Scientists Revive and Characterize 13 Ancient “Zombie” Viruses Isolated from Siberian Permafrost

Viruses are between 27,000 to 48,500 years old and not dangerous, but researchers say thawing permafrost may one day release pathogens capable of infecting humans Last fall, European researchers working with virologists and genetic scientists at the Aix-Marseille University in France reported having revived and characterized 13 previously unknown “zombie” viruses isolated from Siberian permafrost samples, including one that was almost 50,000 years old. This will be of particular interest to...

Australia’s Severe Flu Season Could be a Harbinger of Increased Influenza Cases in US and Canada Straining Already Burdened Clinical Laboratories

End of social distancing, masking, and other COVID-19 pandemic mitigations may lead to more severe flu-like infections in northern hemisphere, experts say Clinical laboratory professionals in the United States and Canada should prepare now for a severe flu season. That is according to infectious disease experts at Johns Hopkin’s Center for Health Security who predict the rise in influenza (flu) cases in Australia signals what will likely be higher than normal numbers of flu-like infections...

Scientists Estimate 73% of US Population May Be Immune to SARS-CoV-2 Omicron Variant

Clinical laboratory scientists should also know experts warn that ‘herd resistance’ is more likely than ‘herd immunity’ due to low vaccination rates in many parts of the world Scientists estimate 73% of the US population may be immune to the SARS-CoV-2 omicron variant. Whether the nation is approaching “herd immunity” against the disease, however, remains open to debate, the Associated Press (AP) reported. These estimates are relevant to medical laboratories doing serology tests for COVID-19,...

Scientists Identify Growing Number of COVID-19 Variants, But Not All Clinical Laboratories Have the Capability to Test for Variants

Fear that immunity-resistant mutations of SARS-CoV-2 will emerge are real and the scientific community is paying close attention Detection of an increasing number of new variants of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus raises the possibility that a new strain of COVID-19 might emerge that brings new problems to the management of the pandemic. Public health officials and clinical laboratory scientists are on the alert to determine if any new COVID-19 variant is more virulent or more easily transmissible....

Immunocompromised Patients with COVID-19 May Remain Infectious for Much Longer than Previously Thought

Clinical laboratory professionals should note that one case study describes a COVID-positive cancer patient shedding infectious particles for five months, which is much longer than expected Just when researchers start believing they understand COVID-19 infections, something happens that reveals there is still more to learn. These additional findings are relevant for clinical laboratory managers and pathologists because the new insights often may play a role in how SARS-CoV-2 results should be...
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