Why we didn't get a vaccine by Election Day – but why we may get one soon

With COVID-19 cases soaring across the US and worldwide, the need for a vaccine could not be greater. With some half-dozen vaccines in phase 3 trials, why wasn't one ready before Election Day?

William Petri, Professor of Medicine, University of Virginia • conversation
Nov. 10, 2020 ~9 min

 covid-19  coronavirus  pandemic  rna  vaccines  pfizer  moderna  emergency-use-authorization  astrazeneca

The COVID-19 virus can spread through the air – here's what it'll take to detect the airborne particles

Miniaturized laboratory equipment is making it easier to identify airborne pathogens in the field, but there's still work ahead to be able to instantly determine if a room is safe or contaminated.

Shantanu Sur, Associate Professor of Biology, Clarkson University • conversation
Aug. 14, 2020 ~9 min

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

 evolution  covid-19  coronavirus  rna  vaccines  coronavirus2020  mutation

Labs are experimenting with new – but unproven – methods to create a coronavirus vaccine fast

Under pressure to develop a coronavirus vaccine, researchers have turned to protein synthesis, genetics and hybrid viruses. It is likely a mix of these approaches will be used to fight the coronavirus.

Jean Peccoud, Professor, Abell Chair in Synthetic Biology, Colorado State University • conversation
March 26, 2020 ~10 min

 dna  genetics  covid-19  coronavirus  rna  vaccines  national-institutes-of-health  sars-cov-2  viruses  coronavirus-vaccine

How does the coronavirus test work? 5 questions answered

A molecular biologist explains who should get tested, how the tests work and what the US government is doing to make tests available during a rapidly changing crisis.

Maureen Ferran, Associate Professor of Biology, Rochester Institute of Technology • conversation
March 12, 2020 ~8 min

 dna  health  public-health  covid-19  coronavirus  biology  pandemic  rna  centers-for-disease-control-and-prevention  sars-cov-2  viruses  cdc  diagnostic-tests