virus

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COVID-19 research

Clues to coronavirus’s vulnerability emerge from SARS antibody

An antibody recovered from a survivor of the SARS epidemic in the early 2000s has revealed a potential vulnerability of the new coronavirus at the root of COVID-19, according to a study from scientists at Scripps Research. The study, published in Science, is the first to map a human antibody’s interaction with the new coronavirus at near-atomic-scale resolution. Although the antibody was…

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Flu forecast

Portable AI device predicts outbreaks based on coughing

University of Massachusetts Amherst researchers have invented a portable surveillance device powered by machine learning – called FluSense – which can detect coughing and crowd size in real time, then analyze the data to directly monitor flu-like illnesses and influenza trends. The FluSense creators say the new edge-computing platform, envisioned for use in hospitals, healthcare waiting rooms…

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COVID-19 longevity

How long can the coronavirus persist on surfaces?

How long can coronavirus persist on surfaces such as door handles or hospital nightstands? How can the virus be destroyed effectively? A research team from Greifswald and Bochum, Germany, collected the answers scientists can currently offer to these and other pertinent questions and published them in the Journal of Hospital Infection. These days, the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (formerly known…

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COVID-19 medication safety

New traffic light system to prevent coronavirus drug interaction

The University of Liverpool launched a new website featuring a traffic light system to aid the safe prescribing of experimental drugs being trialled against coronavirus (COVID-19). The site, created by the University’s Liverpool Drug Interactions Group, provides vital information on whether or not combinations of an experimental drug and co-medications are safe to prescribe. This is of…

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COVID-19 update

WHO labels coronavirus disease as a pandemic

The World Health Organization (WHO) has officially categorized the current outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as a pandemic. Speaking at the COVID-19 media briefing, the WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom said: "WHO has been assessing this outbreak around the clock and we are deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity, and by the alarming levels…

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Computer-aided search for substances

Virtual screening for anti-coronavirus drugs

The University of Basel is part of the global search for a drug to fight the rampant coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Researchers in the Computational Pharmacy group have so far virtually tested almost 700 million substances, targeting a specific site on the virus – with the aim of inhibiting its multiplication. Due to the current emergency, the first results of the tests will be made available to other…

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At-home testing for COVID-19

Coronavirus testing? There's an app for that

A coronavirus app coupled with machine intelligence will soon enable an individual to get an at-home risk assessment based on how they feel and where they’ve been in about a minute, and direct those deemed at risk to the nearest definitive testing facility, investigators say. It will also help provide local and public health officials with real time information on emerging demographics of those…

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Pandemic prevention

German lab developed coronavirus detection method

Investigators at Hannover Medical School (MHH) in Germany have developed a molecular assay for detecting the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (previously 2019-nCoV) on the automated Panther Fusion system by Hologic. The preclinical assay is described online in the Journal of Clinical Virology. “Rapid diagnosis is critical to combatting the spread of pandemics, and the Panther Fusion system is well…

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Radiology congress (update)

ECR 2020 will be online-only due to coronavirus

The 2020 edition of the European Congress of Radiology (ECR) in Vienna, which had been postponed due to safety concerns regarding COVID-19, will not take place on site this year. Instead, the congress organisers at the European Society of Radiology (ESR) opt for an online-only event: "It is with a heavy heart and much regret that the Board of Directors of the European Society of Radiology…

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EUA for respirators issued

Coronavirus: U.S. permits more protective masks for healthcare setting

In a joint effort, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) take action to make more respirators, including certain N95s, available to health care personnel. Currently, the majority of respirators on the market are indicated for use in industrial settings. This action allows certain National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health…

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COVID-19 in radiology

CT outperforms lab diagnosis for coronavirus infection

In a study of more than 1,000 patients published in Radiology, chest CT outperformed lab testing in the diagnosis of 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Researchers at Tongji Hospital in Wuhan, China, concluded that CT should be used as the primary screening tool for COVID-19. In the absence of specific therapeutic drugs or vaccines for COVID-19, it is essential to detect the disease at an…

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Pilot clinical trial

China to test targeted therapy for COVID-19

A University of British Columbia (UBC) researcher is part of an international team working with a biotechnology company on a pilot clinical trial of a potential new treatment for patients with severe coronavirus infections in China. Dr. Josef Penninger, director of UBC’s Life Sciences Institute and Canada 150 Chair in Functional Genetics, is working closely with Vienna-based Apeiron Biologics…

