COMPOSITE FROM © ERIN LEMIEUX
Updated June 30
Follow the Coronavirus Outbreak
COMPOSITE FROM © ERIN LEMIEUX
Updated June 30
Follow the Coronavirus Outbreak

Follow the Coronavirus Outbreak

Spike in flu-like illnesses in March used to estimate COVID-19 cases; Cells infected with SARS-CoV-2 grow filopodia; New journal dedicated to reviewing coronavirus preprints

The Scientist Staff
Feb 20, 2020


LATEST NEWS
Last updated June 30

Study Identifies Abnormal Surge of Flu-like Illnesses in March

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.


Coronavirus-Infected Cells Grow Filopodia

SARS-CoV-2 causes cells to put out projections that spread the virus, a study finds.


Opinion: Use the Pandemic to Expand the Lab to the Home

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.


Severe Neurological Ailments Reported in COVID-19 Patients

A survey of hospitalized patients finds some suffer fatigue, ischemic stroke, delirium, and other symptoms.


New Journal to Publish Reviews of COVID-19 Preprints

The open access publication will use AI to identify the most pressing manuscripts in need of peer review.


Gender Gap in Research Output Widens During Pandemic

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.


Virtual Lab Tours for Recruitment and Outreach

In the face of campus closures around the world, scientific laboratories are offering tours via video. We asked experts for their tips.


Acceleration in New COVID-19 Cases in Some US States Causes Alarm

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 Scientist’s investigation into Surgisphere 

Surgisphere Sows Confusion About Another Unproven COVID-19 Drug

June 16, 2020

The company behind a now-discredited study on hydroxychloroquine also posted a report that has been cited by Latin American governments recommending ivermectin as a possible coronavirus treatment. Clinicians there say the effects have been extremely damaging.

Surgisphere Fallout Hits African Nonprofit’s COVID-19 Efforts

June 7, 2020

The company had helped develop a tool to aid decision-making in distributing limited medical equipment among coronavirus patients, but two high-profile retractions call into question the validity of Surgisphere’s work in toto.

Lancet, NEJM Retract Surgisphere’s Studies on COVID-19 Patients

June 4, 2020

All authors other than company founder and CEO Sapan Desai were “unable to complete an independent audit of the data,” The Lancet states.

Concerns Build Over Surgisphere’s COVID-19 Dataset

June 2, 2020

NEJM and The Lancet issue expressions of concern as researchers question where the company got its data on thousands of coronavirus patients.

Disputed Hydroxychloroquine Study Brings Scrutiny to Surgisphere

May 30, 2020

Scientists have raised questions about the dataset published in The Lancet last week that triggered the suspension of clinical trials around the world—and about Surgisphere Corporation, the company behind the study.

WHO Halts Hydroxychloroquine Testing Over Safety Concerns

May 27, 2020

A paper published in The Lancet reported that hospitalized COVID-19 patients taking the drug had a higher risk of death, although some researchers have raised questions about the data.



Our maps and charts, updated regularly, offer a striking view of the global move of the novel coronavirus. See the full suite of visuals.
CATHERINE OFFORD, SOURCE DATA: ECDC
FEATURED REPORTS

Could Statins Reduce the Severity of COVID-19?

© ISTOCK.COM, GANNET77 

A growing amount of data shows that intense inflammation, blood clots, and stroke are some of the most severe symptoms of COVID-19. Decades of research have also shown that aside from lowering cholesterol, statins decrease inflammation, reduce blood clots, and prevent damage to endothelial tissue—the thin layer of cells that line blood vessels and other organs. That tissue also appears to be affected by COVID-19. There’s also some evidence that statins act as antivirals. Because of those effects, epidemiologists and other researchers want to see if statins could be a readily available treatment for COVID-19.

