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Coronavirus

Keep up-to-date with the latest research news, political developments, and background information on COVID-19.

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Quality aspects

Lab automation – economic aspects and Covid-19

The academic teaching Karlsruhe Hospital, at the University of Freiburg, is the largest hospital providing tertiary care in the Middle Upper Rhine Valley. Every year, 63,000 in-patients and 180,000…

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Coronavirus

Asian ethnicity strongly linked to COVID-related stroke

Asian ethnicity is strongly linked to COVID-related stroke, reveals an analysis of stroke centre activity in England and Scotland during the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic, and accepted for…

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Preclinical data

COVID-19 vaccine candidate designed via computer

An innovative nanoparticle vaccine candidate for the pandemic coronavirus produces virus-neutralizing antibodies in mice at levels ten-times greater than is seen in people who have recovered from…

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In countries accepting CE Mark

Beckman Coulter launches SARS-CoV-2 IgM antibody test

Beckman Coulter announced the launch of its Access SARS-CoV-2 Immunoglobulin M (IgM) assay in countries accepting the CE Mark. The new IgM antibody test demonstrated 99.9% specificity with 1,400…

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Among trillion possibilities

Rapid method finds potent COVID-19 antibody

University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine scientists have discovered the fastest way to identify potent, neutralizing human monoclonal antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

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USA and Chinese experts share observations

AI in Covid research

A panel of experts from the USA and China highlighted AI use in radiological workflow during the Covid pandemic and identified current pitfalls during the Hot Topic session at RSNA 2020. Radiologists from the USA prioritised Covid articles, delivered quick reviews, made all results open access, and helped organise a white paper from the Fleischner Society recognising recommendations for the role…

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Coronavirus imaging

Covid-19: Is CT more sensitive than PCR testing?

Covid-19 causes characteristic changes in lung tissue visible in CT scans and chest radiographs. The “ground-glass” opacities are sharply delineated areas, bilateral and mainly located in the basal and peripheral lung sections. In the course of the infection, the opacities become increasingly consolidated. In the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, when PCR tests (RT-PCR) were scarce and had…

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The role of chest CT in diagnosis and treatment

UPDATE: Covid-19 and lung infections imaging

RSNA 2020: International experts showcased new studies on chest CT’s role in Covid-19 diagnosis and treatment, and how a smartphone-operated algorithm can help detect TB on plain chest films. A staggering volume of work and has been produced on the pandemic this year, with an average 367 Covid-19 journal articles published per week, according to Michael Chung, Assistant professor of radiology…

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Pandemic management

How the Covid-19 crisis defines good leadership

A senior UK health figure has highlighted how contrasting leadership approaches are impacting the response to the global coronavirus crisis. Dr Clare Gerada also fears that response is affecting health professionals and leaders within the sector, with a significant rise numbers seeking help for mental health issues. Delivering the prestigious Sir Godfrey Hounsfield Lecture to the 2020 British…

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Open source framework

Here comes the AI healthcare era

Although the Covid-19 pandemic has put wind behind the sails of AI in healthcare, domain specific tools are needed to build and deploy AI and harness its power in data handling, training workflows and reproducibility of state-of-the-art approaches, according to Kimberly Powell, NVIDIA Vice President of Healthcare at the technology firm NVIDIA, presenter of a public address at RSNA 2020.

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The ‘new normal’ after Covid-19

Lung cancer screening: The slow return of mobile units

The coronavirus pandemic has had a severe impact on healthcare services but one area where that has been felt particularly deeply is with lung cancer screening. With sessions cancelled, treatment delays and social-distancing and safety requirements, many patients have been affected. However, as services begin to pick up again and lung cancer screening returns, three experts closely associated…

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Diagnosing SARS-CoV-2

The arsenal: Molecular (PCR), antigen and antibody testing

Germany’s lack of diagnostic ability led to significantly underestimation of its own as well as global Covid-19 infection levels during the first wave. Now, however, improved testing and diagnosis of the condition more realistically reveal nearer 20,000 new cases a day across the country, according to Professor Hendrik Streeck, one of the country’s leading virologists. Speaking at a virtual…

