|Last updated August 3|
It’s not clear if their high viral load makes kids more likely to infect others.
Lydia Bourouiba, an expert in fluid dynamics and disease transmission at MIT, explains how the physics of sneezes and coughs leads to the spread of respiratory pathogens such as COVID-19.
Face coverings prevent wearers from spreading pathogens, and might also limit the number of viral particles that enter the body, staving off severe infection, including COVID-19, research indicates.
Scientists are examining the role of T cells, which are likely crucial for long-term protection against SARS-CoV-2.
None of the breastfed infants in the study tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 within the first two weeks of life.
Actual cases may be as much as 6 to 24 times higher than reported, but we’re still a long way off from herd immunity.
These antiviral proteins are produced by the body as a natural defense against viral infections and synthetic interferons might help prevent or treat the beginning stages of SARS-CoV-2 infection.
CATHERINE OFFORD, SOURCE DATA: ECDC
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“Long-haulers” point to the possibility that COVID-19 is not just a transient respiratory disease, but could manifest as neurological and physical symptoms that persist even months after people fall ill. Although many of them may yet recover in the coming months, some scientists are becoming increasingly worried that some may end up with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), a debilitating and poorly understood condition associated with some viral infections.
COURTESY OF ZEV WILLIAMS/COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY
The first spit tests are already being sold to consumers, with more poised to apply for emergency use authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration soon. While saliva can be a crude sample for diagnosing disease using traditional PCR, it pairs well with a cheap PCR alternative known as loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP), previously used to detect outbreaks of Zika and Ebola in resource-poor countries. Propelled by a global pandemic, researchers in the US and the UK are now modifying LAMP and assessing its utility as a diagnostic tool for COVID-19.
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Face masks have been a matter of intense debate during the COVID-19 pandemic. Early on, several government officials and health authorities were discouraging healthy people from wearing masks—noting that there was little evidence for the practice’s ability to prevent spread among the general public and citing concerns that protective face coverings, which were desperately needed by healthcare workers, were in short supply. Gradually, however, governments began to either require or recommend that their citizens wear face masks in public. In June, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended widespread mask-use as a way to prevent coronavirus transmission. One model estimates that if at least 95 percent of people wear masks in public between June and October, approximately 33,000 deaths could be avoided in the US.
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On May 20, disease modelers at Columbia University posted a preprint that concluded the US could have prevented 36,000 of the 65,300 deaths that the country had suffered as a result of COVID-19 by May 3 if states had instituted social distancing measures a week earlier. In early June, Imperial College London epidemiologist Neil Ferguson, one of the UK government’s key advisers in the early stages of the pandemic, came to a similar conclusion about the UK. In evidence he presented to a parliamentary committee inquiry, Ferguson said that if the country had introduced restrictions on movement and socializing a week sooner than it did, Britain’s official death toll of 40,000 could have been halved.
Researchers try unprecedented data sharing and cooperation to understand COVID-19—and develop a model for diseases beyond the coronavirus pandemic.
Intelligence officials from the US, UK, and Canada point the finger at Cozy Bear, a group with links to the Russian government.
In a genome-wide association study, variants in both the ABO blood group locus and a cluster of genes on human chromosome 3 are more common among COVID-19 patients with respiratory failure than in the general population.
Many colleges and universities across the US have lost millions of dollars in revenue due to COVID-19.
Researchers demonstrate that the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein is more stable and binds the human ACE2 receptor with much higher affinity than the spike protein of its closest known relative, bat coronavirus RaTG13.
The Trump administration suggests deploying the National Guard to ensure timely data sharing into a new, centralized database.
In the Netherlands, researchers identify a correlation between pollution and COVID-19 cases, hospital admissions, and deaths.
A pathologist describes his observations from examining the bodies of those who succumbed to the coronavirus.
The results are a proof-of-concept that the novel coronavirus can replicate in neurons, but it’s too soon to say whether this occurs in people with COVID-19.
Milder, cold-causing members of this pathogenic viral family long remained under the radar, although they aren’t entirely harmless.
These webs of chromatin and proteins, released by immune cells to control microbial infections, could serve as a therapeutic target in coronavirus infections.
A small subset of uninfected people also had SARS-CoV-2-fighting T cells, a finding that scientists are still trying to figure out.
SARS-CoV-2 generally attacks the lungs, but researchers are also stressing its effects on the brain in a fraction of patients.
An open letter points to outbreaks that cannot be explained by large droplets and contact with surfaces alone.
Vaccine experts divided on whether that level of protection is too low or too demanding.