Two Genetic Regions Linked with Severe COVID-19

© ISTOCK.COM,
KRULUA 

It’s not yet clear why some people infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, get really sick, while others have only mild symptoms. There’s some evidence that chronic health conditions—such as hypertension and diabetes can play a role, and scientists know that people’s genes can influence how their bodies react to other viruses. In a preprint posted to medRxiv on June 2, researchers describe a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of samples from 1,610 hospitalized patients with COVID-19 and 2,205 healthy controls. The authors identified variants in two regions—the locus that encodes blood type and a multi-gene cluster on chromosome 3—that were linked to respiratory failure during SARS-CoV-2 infection.

As the Pandemic Hits Campus Finances, Faculty Face Layoffs

NINA WESTERVELT 

The pandemic has bored holes in budgets at universities and colleges across the US and beyond. To stem the spread of the coronavirus, higher education institutions shuttered their campuses, sent students home, and moved classes online. As a result, schools have lost millions of dollars in revenue—and many expect further losses due to the uncertainly about whether the 2020–21 school year can convene on campus this fall.

A Brief History of Human Coronaviruses

FLICKR.COM, NIAID 

Coronaviruses take their name from the distinctive spikes with rounded tips that decorate their surface, which reminded virologists of the appearance of the sun’s atmosphere, known as its corona. Various coronaviruses infect numerous species, but the first human coronaviruses weren’t discovered until the mid-1960s.

Neutrophil Extracellular Traps May Augur Severe COVID-19

JASON KNIGHT, YOGEN KANTHI, YU ZUO 

A study finds increased levels of NET biomarkers in sera of COVID-19 patients with severe disease compared to healthy controls, and the amount of NET biomarkers at admission was predictive of which patients progressed to respiratory failure. The team also found that sera from COVID-19 patients triggered NET formation from control neutrophils in vitro. Although NETs evolved as part of the innate immune response by the host, they can cause significant collateral damage, such as inflammation and blood clots. “I would not be surprised if it turned out that NETs have clinical relevance in severe COVID-19,” says Volker Brinkmann of the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology in Germany.  

Download our poster of coronavirus milestones


Opinion: Don’t Disparage the Pace of COVID-19 Research

Fast science—with all its warts—is making unprecedented progress in the fight against COVID-19.


Opinion: Scientists in the US and China Collaborating on 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.


Studies Report Rapid Loss of COVID-19 Antibodies

The results, while preliminary, suggest that survivors of SARS-CoV-2 infection may be susceptible to reinfection within weeks or months.


Insight into Dexamethasone’s Benefits in Severe COVID-19

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.


Biologist Lynika Strozier Dies

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.


Estimates Vary Widely for Number of Wuhan COVID-19 Cases in January

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.


FDA Pulls Emergency Use Authorization for Antimalarial Drugs

Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, once thought to be promising COVID-19 treatments, come with serious heart risks.


COVID-19 Is “Very Different” in Young Kids Versus Adults

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.


Coronavirus Precautions Stall Antarctic Field Research

The upcoming summer research season has been suspended amid the COVID-19 pandemic.


Opinion: Look to Cholera Vaccine Campaigns for COVID-19 Guidance

Accounting for a limited stockpile of cholera vaccine can provide insight into the most effective way to distribute future COVID-19 vaccines.


In South Africa, COVID-19 Breath Test Trial Set for June

If proven successful, the five-minute test could be a good temporary indicator before a confirmatory PCR test

Opinion: Surgisphere Fiasco Highlights Need for Proper QA

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.


WHO Comments Breed Confusion Over Asymptomatic Spread of COVID-19

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.


AI Learns from Lung CT Scans to Diagnose COVID-19

Lesions in the lungs of patients with pneumonia caused by a SARS-CoV-2 infection are distinct from those caused by bacteria.


Losing Touch: Another Drawback of the COVID-19 Pandemic

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’s So Hard to Know Who’s Dying of COVID-19—and When

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.


Countries Begin Large-Scale Screening for SARS-CoV-2 in Sewage

Researchers have found traces of the coronavirus at wastewater treatment plants in various locations around the world.


Researchers in Brazil Struggle to Get Solid COVID-19 Death Counts

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.


SARS-CoV-2 Spike Protein Shares Sequence with a Human Protein

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.


