Judge Dismisses Houston Hospital Workers’ Lawsuit Over Vaccines

The decision appeared to be one of the first to rule in favor of employer-mandated shots.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #courts-and-the-judiciary, #internal-essential, #texas, #vaccination-and-immunization, #viruses

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Scientists Don’t Want to Ignore the ‘Lab Leak’ Theory, Despite No New Evidence

Many scientists welcomed President Biden’s call for a more rigorous investigation of a virus lab in Wuhan, China, though they said the so-called lab leak theory was still unlikely.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #politics-and-government, #research, #united-states-politics-and-government, #viruses, #your-feed-science

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Scientists Don’t Want to Ignore the Wuhan ‘Lab Leak’ Theory, Despite No New Evidence

Many scientists welcomed President Biden’s call for a more rigorous investigation of a virus lab in Wuhan, China, though they said the so-called lab leak theory was still unlikely.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #politics-and-government, #research, #united-states-politics-and-government, #viruses, #your-feed-science

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Why Apple and Google’s Virus Alert Apps Had Limited Success

The virus-tracing effort raises questions about the power of Big Tech to set global standards for public health tools.

#apple-inc, #bluetooth-wireless-technology, #contact-tracing-public-health, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #google-inc, #mobile-applications, #smartphones, #viruses

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The Latest Coronavirus Comes From Dogs

A newly identified coronavirus may not pose a serious threat, but the finding highlights the need to monitor animal viruses more proactively, scientists say.

#animals, #clinical-infectious-diseases-journal, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #dogs, #malaysia, #sars-severe-acute-respiratory-syndrome, #viruses, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-health

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Can Covid Research Help Solve the Mysteries of Other Viruses?

The coronavirus may help scientists understand why some people with common viral infections develop severe complications, like heart damage or blood clots.

#blood-clots, #chronic-condition-health, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #heart, #influenza, #lungs, #research, #respiratory-diseases, #smell-olfaction, #viruses

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Can the Covid Vaccine Protect Me Against Virus Variants?

Vaccines do a good job of protecting us from coronavirus, but fear and confusion about the rise of variants have muddled the message. Here are answers to common questions.

#astrazeneca-plc, #clinical-trials, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #johnsonjohnson, #moderna-inc, #new-england-journal-of-medicine, #pfizer-inc, #preventive-medicine, #vaccination-and-immunization, #viruses

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Why Common Colds Might Spike When Kids Return to School

Hong Kong schools reported a surge in colds when students resumed in-person learning. Here’s what it means for kids in the U.S., and what parents can do to prepare.

#colds, #coronavirus-reopenings, #education-k-12, #immune-system, #parenting, #shutdowns-institutional, #viruses

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The Secret Life of a Coronavirus

An oily, 100-nanometer-wide bubble of genes has killed more than two million people and reshaped the world. Scientists don’t quite know what to make of it.

#almeida-june-1930-2007, #animals, #bats, #biodiversity, #dna-deoxyribonucleic-acid, #genetics-and-heredity, #microbiology, #quarantine-life-and-culture, #rna-ribonucleic-acid, #science-and-technology, #smallpox, #van-leeuwenhoek-antonie-1632-1723, #viruses

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7 Virus Variants Found in U.S. Carrying the Same Mutation

Scientists don’t know yet whether the mutation makes the variants more contagious, but they are concerned that it might.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #evolution-biology, #viruses, #your-feed-healthcare, #your-feed-science

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Scientists Are Trying to Spot New Viruses Before They Cause Pandemics

Scientists want to build a weather system for viruses. It would require a big financial investment, plus buy-in from doctors, hospitals and blood banks.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #tests-medical, #viruses, #your-feed-healthcare

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How Scientists Are Trying to Spot New Viruses Before They Cause Pandemics

Scientists want to build a weather system for viruses. It would require a big financial investment, plus buy-in from doctors, hospitals and blood banks.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #tests-medical, #viruses, #your-feed-healthcare

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If You Squeeze the Coronavirus, Does It Shatter?

Scientists are exploring the physics of viruses, to understand how these pathogens assemble themselves — and might be rent apart.

#biology-and-biochemistry, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #drugs-pharmaceuticals, #genetics-and-heredity, #immune-system, #microbiology, #physics, #proteins, #rna-ribonucleic-acid, #vaccination-and-immunization, #viruses, #your-feed-health, #your-feed-science

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Amid One Pandemic, Students Train for the Next

Researchers have banded together to find safe, virtual ways to teach the principles of microbiology and epidemiology.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #education-k-12, #education-secondary, #microbiology, #sarasota-fla, #science-and-technology, #tucson-ariz, #van-cortlandt-park-bronx-ny, #viruses, #your-feed-health, #your-feed-science

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The Coronavirus Pandemic: A Timeline

The outbreak of the virus has sickened more than 80 million people. At least 1.7 million people have died. Here’s how the year unfolded.

