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Glycans in the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein play active role in infection

Results lay the foundation for new strategies to fight the pandemic threat

25-Sep-2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, researchers are working overtime to develop vaccines and therapies to thwart SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the disease Many efforts focus on the coronavirus spike protein, which binds the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) on human cells to allow ...

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Cellular nanosponges could soak up SARS-CoV-2

A nanoparticle decoy with the virus' natural targets lure SARS-CoV-2 away from cells

22-Jun-2020

Scientists are working overtime to find an effective treatment for COVID-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2. Many of these efforts target a specific part of the virus, such as the spike protein. Now, researchers reporting in Nano Letters have taken a different approach, ...

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Detecting antibodies with glowing proteins, thread and a smartphone

Approach could provide a small, inexpensive alternative to expensive, sophisticated instruments in labs

22-Jun-2020

To defend the body, the immune system makes proteins known as antibodies that latch onto the perceived threat, be it HIV, the new coronavirus or, as is the case in autoimmune disease, part of the body itself. In a new proof-of-concept study in ACS Sensors, researchers describe a new system for ...

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Synthetic red blood cells mimic natural ones, and have new abilities

Artificial red blood cells could carry oxygen, therapeutic drugs and other cargo in the bloodstream

05-Jun-2020

Scientists have tried to develop synthetic red blood cells that mimic the favorable properties of natural ones, such as flexibility, oxygen transport and long circulation times. But so far, most artificial red blood cells have had one or a few, but not all, key features of the natural versions. ...

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Superworms digest plastic, with help from their bacterial sidekicks

Polystyrene waste to break down with enzymes or bacteria?

02-Jun-2020

Resembling giant mealworms, superworms (Zophobas atratus) are beetle larvae that are often sold in pet stores as feed for reptiles, fish and birds. In addition to their relatively large size (about 2 inches long), these worms have another superpower: They can degrade polystyrene plastic. Now, ...

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Diagnostic biosensor quickly detects SARS-CoV-2 from nasopharyngeal swabs

New test analyzes patient samples without any sample preparation steps

24-Apr-2020

According to many experts, early diagnosis and management are critical for slowing the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Therefore, the race is on to develop diagnostic tests for the virus that are faster, easier and more accurate than existing ones. Now, researchers ...

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New COVID-19 test quickly and accurately detects viral RNA

17-Apr-2020

Millions of people have been tested for the novel coronavirus, most using a kit that relies on the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). This sensitive method amplifies SARS-CoV-2 RNA from patient swabs so that tiny amounts of the virus can be detected. However, as the pandemic surges, this laboratory ...

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Missing link in coronavirus jump from bats to humans could be pangolins, not snakes

31-Mar-2020

As scientists scramble to learn more about the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, two recent studies of the virus' genome reached controversial conclusions: namely, that snakes are intermediate hosts of the new virus, and that a key coronavirus protein shares "uncanny similarities" with an HIV-1 protein. ...

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Paper-based test could diagnose Lyme disease at early stages

20-Dec-2019

After a day hiking in the forest, the last thing a person wants to discover is a tick burrowing into their skin. Days after plucking off the bloodsucking insect, the hiker might develop a rash resembling a bull's-eye, a tell-tale sign of Lyme disease. Yet not everybody who contracts Lyme disease ...

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4D imaging with liquid crystal microlenses

22-Nov-2019

Most images captured by a camera lens are flat and two dimensional. Increasingly, 3D imaging technologies are providing the crucial context of depth for scientific and medical applications. 4D imaging, which adds information on light polarization, could open up even more possibilities, but ...

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