Organ Transplant Recipients Remain Vulnerable to Covid-19 Even After Second Vaccine Dose

In a study published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers show that although two doses of a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 — the virus that causes COVID 19 — confers some protection for people who have received solid organ transplants, it’s still not enough to enable them to dispense with masks, physical distancing and other safety measures.

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Rutgers Engineers Developing Rapid Breathalyzer Test for COVID-19

New Brunswick, N.J. (April 30, 2021) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick engineering professors Edward P. DeMauro, German Drazer, Hao Lin and Mehdi Javanmard

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New rapid COVID-19 test the result of university-industry partnership

A partnership between UC Davis and Maurice J. Gallagher, Jr., chairman and CEO of Allegiant Travel Company, has led to a 20-minute COVID-19 test. The method pairs a mass spectrometer with a powerful machine-learning platform to detect SARS-CoV-2 in nasal swabs. A recent study published in Nature Scientific Reports shows the test to be 98.3% accurate for positive COVID-19 tests and 96% for negative tests.

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Story Tips from Johns Hopkins Experts on COVID-19

NEWS STORIES IN THIS ISSUE:

PREGNANT AFTER THE FIRST DOSE OF COVID-19 VACCINE — NOW WHAT?
STUDY SHOWS VACCINES MAY PROTECT AGAINST NEW COVID-19 STRAINS … AND MAYBE THE COMMON COLD
EXPANDED DASHBOARD TOOL RANKS ACCESSIBILITY OF STATE VACCINE WEBSITES

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Rutgers Expert Available to Discuss Spring Allergy Season in N.J.

New Brunswick, N.J. (April 20, 2021) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick allergy specialist Leonard Bielory is available for interviews on the

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Study of More Than 3,000 Members of the US Marine Corps. Reveals Past COVID-19 Infection Does Not Fully Protect Young People Against Reinfection

Although antibodies induced by SARS-CoV-2 infection are largely protective, they do not completely protect against reinfection in young people, as evidenced through a longitudinal, prospective study of more than 3,000 young, healthy members of the US Marines Corps conducted by researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and the Naval Medical Research Center, published April 15 in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine.

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Houston Methodist study reveals COVID-19 UK variant cases doubling weekly in Houston

Houston Methodist infectious disease pathologists have discovered new COVID-19 cases caused by the SARS-CoV-2 UK B.1.1.7 variant are doubling weekly. By mid-March the number increased sharply to 648 cases from 305 just a week earlier. The findings come from the latest batch of 8,857 virus genomes sequenced from patients with positive COVID-19 tests in the first two months of 2021, representing 94% of Houston Methodist cases.

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UCLA to lead CDC-funded study testing effectiveness of vaccines on health workers

Researchers will study vaccinated and non-vaccinated health workers who get tested for the virus after experiencing common COVID-19 symptoms like fever, cough or a loss of sense of taste or smell. They will compare the incidence of positive tests and severity of illness in those who test positive.

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Though Risk is Minuscule, Infection after COVID-19 Vaccination is Possible

Investigators from UC San Diego and UCLA report COVID-19 infection rates for a cohort of health care workers previously vaccinated for the novel coronavirus. Risk of infection is minuscule, but exists.

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Novel Coronavirus Circulated Undetected Months before First COVID-19 Cases in Wuhan, China

Using molecular dating tools and epidemiological simulations, researchers at UC San Diego School of Medicine estimate that the SARS-CoV-2 virus likely circulated undetected for two months before the first human cases of COVID-19 were described in Wuhan, China in late-December 2019.

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Rutgers Expert Available to Discuss Coronavirus Risks a Year After Lockdowns Began

New Brunswick, N.J. (March 11, 2021) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick Professor Donald W. Schaffner is available for interviews on the likelihood of becoming infected by

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Higher Pollen Levels Correlated With Increased Coronavirus Infection Rates

New Brunswick, N.J. (March 9, 2021) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick allergy specialist Leonard Bielory is available for interviews on a

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Rutgers University’s Resilient, Innovative Year Confronting COVID-19

The last year, which has been unlike any other in Rutgers’ 254-year history, has centered on keeping the Rutgers community safe, providing top-notch health care, developing the first saliva test for the coronavirus and helping society cope with the biggest global public health crisis since the 1918 influenza pandemic.

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Science Snapshots: COVID-19, power outages, Alzheimer’s disease, and optical antennas

March Science Snapshots from Berkeley Lab

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Sewage-Handling Robots Help Predict COVID-19 Outbreaks in San Diego

UC San Diego School of Medicine researchers develop an automated process to test city sewage for SARS-CoV-2, allowing them to forecast the region’s COVID-19 caseload one to two weeks ahead of clinical diagnostic reports.

