Genetic detectives reveal the origins of the european outbreak

In a story from MIT technology review we get clues to how SARS-CoV-2 are spreading throughout the world, and how transmission chains are not always what they seem to be. By tracking random mutations in the virus’ DNA sequence, as documented in the open source effort Nextstrain, it is possible for scientists to follow the […]

US biotech company will enter clinical vaccine trials in April

Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc., based in Pennsylvania, US, had created a vaccine candidate only three hours after gaining acces to the SARS-CoV-2 DNA in January. The vaccine is called INO-4800, and the secret to its rapid synthesis lies in the concept; instead of using inactivated virus’ for the vaccine, Inovio sythesize a proteine based on the […]

Lymphocyte rates predict severity and outcome in COVID-19 illness

Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) is a rapidly escalating epidemic caused by SARS-CoV-2. Identification of a simple and effective indicator to assess disease severity and outcome is urgently needed.  This study retrospectively analyzed dynamic changes of lymphocyte percentage (LYM%) in 15 death cases, 15 severe cases as well as 40 moderate cases of COVID-19 patients. Next, prognostic […]

Wearing face mask may decrease the risk of severe illness from COVID-19

A recent peer-reviewed paper appreared in the Journal of Medical Virology where the authors examine the infection routes of the SARS-CoV-2. The researchers points out the fact that signs of viral activity in the brain, where mainly neurons are being infected. Clinical signs of this includes nausea, headache and vomiting, but also the loss of […]

14 days quarantine and contact tracing can be ineffective to contain the virus

In a newly released pre-print individually documented case descriptions of COVID-19 from China was used to estimate the distributions of the generation time, incubation period, and periods from symptom onset to isolation and to diagnosis. Resarchers found that 14-day quarantine period may lead to a 6.7% failure rate for quarantine. Instead they recommend a 22-day […]

Treatment options for SARS-CoV-2 confirmed

In a preprint published at CellPress researchers found that SARS-CoV-2 virus share attach vector with the 2003 SARS-CoV, called ACE2, for entry and the serine protease TMPRSS2 for S protein priming. A TMPRSS2 inhibitor approved for clinical use was found to  block entry and may constitute a treatment option. The research team also found that […]

The race to create a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine is on

As the the novel corona virus outbreak rages on in South Korea, Iran and Italy researchers and pharmaceutical companies have entered a race to get a vaccine ready in a try to shift the odds in the favor of humanity. Moderna Therapeutics, a biotech company in Massachusets, US, shipped the first batches of a vaccine […]

New study describes COVID-19 as ‘relatively mild’

In an article from the medical journal the BMJ Chinese physicians describe 62 cases of COVID-19 patients from the Zhejiang province and found that the clinical manifestation of the disease were relatively mild, in contrast to cases from the outbreak epicenter in Wuhan. …all studied cases were infected by human to human transmission. The most […]