Researchers Applaud Spanish COVID-19 Serological Survey

After initial setbacks, the country’s recent antibody screen estimates that 5 percent of the population has been exposed to SARS-CoV-2.


Paleobotanist Brian Axsmith Dies

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.


Bat Ecologist Thomas Kunz Dies

The Boston University professor, who died of complications related to COVID-19, spent more than 40 years researching the lives of bats.


First US Outbreak of COVID-19 Seeded in Mid-February: Preprint

A modeling study counters initial interpretations that the cluster began with someone who flew to Seattle in mid-January.


COVID-19 Vaccine Researchers Mindful of Immune Enhancement

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.


SARS-CoV-2 Protein Hampers Innate Immune Reaction In Vitro

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.


Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic, Some Scientists Bring the Bench Home

PCR moves into the laundry room, while insect colonies take up residence in the shower.


Alzheimer’s Gene Linked to Higher Risk of Severe COVID-19

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.

Why the Accuracy of SARS-CoV-2 Antibody Tests Varies So Much

The FDA cracks down on test makers as independent evaluations of their products’ performance show a need for improvement.


An Old TB Vaccine Finds New Life in Coronavirus Trials

Studies are underway to test whether giving a shot of BCG vaccine could protect doctors and nurses against COVID-19.


Receptors for SARS-CoV-2 Present in Wide Variety of Human Cells

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.


Biogen Uses its Own Superspreader Event to Aid COVID-19 Research

A blood biobank allows scientists to study the immune responses to the coronavirus among infected Biogen employees and their contacts.


Opinion: The Isolated Scientist

Among the disruptions and pain caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers are dealing with a sudden halt in in-person interactions.


How (Not) to Do an Antibody Survey for SARS-CoV-2

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.


What Do Antibody Tests for SARS-CoV-2 Tell Us About Immunity?

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.


Moderna’s Coronavirus Vaccine Spurs Immune Response: Early Data

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.


SARS-CoV-2–Fighting T Cells Found in Recovered Patients

While the finding doesn’t prove people become immune to the virus after infection, it is good news for vaccine development.


Droplets from Speech Can Float in Air for Eight Minutes: Study

The experiments did not involve SARS-CoV-2, but researchers say the results support precautions to avoid possibly spreading COVID-19 by talking.


Cal State University to Conduct Most Classes Online this Fall

The public university system in California joins a number of colleges planning a virtual semester to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19.


Loss of Smell, Taste May Be Reliable Predictor of COVID-19: Study

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.


Support for Vaccine Challenge Trials Gains Momentum

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.


The Unusual Symptoms of COVID-19

Scientists document a growing list of atypical coronavirus infection symptoms, giving doctors more insight into the emerging disease.


AI Is Screening Billions of Molecules for Coronavirus Treatments

Machine learning has pegged existing drugs to repurpose for COVID-19 clinical trials.


Scientists Clone SARS-CoV-2 Genome with Quick Yeast-Based Method

The use of yeast artificial chromosomes has enabled the rapid genetic reconstruction of the novel coronavirus.


UK Launches Trial of Contact Tracing App on Isle of Wight

Bluetooth-enabled technology will attempt to track people’s interactions on the British island—and potentially elsewhere in the UK—as lockdowns are lifted.


Could Curbing Runaway Immune Responses Treat COVID-19?

Drugs targeting patients’ immune systems, rather than the virus itself, could be key to recovery from severe cases of the disease, some researchers suggest.


DNA Could Hold Clues to Varying Severity of COVID-19

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.


Doctors Date First COVID-19 Case in France to Late December

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 Pandemic’s Effects on Recruiting International STEM Trainees

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.


Scientists Scan for Weaknesses in the SARS-CoV-2 Spike Protein

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.


Blood Pressure Meds Point the Way to Possible COVID-19 Treatment

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.


Students Stand Up for Sub-contracted Workers Amid COVID-19 Crisis

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.


Remdesivir Shows Promise in Largest of Several Clinical Trials

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.


