The Viral Bulletin

The Hot Wire for COVID-19 and other science updates!

7.71 Million active cases in India.

41.3 Million active cases worldwide.

Where’s that vaccine at?!

And that’s the million-dollar question that has driven multimillion-dollar companies into a rat race for finding the cure. Clinical trials have been phased into 4 parts, and we have some promising vaccines that have reached Phase 3. You can have a look at the vaccine sprint below:

P.S: Phase 4 of clinical trials requires long-term testing of drugs on a wider population. This is not possible on the occasion of a pandemic and hence Phase 3 will, in all probability, be followed by emergency administration of the approved vaccine candidates.

Meanwhile, Russia has approved two vaccines Sputnik V and EpiVacCorona and there are rumours of a third vaccine coming up as well. However, the reason they did not make it to The Viral Bulletin scoreboard was that they haven’t been peer-reviwed or tested for safety yet. They definitely do not pass the regulations set up in the States, but there is news that India has given regulatory approval for late-stage clinical trials of Sputnik V, which is known to spike immunity for a period of one year. We shall keep you updated on the proceedings of this testing

Serum Institute of India (SII) has partnered with Bharat Biotech Ltd., a very relevant and necessary collaboration, and have come up with a unique “intranasal Covid-19 vaccine candidate”. Up until now, all vaccine candidates are manufactured to be injected intravenously, but a novel vaccine by SII and Bharat Biotech Ltd. targets the nasal cavity. This vaccine will be rolled out for late-stage clinical trials in India very soon. We hope to be able to provide more details in the next article of The Viral Bulletin.

After rigorous research and trials, Remdesivir an antiviral drug developed by Gilead Sciences Inc. has been fully approved in the US as a treatment for Covid-19. This drug shows relative promise for treating patients hospitalised with the novel coronavirus.

.  .  .

Adhering to the essence of The Viral Bulletin, we would like to give you updates on other topics in the scientific world that have gone viral this month.

And that brings us to the Nobel Prize Hall of Fame!

Nobel Prize in Physics 2020

“Down the rabbit hole of space research – the Black Hole”

The 2020 Nobel Prize for Physics was awarded to the ground-breaking discovery that has revolutionised space research-the Black Hole. It was divided between three eminent scientists who conceptualised the existence of black holes and discovered, that there is one right in the centre of our galaxy!

Left to right: Prof. Sir Roger Penrose, Dr Andrea Ghez and Dr Reinhard Genzel
Image Source: sciencemag.org

.  .  .

Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2020

“The Swiss Army knife of genetics – CRISPR Cas9”

The 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry caused quite a sensation all over the world as it was awarded to two equally sensational women in science for discovering a novel method of editing the genome. CRISPR stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats and Cas9 stands for CRISPR associated protein 9. It was first described by a team at Osaka University headed by Yoshizumi Ishino and can be used to alter the DNA and modify gene expression.

Right to left: Professor Jennifer Doudna and Dr. Emanuelle Charpentier
Image source: statnews.com
Photo by: Alexander Heinl/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

.  .  .

Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2020

“The Silent Assassin- Hepatitis C virus”

The 2020 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine went to the discovery of the Hepatitis C virus that has infected ~70 million people around the world. The teamwork of these three distiguished scientists has helped kick-start the fight against this deadly disease, which, if neglected can develop into cirrhosis and liver cancer. The discovery of this virus has also reassured the world that, as deadly as it is, Hepatitis C is a curable disease.

Left to right; Dr. Harvey J Alter, Dr. Michael Houghton and Dr. Charles M Rice. Image Source: Google

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The Science Paradox would like to congratulate all the Nobel laureates and lauds the women laureates in particular for proving their worth in this patriarchal world. These women are an inspiration to several young girls who aspire to make it big in the scientific world some day.

We salute you for all your efforts and will remain in constant awe of your accomplishments!

 

Authors:

Anushree Krishnamurthy

Co-Founder at The Science Paradox

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