Quick News on COVID-19
Luke Turner | | Quick Read
A Rapid Search
A £46 million international COVID-19 prevention and research package has been launched in the UK, of which £1 million was awarded to Mologic to develop a rapid, handheld diagnostic device. Should they succeed, healthcare professionals will be able to run COVID-19 tests in the community and receive results in as little as 10 minutes (1).
A worldwide 3D printing manufacturer has decided to offer hospitals, medical centers, and scientific institutes access to its 63 machines. BCN3D made the announcement in the hope that innovators around the globe will use the printing machines to find new ways to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, including the manufacture of new respiratory equipment (2).
The First Look
The pathology of the early phase of COVID-19 pneumonia has been described for the first time. Two patients who had recently undergone lung lobectomies were retrospectively diagnosed with COVID-19 at the time of surgery. Both exhibited edema, proteinaceous exudate, focal reactive hyperplasia of pneumocytes with patchy inflammatory cellular infiltration, and multinucleated giant cells. Fibroblastic plugs were noted in airspaces (3).
In a preliminary report, a team of researchers have described a human monoclonal antibody that neutralizes SARS-CoV-2. 47D11, a cross-neutralizing antibody, targets a communal epitope on the spike receptor 104 binding domain. With further studies, it is hoped that the antibody will facilitate the development of antigen detection tests (4).
Under the Radar
Approximately 86 percent of all COVID-19 infections in China were undocumented before travel restrictions were imposed on January 23, 2020. That’s according to a new study estimating that undocumented infections were responsible for 79 percent of documented cases, underlining the rapid geographic spread of SARS-CoV-2 and the challenge of containment (5).
Highly respected University of Washington pathologist Stephen Schwartz died Tuesday, March 17, after hospitalization for COVID-19. Schwartz was well-known for his groundbreaking work on smooth muscle cell and blood vessel biology. “He has left a lasting imprint on our department, our university, and the broader scientific community,” the university stated publicly (6).
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- Mologic (2020). Available at: https://bit.ly/394MLFD.
- BCN3D (2020). Available at: https://bit.ly/2x6k8e2.
- S Tian et al., 2020. PMID: 32114094.
- C Wang (2020). Available at: https://bit.ly/2xQtdrV.
- R Li, Science, [Epub ahead of print] (2020). PMID: 32179701.
- University of Washington Department of Pathology (2020). Available at: https://bit.ly/3988DAl.