#china, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #cruises, #deaths-fatalities, #hubei-province-china, #infections, #li-wenliang, #princess-diamond, #quarantines, #respiratory-diseases, #sars-severe-acute-respiratory-syndrome, #travel-warnings, #viruses, #world-health-organization, #wuhan-china

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The Coronavirus Is Mutating. What Does That Mean for Us?

Officials in Britain and South Africa claim new variants are more easily transmitted. There’s a lot more to the story, scientists say.

#antibodies, #evolution-biology, #genetics-and-heredity, #immune-system, #influenza, #vaccination-and-immunization, #viruses, #your-feed-science

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Bats and the Coronavirus

They probably spread the virus that’s killing humans. We almost certainly spread the fungus that’s killing them.

#bats, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #endangered-and-extinct-species, #hendra-virus, #nipah-virus, #rabies, #sars-severe-acute-respiratory-syndrome, #viruses, #white-nose-syndrome

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Tests Show Genetic Signature of Coronavirus That Likely Infected Trump

The White House did not take basic steps to investigate its outbreak. We worked with geneticists to sequence the virus that infected two journalists exposed during the outbreak, providing clues to how it may have spread.

#centers-for-disease-control-and-prevention, #contact-tracing-public-health, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #genetics-and-heredity, #research, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-politics-and-government, #viruses, #your-feed-healthcare, #your-feed-science

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No, Mouthwash Will Not Save You From the Coronavirus

Even if people coated the inside of their mouths with a coronavirus-killing chemical, a substantial amount of the virus would still remain in the body.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-risks-and-safety-concerns, #journal-of-medical-virology, #mouthwash, #research, #rumors-and-misinformation, #viruses

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What’s Special About Bat Viruses? What We Don’t Know Could Hurt Us

The immune systems of bats are weird, but we don’t know how weird, how they got that way or enough about other animals.

#bats, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #genetic-engineering, #national-science-foundation, #research, #science-journal, #viruses, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

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Infected by a Virus, a Killer Fungus Turns Into a Friend

A fungus known as white mold can kill a plant in days. Unless, that is, a virus is around to tame it.

#agriculture-and-farming, #fungi, #microbiology, #molecular-plant-journal, #research, #soybeans, #viruses

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Nothing Eats Viruses, Right? Meet Some Hungry Protists

New genetic evidence builds the case that single-celled marine microbes might chow down on viruses.

#frontiers-in-microbiology, #microbiology, #oceans-and-seas, #protists, #research, #viruses, #your-feed-science

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‘Mussel-bola’ Could Be Spreading. Maybe Now You’ll Pay Attention.

New findings suggest a previously unknown virus may play a role in the sudden death of many freshwater mussels in recent years.

#mussels, #research, #scientific-reports-journal, #united-states, #viruses, #your-feed-science

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The Coronavirus Is Mutating, and That’s Fine (So Far)

SARS-CoV-2 has been slowly changing in small ways, without getting more dangerous.

#australia, #cell-journal, #china, #content-type-service, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #evolution-biology, #hong-kong, #immune-system, #influenza, #italy, #mutation, #new-south-wales-australia, #rna-ribonucleic-acid, #rumors-and-misinformation, #sars-severe-acute-respiratory-syndrome, #vaccination-and-immunization, #victoria-australia, #viruses, #wuhan-china

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What if We Have to Wait Years for a Coronavirus Vaccine?

A silver-bullet vaccine is far from guaranteed. But it’s also not the only way out of the pandemic.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-reopenings, #debatable, #epidemics, #fauci-anthony-s, #immune-system, #tuberculosis, #viruses

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New York Will Test the Dead More Often for Coronavirus and Flu

New regulations require a ramp-up in testing for patients with symptoms, as well as people who weren’t tested before they died.

#autopsies, #autumn-season, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #deaths-fatalities, #disease-rates, #influenza, #new-york-state, #tests-medical, #viruses

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Scientists Uncover Biological Signatures of the Worst Covid-19 Cases

Studies of patients with severe cases of Covid-19 show the immune system lacks its usual coordinated response.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #dexamethasone-drug, #immune-system, #microbiology, #nature-medicine-journal, #research, #science-journal, #viruses, #your-feed-health, #your-feed-science

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Scared That Covid-19 Immunity Won’t Last? Don’t Be

Dropping antibody counts aren’t a sign that our immune system is failing against the coronavirus, nor an omen that we can’t develop a viable vaccine.