Modelers try a new approach to gauge the true number of COVID-19 cases in the US by using surveillance data for flu-like illnesses.
SARS-CoV-2 causes cells to put out projections that spread the virus, a study finds.
Researchers have been forced to reckon with restrictions on lab access. Now is the time to figure out how to make science portable and widely accessible.
A survey of hospitalized patients finds some suffer fatigue, ischemic stroke, delirium, and other symptoms.
The open access publication will use AI to identify the most pressing manuscripts in need of peer review.
Experts identify childcare, which tends to fall to women, as one likely cause for the relative decrease in women’s scientific productivity compared with men’s.
In the face of campus closures around the world, scientific laboratories are offering tours via video. We asked experts for their tips.
Arizona, Florida, California and others have seen record numbers of daily new coronavirus positives in the last couple of weeks, and that’s not just a reflection of more testing. Hospitalizations are up too.
The cholesterol-lowering drugs quell inflammation and reverse endothelial tissue damage, hints that they might curb the body’s excessive immune response to SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Fast science—with all its warts—is making unprecedented progress in the fight against COVID-19.
Despite high-profile political tensions between the two countries, researchers in the US and China are working together now more than ever, according to our bibliometric study.
The results, while preliminary, suggest that survivors of SARS-CoV-2 infection may be susceptible to reinfection within weeks or months.
The steroid’s exceptional performance in early results from the RECOVERY clinical trial in the United Kingdom is a rational outcome of the drug’s anti-inflammatory effects, experts say.
The Field Museum researcher and biology instructor, who died of complications associated with COVID-19, used DNA sequencing to identify new species of plants and birds.
Lacking many diagnostic test results from the first major outbreak, researchers have been left to scour other sources for clues about what happened in the early days of the pandemic.
Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, once thought to be promising COVID-19 treatments, come with serious heart risks.
A study of 34 children hospitalized with a coronavirus infection in China reveals that fever and coughing were common, but the type of lesions typically seen in the lungs of adults with COVID-19 were rare.
The upcoming summer research season has been suspended amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Accounting for a limited stockpile of cholera vaccine can provide insight into the most effective way to distribute future COVID-19 vaccines.
If proven successful, the five-minute test could be a good temporary indicator before a confirmatory PCR test
Our handbook on best practices for quality assurance in biomedicine can help funding agencies shore up research integrity—which is especially needed at a time when mistakes can have outsize effects.
After stating that asymptomatic individuals are unlikely to transmit the novel coronavirus, World Health Organization officials clarify that this is very much an open question.
Lesions in the lungs of patients with pneumonia caused by a SARS-CoV-2 infection are distinct from those caused by bacteria.
Affectionate touches tap into the nervous system’s rest and digest mode, reducing the release of stress hormones, bolstering the immune system, and stimulating brainwaves linked with relaxation.
It can take days for each death to be recorded in official statistics. “Nowcasting” estimates the actual occurrence of deaths, and the true peak of the pandemic.
Researchers have found traces of the coronavirus at wastewater treatment plants in various locations around the world.
After combing through data on public death notices in Minas Gerais state, scientists say the coronavirus death toll in the country is worse than reported.
Eight amino acids are identical to part of the human epithelial sodium channel, leading researchers to suspect the virus might interfere with the channel’s function.
After initial setbacks, the country’s recent antibody screen estimates that 5 percent of the population has been exposed to SARS-CoV-2.
The University of South Alabama professor, who died of complications related to COVID-19, reconstructed the historic range of plants that once grew in the southeastern US.
The Boston University professor, who died of complications related to COVID-19, spent more than 40 years researching the lives of bats.
A modeling study counters initial interpretations that the cluster began with someone who flew to Seattle in mid-January.
There is no evidence that any of the coronavirus vaccines in development worsen a coronavirus infection rather than confer immunity to it, but the phenomenon is something scientists are closely monitoring.
The viral protein known as ORF3b limits the induction of the type I interferon response, which typically alerts other immune system components to the presence of a virus, in cultured cells.
PCR moves into the laundry room, while insect colonies take up residence in the shower.
Two copies of the APOE4 variant, which confers a higher risk of dementia, doubles the risk of severe symptoms as a result of infection with SARS-CoV-2, according to a study.
The FDA cracks down on test makers as independent evaluations of their products’ performance show a need for improvement.
Studies are underway to test whether giving a shot of BCG vaccine could protect doctors and nurses against COVID-19.
Analyses from single-cell sequencing datasets support the idea that COVID-19 is not just a respiratory disease but an illness that can affect multiple organs.
