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The biology of coronavirus COVID-19 - including research, vaccines, treatments

Discussion in 'Epidemics (including Covid-19)' started by Trish, Mar 12, 2020.

  1. Trish

    Trish Moderator Staff Member

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    I have just listened to a very interesting radio program 'BBC Inside Science: Biology of the new coronavirus'. I don't know whether it's available outside the UK.
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000g3gf

    I suggest we use this thread to share any articles, audio or video of Virologists explaining what is known so far about this virus.
     
  2. hinterland

    hinterland Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    This radio programme is not Covid-19 specific (it was broadcast in 2011), but provides very interesting background information about the evolution of infectious disease in modern societies.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b011pldm

    BBC Radio 4: ‘In Our Time’ - The Origins of Infectious Disease.

    “Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the origins of infectious disease.....”
     
  3. wigglethemouse

    wigglethemouse Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    According to the article in this tweet posted by Stanford ME researcher Fereshteh Jahanbani, if I understand correctly, the virus was discovered in bats in 2015 and they realised how bad it would be if it spread to humans.


    Paper : A SARS-like cluster of circulating bat coronaviruses shows potential for human emergence
    https://www.nature.com/articles/nm.3985

     
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  4. Cheshire

    Cheshire Moderator Staff Member

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    A twitter thread analysing a Lancet paper on the clinical course and risk factors for mortality of adult inpatients with COVID-19 in Wuhan

     
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  5. Gigi300

    Gigi300 Established Member (Voting Rights)

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    Last edited: Mar 13, 2020
  6. Mij

    Mij Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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  7. scifi

    scifi Established Member

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    The medcram youtube channel has some good basics on the biology of covid-19

    watch
    watch
    watch
     
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  8. ScottTriGuy

    ScottTriGuy Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Researchers from these world-class institutions came together in a grassroots way to successfully isolate the virus in just a few short weeks,” said Dr. Rob Kozak, clinical microbiologist at Sunnybrook. “It demonstrates the amazing things that can happen when we collaborate.”

    I am both incredibly impressed and relieved the research system can work with such successful expediency --- and I'm sooooo pissed off that the same research system is so willfully blind to ME for decades.

    WTF.
     
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  9. Gigi300

    Gigi300 Established Member (Voting Rights)

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    @ScottTriGuy, I totally agree with you. At the same time, the covid-19 crisis is of great magnitude in a short time. So I think it's important to put all this collaboration of researchers to help the crisis. For Me, I know that the disease is serious and has lasted a long time. I always ask myself the question, why is it so long before there are reactions from the medical system? Are they dealing with too complex a disease? (la discussion maybe in another thread...)
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2020
  10. Invisible Woman

    Invisible Woman Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    In a word - Politics
     
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  11. Gigi300

    Gigi300 Established Member (Voting Rights)

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    Hi @scifi, thank you for the link. I remember the basics and learn many other things where it is explained in a very clear and simple way, as I like to learn.
     
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  12. Mij

    Mij Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    @Gigi300 I just noticed that you beat me to it!
     
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  13. Gigi300

    Gigi300 Established Member (Voting Rights)

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    Hi @Mij , a few minutes...Don't let go!
     
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  14. Invisible Woman

    Invisible Woman Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I disagree @Gigi300.

    There is a long and documented history of the disease being downplayed and deliberately misunderstood.

    I agree it is a complex illness, but it certainly isn't the only complex illness. It's just one of the most neglected ones because of politics.

    Edit - sorry but I'm way passed making excuses on behalf of those who doomed me to this existence because it suited their own ends. There are extremely good descriptions of the illness and even early references to what looks like PEM going back 30-35 years. No effective treatments & worse still treatments that make us worse.
     
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  15. ahimsa

    ahimsa Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    This article has some interesting charts:

    https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2020/3/12/21172040/coronavirus-covid-19-virus-charts

    Chart 6 shows how contagious they think COVID-19 is with respect to some other diseases (less contagious than measles, more than seasonal flu).

    Chart 8 compares testing efforts in different countries. Experts say that testing is a key component of managing a pandemic so it's not a good thing when governments are slow to ramp up testing.

    Chart 9 is one of the many "flatten the curve" charts that are out there. This one is basic, just shows the general idea I've seen some that are animated and let the user change parameters to see how different actions change the curve - I think there was one on the NY Times website that someone posted)

    I hope this is all helpful information! Stay safe, everyone!

    We need to take various actions to protect ourselves and others, but we should also try to find ways to manage the natural anxiety that this situation may cause. I hope you can all find some stress relieving activities.

    Sending hugs to all :hug::hug:
     
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  16. strategist

    strategist Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    This post has been moved from this thread.

    Diasorin, an Italian company says they will have a rapid diagnostic test ready by the end of this month. It will give a result in 60 minutes. It seems to be based on diect PCR amplification.

    Meanwhile the British Society for Immunology on the topic of herd immunity:

    https://www.immunology.org/news/bsi-response-herd-immunity-and-sars-cov-2
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 14, 2020
  17. Robert 1973

    Robert 1973 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Something I’ve been wondering for a while is whether Covid-19 could tell us anything useful about ME/CFS.

    If outcomes (eg mortality) following infection were significantly different in people with ME/CFS compared to other groups that would presumably be useful to know, and could possibly give us some clues about the nature of ME/CFS.

    Given that some people with ME/CFS seem to be less prone to getting colds etc. while others seem to be more susceptible, it might be necessary to control for these variations, as well as for other variations in severity and symptoms among people with ME/CFS. I doubt this type of detail would be included in general epidemiology studies of Covid-19 but I’m guessing it would be relatively straightforward for an epidemiologist with an interest in ME/CFS to study.

    Any thoughts on this? Does anyone know if it has been discussed elsewhere – eg at either of the recent conferences?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 14, 2020
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  18. hinterland

    hinterland Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Interesting. How do we know that the other common coronaviruses have been circulating in humans for thousands of years? Is that a fact?

    If we managed to get through millennia while only acquiring 4 human coronaviruses yet 3 have jumped species in the last 20 years, that's a worrying trend! It's not the bat's fault...
     
  19. Sean

    Sean Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    That could be just because we have less social contact.

    But it is a good question whether there will be any difference in infection rates and clinical responses for ME patients. If so, there may well be clues in it about the underlying pathology of ME.
     
  20. oldtimer

    oldtimer Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I'm in the group that hardly ever gets a cold. For years I've had one- to-one close contact with snotty, sneezing children and I've touched their germy hands without a thought. My 'colds' are a stuffy nose for half a day.

    I was told a very long time ago that I didn't get colds because my immune system was overactive. Is this a genuine state? If so, would covid-19 be stopped in its tracks like a cold, or would my immune system go all out fighting the corona virus and make me very sick? I've read about the latter scenario a few times in the last week.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2020
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