#antibodies, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #disease-rates, #human-papillomavirus-hpv, #immune-system, #measles, #preventive-medicine, #sexually-transmitted-diseases, #vaccination-and-immunization, #viruses

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The Coronavirus Could Dodge Some Treatments, Study Suggests

A laboratory experiment hints at some of the ways the virus might elude antibody treatments. Combining therapies could help, experts said.

#antibodies, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #drug-resistance-microbial, #immune-system, #medrxiv, #research, #vaccination-and-immunization, #viruses, #your-feed-science

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Viking Age Smallpox Complicates Story of Viral Evolution

An extinct version of the smallpox virus dating to 1,400 years ago prompts speculation about viruses becoming more lethal over time.

#cambridge-university, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #dna-deoxyribonucleic-acid, #evolution-biology, #genetics-and-heredity, #immune-system, #science-journal, #smallpox, #viruses, #your-feed-science

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Vampire Bats Self-Isolate, Too

When these mammals are ill, they have fewer interactions with family and friends, new study suggests. “It’s like us,” said one researcher.

#bacteria, #bats, #biology-letters-journal, #central-america, #infections, #research, #south-america, #viruses, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

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The Flu May Linger in the Air, Just Like the Coronavirus

As scientists race to understand how coronavirus aerosols may spread indoors, a new study on influenza offers some clues.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-risks-and-safety-concerns, #influenza, #plos-pathogens-journal, #research, #viruses

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Most People With Coronavirus Won’t Spread It. Why Do a Few Infect Many?

Growing evidence shows most infected people aren’t spreading the virus. But whether you become a superspreader probably depends more on circumstance than biology.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #medrxiv, #research, #viruses, #your-feed-science

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Why You May Not Be Spreading Coronavirus

Growing evidence shows most infected people aren’t spreading the virus. But whether you become a superspreader probably depends more on circumstance than biology.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #medrxiv, #research, #viruses, #your-feed-science

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What Have We Learned About Reopening?

Some countries have handled it better than others. Which path will the United States take?

#brazil, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #debatable, #hospitals, #india, #mauritius, #new-zealand, #united-states, #vietnam, #viruses

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Amid a Pandemic, ‘Batman’ Matters More Than Ever

Wang Linfa has researched bats and their diseases for decades, usually drawing little public attention. Now a world wracked by the coronavirus is relying on the work of scientists like him.

#bats, #biology-and-biochemistry, #china, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #duke-university, #national-university-of-singapore, #research, #singapore, #viruses, #wang-linfa, #wuhan-china

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Mutation Allows Coronavirus to Infect More Cells, Study Finds. Scientists Urge Caution.

Geneticists said more evidence is needed to determine if a common genetic variation of the virus spreads more easily between people.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #proteins, #viruses, #your-feed-health, #your-feed-science

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Special Episode: The Latest From Minneapolis

In the wake of George Floyd’s death, a city is ablaze in a longstanding demand for justice.

#chauvin-derek-1976, #demonstrations-protests-and-riots, #floyd-george-d-2020, #minneapolis-minn, #police-brutality-misconduct-and-shootings, #viruses

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‘I Release You, Fear’

Cheryl Strayed talks with the poet Joy Harjo about beauty, prophecies and listening to your spiritual council.

#books-and-literature, #harjo-joy, #poetry-and-poets, #poets-laureate, #quarantines, #strayed-cheryl, #viruses

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Coronavirus Contact Tracing Jobs Are on the Rise

Tens of thousands of people across the United States have applied for the job of cold-calling strangers who may have been exposed to Covid-19. Here’s what it’s like.

#contact-tracing-public-health, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #government-employees, #labor-and-jobs, #partners-in-health, #unemployment, #viruses

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Sorrento finds a coronavirus antibody that blocks viral infection 100% in preclinical lab experiments

Therapeutics company Sorrento has made what it believes cold be a breakthrough in potential treatment of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that leads to COVID-19. The company released details its preclinical research on Friday, announcing that it has found an antibody that provides “100% inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 virus infection of healthy cells after four days incubation.” These results are from a preclinical study that still has to undergo peer review, and in an in vitro laboratory study (meaning not in an actual human being) but still a promising development as the company continues to work on production of an antibody “cocktail” that could provide protection against SARS-CoV-2 even in case of mutations in the virus.