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Virology

Digital epidemiology in the Covid-19 war

Digital epidemiology is on the frontline in the Covid-19 war, with innovative techniques used to observe and monitor this viral spread across populations. Its increasingly important role was outlined to a virtual session at Medica 2020 by theoretical biologist Professor Dirk Brockmann. In a keynote presentation ‘Perspective of digital epidemiology – opportunities, promises and challenges’,…

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Coronavirus genome folding

Researchers prepare for “SARS-CoV3”

For the first time, an international research alliance has observed the RNA folding structures of the SARS-CoV2 genome with which the virus controls the infection process. Since these structures are very similar among various beta corona viruses, the scientists not only laid the foundation for the targeted development of novel drugs for treating Covid-19, but also for occurrences of infection…

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For at least six months

Prior COVID-19 infection offers protection from re-infection

A new study suggests that individuals who have previously had COVID-19 are highly unlikely to contract the illness again, for at least six months following their first infection. The study, done as part of a major collaboration between the University of Oxford and Oxford University Hospitals (OUH) NHS Foundation Trust, was published as a pre-print.

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Experts: The reliance on others must stop

Covid pandemic underlines need for change in EU blood acquisition

The Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association (PPTA) welcomes the European Commission’s publication of the Inception Impact Assessment (IIA) as a necessary step in the ongoing evaluation of the EU legislation on blood, tissues, and cells (BTC). Rightfully, the assessment underlines the need for timely action to decrease Europe’s reliance on third countries for plasma. The PPTA appeals to…

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Coronavirus assay receives CE Mark

Quantitative Covid-19 test to measure neutralizing antibodies

Siemens Healthineers announced its SARS-CoV-2 IgG Antibody Test (sCOVG) has proven to measure neutralizing antibodies and has achieved CE Mark. The test is an enhanced version of the assay which became available globally this summer. It demonstrates the ability to detect neutralizing antibodies and reports quantitative results measuring the amount of neutralizing antibodies present in a patient's…

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Addressing a broad range of research applications

Mass spectrometry advances

Since the Covid-19 epidemic took hold, the public has expected ‘unprecedented progress from the scientific community,’ observed Dan Shine, senior vice president and president of the analytical instruments division of Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. ‘A deeper analysis of proteins is critical to understanding disease, including novel viruses. New instruments, software and workflows can power…

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New gargle test

Mass spectrometry to improve Covid testing

A UK biotech laboratory has used mass spectrometry in a new approach to coronavirus testing. MAP Sciences developed a gargle test, which collects samples from the back of the throat, and avoids the unpleasant sensation of the current PCR (polymerase chain reaction) swab tests. From there, the sample is tested for coronavirus using mass spectrometry (MS) with high levels of accuracy.

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Profiling the coronavirus

Experts unlock Covid-19 secrets

Experts have identified two distinct immunological and cellular profiles in the lungs of Covid-19 patients which they believe could help define treatment pathways. From some of the earliest Covid-19 autopsies conducted in Europe, Swiss-based researchers have performed integrative digital pathology and transcriptomic analyses of lung tissues of 16 coronavirus patients who died from respiratory…

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MEDICA session

PCR tests excel during Covid-19 pandemic

In early 1990, at Analytica, in Munich, a young US-American researcher Kary B Mullis received the award for biochemical analytics for his 1983 invention: the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) – a success topped in 1993 by the Nobel Prize for chemistry. Mullis’ work revolutionised DNA copying, a process which, before PCR, had taken weeks. Whilst initially PCR was used to create digital…

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Detecting coronavirus infections

Covid-19: CRISPR-based test gives GPs quick results

Recent research in Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) has identified two enzymes that can detect Covid-19 RNA as simply as a pregnancy test Jesús Pla, an eminent microbiologist at the Complutense University in Madrid, explained in our exclusive interview. CRISPR technology could help alleviate workloads in packed hospitals and expand testing to primary care and…

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