Lacking the antiviral mechanisms of the rest of our body, stem cells use an ancient trick from plants and worms – RNA interference – to protect against viral infection. Continue reading Our Body’s Stem Cells use an Ancient Mechanism to Defend against Viruses
What is something we can do to fight against COVID-19 and improve indoor air quality for human health? Portable high efficiency particle air (HEPA) cleaners and masking can significantly reduce exposure to SARS-CoV-2 aerosol particles. Continue reading Portable HEPA Cleaners and Masking can Reduce Exposure to SARS-CoV-2 Aerosols
by Aleks Procherafigures by Shreya Mantri The past year and a half have been a time of profound uncertainty. We all wish we could gaze into a COVID crystal ball and get answers to our burning questions. Some of us would want to know how long the pandemic will last. Others, however, especially those who have never received a positive result, would likely seek an … Continue reading It’s Not All about Microbes: Genetics and susceptibility to infections
by Sophia Swartzfigures by Shreya Mantri The first reports of a mysterious, pneumonia-like illness surfaced in early December 2019. Fast-forward to 2021, and the culprit—SARS-CoV-2, a virus a thousand times smaller than a speck of dust—has sickened more than 111 million people, infected all seven continents, and killed approximately 2.5 million. The toll of COVID-19 is heart-wrenching and borders on dystopian. Our pandemic present is … Continue reading Mutation Madness: How and why SARS-CoV-2 keeps changing
by Christopher Rotafigures by Daniel Utter The COVID-19 pandemic has touched every corner of American society, including the lives of scientists. The past year has seen many researchers dramatically shift the focus of their work, as experts from across different disciplines came together to study this novel disease and develop potential therapies. The National Institutes of Health, the United States’ foremost public biomedical research agency, … Continue reading The “Covidization” of Science: Short-Term Necessity or Problematic Over-Reaction?
by Jaclyn Long figures by Tal Scully A year into the pandemic, many people still struggle to get tested for COVID-19. By some estimates, asymptomatic transmission can account for up to 50% of all new cases, making regular testing of people who don’t yet (or might never) show symptoms a key part of a public health strategy to control the virus. Despite the effectiveness of mass … Continue reading The Challenges of Large-Scale COVID-19 Testing
by Molly Sargenfigures by Molly Sargen, Buse Aktaş, and Aparna Nathan COVID-19 is unarguably devastating from any perspective. Even as we struggle to overcome the present challenges of the pandemic, COVID-19 is paving the way for other infectious agents to cause damage in the future. Although SARS-CoV-2 is a virus that cannot be treated with antibiotics, antibiotic usage has significantly increased throughout the pandemic. With … Continue reading How COVID-19 is Shaping Antibiotic Resistance
by Piyush Nandafigures by Corena Loeb In an area devastated by deforestation, an 18-month-old toddler from the nearest settlement, Meliandou in Guinea, was seen playing around a fallen tree swarming with bats. The child then contracted a mysterious illness, which spread to many who came in contact. After it had already killed 30 people, the illness was identified as Ebola. Comprehensive studies have since connected … Continue reading Are Pandemics the Cost of Human Recklessness Towards Nature?
Two-way transmission of SARS-CoV-2 between animal and humans found on mink farms. What does this mean for the current – and potentially future – COVID-19 epidemic? Continue reading Two-Way Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 Between Humans and Minks on Mink Farms
by Xiaomeng Han If your best friend Betty told you that she has a sore throat, a runny nose, and has lost her sense of smell or taste, you might immediately recognize the symptoms of COVID-19. But what if she had become very forgetful lately, instead? Recent emerging evidence suggests that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, can infect cells in the brain. In fact, … Continue reading An Unexpected Invasion: How SARS-CoV-2 affects the human brain