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More than 1,000 SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus Protein 3D Structures Available

New Brunswick, N.J. (March 3, 2021) – The 3D structures of more than 1,000 SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus proteins are freely available

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RGF® Environmental Group Releases Industry’s First Test Evaluating Aerosolized SARS-CoV-2 Viral Reductions Directly in the Air: PHI-PKG14 PHI-CELL® Proven to Inactivate 99.96% of Airborne SARS-CoV-2 within Simulated Air-Conditioned Space

RGF® Environmental Group, Inc., a leading environmental design and manufacturing company, has released the results of a third-party test that proves the PHI-PKG14 PHI-CELL® product with Photohydroionization® technology inactivates greater than 99.96% of airborne SARS-CoV-2 virus.

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Repurposed Arthritis Drug Did Not Significantly Improve Severe COVID-19 Pneumonia

A repurposed drug used to treat arthritis did not significantly improve the outcomes of patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia. Tocilizumab did not significantly improve clinical status or mortality rate at 28 days for participants who received it compared to a placebo.

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Balanced T cell response key to avoiding COVID-19 symptoms, study suggests

By analyzing blood samples from individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2, researchers in Singapore have begun to unpack the different responses by the body’s T cells that determine whether or not an individual develops COVID-19. The study, published today in the Journal of Experimental Medicine (JEM), suggests that clearing the virus without developing symptoms requires T cells to mount an efficient immune response that produces a careful balance of pro- and anti-inflammatory molecules.

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NIH Awards UC San Diego $33 Million for Five COVID-19 Diagnostic Projects

UC San Diego was awarded five COVID-19 Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) projects by the National Institutes of Health totaling nearly $33 million, which will fund efforts that range from managing a large data center to expanding testing in disadvantaged communities.

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Human Lung and Brain Organoids Respond Differently to SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Lab Tests

UC San Diego School of Medicine researchers are using stem cell-derived organoids to study how SARS-CoV-2 interacts with various organ systems. Their findings may help explain the wide variety in COVID-19 symptoms and aid the search for therapies.

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Genetics May Play Role in Determining Immunity to COVID-19

UC San Diego researchers report that individual immune response to SARS-CoV-2 may be limited by a set of variable genes that code for cell surface proteins essential for the adaptive immune system. The finding may help explain why COVID-19 immunity varies by individual.

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A Cheap, Potent Pathway to Pandemic Therapeutics

By capitalizing on a convergence of chemical, biological and artificial intelligence advances, scientists have developed an unusually fast and efficient method for discovering tiny antibody fragments with big potential for development into therapeutics against deadly diseases.

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At least 50% of COVID-19 infections come from people who aren’t showing symptoms

A new study out of the University of Chicago has found that during the initial wave of the COVID-19 outbreak in New York City, only 1 in 5 to 1 in 7 cases of the virus was symptomatic. The research team found that non-symptomatic cases substantially contribute to community transmission, making up at least 50% of the driving force of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

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COVID-19 Early Detection System Tested in Schools by UC San Diego and San Diego County

In an effort to help schools reduce the risk of COVID-19 outbreaks as they resume in-person instruction, UC San Diego and the County of San Diego are testing the Safer at School Early Alert system to detect SARS-CoV-2 at schools and child care centers.

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Tip Sheet: COVID-19 vaccines, SARS-CoV-2 mutations, shedding pandemic pounds – and nematode nerve cells

SEATTLE —Feb. 4, 2021 —Below are summaries of recent Fred Hutch research findings and other news with links for additional background and media contacts.We are looking forward to the Transplantation & Cellular Therapy Meetings, to be held online Feb. 8-12. Read highlights of Fred Hutch research to be presented, including on COVID-19 and cancer and new insights on treating graft-vs.

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Wayne State research team developing AI model to aid in early detection of SARS-CoV2 in children

Currently, there are no methods to discern the spectrum of COVID-19’s severity and predict which children with SARS-CoV-2 exposure will develop severe illness, including MIS-C. Because of this, there is an urgent need to develop a diagnostic modality to distinguish the varying phenotypes of disease and risk stratify disease.

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Retrained generic antibodies can recognize SARS-CoV-2

An alternative approach to train the immunity response is offered by researchers at the University of Illinois Chicago and California State University at Sacramento who have developed a novel strategy that redirects antibodies for other diseases existing in humans to the spike proteins of SARS-CoV-2.

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Twelve pharmaceutical leaders and chief scientists present efficacy data and status reports on their vaccines against SARS-CoV-2; Anthony Facui and Moncef Slaoui deliver keynotes

A remarkable number of pharmaceutical company leaders and chief scientists will come together at a two-day symposium to present efficacy data and updates on twelve vaccines and vaccines candidates. This includes the Moderna and Pfizer mRNA vaccines that have been approved in the US for emergency use. Other topics will include: the clinical epidemiology of COVID-19; the virology, immunology, and genetics of SARS-CoV-2; and research on COVID-19 vaccines in in the elderly.

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Story Tips from Johns Hopkins Experts on COVID-19

Vaccines take time to work. After getting a COVID-19 vaccine, it takes a while for the immune system to fully respond and provide protection from the virus. For the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines, it takes up to two weeks after the second shot to become appropriately protected.

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