What if just one airborne particle was enough to infect you?

For some diseases, people exposed to just a single airborne particle containing infectious virus, bacteria or fungi can be infected. When this happens, understanding and predicting airborne disease spread can be a whole lot easier. That’s the result of a new study by a Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientist who developed a new theory of airborne infectious disease spread.

Hunting Down The Mutations That Cause Cancer Drug Resistance

Using a virus to purposely mutate genes that produce cancer-driving proteins could shed light on the resistance that inevitably develops to cancer drugs that target them, a new study led by UT Southwestern scientists suggests. The findings, published online in Cancer Research, could help researchers develop drugs that circumvent resistance, validate new drug targets, or better understand the interaction between drugs and their target proteins.

LEDs Light the Way to Coronavirus Disinfection

LEDs are commonly used for sterilization, and in the continued effort to combat the coronavirus pandemic, LEDs can also help inactivate SARS-CoV-2. A team in Pakistan designed far-ultraviolet LEDs at a targeted wavelength of 222 nanometers, chosen both for its ability to inactivate the virus and for being safe on human skin. They based their design on the material aluminum gallium nitride, part of a set of materials called III-nitrides which are efficient, inexpensive, and environmentally friendly.

Avoiding Drug Resistance by Understanding Evolution of Viruses

During ACA’s 71st annual meeting, Celia Schiffer, from the University of Massachusetts, will talk about her lab’s work with virus substrate recognition as a method to avoid drug resistance. Schiffer and her team expanded their work on HIV and the hepatitis C virus to include human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 and SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and discovered that designing robust inhibitors to fit within the substrate envelope tips this balance toward decreasing the probability of resistance.

New study details enzyme that allows coronavirus to resist antiviral medications

A new Iowa State University study details the structure of a critical enzyme present in SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. This enzyme removes nucleoside antiviral medications from the virus’s RNA, rendering many treatments ineffective. Scientists could use data uncovered in the new study to find ways to inhibit the enzyme, possibly leading to more effective treatments.

2 in 1 Face Mask Against Dust and Virus – Chula Health Innovation in the New Normal

Chula’s Faculty of Engineering joins hands with PTT to develop a 2 in1 face mask, an innovation that protects against PM2.5 dust particles and COVID-19 virus that can be reused more than 15 times, helps reduce waste, is pollution-free, and will be available for sale soon.

Butterfly Effect Can Double Travel of Virus-Laden Droplets

In Physics of Fluids, investigators from the University of Florida and Lebanese American University carried out detailed computer simulations to test a mathematical theory they developed previously. They found nearly identical exhalations could spread in different directions when miniscule initial variations are substantially amplified by turbulence. This is the so-called butterfly effect.

Trojan horses and tunneling nanotubes: Ebola virus research at Texas Biomed gets NIH funding boost

Scientists have a general idea of how viruses invade and spread in the body, but the precise mechanisms are actually not well understood, especially when it comes to Ebola virus. Olena Shtanko, Ph.D., a Staff Scientist at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute (Texas Biomed), has received more than $1 million from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to explore different aspects of Ebola virus infection.

Chula to Accelerate Research on “Rutin” — An Herbal Extract Against COVID-19

Chula researchers have found that “rutin” extract from orange peel can kill the COVID-19 virus. They are developing it into drugs while pointing out that drug research is still necessary along with vaccine research and suggesting that Thai people should adjust their views on herbs to create added value.

6 important things to know about your COVID-19 vaccine card

Everyone who gets vaccinated for COVID-19 in the U.S. receives a vaccine card. Sarah Lynch, clinical assistant professor of pharmacy practice at Binghamton University, State University of New York, offers insight into why vaccine cards are important and why you…

Rutgers Expert Available to Discuss Viral ‘Pandemics’ in Oceans

New Brunswick, N.J. (April 6, 2021) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick microbial oceanographer Kay D. Bidle is available for interviews on the persistent and profound impact of viral infections on algae in the oceans. These infections influence the Earth’s carbon cycle, which helps…

UV light shows promise in mitigation of costly swine virus

Experiments testing the ability of ultraviolet light to stop the spread of a costly virus for pork producers has shown promise, according to an ISU research team. Ultraviolet light analyzed in experiments irradiates aerosolized droplets of the virus that causes porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome. The researchers hope to scale their experiments up to a size comparable to pork production facilities.

Standard water treatment technique removes and inactivates an enveloped virus

Researchers reporting in ACS’ Environmental Science & Technology have discovered that a standard water treatment technique, called iron (III) coagulation, and its electrically driven counterpart, iron (0) electrocoagulation, can efficiently remove and inactivate a model enveloped virus.

Mount Sinai Researchers Advance a Universal Influenza Virus Vaccine

A vaccine that induces immune responses to a wide spectrum of influenza virus strains and subtypes has produced strong and durable results in early-stage clinical trials in humans, Mount Sinai researchers have found.

UNLV Immunologist on the Differences Between Two Leading COVID-19 Vaccine Candidates

Millions around the world have waited for news about a COVID-19 vaccine, regarding it as the beginning of the end for the global pandemic and a herald for the eventual return to “normal life.” Recent announcements from pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Moderna that their respective late-stage vaccine trials have shown a 90% or better effectiveness rate have received international applause, excitement furthered with estimates that doses could be ready as early as December.

COVID-19 Virus Survives on Surfaces Within Thin Film

To find out how the COVID-19 virus survives on surfaces, researchers in India are exploring the drying times of thin liquid films that persist on surfaces after most respiratory droplets evaporate. While the drying time of typical respiratory droplets is on the order of seconds, the survival time of the COVID-19 virus was found to be on the order of hours. In Physics of Fluids, the researchers describe how a nanometers-thick liquid film clings to the surface, allowing the virus to survive.

