Previous infection with other types of coronaviruses may lessen severity of COVID-19 — ScienceDaily

Being previously infected with a coronaviruses that cause the “common cold” may decrease the severity of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) infections, according to results of a new study. Led by researchers at Boston Medical Center and Boston University School of Medicine, the study also demonstrates that the immunity built up from previous non-SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infections does not prevent individuals from getting COVID-19. Published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, the findings provide important insight into the immune response against SARS-CoV-2, which could have significant implications on COVID-19 vaccine development.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to more than 200,000 deaths in the US, and more than one million globally. There is a growing body of research looking into specific ways that the SARS-CoV-2 virus impacts different populations, including why some people are infected and are asymptomatic, as well as what increases ones mortality as a result of infection.

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Pain relief caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection may help explain COVID-19 spread — ScienceDaily

SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, can relieve pain, according to a new study by University of Arizona Health Sciences researchers.

The finding may explain why nearly half of people who get COVID-19 experience few or no symptoms, even though they are able to spread the disease, according to the study’s corresponding author Rajesh Khanna, PhD, a professor in the College of Medicine — Tucson’s Department of Pharmacology.

“It made a lot of sense to me that perhaps the reason for the unrelenting spread of COVID-19 is that in the early stages, you’re walking around all fine as if nothing is wrong because your pain has been suppressed,” said Dr. Khanna. “You have the virus, but you don’t feel bad because you pain is gone. If we can prove that this pain relief is what is causing COVID-19 to spread further, that’s of enormous value.”

The paper, “SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein

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Sensor rapidly detects COVID-19 infection — ScienceDaily

One feature of the COVID-19 virus that makes it so difficult to contain is that it can be easily spread to others by a person who has yet to show any signs of infection. The carrier of the virus might feel perfectly well and go about their daily business — taking the virus with them to work, to the home of a family member, or to public gatherings.

A crucial part of the global effort to stem the spread of the pandemic, therefore, is the development of tests that can rapidly identify infections in people who are not yet symptomatic.

Now, Caltech researchers have developed a new type of multiplexed test (a test that combines multiple kinds of data) with a low-cost sensor that may enable the at-home diagnosis of a COVID infection through rapid analysis of small volumes of saliva or blood, without the involvement of a medical professional,

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Stocks See-Saw After Trump COVID Infection Disclosure, Biden Test Negative

UPDATED, 4:05 p.m. ET: U.S. stock indexes dropped Friday after President Trump revealed that he tested positive for coronavirus and a report that September job gains came in below forecasts.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 1.4% at market open, the tech-centric Nasdaq Composite Index slid 2.15%, and the S&P 500 was off 1.5%. Markets recovered noticeably around noon — and the Dow briefly crossed into positive territory — after news that Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential candidate, had tested negative for coronavirus.

As of market close Friday, the Dow had shed 134 points, down 0.48%, and S&P 500 was down about 1%. The Nasdaq index declined 2.2% for the day.

Markets globally were rattled by Trump’s positive test for COVID-19, because it introduces considerable uncertainty about the political leadership of the U.S., the world’s biggest economic power by GDP. At 74, Trump statistically is at a higher risk

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Study shows Massachusetts response to COVID-19 in nursing homes helped stem infection rate — ScienceDaily

A paper just published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that adherence to infection control processes, especially proper wearing of personal protective equipment (PPE) and cohorting strategies, such as grouping residents based on their risk of infection or whether they tested positive for COVID-19, was significantly associated with declines in weekly infection and mortality rates.

Lewis A. Lipsitz, M.D., Director of the Hinda and Arthur Marcus Institute for Aging Research and Chief Academic Officer at Hebrew SeniorLife, was the lead author on the report, which analyzed the process and outcome of Massachusetts’ novel state-wide COVID-19 infection control program developed to stem the rate of infection among vulnerable nursing home populations.

In April 2020, Massachusetts nursing homes became a hotspot for COVID-19 infections and associated deaths. In response, Governor Charles Baker allocated $130 million in additional nursing home funding for two months. Funding was contingent on compliance with

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New data on US infection rates helps identify COVID-19 turning points — ScienceDaily

Mathematicians have developed a framework to determine when regions enter and exit COVID-19 infection surge periods, providing a useful tool for public health policymakers to help manage the coronavirus pandemic.

The first published paper on second-surge COVID-19 infections from US states suggests that policymakers should look for demonstrable turning points in data rather than stable or insufficiently declining infection rates before lifting restrictions.

Mathematicians Nick James and Max Menzies have published what they believe is the first analysis of COVID-19 infection rates in US states to identify turning points in data that indicate when surges have started or ended.

The new study by the Australian mathematicians is published today in the journal Chaos, published by the American Institute of Physics.

“In some of the worst performing states, it seems that policymakers have looked for plateauing or slightly declining infection rates. Instead, health officials should look for identifiable local maxima

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Glycans in the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein play active role in infection

Glycans in the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein play active role in infection
In this illustration, glycans (dark blue) coat the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein (light blue), which is anchored in the viral envelope (colorful bilayer on bottom). Credit: Adapted from ACS Central Science 2020, DOI: 10.1021/acscentsci.0c01056

As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, researchers are working overtime to develop vaccines and therapies to thwart SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the disease Many efforts focus on the coronavirus spike protein, which binds the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) on human cells to allow viral entry. Now, researchers reporting in ACS Central Science have uncovered an active role for glycans—sugar molecules that can decorate proteins—in this process, suggesting targets for vaccines and therapies.


Before the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein can interact with ACE2 on a human cell, it changes shape to expose its receptor binding domain (RBD), the part of the protein that interacts with ACE2. Like many viral proteins, the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein has a thick coat

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Researchers find new way to protect plants from fungal infection — ScienceDaily

Widespread fungal disease in plants can be controlled with a commercially available chemical that has been primarily used in medicine until now. This discovery was made by scientists from Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) and the University of the State of Paraná in Brazil. In a comprehensive experiment the team has uncovered a new metabolic pathway that can be disrupted with this chemical, thus preventing many known plant fungi from invading the host plant. The team reported on their study in the scientific journal Phytopathology.

The fungus Colletotrichum graminicola is prevalent around the world. It infects maize, causing anthracnose, a disease that causes the plant’s leaves to turn yellow at first and then ultimately to succumb to toxins. The fungus multiplies through spores that initially land on the surface of the plant. There they find rather inhospitable conditions: a lack of most of the nutrients that fungi need to

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