Posts published by our team from July 27-31:
July 27, 2020- Gone with the Wind: SARS-CoV-2 in the Air
Researchers infected ferrets with SARS-CoV-2 and placed these ‘patient zero’ ferrets in a cage system so that they could spread the virus to other ferrets either through direct contact (ferrets in the same cage) or through the air (ferrets in a neighbouring cage). In their experiment, the direct contact ferrets got SARS-CoV-2 and so did the ferrets in neighbouring cages. This indicates that SARS-CoV-2 can be transmitted between ferrets, not only through direct contact but also through the air. The researchers highlight that their findings support the use of facemasks and social distancing.
July 29, 2020- Potential COVID-19 Drug Target: 3CL Mpro
3CL Mpro is an SARS-CoV-2 enzyme (the virus causing COVID-19) that processes other SARS-CoV-2 proteins (by slicing off unneeded pieces) critical for the viral life cycle and infection. Researchers at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory have discovered the structure of 3CL Mpro at room temperature, with a technique called X-ray crystallography. This is the first step for designing an antiviral small molecule drug to treat COVID-19.