Childhood vaccine linked to less severe COVID-19, cigarette smoke raises risk
By Nancy Lapid (Reuters) - The following is a roundup of some of the latest scientific studies on the novel coronavirus and efforts to find treatments and vaccines for COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus. Childhood vaccine may help prevent severe COVID-19 People whose immune systems responded strongly to a measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine may be less likely to become severely ill if they are infected with the new coronavirus, new data suggest. The MMR II vaccine, manufactured by Merck and licensed in 1979, works by triggering the immune system to produce antibodies.
By Nancy Lapid
(Reuters) - The following is a roundup of some of the latest scientific studies on the novel coronavirus and efforts to find treatments and vaccines for COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus.
Childhood vaccine may help prevent severe COVID-19
People whose immune systems responded strongly to a measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine may be less likely to become severely ill if they are infected with the new coronavirus, new data suggest. The MMR II vaccine, manufactured by Merck
Cigarette smoke increases cell vulnerability to COVID-19
Exposure to cigarette smoke makes airway cells more vulnerable to infection with the new coronavirus, UCLA researchers found. They obtained airway-lining cells from five individuals without COVID-19 and exposed some of the cells to cigarette smoke in test tubes. Then they exposed all the cells to the coronavirus. Compared to cells not exposed to the smoke, smoke-exposed cells were two- or even three-times more likely to become infected with the virus, the researchers reported on Tuesday in Cell Stem Cell. Analysis of individual airway cells showed the cigarette smoke reduced the immune response to the virus. "If you think of the airways like the high walls that protect a castle, smoking cigarettes is like creating holes in these walls," coauthor Brigitte Gomperts told Reuters. "Smoking reduces the natural defenses and this allows the virus to enter and take over the cells." (https://bit.ly/3kPAYRx)
AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine shows promise in elderly
Researchers look into cells infected with new coronavirus
Cells infected with the new coronavirus die within a day or two, and researchers have found a way to see what the virus is doing to them. By integrating multiple imaging techniques, they saw the virus create "virus-copying factories" in cells that look like clusters of balloons. The virus also disrupts cellular systems responsible for secreting substances, the researchers reported on Tuesday in Cell Host & Microbe. Furthermore, it reorganizes the "cytoskeleton," which gives cells their shape and "serves like a railway system to allow the transport of various cargos inside the cell," coauthor Dr. Ralf Bartenschlager of the University of Heidelberg, Germany told Reuters. When his team added drugs that affect the cytoskeleton, the virus had trouble making copies of itself, "which indicates to us that the virus needs to reorganize the cytoskeleton in order to replicate with high efficiency," Bartenschlager said. "We now have a much better idea how SARS-CoV-2 changes the intracellular architecture of the infected cell and this will help us to understand why the cells are dying so quickly." The Zika virus causes similar cell changes, he said, so it might be possible to develop drugs for COVID-19 that also work against other viruses. (https://bit.ly/2UI9BOT)
Open https://tmsnrt.rs/3a5EyDh in an external browser for a Reuters graphic on vaccines and treatments in development.
(Reporting by Nancy Lapid, Kate Kelland and Alistair Smout; Editing by Tiffany Wu)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.