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  • COVID in Latin American (#4)
  • COVID immune overreaction (#14)
  • Restoring sight in mice (#13)
  • China and corona research (#22)


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Telangana Today

Hyderabad: Among the many strategies to combat the highly contagious novel strain of coronavirus (SARS-CoV2), the concept of ‘herd immunity’ has come up frequently in the last few months. It suggests that a majority in the population can contract the virus or allow the virus to run its course and then wait for the infected to develop antibodies before becoming immune to the ailment.


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The Conversation

The Covid-19 pandemic, which is disrupting our lives and shaking our health systems and economies, is at the root of what Dr. Sylvie Briand, director of the Department of Pandemic and Epidemic Diseases of the World Health Organization (WHO), rightly described as an infodemic – the viral circulation of rumours and false information.


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Vox

If you look at a map of coronavirus cases in the US, it can be hard to figure out any patterns. California reported some of the first coronavirus infections — including the country’s first instance of community transmission — but New York has had 12 times as many deaths.


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The Lancet

Several problems undermine the preparedness of countries in Latin America to face the spread of COVID-19. Talha Burki reports.


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Latin America faces particular challenges in its fight against COVID, such as the lack of social distancing in favelas. Here Talha Burki writes and discusses more problems including an ongoing dengue outbreak.

The Hindu

An effective response must consider not only pathogen behaviour but also socioeconomic and cultural characteristics


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NY Times

London: The two Chinese companies were offering a risky proposition: 2 million home test kits said to detect antibodies for the coronavirus for at least $20 million, take it or leave it.


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The Conversation

At the University of Oregon’s Biology and the Built Environment (BioBE) Center, we study interactions between humans, buildings and microorganisms. We believe that architecture needs to adapt and evolve in ways that help people manage indoor microbiomes to support health. In a new paper, we combine research on how microbes function indoors with knowledge about the novel coronavirus to outline ways of minimizing COVID-19 transmission in buildings.


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The Lancet

A new study suggests testing and contact tracing and population behavioural changes-measures which have far less disruptive social and economic impact than total lockdown-can meaningfully control COVID-19


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CNN

Infectious disease expert Michael Osterholm, who has been warning for a decade and a half about the possibility of a global pandemic, said the coronavirus we’re fighting is at least as infectious as the one that killed an estimated 50 million people in the 1918 flu worldwide outbreak.


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The Conversation

COVID-19 has created a new norm for human interaction: social distancing, improving hygiene with soap and hand sanitizer, wearing a mask and quarantining. But what does this mean for the more than 2 million people held in local, state and federal jails and prisons?


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Newsweek

Forecasts predicting the total number of deaths from COVID-19 may be wildly inaccurate because we do not know key information about the virus. This includes how many people have had it, whether people who recover will develop lasting antibodies to protect from it, how well people are observing social distancing measures — and how long they will be willing to do it for.


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Scientific American

An online survey reveals bottlenecks, challenges and barriers faced by more than 1,700 biology labs


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National Institutes of Health (US)

NIH-funded study offers new path to modeling eye disease, advancing therapies


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Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Cold Spring Harbor, NY — In the urgent battle to treat COVID-19 patients, a group of eleven international medical research organizations is investigating whether overactive immune cells that produce Neutrophil Extracellular Traps (NETs) cause the most severe cases. The consortium, called the NETwork, includes Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research, and the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC).


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One of the less reported issues around COVID has been the immune response and the potential for dangerous overreaction. Here Cold Spring Harbor discusses the issues and an effort to understand it better by working across institutions.

Massive Science

With infectious disease outbreaks such as COVID-19 remaining a continual threat, and cancer rates on the rise, we rely on modern medical treatments like antibodies more than ever before. Antibody production is a major source of research animal use. Scientists use what are called “humanized mice,” which are mice that have immune machinery to make human antibodies, to create antibodies to human medical treatments. Antibodies function by tagging “foreign bodies” like cancer cells, bacteria, viruses, or anything that isn’t human, marking them for destruction by the immune system.


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Nature

How is biomedical research funding faring during the COVID-19 lockdown? As the current pandemic has taken scientists away from the lab, funding agencies are having to adapt to these extraordinary situations. Some are keeping true to their original plan. Others have had to make difficult decisions.


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Scientific American

Numerous contenders — from a controversial malaria medication to treatments that regulate the immune system — are now in clinical trials


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CBC

Thousands of scientists around the world are working on problems raised by the COVID-19 pandemic.


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STAT News

A widely followed model for projecting Covid-19 deaths in the U.S. is producing results that have been bouncing up and down like an unpredictable fever, and now epidemiologists are criticizing it as flawed and misleading for both the public and policy makers. In particular, they warn against relying on it as the basis for government decision-making, including on “re-opening America.”


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The Conversation

An overview of the scientific evidence suggests that oestrogen (the main female hormone) can improve the immune system and increase immune inflammation whereas testosterone (the male sex hormone) reduces or dampens the response. As a result, women often have less severe infections than men and have significantly stronger immune responses to vaccinations (which are essentially less potent versions of a virus). Men with higher levels of testosterone may have weakened immunity and have been shown to produce the lowest antibody responses to annual flu vaccinations.


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Quartz

Health, it turns out, is everybody’s business. The Covid-19 pandemic has made this clear, laying bare the gaping cracks in our societal systems that have driven the emergence and unprecedented transmission of a novel coronavirus; and highlighting the need for a more health-aligned societal reset.


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Nature

Some scientists welcome government vetting because it could stop poor-quality COVID-19 papers being published – others fear it is an attempt to control information.


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Part of scientific research is being able to publish, or not. Here Nature reports off of a document sent to universities about requirements for government approval.

Geospatial World

Biodiversity is a natural repository for more than half of the medicines that we develop. A large number of disease outbreaks are zoonotic, primarily caused by ecological damage. By changing human behavior, we can make a big difference in terms of handling future pandemics, emphasizes Dr. Carlos Zambrana-Torrelio — Associated Vice-President for Conservation and Health at EcoHealth Alliance .


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CGTN

Many countries could witness measles outbreaks as the lockdowns and travel restriction imposed to control the new type of coronavirus has delayed routine immunization campaigns, warned a consortium of leading health organizations.


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The Conversation

As the SARS-CoV-2 virus sweeps across the globe, African countries are bracing themselves for grave consequences. The projections released on April 17 estimate more than a billion cases and 300,000 deaths due to COVID-19.


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