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Round-up: COVID-19 January 2021 (Part One)

With vaccine approvals and roll-outs in full swing, there is hope for a better year. Here, we provide you with the latest round-up of COVID-19 news and research from the past fortnight.


At the time of writing, there have been:

  • 88,560,978 cases
  • 1,907,707 deaths
  • 63,656,932 recoveries


  • A longitudinal whole-transcriptome RNA sequencing analysis on PBMC samples from coronavirus patients, has shown robust T cell immunity during recovery. (Zheng et al, 2020)
  • Researchers have explored the ageing human lung transcriptome and cellular landscape, and identified factors that may contribute to heightened severity of COVID-19. (Chen et al, 2020)
  • A new study has found that antibody glycosylation plays a key role in immune responses to enveloped viruses, including COVID-19. (Larsen et al, 2020)
  • A recent article has made a compelling case for the expected long-term effects of SARS-CoV-2 on the brain and nervous system. (Erausquin et al, 2020)
  • University of Miami researchers have led a ground-breaking randomised controlled trial showing umbilical cord derived mesenchymal stem cell infusions safely reduced risk of death and quickened time to recovery for the severest COVID-19 patients. (Ricordi et al, 2020)
  • Longitudinal profiling of TCR repertoire has revealed the dynamics of T cell memory formation after mild COVID-19 infection. (Minervina et al, 2020)
  • A study has reported patient-reported loss of smell in 86% of mild COVID-19 cases. (Lechien et al, 2020)
  • A new study has explored SARS-CoV-2 transmission from people without COVID-19 symptoms, emphasising that identification and isolation of individuals with symptoms alone will not control the spread of the virus. (Kada et al, 2020)

Other news

  • The UK has approved the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, with roll-out already taking place. (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, 2020)
  • Phase 3 trial results of Moderna’s mRNA-based vaccine has shown 94.1% efficacy at preventing COVID-19 illness, including severe disease. (Kotloff et al, 2020)
  • A new variant (501.V2) has emerged in South Africa, causing the total number of COVID-19 cases to cross the 1 million mark.

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