arrived.

Read full article in the NY Times