Strains of a common subtype of influenza virus, H3N2, have almost universally acquired a mutation that effectively blocks antibodies from binding to a key viral protein.
Researchers propose a decentralized, global wildlife biosurveillance system to identify — before the next pandemic emerges — animal viruses that have the potential to cause human disease.
(Colorado State University) CSU biologists have traced the stability of plant mitochondrial genomes to a particular gene – MSH1 – that plants have but animals don’t. Their experiments, described in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could lend insight into why animal mitochondrial genomes tend to mutate.
With the help of citizen scientists, researchers have tracked how one rare sparrow song went ”viral” across Canada, traveling over 3,000 kilometers between 2000 and 2019 and wiping out a historic song ending. The study reports that white-throated sparrows from British Columbia to Ontario have ditched their traditional three-note-ending song in favor of a unique two-note-ending variant — although researchers don’t know what made the new song so compelling.
Researchers analyzed the epigenetic and transcriptional regulation in structural cells. They found widespread activity of immune genes, suggesting that structural cells are deeply involved in the body’s response to pathogens. Moreover, the study uncovered an epigenetic potential that pre-programs structural cells to engage in the immune response against pathogens. These findings highlight an underappreciated part of the immune system and open up an exciting area for research and future therapies.
(University of Cambridge) COVID-19 is comparable to climate and extinction emergencies. All share features such as lagged impacts, feedback loops, and complex dynamics. Delayed action in the pandemic cost lives and economic growth, just as it will with environmental crises – but on a scale ‘too grave to contemplate’, say scientists from UK and US.
Measuring air quality across London could help fight COVID-19 by providing a rapid means of deciding whether to reduce public transport movement — given strong links between exposure to air pollution and COVID-19 transmission, a new study reveals.