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.
A virus is a submicroscopic infectious agent that replicates only inside the living cells of an organism. Viruses infect all types of life forms, from animals and plants to microorganisms, including bacteria and archaea.
The unfortunate reality is that COVID-19 might not be the last pandemic. The threat of the next pandemic will always be hanging over our heads—unless the world takes steps to prevent it. You can learn more about this topic in our 2021 Annual Letter at http://gatesnot.es/3a5KOLU
When it comes to viruses jumping from animals to humans, bats hold a unique place in the transmission chain. Christopher Golden and James Longman investigate an abandoned mine for signs of poaching or viruses impacting the bat population.
A reactivation of the chickenpox virus in the body, causing a painful rash. Anyone who’s had chickenpox may develop shingles. It isn’t known what reactivates the virus.Shingles causes a painful rash that may appear as a stripe of blisters on the trunk of the body. Pain can persist even after the rash is gone (this is called postherpetic neuralgia).Treatments include pain relief and antiviral medications such as acyclovir or valacyclovir. A chickenpox vaccine in childhood or a shingles vaccine as an adult can minimize the risk of developing shingles.
Plexiglass dividers and floor decals might not be permanent, but the pandemic will bring lasting change to offices. Experts from the architecture and real-estate industries share how they are getting back to work and what offices will look like in the future.
With antibodies having implications for both our understanding of previous coronavirus infections and potential future immunity, Nicola Davis talks to Prof Eleanor Riley about how best to test for them and asks whether antibodies are the only thing we should be looking for.