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?
Current polio vaccines have been successful in nearly eradicating polio in the world. Unfortunately, there have been emerging cases of polio in recent years. To combat this, scientists have designed a new oral poliovirus vaccine that could result in a new and safer polio vaccine. Continue reading Redesigning the polio vaccine – Lessons from evolution
Spanish translation available here. Continue reading Hand Washing
by Ziqi Chen figures by Rebecca Senft We live in a universe of viruses. It is estimated that there are billions of types of viruses on earth, and ~320,000 types that infect mammals alone. Many viral species exist in our surrounding environment. As we live, breathe, eat, talk, and go about our daily activities, the number of viruses that we come into contact with is virtually … Continue reading COVID-19 and Emerging Viral Diseases: the journey from animals to humans
Influenza A is the virus responsible for the Spanish Flu pandemic, which wiped out 3-5% of the human population in the early 20th century. The annual influenza outbreak occurs in the autumn and winter, although it is not normally deadly for healthy adults. There is currently no vaccine providing permanent protection against influenza A because the virus mutates and changes so often, requiring a yearly … Continue reading The Actual Master of Disguise: The Flu