Researchers find an antibody that targets omicron and other SARS-CoV-2 variants

A team led by researchers at Weill Cornell Medicine, the University of Wisconsin-Madison; Scripps Research and the University of Chicago has identified an antibody that appears to block infection by all dominant variants of the virus that causes COVID-19, including Omicron, the most recent. Their discovery could lead to more potent vaccines and new antibody-based treatments.

Genetic variation that protected against Black Death still helps against respiratory diseases today, but increases autoimmune disease risks

The same genetics that helped some of our ancestors fight the plague is still likely to be at work in our bodies today, potentially providing some of the population with extra protection against respiratory diseases such as COVID-19. However, there is a trade-off, where this same variation is also linked to increased autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease.

Study identifies new dementia risk genes through novel testing approach

A new UCLA-led study has identified multiple new risk genes for Alzheimer’s disease and a rare, related brain disorder by using a combination of new testing methods allowing for mass screening of genetic variants in a single experiment.