Being previously infected with a coronaviruses that cause the “common cold” may decrease the severity of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) infections, according to results of a new study. Led by researchers at Boston Medical Center and Boston University School of Medicine, the study also demonstrates that the immunity built up from previous non-SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infections does not prevent individuals from getting COVID-19. Published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, the findings provide important insight into the immune response against SARS-CoV-2, which could have significant implications on COVID-19 vaccine development.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to more than 200,000 deaths in the US, and more than one million globally. There is a growing body of research looking into specific ways that the SARS-CoV-2 virus impacts different populations, including why some people are infected and are asymptomatic, as well as what increases ones mortality as a result of infection.
Researchers at Yale and elsewhere previously identified a host of genetic risk factors that help explain why some veterans are especially susceptible to the debilitating symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
A new Yale-led study published Oct. 1 in the journal Biological Psychiatry has now identified a social factor that can mitigate these genetic risks: the ability to form loving and trusting relationships with others.
The study is one of the first to explore the role of nurture as well as nature in its investigation of the biological basis of PTSD.
“We exist in a context. We are more than our genes,” said Yale’s Robert H. Pietrzak, associate professor of psychiatry and public health, and senior author of the study.
Pietrzak is also director of the Translational Psychiatric Epidemiology Laboratory of the Clinical Neurosciences Division of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs National Center for PTSD.
Solar flares are violent explosions on the sun that fling out high-energy charged particles, sometimes toward Earth, where they disrupt communications and endanger satellites and astronauts.
But as scientists discovered in 1996, flares can also create seismic activity — sunquakes — releasing impulsive acoustic waves that penetrate deep into the sun’s interior.
While the relationship between solar flares and sunquakes is still a mystery, new findings suggest that these “acoustic transients” — and the surface ripples they generate — can tell us a lot about flares and may someday help us forecast their size and severity.
A team of physicists from the United States, Colombia and Australia has found that part of the acoustic energy released from a flare in 2011 emanated from about 1,000 kilometers beneath the solar surface — the photosphere — and, thus, far beneath the solar flare that triggered the quake.
There are no Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved treatments for COVID-19, the pandemic infection caused by a novel coronavirus. While several therapies are being tested in clinical trials, current standard of care involves providing patients with fluids and fever-reducing medications. To speed the search for new COVID-19 therapies, researchers are testing repurposed drugs — medicines already known to be safe for human use because they are FDA-approved for other conditions — for their abilities to mitigate the virus.
UC San Diego Health researchers recently reported that statins — widely used cholesterol-lowering medications — are associated with reduced risk of developing severe COVID-19 disease, as well as faster recovery times. A second research team at UC San Diego School of Medicine has uncovered evidence that helps explains why: In short, removing cholesterol from cell membranes prevents the coronavirus from getting in.
The clinical study, published September 15, 2020 in American Journal