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Round-up: COVID-19 December 2020 (Part One)

The MHRA has just announced regulatory approval for the first UK COVID-19 vaccine, providing hopes for a speedy roll out and a path back to normality.

Here at Front Line Genomics, we have got another round-up of the latest news and research surrounding COVID-19 from the past fortnight.


At the time of writing, there have been:

  • 65,589,015 cases
  • 1,512,888 deaths
  • 45,424,655 recoveries


  • Pre-established research patterns have led researchers to ignore important host genes that may play a role in COVID-19. (Stoeger et al, 2020)
  • Using a metabolic model of the human lung cell, researchers have identified host-based metabolic perturbations inhibiting SARS-CoV-2 reproduction. (Soyer et al, 2020)
  • Researchers have found no single recurrent mutation that convincingly associates with increased viral transmission. (Balloux et al, 2020)
  • New research has suggested the important role of HLA class I peptide presentation in the development of a specific immune response to COVID-19. (Tonesvitsky et al, 2020)
  • A new study has explored the transmission heterogeneities, kinetics and controllability of SARS-CoV-2, revealing that 80% of secondary infections can be traced back to 15% of SARS-CoV-2 primary infections. (Sun et al, 2020)
  • Using a WGS association study, researchers have found that sequence variation in the viral genome can be directly linked to the deaths of SARS-CoV-2 patients. (Hahn et al, 2020)
  • Researchers have analysed a measles virus-based vaccine candidate targeting SARS-CoV-2. The team found that it induced a functional immune response in vivo. (Mühlebach et al, 2020)
  • New findings have highlighted the potential of COVID-19 genetic risk variants impacting the function of diverse immune cell types and influencing severe disease manifestations. (Vijayanand et al, 2020)
  • Researchers have developed a decision support tool – CORONET – which showed promise in aiding decisions regarding admission and predicting COVID-19 severity in patients with cancer. (Lee et al, 2020)

Other news

  • UK Government authorises Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on independent advice from MHRA. (UK Department of Health and Social Care, 2020)
  • An international research team have explored the effects of social distancing in zebrafish, identifying a change in expression of a peptide (pth2) in the brain. (Schuman et al, 2020)

Image credit: By starline –

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Coronavirus / covid-19