Sharks and COVID treatments
MADISON, WI—A study at the University of Wisconsin is looking at sharks for new COVID-19 treatments. It appears that antibody-like proteins from sharks—who have unique immune systems and antibody structures—are highly effective at neutralizing coronaviruses.
Minnesota among top states for COVID variant screening
MINNESOTA—The state of Minnesota has a strong disease surveillance capacity, making it among the top states for COVID variant screening. Identification of new strains is done through a process called genomic sequencing. Each week, the state Public Health Laboratory, the University of Minnesota, the Mayo Clinic and a private lab partner fully sequence 15-20 percent of all positive PCR tests in the state, or about 2,500 specimens.
Patient receives injections for a new antibody combination
NASHVILLE, TN—A woman being treated for cancer has become the first patient at Vanderbilt University Medical Center to receive injections of a new antibody combination to protect her from COVID-19. The patient could not produce the antibodies on her own despite getting two doses of the vaccine and a booster because she is undergoing chemotherapy, which suppresses her immune system.
Keeping vaccine temperatures stable
MANHATTAN, KS—Kansas State University is entering a research collaboration with Tonix Pharmaceuticals to develop zinc nanoparticle (ZNP) mRNA vaccines that replace lipid-nanoparticle (LNP) technology in current COVID-19 vaccines. The new tech may offer increased stability to vaccines over a wide range of temperatures.