NIH Cancels Funding for Bat Coronavirus Research Project

The abrupt termination comes after the research drew President Trump’s attention for its ties to the Wuhan Institute of Virology.


Strokes Reported Among Some Middle-Aged COVID-19 Patients

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.


Nearly All NYC-Area COVID-19 Hospitalizations Had Comorbidities

The most common preexisting conditions among the patients were diabetes, obesity, and hypertension.


Robert Carroll, Who Studied Amphibian Evolution, Dies

The McGill University paleontologist, who died from COVID-19, was known for using multidisciplinary methods to explore the origins of amphibians, birds, and mammals.


Neurobiologist and Former Stanford President Donald Kennedy Dies

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.


First US COVID-19 Deaths Happened Weeks Earlier than Thought

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.


Are Mesenchymal Stem Cells a Promising Treatment for COVID-19?

As the first clinical data become available on treating coronavirus patients with the cells, scientists are equivocal about the rationale for the intervention.


The Effects of Physical Isolation on the Pandemic Quantified

Social distancing measures are based on limited data. As much of the world remains stuck in lockdown, researchers are trying to measure the benefits.


BARDA Director Departs Post Overseeing COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

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.


Microbiologist Who Studied Deadly Bacteria in Public Places Dies

Paul Matewele, who died from COVID-19, was known for discovering dangerous microbes on surfaces people touch every day.


False Negatives in Quick COVID-19 Test Near 15 Percent: Study

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.


Furloughs and Paycuts Announced for U of Arizona Employees

The measures are an attempt to mitigate an “extreme financial crisis” during the COVID-19 pandemic, the university says.


CDC Lab Contamination Delayed Coronavirus Testing

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.


N95 Respirators Can Be Decontaminated from SARS-CoV-2

Vaporized hydrogen peroxide is the most effective decontamination method for masks that had been exposed to the coronavirus in a recent study.


With Humans Indoors, Animals Go Wild

Across the globe, wildlife is exploring empty places usually occupied by people.


How Scientists Can Volunteer to Help Fight COVID-19

Researchers are offering tools, equipment, time, and expertise to help alleviate COVID-19 suffering. Here’s how you can chip in.


COVID-19 Vaccine Frontrunners

Several vaccine candidates have been approved for early testing in people. Many more are close on their heels.


Some Coronavirus Researchers Are Running Low on Masks

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.


Lost Smell and Taste Hint COVID-19 Can Target the Nervous System

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.


Chloroquine for COVID-19: Cutting Through the Hype

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.


Opinion: Public Health Trumps Privacy in a Pandemic

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.


Opinion: Redefining Productivity in the Age of COVID-19

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.


Why Some COVID-19 Cases Are Worse than Others

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.



Trump Suspends WHO Funds, Alleges a Poor COVID-19 Response

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.


Crowdsourced Protein Simulation Exceeds Supercomputers’ Power

Folding@Home, currently focused on deciphering the workings of SARS-CoV-2, is the first project to have exascale-level computational muscle.


First Saliva Test for COVID-19 Approved for Emergency Use by FDA

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.


Logistical Hurdles Leave COVID-19 Test Kits Unused

Scientists at academic labs equipped to test for SARS-CoV-2 report that multiple barriers are preventing from them from operating at full capacity.


Journal Publisher Concerned over Hydroxychloroquine Study

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.


Remdesivir Works Against Coronaviruses in the Lab

The antiviral disables RNA replication machinery in MERS and SARS viruses. Can it beat back SARS-CoV-2?


Opinion: Lab Work Under Isolation

Here’s how my group put our research on pause and how we’ve continued our work from home.


Opinion: Ethically Accessible Experimental Therapies for COVID-19

In the midst of a pandemic, individual patients are not always the focus of the ethics discussions.


European Research Council President Resigns

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.


Lipid Expert and Babraham Institute Director Michael Wakelam Dies

Wakelam, who died of a suspected COVID-19 infection, is remembered for his research on the physiological function of lipids.


Study Questions if School Closures Limit the Spread of COVID-19

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.


