by Ya’el Courtneyfigures by MacKenzie Maugeredited by Yuli Lily Hsieh January 2023 marked the third anniversary of the discovery of SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic that halted life as we knew it. It overwhelmed hospitals worldwide, and is still infecting around 250,000 people daily across the globe in February 2023. Over these three years, many countries have struggled to monitor the rapidly … Continue reading Something in the Sewage: What watching our wastewater can tell us about infectious diseases
Inhibiting a protein involved in programmed cell death leads to reduced coronavirus replication Continue reading Coronaviruses use programmed cell death to facilitate viral replication
by Misha Guptafigures by Xiaomeng Han For close to two centuries, humans have been studying the biological past using fossil records. In recent history, we have added the ability to reconstruct the sequence of our DNA to our arsenal. Furthermore, phylogenetic trees (structures that define the evolutionary relationships in the line of descent from a common ancestor) have been created for all manners of organisms, … Continue reading Viral Fossil Records: A Look into the Past! (and the Future?)￼
Evidence of a respiratory infection was discovered in a 150 million year old dinosaur providing further understanding of prehistoric disease acquisition Continue reading Even Dinosaurs Get Sick: Discovery of the Oldest Lung Infection in a Dinosaur
by Edward Chen The COVID-19 pandemic has catalyzed rapid technological advancements as scientists and engineers mobilize to combat its toll on human lives. Time is of the essence, and after rigorous testing for safety and effectiveness, there are now 3 vaccines with emergency approval in the United States that are all based on relatively new concepts. Two of the vaccines are based on messenger RNA … Continue reading How do COVID-19 vaccines work? Hear from a researcher who helped develop the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Breakthrough research published in Nucleic Acids Research suggests SARS-CoV-2-related RNA may serve as potential drug targets for COVID-19. Continue reading Preliminary Studies Point toward New COVID-19 Drug Targets
Researchers at MIT and the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT, and Harvard are working on developing a universal flu vaccine. Continue reading Towards a Universal Flu Vaccine: Targeting the Stem of the Problem
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
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
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?