Sorrento says that they believe this antibody, which is labelled STI-1499, stood out among billions of candidates it has been screening from its extensive human antibody library for its ability to completely block the interaction of the SARS-CoV-2’s spike protein with a human cell target receptor. That means it prevents the virus from attaching to the host’s healthy cell, which is what leads to incubation and infection.

The nature of the antibody’s efficacy means that Sorrento currently believes it will be the first antibody to be included in the cocktail it is developing, which will be made up of a large number of different antibodies that show efficacy in blocking the attachment of the spike protein, in order to provide multiple avenues of protection that are designed to remain effective even if the virus mutates in transmission from person to person, or within the same individual. One of the big outstanding questions that researchers are working on answering currently is just how mutagenic SARS-CoV-2 actually is, since many coronaviruses like the common cold show a tendency to mutate pretty quickly, rendering long-lasting cures and treatments difficult to develop.

Sorrento’s COVID-SHIELD is meant to address this through a potent mix of different antibodies that provide protection against different strains of the virus, but the company says it will also be pursuing development of the STI-1499 antibody on its own as a dedicated, standalone therapy. The company is already in discussion with regulators about how to expedite development of that potential treatment, and is ramping its production capacity as well with the goal of producing as many as one million doses at the same time it pursues FDA approval for its use.

It’s definitely worth cautioning that no treatment or vaccine is likely to be a ‘magic bullet’ in treating SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19, but this is still a promising development, and one to watch as it undergoes clinical trials and the therapeutic development and regulatory process.

#biotech, #coronavirus, #covid-19, #fda, #health, #infection, #medicine, #sars-cov-2, #sorrento, #tc, #viruses

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A Bit of Relief: Rick Steves’ Travel Dreams

“This virus can stop our travel plans, but it cannot stop our travel dreams.”

#anderson-sam, #europe, #quarantines, #steves-rick, #travel-and-vacations, #viruses

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Four: Headquarters

A trip to YouTube for a conversation with the woman trying to change it.

#computers-and-the-internet, #science-and-technology, #silicon-valley-calif, #viruses, #youtube-com

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Did a Mutation Turbocharge the Coronavirus? Not Likely, Scientists Say

A preliminary report posted online claimed that a mutation had made the virus more transmissible. Geneticists say the evidence isn’t there.

#academic-and-scientific-journals, #biology-and-biochemistry, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #evolution-biology, #genetics-and-heredity, #viruses, #your-feed-science

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How Remdesivir, New Hope for Covid-19 Patients, Was Resurrected

The drug failed as a treatment for hepatitis and Ebola. With federal funding, scientists trained it on the coronavirus.

#colds, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #drugs-pharmaceuticals, #food-and-drug-administration, #gilead-sciences-inc, #hepatitis, #influenza, #national-institute-of-allergy-and-infectious-diseases, #remdesivir-drug, #research, #rna-ribonucleic-acid, #sars-severe-acute-respiratory-syndrome, #tests-medical, #trump-donald-j, #united-states, #viruses

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The Coronavirus Vaccine May Have a Shortcut: Infecting Volunteers

Should we take it?

#clinical-trials, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #debatable, #ethics-personal, #oxford-university, #respiratory-diseases, #smallpox, #viruses

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Old Drugs May Find a New Purpose: Fighting the Coronavirus

A “drug repurposing” strategy uncovers dozens of compounds that have the unexpected potential to combat the virus.

#chloroquine-drug, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #drugs-pharmaceuticals, #viruses, #your-feed-science

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There seems to be no pattern to where humans pick up new viruses

A colorized transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of an Ebola virus virion.

Enlarge / A colorized transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of an Ebola virus virion. (credit: CDC)

A virus that normally infects animals makes the jump to humans, whose immune systems have never seen it before. It suddenly sweeps across the globe, leaving death and chaos in its wake. We’re living with that reality now and have gone through it previously with HIV, SARS, MERS, Ebola, Hanta, and various flu viruses that have threatened humanity in just the past few decades.

While there are many organizations that try to stay on top of threats of emerging diseases, it would be helpful if we could identify major sources of potential threats. If, for example, we knew that certain species were more prone to carrying viruses that could make the jump to humans, we could potentially survey the viruses found in those species, identify major threats, and potentially even develop therapies or vaccines in advance.

But a study published recently in PNAS suggests there’s no real pattern to where humans are picking up new viruses. Instead, groups with lots of species tend to have lots of viral species, and those make the jump to humans largely in proportion to the number of species.