Scientists Around the Globe Pivot Their Research to SARS-CoV-2

Researchers have rapidly identified ways to apply their expertise to help end the pandemic.


The COVID-19 Coronavirus May Travel in Aerosols

Several studies have indicated that SARS-CoV-2 might be spread through air, but not all experts are convinced.


Cats, Ferrets Susceptible to SARS-CoV-2: Study

Researchers report that dogs, pigs, chickens, and ducks did not easily become infected.


US Selects Two COVID-19 Vaccine Candidates for Huge Investments

The government is assisting Johnson & Johnson and Moderna with expediting clinical testing while at the same time prepping for large-scale manufacturing.


HIV Researcher Gita Ramjee Dies of Complications Tied to COVID-19

The South African scientist fought for women’s access to healthcare in disadvantaged communities.


Journals, Peer Reviewers Cope with Surge in COVID-19 Publications

Coronavirus experts are swamped with reading submissions, which they’re working through as quickly as possible.


Cells’ Response to SARS-CoV-2 Different from Flu, RSV

The host transcriptional signature elicited by the coronavirus appears to be less robust and lacks the induction of key antiviral genes.


FDA Gives Abbott Emergency Use of Five-Minute Coronavirus Test

The machine can be run in doctor’s offices and other point-of-care settings to give rapid results.


Africa Contributes SARS-CoV-2 Sequencing to COVID-19 Tracking

In recent years, laboratories on the continent have ramped up genomic sequencing capabilities, offering in-country analyses rather than outsourcing the job.


COVID-19 Vaccine Developers Gain Enhanced Access to Supercomputers

Federal agencies, academic institutions, and industrial partners are joining forces to combat COVID-19 using artificial intelligence.


Animal Facilities Make Tough Decisions as Pandemic Closes Labs

Many researchers have stopped breeding mice, reduced the size of colonies, and established contingency plans in case animal care staff get sick.


Universities Issue Hiring Freezes in Response to COVID-19

Graduate students and postdocs are left wondering about the implications for their academic careers.


FDA to Allow for Plasma Therapy for COVID-19 Patients

Under emergency protocols, doctors can request to use survivors’ plasma to treat some critically ill COVID-19 patients.


Locally Made COVID-19 Tests Help Meet Demands

Hospitals and commercial companies are testing thousands of patients for COVID-19 daily, but face reagent and supply shortages.


Relatively Stable SARS-CoV-2 Genome Is Good News for a Vaccine

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.


Modelers Struggle to Predict the Future of the COVID-19 Pandemic

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.


After Conference Cancellations, Some Scientists Find a Way

As scores of academic meetings get upended due to COVID-19, researchers are turning to virtual replacements.


US Primate Centers Work to Protect Animals from COVID-19

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.


Monkeys Develop Protective Antibodies to SARS-CoV-2

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.


Opinion: Stop Private Speculation in COVID-19 Research

We present an economic plan for a collective sharing of scientific knowledge on the pandemic.


Border Closing Strands Professors, Students in Peru

Under lockdown in a hotel, members of a plant ecology course continue to work and study as they seek a way to return home.


Opinion: Grad Students Face Uncertainty During the Pandemic

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.


Possible Biological Explanations for Kids’ Escape from COVID-19

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.


University of Washington Pathology Professor Dies of COVID-19

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.


Opinion: Making Online Teaching a Success

Here are the lessons we’ve learned so far about the keys to virtual science education—including what to do about lab classes.


Governments Must Ramp Up COVID-19 Testing, Says WHO

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.


Coronavirus’s Effects on Autism Research May Have Lasting Effects

Labs are trying to figure out who will care for animals and organoids and some clinical trials are put on hold.


Bay Area Researchers Close Labs Under New Restrictions

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.


How COVID-19 Is Spread

Scientists’ latest understanding of the facts, the suspicions, and the discounted rumors of SARS-CoV-2’s transmission from person to person


Life Science Conference Disruptions Due to Coronavirus

Find out which meetings have been canceled, postponed, or are going ahead as planned.


How SARS-CoV-2 Tests Work and What's Next in COVID-19 Diagnostics

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.


