Virus science — a look at coronavirus research around the globe

Virus science — a look at coronavirus research around the globe
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Thousands of scientists around the world are working on problems raised by the COVID-19 pandemic. Here is a summary of some recent research from peer-reviewed academic journals and scientific agencies:

Science magazine has published an editorial that says developing a COVID-19 vaccine will take a global research effort on the scale of the one that led to the creation of the atomic bomb.

The editorial says that with 44 vaccines in early development, a co-ordinated worldwide program is needed to arrive at the safest and most effective candidate.

Manufacturing enough of the eventual vaccine will also require co-operation, the editorial says. “Extraordinary” information-sharing and collaboration is the only way to ensure the best vaccine is developed quickly and efficiently.

Imperial College London has examined the impact of the slow resumption of mobility in China after no new cases from local transmission were reported for five days in a row.

Researchers tracked the movement of people within their cities as a way to estimate the revival of economic activity.

The results don’t mean the virus is gone. Nor do they predict the amount of movement that can be safely resumed. They do suggest China may be able to ease its stringent social-distancing policy.

Scientists are debating the risk of COVID-19 transmission from surfaces.

A report from the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta found genetic material from the novel coronavirus on surfaces on the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship as long as 17 days after cabins were vacated.

Others point out the discovery doesn’t mean that genetic material is capable of infecting a new host.

A 2011 study in the journal PLOS-One looked at the lingering transmissibility of the H1N1 strain of influenza, which shares many characteristics with the novel coronavirus. Although genetic traces of the H1N1 virus were detectable on a surface for up to 24 hours, its viability fell off much more quickly.

The Journal of the American Medical Association reports Chinese scientists have concluded that damage to the heart is common among patients hospitalized with COVID-19 .
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