Scientists

Novavax’s New Covid-19 Vaccine Studies Praised By Scientists

Novavax, the little-known Maryland company that received a $1.6 billion deal from the federal government for its experimental coronavirus vaccine, announced encouraging results in two preliminary studies on Tuesday.

In one study, 56 volunteers produced a high level of antibodies against the virus without any dangerous side effects. In the other, researchers found that the vaccine strongly protected monkeys from coronavirus infections.

Although it’s not possible to directly compare the data from clinical trials of different coronavirus vaccines, John Moore, a virologist at Weill Cornell Medicine who was not involved in the studies, said the Novavax results were the most impressive he had seen so far.

“This is the first one I’m looking at and saying, ‘Yeah, I’d take that,’” Dr. Moore said.

Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at Columbia University who was not involved in the studies, called them “encouraging preliminary results,” but cautioned that it won’t be possible to

Read More

Scientists Uncover Biological Signatures of the Worst Covid-19 Cases

Although the delineations aren’t always clear-cut, the immune system’s responses to pathogens can be roughly grouped into three categories: type 1, which is directed against viruses and certain bacteria that infiltrate our cells; type 2, which fights parasites like worms that don’t invade cells; and type 3, which goes after fungi and bacteria that can survive outside of cells. Each branch uses different cytokines to rouse different subsets of molecular fighters.

Read More

Old Vaccines May Stop the Coronavirus, Study Hints. Scientists Are Skeptical.

Billions of dollars are being invested in the development of vaccines against the coronavirus. Until one arrives, many scientists have turned to tried-and-true vaccines to see whether they may confer broad protection, and may reduce the risk of coronavirus infection, as well.

Old standbys like the Bacille Calmette-Guerin tuberculosis vaccine and the polio vaccine appear to help train the immune system to respond to a broad variety of infections, including from bacteria, viruses and parasites, experts say.

Now a study suggests that people who have received certain routine vaccines in the recent past — including childhood vaccinations like measles-mumps-rubella and polio, as well as adult flu vaccines — have lower coronavirus infection rates than those not recently vaccinated.

But many experts greeted the conclusions with skepticism. The paper, an analysis of electronic health records from the Mayo Clinic, was posted online; it has not been through the peer review process

Read More

In Astounding Test, Scientists Revive Damaged Lungs for Transplant

With this method, they have successfully revived and transplanted 600 lungs in the past decade, said Dr. Marcelo Cypel, a lung transplant surgeon at the University of Toronto. But there are limitations: Lungs can be maintained this way only for hours, not days. And few lungs can be rescued.

“If you have more time, you have more time to repair the injuries,” Dr. Cypel said. “You can’t reverse a pneumonia in just four or six hours. But if you keep the lung for a few days, you can.”

So Dr. Vunjak-Novakovic and her group decided that instead of making new lungs, they might improve on this method. It was becoming clear that, to recover, lungs needed not just a ventilator but also body — to remove metabolic wastes, and to deliver the energy needed keep the organ alive and restore it to health.

The solution? A pig to support the

Read More