Rapid home-based coronavirus tests are coming together in research labs — we’re working on analyzing spit using advanced CRISPR gene editing techniques

Testing for coronavirus has been a fiasco in the US. But now companies are developing super fast tests, including ones that might eventually be as simple as at home pregnancy tests.

Piyush K. Jain, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering, UF Health Cancer Center, University of Florida • conversation
May 20, 2020 ~10 min

Tags: covid-19 coronavirus pandemic rna sars-cov-2 covid-19-testing antibody-testing rt-pcr

Nature-inspired CRISPR enzymes for expansive genome editing

Applied computational biology discoveries vastly expand the range of CRISPR’s access to DNA sequences.

Media Lab • mit
May 19, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: dna crispr covid-19 rna research computational-biology media-lab school-of-architecture-and-planning alumniae genome-editing center-for-bits-and-atoms

SMART researchers receive grant to develop rapid tests for Covid-19

Using engineered binder proteins to detect viral proteins or antibodies rather than RNA, new tests may overcome current challenges in testing for SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology • mit
May 19, 2020 ~9 min

Tags: health public-health covid-19 pandemic rna disease research proteins school-of-engineering grants singapore-mit-alliance-for-research-and-technology-smart

MicroRNAs: the 'junk' genetic material with huge potential to fight cancer and dementia

Tiny parts of our genome once thought useless are being turned into ways to diagnose and treat disease.

Alice Godden, PhD Candidate in Developmental Biology, University of East Anglia • conversation
May 18, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: alzheimers-disease cancer dementia rna

Method can measure gene-silencing pesticide in soil

New pesticides that give plants their own defenses against insects are headed to market. A new method is the first to detect them in dirt.

Brandie Jefferson-WUSTL • futurity
May 11, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: soil rna pesticides plants earth-and-environment

HIV genome bends over backwards to help virus take over cells

Differently shaped RNA molecules allow HIV to express different genes from the same RNA sequence.

Eva Frederick | Whitehead Institute • mit
May 11, 2020 ~9 min

Tags: medicine genetics hivaids biology rna disease viruses research computer-science-and-technology algorithms whitehead-institute

What needs to go right to get a coronavirus vaccine in 12-18 months

Vaccine development is usually a long process. The coronavirus pandemic is forcing researchers to innovate and test potential vaccines faster than ever before.

Marcos E. García-Ojeda, Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Merced • conversation
May 8, 2020 ~10 min

Tags: dna health coronavirus immune-system rna fda vaccines sars-cov-2 food-and-drug-administration immune-response coronavirus-vaccine immune clinical-trials

We found and tested 47 old drugs that might treat the coronavirus: Results show promising leads and a whole new way to fight COVID-19

Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, identified nine existing drugs that show promise to treat COVID-19. The proteins they target haven't been tried before.

Nevan Krogan, Professor and Director of Quantitative Biosciences Institute & Senior Investigator at the Gladstone Institutes, University of California, San Francisco • conversation
April 30, 2020 ~10 min

Tags: drugs health drug-discovery covid-19 coronavirus rna fda sars-cov-2 viruses hydroxychloroquine cells progesterone treatments anti-virals

Here's how scientists are tracking the genetic evolution of COVID-19

The SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 is constantly mutating. What do this mutations reveal about this virus's evolution? And will this knowledge help us to develop a long-lasting vaccine?

Niema Moshiri, Assistant Teaching Professor of Computer Science & Engineering, University of California San Diego • conversation
April 6, 2020 ~7 min

Tags:  evolution  covid-19  coronavirus  rna  vaccines  coronavirus2020  mutation

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