by Mahaa Ahmedfigures by Tal Scully The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many corners of the world to a standstill. While researchers and scientists race to develop and distribute a vaccine, many places are still subject to a host of restrictions on daily life designed to keep people safe. Unfortunately, this may actually lead to endangerment of children’s health in other critical ways. More than just … Continue reading It’s Worth a Shot: Preventing vaccine-preventable diseases during the COVID-19 pandemic
by Francesca Tomasifigures by Jovana Andrejevic Right now, the world is eagerly awaiting clinical trial data for two candidate COVID-19 vaccines known as mRNA vaccines. mRNA stands for “messenger RNA,” referring to the molecule that the vaccine delivers to our bodies. Once the vaccine enters our cells, the mRNA tells them exactly how to build a piece of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The vaccine itself cannot … Continue reading An Introduction to Ribosomes: Nature’s busiest molecular machines
A mathematical deep-dive into the function of the lungs may provide clinical insight for low blood oxygen levels in COVID-19 patients. Continue reading Breathing Life into the Low Blood Oxygen Dilemma of Early COVID-19 Infections
Researchers have developed a fast, cheap, and quantitative antibody test to allow us to understand how COVID-19 affects our immune response. Continue reading Fighting COVID-19 with a Faster, Cheaper, and Quantitative Antibody Test
by Sam Berry In 1918, a new influenza (flu) strain infected nearly a third of the world’s population, leaving tens of millions dead. At the time, relatively little was known about this strain, later called the Spanish Flu—why it was so dangerous, how it spread, even what it was made up of. In the past 100 years, we’ve unveiled the structure of the double-helical DNA … Continue reading What Can Evolution Teach us About the Viruses of the Future?
by Noel Jacksonfigures by Daniel Utter Have you ever wondered how scientists study human tissue in the lab? They do so with the help of authentic human cells. Normal cells in the human body have a finite number of replications, which limits their lifespan. Immortal cancer cells escape this limit and replicate indefinitely, making them ideal for research that requires a constant supply of quickly … Continue reading Vessels for Collective Progress: the use of HeLa cells in COVID-19 research
by Sydney Shermanfigures by Daniel Utter If you’ve ever received a vaccine or been prescribed a medication, then you have benefited from the contribution of animals to research. Humans have looked to animals to help combat diseases since at least 380 BC and continue to do so today. The race for COVID-19 treatments and preventatives is no exception. We usually think of animal research in … Continue reading Animals in the Fight Against COVID-19
Why is it that some people get really sick from COVID-19, and others don’t? The answer may lie in a weakened innate immune response. Continue reading Severe vs Mild COVID-19 infections: differences in immune responses
Catherine (Xiaoxiao) Ding is a second-year Applied Math Ph.D. student in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University, where she is studying programmable materials. Daniel Utter is a 5th year Ph.D. student in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard. Continue reading Unmasking the Facts
Pregnancy test but for viruses? Mini droplet-based diagnostics tests combined with CRISPR may offer a way forward for fast, mass-testing of not just SARS-CoV-2, but hundreds of other viruses as the same time.
Continue reading CRISPR and Droplets offer a new way forward in viral diagnostics?