December 2021/January 2022- Volume 17, Issue 12

In this Issue

Editors Insight

An open road

COVID-19 isn’t the only microbial infection to cause long-term symptoms

COVID-19 isn’t the only microbial infection to cause long-term symptoms

The long-term effects that many recovered COVID-19 patients experience, known as long COVID, seem unusual. But are they really?

Virology

Alpacas

Nanobodies derived from llamas, camels, and alpacas may help fight COVID-19

Nanobodies derived from llamas, camels, and alpacas may help fight COVID-19

Small antibodies called nanobodies produced in camels, llamas, and alpacas might help stop the spread of COVID-19, but can they stand up against the competition?
A sketch of a bat surrounded by pathogens.

Explained: How do viruses move from animals into humans?

Explained: How do viruses move from animals into humans?

Bats, pigs, and pangolins – oh my! The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the consequences of viral spillover from animals, but it is not the first time in history that an animal virus has spurred disease in humans.

Biologics

Spirulina powder on a spoon

From superfood to medicine maker, spirulina is a new cellular factory

From superfood to medicine maker, spirulina is a new cellular factory

Scientists engineer the photosynthetic bacteria spirulina to produce biologics at a large enough scale to treat some of the world’s deadliest and most prevalent diseases.
Fungus-growing ants

Animal microbiomes hold the key to new antifungals

Animal microbiomes hold the key to new antifungals

From sea squirts to ants to opossums on the side of the road, the bacteria that live in animal microbiomes are a surprising source of new antifungals.
Various fungi in petri dishes

Warring fungi produce new drugs for cancer and infectious disease

Warring fungi produce new drugs for cancer and infectious disease

Using bioinformatics and machine learning, scientists probe the depths of fungal genomes to find new compounds for undruggable cancers and infections.

Human Genetics

Mutations that are structural variants, or that are located in non-coding regions of the genome, are often difficult to detect.

A new long-read approach solves an old genetic mystery

A new long-read approach solves an old genetic mystery

Researchers pioneered a new strategy for diagnosing puzzling genetic diseases, expanding scientists’ capability to study their causes and pathophysiology.
A person with facial hair is wearing glasses and a green blazer, and is looking at the camera.

Combining proteomic, genetic, and functional data to understand cancer

Combining proteomic, genetic, and functional data to understand cancer

Researchers identified common, dysregulated pathways among different cancers using a newly developed protein-protein interaction mapping technique. The results may inform treatment and lead to the development of more effective drugs for cancer.
A person is wearing glasses and a white lab coat and is smiling at the camera.

On the road to treating mitochondrial disease

On the road to treating mitochondrial disease

Recent advancements in mitochondrial genome editing technologies take scientists one step closer to developing viable treatments for mitochondrial diseases, which affect 1 in 4300 adults.
Green and blue coronavirus cells under magnification intertwined with DNA cell structure

Genetic mutations associated with COVID-19 induced loss of smell identified

Genetic mutations associated with COVID-19 induced loss of smell identified

Researchers use GWAS to understand why some people lose their sense of smell and taste when they are infected with COVID-19.
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