Gut Microbiome Manipulation Could Result from Virus Discovery

Scientists have discovered how a common virus in the human gut infects and takes over bacterial cells – a finding that could be used to control the composition of the gut microbiome, which is important for human health. The Rutgers co-authored research, which could aid efforts to engineer beneficial bacteria that produce medicines and fuels and clean up pollutants, is published in the journal Nature.

Seeking the Most Effective Polymers for Personal Protective Equipment

Personal protective equipment, like face masks and gowns, is generally made of polymers. But not much attention is typically given to the selection of polymers used beyond their physical properties. To help with the identification of materials that will bind to a virus and speed its inactivation for use in PPE, researchers have developed a high-throughput approach for analyzing the interactions between materials and viruslike particles. They report their method in the journal Biointerphases.

Pfizer, Moderna news is promising, but billions are unlike to get COVID-19 vaccine for years

In just a week, both Moderna and Pfizer have announced that they have developed effective vaccines against COVID-19 — but how long will it be before everyone has access to them? According to Nicole Hassoun, professor of philosophy at Binghamton…

Microfluidics helps MTU engineers watch viral infection in real time

Watching a viral infection happen in real time is like a cross between a zombie horror film, paint drying, and a Bollywood epic on repeat. Over a 10-hour span, chemical engineers from Michigan Tech watched viral infections happen with precision inside a microfluidics device and can measure when the infection cycle gets interrupted by an antiviral compound.

Rutgers Expert Available to Discuss Coronavirus Risk from Surfaces, Groceries, Food, Airborne Exposures

New Brunswick, N.J. (Oct. 26, 2020) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick Professor Donald W. Schaffner is available for interviews on the likelihood of getting infected by the SARS-CoV-2  coronavirus via surfaces, groceries, eating food and airborne/aerosol transmission. “Current evidence still indicates that risk from surfaces remains…

Jennifer Doudna Wins 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Biochemist Jennifer Doudna, a professor at UC Berkeley and faculty scientist at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), is co-winner of the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for “the development of a method for genome editing.”

First relatives of rubella virus discovered in bats in Uganda and mice in Germany

At night in a Ugandan forest, a team of American and African scientists take oral swabs from insect-eating cyclops leaf-nosed bats. In a necropsy room near the Baltic Sea, researchers try to determine what killed a donkey, a Bennett’s tree-kangaroo and a capybara at a German zoo — all of them suffering from severe brain swelling. Neither team was aware of the other, yet they were both about to converge on a discovery that would forever link them — and help solve a long-enduring mystery.

Progress Toward Antiviral Treatments for COVID-19

COVID-19 is caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2, which is structurally similar to the viruses that cause SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV. In The Journal of Chemical Physics, scientists report molecular-level investigations of these viruses, providing a possible pathway to antiviral drugs to fight the diseases. They looked at a viral protein that plays a role in the virus’s ability to replicate and in defeating the host’s immune system, making it an attractive target for potential drug treatments.

Detecting Small Amounts of Virus in Early Infections

Diagnostic devices that are used at home or in doctors’ offices are often not sensitive enough to detect small amounts of a virus that might be present in samples from asymptomatic patients, which can occur in early stage COVID-19. In Biomicrofluidics, scientists report a membrane-based invention that can concentrate the virus content of a sample of urine or saliva, allowing it to be detected.

Using A Public Restroom? Mask Up!

Think you don’t need to worry about COVID-19 while using a public restroom? Researchers from Yangzhou University in China recently reported that flushing public restroom toilets can release clouds of virus-laden aerosols for you to potentially inhale. If that’s not cringeworthy enough, after running additional computer simulations, they’ve concluded that flushing urinals does likewise. In Physics of Fluids, the group shares its work simulating and tracking virus-laden particle movements when urinals are flushed.

Why Does COVID-19 Impact Only Some Organs, Not Others?

In severe cases of COVID-19, damage can spread beyond the lungs and into other organs, such as the heart, liver, kidney and parts of the neurological system. Beyond these specific sets of organs, however, the virus seems to lack impact. Ernesto Estrada aimed to uncover an explanation as to how it is possible for these damages to propagate selectively rather than affecting the entire body. He discusses his findings in the journal Chaos.

Johns Hopkins Receives $35 Million in Funding from Department of Defense for Covid-19 Blood Plasma Trials

Johns Hopkins researchers have received $35 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense (JPEO-CBRND), on behalf of the Defense Health Agency, for two nationwide clinical trials to test the effectiveness of a convalescent blood plasma outpatient treatment. The treatment is a transfusion of a blood product from COVID-19 survivors that contains antibodies that may help the patient’s immune system fight the virus.

Baylor Scott & White Research Institute Expands Efforts in the Fight Against COVID-19

As the global response to the SARS-COV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 approaches 200 days, Baylor Scott & White Research Institute, the research and development arm of Baylor Scott & White Health, is accelerating its pace of bringing clinical trials online.

Baylor Scott & White Research Institute continues to mobilize staff and resources, including components needed to integrate critical patient-safety measures at every participating site within the Baylor Scott & White system for industry sponsored drug trials, investigator-initiated drug trials and research studies, and observational and data studies designed to help increase knowledge around case trends, viral epidemiology, and care best practices.

Pioneering method reveals dynamic structure in HIV

The method reveals that the lattice, which forms the major structural component of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), is dynamic. The discovery of a diffusing lattice made from Gag and GagPol proteins, long considered to be completely static, opens up potential new therapies. The method can be applied to biomedical structure.