How and when will we know that a COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective?

Several vaccines are in Phase 3 trials. So when will we know whether any of these will protect against COVID-19?

William Petri, Professor of Medicine, University of Virginia • conversation
Sept. 22, 2020 ~10 min

Tags: covid-19 immune-system pandemic fda vaccines sars-cov-2 phase-3-trial immune-response vaccine-trials covid-19-vaccine vaccine-safety vaccine-approval

SARS-CoV-2 infection can block pain, opening up unexpected new possibilities for research into pain relief medication

The SARS-CoV-2 virus usually infects the body via the ACE2 protein. But there is another entry point that allows the virus to infect the nervous system and block pain perception.

Rajesh Khanna, Professor of Anesthesiology, University of Arizona • conversation
Sept. 21, 2020 ~8 min

Tags:  covid-19  pandemic  pain  sars-cov-2  viruses  covid-19-pandemic  ace2  asymptomatic  chronic-pain  spike-protein

COVID-19 vaccines: Open source licensing could keep Big Pharma from making huge profits off taxpayer-funded research

Governments must embrace policies that promote sharing and collective invention to create and distribute a vaccine quickly.

Timothy Ford, Professor and Chair of Biomedical and Nutritional Sciences, University of Massachusetts Lowell • conversation
Sept. 18, 2020 ~9 min

Tags:  health  medicine  covid-19  pandemic  vaccines  sars-cov-2  open-source  innovation-and-invention  process-of-innovation

Coronavirus is hundreds of times more deadly for people over 60 than people under 40

Using random testing, researchers in Indiana were able to calculate death rates by age, race, and sex and found sharp increases in risk of death among older and non-white state residents.

Nir Menachemi, Professor of Health Policy and Management, IUPUI • conversation
Sept. 10, 2020 ~7 min

Tags: heart-disease health diabetes covid-19 coronavirus risk sars-cov-2 viruses indiana health-risks death-rate risk-of-death

Ultraviolet light can make indoor spaces safer during the pandemic – if it's used the right way

UV disinfection is a proven means of killing pathogens like the SARS-CoV-2 virus, but it's not risk-free.

Karl Linden, Professor of Environmental Engineering and the Mortenson Professor in Sustainable Development, University of Colorado Boulder • conversation
Sept. 9, 2020 ~9 min

Tags: covid-19 coronavirus pandemic sars-cov-2 viruses aerosols disinfectant pathogen ultraviolet-light

School bus safety during the COVID-19 pandemic: 8 recommendations

A researcher explains what it will take to make sure children are reasonably safe from catching the coronavirus aboard school buses.

Jesse Capecelatro, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan • conversation
Sept. 3, 2020 ~9 min

Tags:  covid-19  sars-cov-2  coronavirus-2020  buses  k-12-education  transportation  aerosols

How to use precision medicine to personalize COVID-19 treatment according to the patient's genes

Precision medicine is often touted as the future of medicine. But so far, it hasn't been helpful in the war against COVID-19. Here is how it could be used to tease apart the nuances of the disease.

David Finegold, Professor, Department of Human Genetics, Pitt Public Health, University of Pittsburgh • conversation
Sept. 1, 2020 ~8 min

Tags: genetics covid-19 pandemic sars-cov-2 precision-medicine

Will the new 15-minute COVID-19 test solve US testing problems?

The new BinaxNOW antigen test is quick, easy, accurate and cheap. It could solve the US testing problem, but the emergency use authorization only allows people with COVID-19 symptoms to get tested.

Zoë McLaren, Associate Professor of Public Policy, University of Maryland, Baltimore County • conversation
Sept. 1, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: covid-19 coronavirus fda screening sars-cov-2 food-and-drug-administration testing viruses abbott emergency-use-authorization antigen-test pcr-testing covid-test

COVID-19 clues in a community's sewage: 4 questions answered about watching wastewater for coronavirus

Sewage surveillance is one technique that can alert authorities to the presence of a pathogen in the community. An environmental engineer explains the state of the science when it comes to SARS-CoV-2.

Kyle Bibby, Associate Professor of Environmental Engineering, University of Notre Dame • conversation
Aug. 31, 2020 ~8 min

Tags: covid-19 coronavirus sars-cov-2 pathogens wastewater disease-surveillance

Declining antibodies and immunity to COVID-19 – why the worry?

If antibody levels drop dramatically after an infection, what does that mean for immunity? An expert explains how B and T cells contribute to immunity and why antibodies don't tell the full story.

Alexander (Sasha) Poltorak, Professor of Immunology, Tufts University • conversation
Aug. 26, 2020 ~7 min

Tags: covid-19 immune-system pandemic sars-cov-2 adaptive-immune-response innate-immune-response immune-response t-cell antibody b-cell

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