A blood biobank allows scientists to study the immune responses to the coronavirus among infected Biogen employees and their contacts.
Among the disruptions and pain caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers are dealing with a sudden halt in in-person interactions.
Preprints from the first round of seroprevalence studies indicate that many more people have been infected with the virus than previously reported. Some of these studies also have serious design flaws.
Studies from serum samples could transform our understanding of the spread of COVID-19, but what antibodies alone say about immunity is not yet clear.
A clinical trial of the shot in eight volunteers suggests that it is safe and that it generates antibodies that neutralize SARS-CoV-2, but further testing is needed, scientists say.
While the finding doesn’t prove people become immune to the virus after infection, it is good news for vaccine development.
The experiments did not involve SARS-CoV-2, but researchers say the results support precautions to avoid possibly spreading COVID-19 by talking.
The public university system in California joins a number of colleges planning a virtual semester to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19.
Data from a crowdsourcing smartphone app is helping to track the spread of the disease in real time and reveals the symptom as the number one indicator of infection.
The idea of deliberately infecting volunteers with SARS-CoV-2 has garnered significant attention as a potential avenue to speedier development, as the World Health Organization weighs in with recommendations.
Scientists document a growing list of atypical coronavirus infection symptoms, giving doctors more insight into the emerging disease.
Machine learning has pegged existing drugs to repurpose for COVID-19 clinical trials.
The use of yeast artificial chromosomes has enabled the rapid genetic reconstruction of the novel coronavirus.
Bluetooth-enabled technology will attempt to track people’s interactions on the British island—and potentially elsewhere in the UK—as lockdowns are lifted.
Drugs targeting patients’ immune systems, rather than the virus itself, could be key to recovery from severe cases of the disease, some researchers suggest.
Hundreds of scientists around the globe are launching studies in search of genes that could explain why some people fall victim to coronavirus infection while others escape relatively unscathed.
A retrospective analysis of stored respiratory samples shows one patient could have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 weeks before the coronavirus was thought to have arrived in France, but a critic of the result questions whether the sample was contaminated.
The closure of visa offices, travel and immigration restrictions, and general anxiety create barriers for the international graduate students and postdocs who play a huge role in research in the United States.
The virus’s tool for prying open host cells is coated in a protective armor of sugar—but gaps may offer vulnerability to disruption by antibodies.
There is little evidence that antihypertensive drugs worsen COVID-19, and scientists are instead exploring the idea that such medications—or their downstream effects—may actually alleviate symptoms.
At universities across the US, student-led efforts to achieve protection for custodial, food service, and other vendors’ employees have been met with mixed levels of success.
Gilead’s experimental antiviral drug shortened the average time it took COVID-19 patients to recover in a NIAID-sponsored trial. There was weak evidence that it also helped reduce deaths.
The abrupt termination comes after the research drew President Trump’s attention for its ties to the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Early reports from hospitals document a spike in large vessel blockages, especially among people in their 30s and 40s who tested positive for the coronavirus.
The most common preexisting conditions among the patients were diabetes, obesity, and hypertension.
The McGill University paleontologist, who died from COVID-19, was known for using multidisciplinary methods to explore the origins of amphibians, birds, and mammals.
Kennedy, who succumbed to COVID-19, served as commissioner of the FDA and editor-in-chief of Science, and is credited with helping to transform Stanford into a top research university.
Autopsies recently carried out in California show that one person died of the disease on February 6—three weeks before the nation recorded its first fatality.
As the first clinical data become available on treating coronavirus patients with the cells, scientists are equivocal about the rationale for the intervention.
Social distancing measures are based on limited data. As much of the world remains stuck in lockdown, researchers are trying to measure the benefits.
Rick Bright will no longer head the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority and will instead work at the National Institutes of Health on diagnostics for SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Paul Matewele, who died from COVID-19, was known for discovering dangerous microbes on surfaces people touch every day.
Abbott’s ID NOW test missed the most positive samples among five products given the green light by the FDA to use during the pandemic.
The measures are an attempt to mitigate an “extreme financial crisis” during the COVID-19 pandemic, the university says.
Assembling the first COVID-19 test kits in the same room as coronavirus material, along with other practices that didn’t follow protocol, made the tests unusable, officials say.
Vaporized hydrogen peroxide is the most effective decontamination method for masks that had been exposed to the coronavirus in a recent study.
Across the globe, wildlife is exploring empty places usually occupied by people.
Researchers are offering tools, equipment, time, and expertise to help alleviate COVID-19 suffering. Here’s how you can chip in.
