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

As the death toll continues to rise, researchers are still gaining new insights into this deadly virus. Here, is part two of the latest round-up of COVID-19 news and research.


At the time of writing, there have been:

  • 98,174,112 cases
  • 2,102,454 deaths
  • 70,575,283 recoveries


  • A recent article has summarised the accumulating evidence that supports the role of altered gut microbiota in the onset of gastrointestinal symptoms in COVID-19 patients. (Kim, 2021)
  • Researchers have identified shorter telomere lengths in patients with severe COVID-19 disease. (Blasco et al, 2021)
  • A team of biologists have determined the atomic structure of the coronavirus protein ORF8. This protein is thought to help the pathogen evade and dampen response from human immune cells. (Hurley et al, 2021)
  • Cannabis compounds are found to exhibit anti-inflammatory activity in vitro in COVID-19-related inflammation in lung epithelial cells. (Koltai et al, 2021)
  • Host genome analysis of structural variations has provided clinically valuable insights into genes implicated in critical immune, viral infection and viral replication pathways in patients with severe disease. (Kolhe et al, 2021)
  • Researchers have found that metformin use is associated with reduced mortality in patients with COVID-19 and diabetes. (Shalev et al, 2021)
  • A new study has predicted that once the endemic phase is reached and primary exposure is in childhood, SARS-CoV-2 may be no more virulent than the common cold. (Anita et al, 2021)

Other news

  • A recent review has explored the evidence demonstrating the use of public mask wearing in reducing the spread of the virus. (Rimoin et al, 2021)
  • New study suggests that college campuses are COVID-19 superspreaders. (Kuhl et al, 2021)
  • Researchers have developed a DNA test that can quickly identify secondary infections in COVID-19 patients. (Morris et al, 2021)
  • New research has found that Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is effective against B.1.1.7 variant that was first discovered in the UK. (Sahin et al, 2021)

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