University of Missouri Research Team Identifies 46 Mutations Specific to the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron Variant That Could lead to Improved Clinical Laboratory Tests, Treatments, and Vaccines

Many of the mutations were found at sites on the spike protein where antibodies bind, which may explain why the Omicron variant is more infectious than previous variants Scientists at the University of Missouri (UM) now have a better understanding of why the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant is more infectious than previous variants and that knowledge may lead to improved antivirals and clinical laboratory tests for COVID-19. As the Omicron variant of the coronavirus spread across the globe,...

Researchers Identify Antibodies That Could Be Protective Against Multiple Sarbecoviruses, Including SARS-CoV-2 and Its Variants

The antibodies target portions of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein that resist mutation, potentially leading to better treatments and vaccines One challenge in the battle against COVID-19 is the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants, especially the Delta variant, which may be more resistant to neutralizing antibodies compared with the original coronavirus. But now, scientists led by researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (Fred Hutch) in Seattle say they have identified antibodies...

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....

Penn Medicine Researchers Develop Fast, Accurate, Inexpensive COVID-19 Diagnostic Test Based on Electrochemical Technology

The rapid diagnostic test costs less than $5 per unit and can be adapted for other diseases, the developers say, which opens a slew of possibilities for clinical laboratories Just as the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus spurred deployment of new vaccine technology based on messenger RNA (mRNA), the COVID-19 pandemic also could prove to be a watershed for in vitro diagnostics (IVD) innovation in ways that benefit clinical laboratories. In one notable example, researchers at the Perelman School of...

February COVID-19 Superspreader Event in Boston Confirmed by Use of Genetic Sequencing as Next-Gen Sequencing Is Put to Novel Uses, including in Clinical Laboratories

Gene sequencing is enabling disease tracking in new ways that include retesting laboratory specimens from before the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak to determine when it arrived in the US On February 26 of this year, nearly 200 executives and employees of neuroscience-biotechnology company Biogen gathered at the Boston Marriott Long Wharf hotel for their annual leadership conference. Unbeknownst to the attendees, by the end of the following day, dozens of them had been exposed to and become infected by...
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