Category science communication

DNA Inherited From Neanderthals May Increase Risk of COVID-19

A stretch of DNA linked to Covid-19 was passed down from Neanderthals 60,000 years ago, according to a new study.

Scientists don’t yet know why this particular segment increases the risk of severe illness from the coronavirus. But the new findings, which were posted online on Friday and have not yet been published in a scientific journal, show how some clues to modern health stem from ancient history.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/04/health/coronavirus-neanderthals.html

A stretch of DNA linked to Covid-19 was passed down from Neanderthals 60,000 years ago, according to a new study. Scientists don’t yet know why this particular segment increases the risk of severe illness from the coronavirus. But the new findings, which were posted online… Continue Reading →

Questions remain following first COVID-19 vaccine results

CanSino and Moderna are the first vaccine makers to report data on safety and neutralization, but the extent of protection these products afford remains unclear.

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41587-020-00015-x

CanSino and Moderna are the first vaccine makers to report data on safety and neutralization, but the extent of protection these products afford remains unclear. https://www.nature.com/articles/d41587-020-00015-x

Pangolins are not the intermediate hosts for the novel coronavirus

The outbreak of a novel corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the city of Wuhan, China has resulted in more than 1.7 million laboratory confirmed cases all over the world. Recent studies showed that SARS-CoV-2 was likely originated from bats, but its intermediate hosts are still largely unknown. In this study, we assembled the complete genome of a coronavirus identified in 3 sick Malayan pangolins. The molecular and phylogenetic analyses showed that this pangolin coronavirus (pangolin-CoV-2020) is genetically related to the SARS-CoV-2 as well as a group of bat coronaviruses but do not support the SARS-CoV-2 emerged directly from the pangolin-CoV-2020. Our study suggests that pangolins are natural hosts of Betacoronaviruses. Large surveillance of coronaviruses in pangolins could improve our understanding of the spectrum of coronaviruses in pangolins. In addition to conservation of wildlife, minimizing the exposures of humans to wildlife will be important to reduce the spillover risks of coronaviruses from wild animals to humans.

https://journals.plos.org/plospathogens/article?id=10.1371/journal.ppat.1008421

The outbreak of a novel corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the city of Wuhan, China has resulted in more than 1.7 million laboratory confirmed cases all over the world. Recent studies showed that SARS-CoV-2 was likely originated from bats,… Continue Reading →

Visualization of week-wise COVID-19 symptoms

Recent Updates: A much larger scale study of over 26 lakh participants who self reported symptoms on a smartphone-based app.  https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-020-0916-2#Tab1 Real-time tracking of self-reported symptoms to predict potential COVID-19 We report that loss of smell and taste is a potential… Continue Reading →

Some Indian novel coronavirus (SARS-Cov-2) isolates form a new sub-group

New genome sequences of the novel coronavirus, combined with fresh analysis, show a new viral sub-type in India, in addition to already existing sub-types.
https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.05.31.126136v1

New genome sequences of the novel coronavirus, combined with fresh analysis, show a new viral sub-type in India, in addition to already existing sub-types.https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.05.31.126136v1

Summary of recent progress on understanding COVID-19

Summarizes recent progress in understanding the epidemiological, virological, and clinical characteristics of COVID-19 and discuss potential targets with existing drugs for the treatment of this emerging zoonotic disease.

https://journals.plos.org/plospathogens/article?id=10.1371/journal.ppat.1008536

Summarizes recent progress in understanding the epidemiological, virological, and clinical characteristics of COVID-19 and discuss potential targets with existing drugs for the treatment of this emerging zoonotic disease. https://journals.plos.org/plospathogens/article?id=10.1371/journal.ppat.1008536

A personal account by scientist Peter Piot, who worked with HIV and Ebola, and recently contracted COVID-19

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/05/finally-virus-got-me-scientist-who-fought-ebola-and-hiv-reflects-facing-death-covid-1

Piot, who grew up in Belgium, was one of the discoverers of the Ebola virus in 1976 and spent his career fighting infectious diseases. He headed the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS between 1995 and 2008 and is currently a coronavirus adviser to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. But his personal confrontation with the new coronavirus was a life-changing experience, Piot says.

What do new mutations in the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) mean?

To say that you’ve revealed the emergence of a more transmissible form of SARS-CoV-2 without ever actually testing it isn’t the type of thing that makes me feel comfortable as a scientist.” She and other virologists I’ve spoken with who were not involved in the Los Alamos research agree that the paper’s claims are plausible, but not justified by the evidence it presents. More important, they’re not convinced different strains of the coronavirus exist at all.

The origins of SARS-CoV-2

The first cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, were reported in December, 2019 in the city of Wuhan, in the Hubei province of China. It is therefore reasonable to assume that the disease originated in or around Wuhan.
41 cases of COVID-19 were reported to local health authorities in Wuhan, during December 16, 2019 to January, 2020. The clinical features of these patients were reported in this study in the journal Lancet, in February, 2020:

Useful COVID-19 resources and Database

Open-access and computational resources

https://datascience.nih.gov/covid-19-open-access-resources

Open-access and computational resources https://datascience.nih.gov/covid-19-open-access-resources

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