What makes us sneeze?

What exactly triggers a sneeze? A team led by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has identified, in mice, specific cells and proteins that control the sneeze reflex. Better understanding of what causes us to sneeze — specifically how neurons behave in response to allergens and viruses — may point to treatments capable of slowing the spread of infectious respiratory diseases.

Weizmann Institute Scientists Reveal the Triple Threat of Coronavirus

Scientists at the Weizmann Institute and the Israel Institute for Biological, Chemical and Environmental Sciences took a novel tack to investigating SARS-CoV-2’s powerful ability to infect, finding that the virus deploys an apparently unique three-pronged strategy to take over the cell’s protein-synthesis abilities. The work could help develop effective Covid-19 treatments.

University of Chicago scientists design “Nanotraps” to catch and clear coronavirus from tissue

Researchers at the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering (PME) at the University of Chicago have designed a completely novel potential treatment for COVID-19: nanoparticles that capture SARS-CoV-2 viruses within the body and then use the body’s own immune system to destroy it.

Research Update: Cleaning & Disinfecting PPE for Reuse

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused an unprecedented disruption in supply chains across multiple sectors including the shortage of critical personal protective equipment (PPE). In addition to hand washing and social distancing, various PPE items are used to prevent contact with…

Flushing a Public Toilet? Don’t Linger, Because Aerosolized Droplets Do

Because COVID-19 has been detected in urine and stool samples, public restrooms can be cause for concern. Researchers measured droplets generated from flushing a toilet and a urinal in a public restroom and found a substantial increase in the measured aerosol levels in the ambient environment with the total number of droplets generated in each flushing test ranging up to the tens of thousands. Due to their small size, these droplets can remain suspended for a long time.

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.

New Study Shows How Mutations in SARS-CoV-2 Allow the Virus to Evade Immune System Defenses

Research reveals how mutated SARS-CoV-2 evades immune system defenses

In lab-dish experiments, the mutant virus escaped antibodies from the plasma of

COVID-19 survivors as well as pharmaceutical-grade antibodies

Mutations arose in an immunocompromised patient with chronic SARS-CoV-2 infection

Patient-derived virus harbored structural changes now seen cropping up independently in samples across the globe

Findings underscore the need for better genomic surveillance to keep track of emerging variants

Results highlight importance of therapies aimed at multiple targets on SARS-CoV-2 to minimize risk of resistance

Understanding Heart Inflammation and COVID-19 for Athletes and Others

Myocarditis can affect anyone, even healthy young adults and children. Adenoviruses and enteroviruses, such as Coxsackieviruses (hand, foot and mouth disease), are among the most common culprits. But SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) may cause heart inflammation, too. And, as we are learning, COVID-19-related inflammation can have a long-term impact on heart health.

Origins of Disease

Since the beginning of the pandemic, once-esoteric scientific terms have become common parlance—spike protein, PCR, mRNA.

Pathogenesis is not one of them. Yet, when it comes to understanding COVID-19, this may well be the most important word that has yet to make its way into the mainstream lexicon.

How SARS-CoV-2’s Sugar-Coated Shield Helps Activate the Virus

ROCKVILLE, MD – One thing that makes SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, elusive to the immune system is that it is covered in sugars called glycans.

Tricking the novel coronavirus with a fake “handshake”

Fool the novel coronavirus once and it can’t cause infection of cells, new research suggests. Scientists have developed protein fragments that bind to the Spike protein, effectively tricking the virus into “shaking hands” with a replica rather than the receptor that lets the virus into a cell.

Negligible Detection of SARS-CoV2 found in Environmental Surface Testing of Hematology/Oncology Inpatient and Outpatient Settings

Researchers from Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey evaluated the frequency of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, on various environmental surfaces in outpatient and inpatient hematology/oncology settings located within Rutgers Cancer Institute and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, an RWJBarnabas Health facility. The study, published in Cancer, revealed extremely low detection of SARS-CoV-2 on environmental surfaces across multiple outpatient and inpatient oncology areas, including an active COVID-19 floor.

Study: reparations for slavery could have reduced COVID-19 infections and deaths in U.S.

New study suggests monetary reparations for Black descendants of people enslaved in the United States could have cut SARS-CoV-2 transmission and COVID-19 rates both among Black individuals and the population at large.

Researchers modeled the impact of structural racism on viral transmission and disease impact in the state of Louisiana.
The higher burden of SARS-CoV-2 infection among Black people also amplified the virus’s spread in the wider population.

Reparations could have reduced SARS-CoV-2 transmission in the overall population by as much as 68 percent.

Compared with white people, Black individuals in the United States are more likely to be infected with SARS-CoV-2, more likely to end up in the hospital with COVID-19, and more likely to die from the disease.

In Lab, Broad Spectrum Antiviral Proves Highly Effective at Preventing, Treating COVID-19

Publishing their work in Nature, UNC-Chapel Hill scientists showed how the orally administered experimental drug EIDD-2801 halts SARS-CoV-2 replication and prevents infection of human cells in a new in vivo research model containing human lung tissue. Separate phase 2 and 3 clinical trials are ongoing to evaluate EIDD-2801 safety in humans and its effect on viral shedding in COVID-19 patients.

COVID-19 Virus Causes Lasting Vascular Dysfunction in Healthy Young Adults

Article title: Vascular alterations among young adults with SARS-CoV-2 Authors: Stephen M. Ratchford, Jonathon L. Stickford, Valesha M. Province, Nina Stute, Marc A. Augenreich, Laurel K. Koontz, Landry K. Bobo, Abigail S.L. Stickford From the authors: “Using a cross-sectional design,…

NAU-TGen study results show COVID-19 virus triggers antibodies from previous coronavirus infections

A collaborative study shows COVID-19 virus triggers antibodies from previous coronavirus infections, such as the common cold. It may also explain how previous exposure could partially account for differences in severity between old vs. young patients

Study: Colleges can prevent 96% of COVID-19 infections with masks, distancing, and routine testing

The combined effectiveness of three COVID-prevention strategies on college campuses—mask-wearing, social distancing, and routine testing—are as effective in preventing coronavirus infections as the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), according to a new study co-authored by a Case Western Reserve University researcher.

Researchers Discover New Variant of COVID-19 Virus in Columbus, Ohio

Scientists have discovered a new variant of SARS-Cov-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. It carries a mutation identical to the U.K. strain, but it likely arose in a virus strain already in the U.S. The researchers also report the evolution of another U.S. strain that acquired three other gene mutations not previously seen together in SARS-CoV2.

The Odd Structure of ORF8: Scientists Map the Coronavirus Protein Linked to Disease Severity

A team of biologists who banded together to support COVID-19 science determined the atomic structure of a coronavirus protein thought to help the pathogen evade and dampen response from human immune cells. The structural map has laid the groundwork for new antiviral treatments and enabled further investigations into how the newly emerged virus ravages the human body.

5 Things You Must Do While You Wait for the COVID-19 Vaccine

Even as vaccinations against COVID-19 are under way, the virus continues to kill thousands of Americans every day, making it more important than ever to stay safe and be ready in case it strikes you or your family. Here’s what you need to do to prevent and prepare for the novel coronavirus.