Read 15 remaining paragraphs | Comments

#biology, #evolution, #health, #phylogeny, #risk, #science, #viruses, #zoonotic

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How Scientists Could Stop the Next Pandemic Before It Starts

Researchers believe they could pre-emptively create vaccines and drugs to fight a wide range of viral threats — if they can get sufficient funding.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #epidemics, #quarantines, #viruses

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EU data portal launches to support COVID-19 research

The European Commission has launched a data portal for scientists studying the SARS-CoV-2 virus to speed up access to data-sets and tools in order to bolster research efforts by encouraging data reuse and open science.

The COVID-19 Data Portal is intended to accelerate regional efforts to combat the virus by creating a central repository for storing and sharing available research data, such as DNA sequences, protein structures, data from pre-clinical research and clinical trials, and epidemiological data.

Mariya Gabriel, the EU’s commissioner for innovation, research, culture, education and youth, described it as an “important concrete measure for stronger cooperation in fighting the coronavirus”.

“Building on our dedicated support for open science and open access over the years, now is the time to step up our efforts and stand united with our researchers. Through our joint efforts, we will better understand, diagnose and eventually overpower the pandemic,” she said in a statement. 

The initiative is a joint effort by the Commission, the European Bioinformatics Institute of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL-EBI), the Elixir infrastructure and the COMPARE project, working with EU Member States and other partners.

It’s one part of a package of measures agreed on by EU leaders to encourage pan-EU coordination over research and innovation to fight the virus.

“Rapid and open sharing of data greatly accelerates research and discovery, which is essential to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic,” runs the blurb on the COVID-19 Data Portal website.

“An unprecedented number of scientific efforts are taking place worldwide in order to help combat the new coronavirus epidemic (COVID-19). One of the biggest challenges in this fast-moving situation is to share data and findings in a coordinated way, in order to understand the disease and to develop treatments and vaccines.

“To address this challenge, EMBL-EBI and partners have has set up the COVID-19 Data Portal, which will bring together relevant datasets submitted to EMBL-EBI and other major centres for biomedical data. The aim is to facilitate data sharing and analysis, and to accelerate coronavirus research.”

The data portal is one of two connected pieces of what’s intended as a wider European COVID-19 Data Platform — illustrated in the below diagram — the other being SARS-CoV-2 Data Hubs, which will “organise the flow of SARS-CoV-2 outbreak sequence data and provide comprehensive open data sharing for the European and global research communities”, fed by inputs from national health data infrastructures and public health labs.

“To rapidly populate the COVID-19 Data Portal, EMBL-EBI will bring together COVID-19 datasets that have been submitted to its public databases, including ENA, UniProt, PDBe, EMDB, Expression Atlas and Europe PMC,” is how it’s explained on the site. “The data, which have so far been collated, include genes, protein structures, electron microscopy data and scientific publications.”

Data submissions to the COVID-19 Data Portal can be made here — where the website notes that: “Non-biological data of relevance to COVID-19, such as travel, trade, meteorology and social distancing behaviour are not managed within the European COVID-19 Data Platform, but where possible are linked to data within the system.”

In addition to the data platform, other actions agreed via the action plan include coordinating funding for relevant research; extending large EU-wide clinical trials; increasing support to “innovative companies”; and supporting a pan-European Hackathon in the end of April to mobilise European innovators and the civil society.

The joint plan’s “priority actions” will continue to be updated with input from the Commission and national governments over the coming months, it said.

Overall, the Commission said it’s committing “hundreds of millions” of euros in research and innovation measures to develop vaccines, new treatments, diagnostic tests and medical systems to prevent the spread of the coronavirus — though not all of this is new funding, since it’s factoring in long-term investment vehicles such as FP7 & Horizon 2020.

More specifically, it highlights the ‘rapid mobilization’ of €48.2M for 18 shortlisted research projects — including work being done on rapid point-of-care diagnostic tests; new treatments; new vaccines; and on epidemiology and modelling to improve preparedness and response to outbreaks. 

It also flags hybrid support efforts — saying it’s mobilized public and private funding of up to €90M through the Innovative Medicines Initiative; and offered up to €80M of financial support to CureVac to scale up development and production of a vaccine against the coronavirus.

Additionally, a recent European Innovation Council Accelerator call of €164M attracted what the Commission dubs “a significant” number of start-ups and SMEs with innovations that it hopes will help tackle the pandemic.

The Commission’s press release also notes 50 ongoing or completed European Research Council projects which it says are contributing to the response to the coronavirus pandemic by providing insights from several different scientific fields — including virology, epidemiology, immunology, public health, medical devices, social behaviour, crisis management.

#bioinformatics, #coronavirus, #covid-19, #data-sharing, #europe, #european-commission, #european-research-council, #european-union, #health, #horizon, #mariya-gabriel, #open-data, #science, #viruses

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