Transcriptomics analysis identifies thousands of viroid-like circular RNA molecules

Viroids are closed circles of ribonucleic acid (RNA) that replicate at a very low level using host cell enzymes, since they do not usually encode proteins. The existence of over ten thousand viroids, as well as of viroid-like RNAs, is revealed in a new Cell paper based on the use of metatranscriptomics analysis. Studies: Mining … Read more

Children’s tonsils are major sites of prolonged SARS-CoV-2 infection

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causal agent of the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, causes respiratory infection in people of all ages. Compared to adults, children are less frequently and severely affected by SARS-CoV-2. Although the exact reason for this is unclear, reduced expression of the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor … Read more

Antiviral activity of natural flavonoids against various coronaviruses

The enzyme 3-chymotrypsin-like cysteine ​​protease (3CLpro) is a key drug target for the treatment of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Moreover, the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) 3CLpro is essential throughout the viral life cycle and exhibits high conservation among coronaviruses. Recent studies have reported the antiviral activity of flavonoids against different coronaviruses … Read more

Pregnancy has no effect on long-term immune response to SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccination

The emergence and rapid outbreak of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) resulted in the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, scientists have worked rapidly to develop numerous vaccines, several of which received emergency use authorization from global regulatory bodies, such as the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). … Read more

Research offers hope for patients affected by rare, hereditary metabolic diseases

New research offers potential benefits for those affected by the hereditary metabolic disease methylmalonic aciduria. By combining the results of multiple molecular analyses, scientists can better diagnose this rare and severe disease. In the future, an improved understanding of the disease might also improve treatment options. Methylmalonic aciduria (MMA) is a metabolic disorder that affects … Read more

Cryo-electron microscopy reveals detailed blueprint of viral genome replication machinery

RNA viruses, such as the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, are in a life-and-death race the moment they infect a cell. These viruses have only minutes to establish their replication machinery inside the host cell before the genetic instructions contained in their vulnerable RNA genomes – which are more fragile than DNA – would otherwise be … Read more

What are the major findings of long COVID research?

In a recent review published in Nature Reviews Microbiology, researchers explored existing literature on chronic coronavirus disease (COVID). They highlighted key immunological findings, similarities with other diseases, symptoms, associated pathophysiological mechanisms, and diagnostic and therapeutic options, including coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccinations. Studies: Long COVID: major findings, mechanisms and recommendations. Image Credit: Ralf Liebhold/Shutterstock Long … Read more

Study finds non-Omicron breakthrough infections elicit robust cross-neutralizing activity against Omicron variants across the antigenic barrier

In a recent study published in iScienceresearchers assessed the effect of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection with a non-Omicron variant on SARS-CoV-2 BA.4/5 neutralization. Studies: Non-Omicron breakthrough infection with higher viral load and longer vaccination-infection interval improves SARS-CoV-2 BA.4/5 neutralization. Image Credit: ktsdesign/Shutterstock Background The interval between vaccination and infection influences the … Read more

First-ever method for analyzing RNA sequencing data genome-wide using a ‘pantranscriptome’

Analyzing a person’s gene expression requires mapping their RNA landscape to a standard reference to gain insight into the degree to which genes are “turned on” and perform functions in the body. But researchers can run into issues when the reference does not provide enough information to allow for accurate mapping, an issue known as … Read more

New test ‘fishes’ for multiple respiratory viruses using DNA as ‘bait’

A new test that ‘fishes’ for multiple respiratory viruses at once using single strands of DNA as ‘bait’, and gives highly accurate results in under an hour, has been developed by Cambridge researchers. The test uses DNA ‘nanobait’ to detect the most common respiratory viruses – including influenza, rhinovirus, RSV and COVID-19 – at the … Read more