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Myths around SARS-CoV-2 busted

Coronavirus FAQ to dispel fake and harmful advice

The current outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is making headlines by the minute. However, some less-than-trustworthy advice can be found among the information. Understandably, many people are concerned and confused. To prevent unnecessary panic, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has assembled advice for the public. Is it safe to receive parcels from China? Will sesame oil…

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COVID-19 infection control

Combatting the novel coronavirus with thorough hand hygiene

WHO Chief Adhanom Ghebreyesus has declared the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) a global health emergency. He said the decision was reached not because of the situation in China, but because of, “what is happening in other countries.” On Feb. 17, the number of infections totaled around 71,000 globally based on data of the WHO. COVID-19 – the official shorthand name of the novel corona virus…

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Smart infection control

China uses AI to combat the novel coronavirus outbreak

Infrared thermometers are now used in most subway stations in China to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) pneumonia (MCP). Many stations have implemented an artificial intelligence (AI) based fever screening system developed by the Beijing-based company Megvii Technology Limited. The system supports non-contact remote temperature screening from a distance of 3 meters. "This…

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Outbreak

A genome browser posts the coronavirus genome

Research into the novel Wuhan seafood market pneumonia virus, the deadly "coronavirus" that has forced the Chinese government to quarantine more than 50 million people in the country's dense industrial heartland, will be facilitated by the UC Santa Cruz Genomics Institute. The Genomics Institute's Genome Browser team has posted the complete biomolecular code of the virus for researchers…

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Genomic insights into 2019-nCoV

New coronavirus: largest meta-analysis yet answers important questions

Scientists at the University of Bologna have conducted the largest analysis of coronavirus 2019-nCoV genomes sequenced so far. This analysis confirms that the virus originates in bats and shows a low variability: the virus heterogeneity is low. At the same time, researchers identified a hyper-variable genomic hotspot in the proteins of the virus responsible for the existence of two virus…

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Deadly virus

New test to identify and control Ebola variants

The situation is extraordinary: there have only ever been four declarations of public health emergencies of international concern in the past and now there are two at the same time. Whilst the risks associated with the novel coronavirus are still unclear, people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are still battling with an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus which has been ongoing since 2018…

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New virus 2019-nCoV

Scientists grow Wuhan coronavirus in the lab

Scientists from The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity in Melbourne have successfully grown the Wuhan coronavirus (also known as SARS-CoV-2) from a patient sample, which will provide expert international laboratories with crucial information to help combat the virus. This is the first time the virus has been grown in cell culture outside of China. The Royal Melbourne Hospital’s…

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SARS-like virus from China

What we know about the new corona virus

Nine people have died and more than 400 have been sickened by the new corona virus spreading in China. A few cases have been confirmed in Taiwan, Thailand, South Korea, Japan and the U.S., and on Wednesday, the World Health Organization is holding an emergency meeting on the outbreak. How worried about a new pandemic should we be? Virus researcher Ali Mirazimi, adjunct professor at the Department…

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Reduced liver complications

The surprising benefits of anti-hepatitis medicine

A new effective treatment of hepatitis C that was made available to all Danes last year, not only combats the virus, but is also effective against potentially fatal complications such as reduced liver functioning and cirrhosis. This is the result of a new study from Aarhus University and Aarhus University Hospital. Hepatitis C is a serious disease, but the biggest threat to someone’s health is…

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Tricky virus

Measles infections erase 'immune memory' – vaccination confers protection

Measles infections are not harmless – they can cause disease courses that may be of fatal outcome. Researchers of the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut (PEI) in co-operation with researchers from the UK and the Netherlands have now found out that measles viruses erase part of the immunological memory over several years. Affected persons are thus more susceptible to infections with other pathogens beyond…

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EMA recommandation for Ervebo

Ebola: first vaccine to protect against deadly virus

It is an important step towards fighting one of the deadliest viruses known to man: The human medicines committee (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has recommended granting a conditional marketing authorisation in the European Union for Ervebo (rVSVΔG-ZEBOV-GP), the first vaccine for active immunisation of individuals aged 18 years and older at risk of infection with the Ebola virus.…

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Catching flu by the stalk

One step closer to a universal influenza vaccine

Influenza viruses cause substantial health hazards and claim many lives worldwide each year. Vaccines can keep the virus in check, however, they only protect against influenza when they match the circulating strains – which vary every season. But now, a reasearch team may have found a way to generate a universal vaccine. Led by researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, the…

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