Which Species Transmit COVID-19 to Humans? We’re Still Not Sure.

Preliminary modeling studies provide a shortlist of potential coronavirus intermediate host species.


Clinical Trial of COVID-19 Vaccine Begins in Seattle

The first volunteer will receive a shot of the synthetic RNA vaccine today.


Where Coronaviruses Come From

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.


Newer Vaccine Technologies Deployed to Develop COVID-19 Shot

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.


Chinese Officials Blame US Army for Coronavirus

There is no evidence backing the idea that SARS-CoV-2 originated from US servicemembers visiting Wuhan.


Modelers Struggle to Predict the Future of the COVID-19 Pandemic

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.


SARS-CoV-2 Can Live on Plastic and Steel for 2–3 Days

A preprint indicates that coronavirus transmission from surfaces is possible, but does not provide evidence that this has occurred in the COVID-19 pandemic.


RNA Extraction Kits for COVID-19 Tests Are in Short Supply in US

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.


Studies Estimate Incubation Time, Infectious Period of SARS-CoV-2

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.


College Class Cancellations Skyrocket Amid Coronavirus Concerns

Dozens of schools across 11 states have announced emergency policies to help curb the spread of COVID-19.


Coronavirus’s Genetics Hint at Its Cryptic Spread in Communities

Contact tracing and genetic testing reveal how SARS-CoV-2 circulated among individuals for weeks, especially in the US, before being detected.


Scientists Use Online Game to Research COVID-19 Treatment

The creativity of citizen scientists could help researchers design proteins that may be able to fight the SARS-CoV-2 virus.


Global COVID-19 Cases Top 100,000

The WHO chief calls for swift action as universities in multiple countries shut down and researchers report kids can become infected.


Theory that Coronavirus Escaped from a Lab Lacks Evidence

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.


Indian Authorities Promote Use of Homeopathy to Prevent Coronavirus

Critics of the practice say the guidance is irresponsible and could give users a false sense of security.


Second US Coronavirus Death Confirmed in Washington State

More cases emerge across the country as the global death toll from COVID-19 surpasses 3,000.


Government’s Mixed Messages on Coronavirus Are Dangerous: Experts

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.


Coronavirus Precautions Stifle Research

Organizers have cancelled conferences, COVID-19 quarantines have prevented some scientists in China from visiting their labs, and travel restrictions have left researchers stranded.


Coronavirus’s Genetics Reveal Its Global Travels

Random mutations in the SARS-CoV-2 pathogen’s genome help researchers track the spread and transmission of COVID-19, the disease it causes.


As Global Coronavirus Cases Climb, More Areas on Lockdown

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.


Journals Open Access to Coronavirus Resources

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.


Scientists Compare Novel Coronavirus to SARS and MERS

Researchers find 380 amino acid substitutions between 2019-nCoV and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-related coronaviruses.


Senior Doctor in Wuhan Outbreak Dies from Coronavirus

Liu Zhiming is the eighth frontline health-care worker to die from COVID-19, and hundreds more have been infected.


The Latest Drugs Trials for Coronavirus

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.


Image of the Day: Coronavirus Under the Scope

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.


Opinion: Scientists’ Obligations During the COVID-19 Outbreak

Scientists can provide essential information to educate the public about the coronavirus.


Coronavirus Test Kits May Yield Inconclusive Results

Some US states are waiting for the CDC to send replacement enzymes necessary for carrying out SARS-CoV-2 assays.


Outrage and Grief Follow Death of Coronavirus Whistleblower

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.


Test for Novel Coronavirus Approved for Wide Deployment

The US Food and Drug Administration authorizes the distribution of the SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic to state health departments and other facilities.


Report of Asymptomatic Transmission of 2019-nCoV Inaccurate

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.


Going Viral for the Wrong Reasons

What is a publication to do when readers misuse its content?


Scientists Scrutinize New Coronavirus Genome for Answers

Researchers are trying to figure out where it came from, whether it’s evolving, and just how big a threat it will be.