Several vaccine candidates have been approved for early testing in people. Many more are close on their heels.
A large-scale shortage of respirators and face shields threatens progress in some labs that are currently trying to ramp up their studies of SARS-CoV-2.
The symptoms suggest SARS-CoV-2 might infect neurons, raising questions about whether there could be effects on the brain that play a role in patients’ deaths, but the data are preliminary.
President Donald Trump has touted the drug as a treatment but scientists still don’t know for sure that it is effective in patients. A number of clinical trials aim to find out.
If governments were to use SARS-CoV-2 antibody tests to manage who can re-enter the workplace, society must accept a sacrifice of privacy.
We mourned the closing of our lab. But then we got back to work—finding the balance between scholarly relevance and adapting to life in a world of new social norms.
Emerging data as well as knowledge from the SARS and MERS coronavirus outbreaks yield some clues as to why SARS-CoV-2 affects some people worse than others.
President Donald Trump claims the World Health Organization failed to investigate early reports of the coronavirus, while public health experts argue that stripping the agency of its funding endangers us all.
Folding@Home, currently focused on deciphering the workings of SARS-CoV-2, is the first project to have exascale-level computational muscle.
The search for SARS-CoV-2 RNA in 60 saliva samples yielded the same results as conventional nasal swab tests taken from the same patients.
Scientists at academic labs equipped to test for SARS-CoV-2 report that multiple barriers are preventing from them from operating at full capacity.
The report by Didier Raoult and colleagues that examined the use of the anti-malarial drug in a small number of COVID-19 patients receives criticism from the very society that published it.
The antiviral disables RNA replication machinery in MERS and SARS viruses. Can it beat back SARS-CoV-2?
Here’s how my group put our research on pause and how we’ve continued our work from home.
In the midst of a pandemic, individual patients are not always the focus of the ethics discussions.
Mauro Ferrari says the organization’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic is inadequate, but ERC members claim his proposals didn’t align with the mission of the council.
Wakelam, who died of a suspected COVID-19 infection, is remembered for his research on the physiological function of lipids.
School shutdowns might have a relatively small effect on preventing the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, a new meta-analysis suggests, though the preliminary data point to the need for more studies.
Researchers have rapidly identified ways to apply their expertise to help end the pandemic.
Several studies have indicated that SARS-CoV-2 might be spread through air, but not all experts are convinced.
Researchers report that dogs, pigs, chickens, and ducks did not easily become infected.
The government is assisting Johnson & Johnson and Moderna with expediting clinical testing while at the same time prepping for large-scale manufacturing.
The South African scientist fought for women’s access to healthcare in disadvantaged communities.
Coronavirus experts are swamped with reading submissions, which they’re working through as quickly as possible.
The host transcriptional signature elicited by the coronavirus appears to be less robust and lacks the induction of key antiviral genes.
The machine can be run in doctor’s offices and other point-of-care settings to give rapid results.
In recent years, laboratories on the continent have ramped up genomic sequencing capabilities, offering in-country analyses rather than outsourcing the job.
Federal agencies, academic institutions, and industrial partners are joining forces to combat COVID-19 using artificial intelligence.
Many researchers have stopped breeding mice, reduced the size of colonies, and established contingency plans in case animal care staff get sick.
Graduate students and postdocs are left wondering about the implications for their academic careers.
Under emergency protocols, doctors can request to use survivors’ plasma to treat some critically ill COVID-19 patients.
Hospitals and commercial companies are testing thousands of patients for COVID-19 daily, but face reagent and supply shortages.
The small number of genetic differences between the original strain of the novel coronavirus from Wuhan and those currently circulating in the US population indicates that a vaccine may likely offer lasting immunity.
Disease experts have largely focused on how we got to where we are now with coronavirus infections. Improved data collection and sharing can enhance projections of what’s to come.
As scores of academic meetings get upended due to COVID-19, researchers are turning to virtual replacements.
Rhesus macaques can be infected with SARS-CoV-2, leading primate center scientists to try to prevent outbreaks in their colonies, especially as experiments on coronavirus start.
A small study of macaques finds they don’t develop a coronavirus infection the second time they are exposed, supporting the idea of using plasma from recovered patients as a treatment for COVID-19.
We present an economic plan for a collective sharing of scientific knowledge on the pandemic.
Under lockdown in a hotel, members of a plant ecology course continue to work and study as they seek a way to return home.
