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Genomic differences selected through evolution may offer clues as to why COVID-19 outcomes vary widely

Genomic differences selected through evolution may offer clues as to why COVID-19 outcomes vary widely

A new study identifies dozens of genomic variants that may drive these hard-to-predict differences in clinical outcomes. According to work led by University of Pennsylvania scientists, genomic variants in four genes that are critical to SARS-CoV-2 infection, including the ACE2 gene, were targets of natural selection and associated with health conditions seen in COVID-19 patients.

Genomic differences selected through evolution may offer clues as to why COVID-19 outcomes vary widely

A new study identifies dozens of genomic variations that may drive these hard-to-predict differences in clinical outcomes. According to work led by University of Pennsylvania scientists, genomic variants in four genes that are critical to SARS-CoV-2 infection, including the ACE2 gene, were targets of natural selection and associated with health conditions seen in COVID-19 patients. … Continued

SARS-CoV-2 is moving between humans and wildlife

In 2020, Denmark culled millions of mink to quell a source of zoonotic COVID-19 transmission, the passage of the SARS-CoV-2 virus between humans and animals. Last year, zoo animals including lions, tigers, and gorillas got sick with the virus, presumably infected by their keepers. And earlier this year, pet hamsters were implicated in precipitating a … Continued

New antiviral drug combination is highly effective against SARS-CoV-2

Researchers have identified a powerful combination of antivirals to treat COVID-19. Combining the drug brequniar with remdesivir or molnupiravir—both approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for emergency use—inhibited the SARS-CoV-2 virus in human respiratory cells and in mice, according to a new study led by researchers in the Perelman School of Medicine and … Continued

Chewing gum to block COVID-19? Penn researchers hope so, but there’s a long way to go.

An experimental chewing gum could reduce the spread of Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, according to a recent study by University of Pennsylvania researchers published in the journal Molecular Therapy. You might already have noticed headlines calling the findings “fresh hope” in our fight against COVID-19. But how excited should we be? And would … Continued

A chewing gum that could reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission

A chewing gum laced with a plant-grown protein serves as a “trap” for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, reducing viral load in saliva and potentially tamping down transmission, according to a new study.

At-Home COVID-19 Results with the Click of a Smartphone: Penn Researchers Develop Highly-Sensitive Rapid Test

With the return of in-person schooling and the Biden administration’s recently-announced vaccine and testing mandate, fast and reliable COVID-19 testing remains a critical component to controlling the pandemic. At-home antigen tests, which can give results within 15 minutes, are now an attractive and convenient option for the public to quickly find out their COVID-19 status. … Continued

Penn scientists win $3 million Breakthrough Prize for RNA research that enabled COVID-19 vaccines

Sixteen years after their research at the University of Pennsylvania paved the way for billions to be vaccinated against COVID-19, two scientists have been honored with a $3 million Breakthrough Prize. The award for Katalin Karikó and Drew Weissman, one of five such honors announced Thursday for achievements in science and math, recognizes their success … Continued

COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine that Uses Fundamental Penn Technology Receives FDA Approval

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given the first full approval to a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine, which uses modified mRNA technology invented and developed by scientists in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, whose years of research in mRNA science laid a critical piece of the foundation for the … Continued

Penn study details robust T-cell response to mRNA COVID-19 vaccines

Messenger-RNA (mRNA) vaccines against the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 provoke a swift and strong response by the immune system’s T cells—the heavy armor of the immune system—according to a study from researchers in Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine. Although recent studies of vaccines tend to focus on the antibody response, the T-cell response is also … Continued