Llama nanobodies could be a powerful weapon against COVID-19

PITTSBURGH, Nov. 5, 2020 – Today in Science, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine describe a new method to extract tiny but extremely powerful SARS-CoV-2 antibody fragments from llamas, which could be fashioned into inhalable therapeutics with the potential to prevent and treat COVID-19. These special llama antibodies, called “nanobodies,” are much…

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Nanobodies that neutralize SARS-CoV-2

Two separate studies have identified nanobodies – which could be produced less expensively than monoclonal antibodies – that bind tightly to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and efficiently neutralize SARS-CoV-2 in cells. “The combined stability, potency, and diverse epitope engagement of our … nanobodies … provide a unique potential prophylactic and therapeutic strategy to limit the…

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Stable protein decoy neutralized SARS-CoV-2 in cells and protected hamsters from viral challenge

Researchers have designed a protein “decoy” that mimics the interface where the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein binds a human cell, one version of which could neutralize virus infection in cells and protect hamsters from viral challenge. The SARS-CoV-2 virus enters human cells when the spike protein binds to the human ACE2 receptor. While neutralizing antibodies to…

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Keeping our cool

Fossil fuel burning accounts for the majority of global greenhouse gas emissions, and to the world’s credit, several countries are working to reduce their use and the heat-trapping emissions that ensue. The goal is to keep global temperatures under a 1.5° to 2°C increase above preindustrial levels — the upper limits of the Paris Climate…

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Pediatric IBD Foundation, ImproveCareNow, C-Path establish CREATE safety registry

TUCSON, Ariz., November 5, 2020 — The Pediatric IBD Foundation, ImproveCareNow, and the Critical Path Institute (C-Path) are proud to announce a collaboration establishing the Children’s Registry for the Advancement of Therapeutics (CREATE™). CREATE™ is a drug-agnostic safety registry designed to support the completion of global post-marketing safety requirements, as well as collect safety information…

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Brain magnetic stimulation for veterans with concussion: Need is high, but evidence is limited

November 5, 2020 – Studies using repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), a noninvasive technique, to help veterans and active-duty service members living with depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other lasting consequences of concussion have shown promise. However, there’s an urgent need for studies designed to address the unique patterns of post-concussion symptoms seen in…

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The View From Another Window

Welcome. Through the window where I work these days, I see the backs of several apartment buildings, terraces and fire escapes, tall old trees taken over by vines and the twin spires of the Gothic Revival-style church on the corner. As views go, it’s performing its job well: form and function in equal measure, beautiful…

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