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

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:

  • 75,455,362 cases
  • 1,671,779 deaths
  • 53,010,874 recoveries


  • UCLA researchers are the first to create a version of COVID-19 in mice that shows how the disease damages organs other than the lungs. (Deb et al, 2020)
  • Researchers from the GenOMICC consortium have found key differences in five genes of COVID-19 patients in ICU compared with samples provided by healthy volunteers. (Baillie et al, 2020)
  • A study has found that SARS-COV-2 can be reverse transcribed into the human genome, creating chimeric transcripts that lead to persistent positives on PCR tests. (Jaenisch et al, 2020)
  • Genome-wide CRISPR screens in cells have identified host factors for SARS-CoV-2 and common cold coronaviruses. (Puschnik et al,2020)
  • Researchers have identified seven common genetic variants that modulate COVID-19 susceptibility and severity. (Ferreira et al, 2020)
  • Using computational analysis, researchers have characterised the binding interactions between human ACE2 and coronavirus spike protein binding domain of SARS-CoV-1, SARS-CoV-2 and bat coronavirus RaTG13. (Maranas et al, 2020)
  • Researchers have taken a data-driven approach to identify risk profiles and protective drugs in COVID-19. (Serio et al, 2020)
  • Results have shown that targeting the transcriptional regulator of host entry factors TMPRSS2 and ACE2 is a viable treatment strategy to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection. (Chinnaiyan et al, 2020)
  • Using a comprehensive global dataset of daily COVID-19 cases and local environmental conditions, researchers found that increased daily ultraviolet radiation lowered the cumulative daily growth rate of COVID-19 cases. (Proctor et al, 2020)
  • A team of researchers examined antibody responses in COVID-19 patients and found that severe cases had higher anti-RBD antibody levels. (Balazs et al, 2020)

Other news

  • Due to the effects of COVID-19, Cancer Research UK has had to cut its research funding by £45 million. (CRUK, 2020)
  • The FDA issued the first emergency use authorisation for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. (FDA, 2020)
  • Public Health England are investigating a new variant named VUI-202012/01, which has been rapidly spreading through the UK. (PHE, 2020)

Image credit: By starline –

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Coronavirus / covid-19