With mounting feelings of isolation, research projects derailed, and financial futures cast into doubt, grad students are anxious in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Infected children may harbor SARS-CoV-2 while showing less-severe symptoms than adults. Their young immune systems, ACE2 receptor levels, and even exposure to other coronaviruses might play a role in their resilience.
Stephen Schwartz, known for his work on the vascular system, is the first person associated with the university to succumb to infection with SARS-CoV-2.
Here are the lessons we’ve learned so far about the keys to virtual science education—including what to do about lab classes.
The World Health Organization warns that a lack of data on how many people have the disease could undermine containment and mitigation efforts in many countries.
Labs are trying to figure out who will care for animals and organoids and some clinical trials are put on hold.
Under an area-wide “shelter in place” order, scientists at some of the world’s leading universities scramble to continue working while confined to their homes.
Scientists’ latest understanding of the facts, the suspicions, and the discounted rumors of SARS-CoV-2’s transmission from person to person
Find out which meetings have been canceled, postponed, or are going ahead as planned.
Current methods to detect infections of the novel coronavirus rely on identifying particular genetic sequences, but new assays are being developed to meet the growing demand for rapid answers.
Preliminary modeling studies provide a shortlist of potential coronavirus intermediate host species.
The first volunteer will receive a shot of the synthetic RNA vaccine today.
EcoHealth Alliance President Peter Daszak speaks with The Scientist about how pathogens like SARS-CoV-2 jump species, and how to head off the next pandemic.
Researchers look to messenger RNA encased in nanoparticles, DNA plasmids, molecular clamps, and other approaches as they rush to design a vaccine against the new coronavirus.
There is no evidence backing the idea that SARS-CoV-2 originated from US servicemembers visiting Wuhan.
Disease experts have largely focused on how we got to where we are now with coronavirus infections. Improved data collection and sharing can enhance projections of what’s to come.
A preprint indicates that coronavirus transmission from surfaces is possible, but does not provide evidence that this has occurred in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Manufacturing sites are ramping up production of reagents needed to isolate SARS-CoV-2’s genetic material—a key step in testing for the virus.
It takes a median of five days after infection to get sick, and patients shed the most coronavirus particles early in the illness, according to two new reports.
Dozens of schools across 11 states have announced emergency policies to help curb the spread of COVID-19.
Contact tracing and genetic testing reveal how SARS-CoV-2 circulated among individuals for weeks, especially in the US, before being detected.
The creativity of citizen scientists could help researchers design proteins that may be able to fight the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
The WHO chief calls for swift action as universities in multiple countries shut down and researchers report kids can become infected.
The pathogen appears to have come from wild animals, virologists say, and there are no signs of genetic manipulation in the SARS-CoV-2 genome.
Critics of the practice say the guidance is irresponsible and could give users a false sense of security.
More cases emerge across the country as the global death toll from COVID-19 surpasses 3,000.
Administration officials have given contradictory statements about how COVID-19 will affect the US, and it is not clear who is leading the infectious disease response effort, critics say.
Organizers have cancelled conferences, COVID-19 quarantines have prevented some scientists in China from visiting their labs, and travel restrictions have left researchers stranded.
Random mutations in the SARS-CoV-2 pathogen’s genome help researchers track the spread and transmission of COVID-19, the disease it causes.
An increase in confirmed infections, particularly in Italy, Iran, and South Korea, has led to heightened measures to prevent the spread of the virus SARS-CoV-2.
Nearly 100 academic journals, societies, institutes, and companies sign a commitment to make research and data on SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 freely available, at least for the duration of the outbreak.
Researchers find 380 amino acid substitutions between 2019-nCoV and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-related coronaviruses.
Liu Zhiming is the eighth frontline health-care worker to die from COVID-19, and hundreds more have been infected.
Under careful watch of the World Health Organization, doctors will test a range of COVID-19 therapies, including HIV and flu antivirals, blood plasma infusions, and traditional Chinese medicines.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases releases a series of images that offer a close up look at the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.
Scientists can provide essential information to educate the public about the coronavirus.
Some US states are waiting for the CDC to send replacement enzymes necessary for carrying out SARS-CoV-2 assays.
Authorities had silenced Li Wenliang after he spoke out about the virus, now known as SARS-CoV-2 in the early days of the epidemic.
The US Food and Drug Administration authorizes the distribution of the SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic to state health departments and other facilities.
Claims that a woman spread the virus to a colleague in Germany before she had symptoms conflict with health officials’ interview with the patient herself.
What is a publication to do when readers misuse its content?
Researchers are trying to figure out where it came from, whether it’s evolving, and just how big a threat it will be.