covid-19 under a microscope

In This Edition

Protein Data Bank Archive Adds New Coronavirus Protease Structure

The Protein Data Bank archive, which contains more than 160,000 3D structures for proteins, DNA, and RNA, this month released a new Coronavirus protease structure…

DoD Identifies 11 Backup Quarantine Sites Near Commercial Airports

In a statement issued on Feb 6, the Department of Defense identifies tertiary quarantine installations should the primary and secondary sites reach capacity. Secretary of…

Senators Urge Comprehensive Response to Ensure Veterans Health Administration Prepared for Coronavirus Case Surge

Following surge in coronavirus cases, Senators lead effort to ensure preparedness and response from Veterans Health Administration In response to the rapid spread of the…

Fighting Coronavirus Fear with Empathy: Lessons Learned from How Africans Got Blamed for Ebola

With coronavirus cases exploding in China, the U.S. is once again responding to a global epidemic. Five years ago, when the Ebola virus infected more…

CDC Updates Monkeypox Travel Alert for Nigeria

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updates an existing Level 1 Travel Alert for Monkeypox in the Federal Republic of Nigeria There…


Visit our new resource page for the novel coronavirus outbreak:


Headline News

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Biosecurity + Biodefense Jobs

Biologist – CBRN Safety

Do you have a passion for public service? The United States Secret Service (USSS) is looking for you! The USSS is a premier law enforcement organization with…

Research Associate – Recombinant Vaccines

A post-doctoral position in recombinant vaccine research to combat emerging infectious disease is available immediately at the cutting-edge Bristol Synthetic Biology Centre, BrisSynBio, a leading UK and…

Life Scientist – Decontamination Expert PIADC

Leidos Life Sciences Division is currently looking for a Life Scientist-Decontamination Expert to perform research at the Plum Island Animal Disease Center (PIADC), Plum Island NY under…

Postdoctoral Researcher – Interdisciplinary Vaccine Research Group

Omer Research Group is involved with a diverse complement of vaccine research, ranging from field and clinical trials to epidemiological studies and studies on vaccine acceptance and…

Biomedical Scientist – Chemical and Biological Signature Group

Organization and Job ID Job ID: 309092 Directorate: National Security Division: Signatures Science & Technology Group:  Chemcial & Biological Signature Sciences Summary The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory…

VIEW ALL CAREER OPPORTUNITIES


SOCMED Highlights


Failure to adequately fund the World Health Organization response to PHEICs (COVID-19 and Ebola)
On changing case definitions for COVID-19 in China
On ‘asymptomatic’ transmission, chronic and latent infection in the COVID-19 discourse

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Joint Civil & DoD CBRN Symposium

18-19 MARCH 2020

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Contracts, Grants + Innovation Challenges

Canadian 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Rapid Research Funding

The Government of Canada is launching a special funding call for a rapid research response to contribute to global efforts to contain the 2019 Novel Coronavirus outbreak.…

CDC Expedites Request Process Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) Cooperative Agreement Funds during COVID-19 Response

CDC has reduced the normal 30-day request process to one to three business days for urgent requests. The Division of State and Local Readiness (DSLR) has partnered…

Feb 28: NIAID BAA Proposals Due Advanced Development of Vaccine Candidates for Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM) Associated with Enterovirus D68

Mar 31: EZ BAA Deadline: Novel Coronavirus Rapid Diagnostic Concise abstract submissions due for BARDA development funding of SARS-CoV-2 molecular diagnostics.

Apr 6: Influenza Data Processing and Outreach Contract proposals due for the Influenza Data Processing and Communication Center (iDPCC).

Apr 9: Radiation/Nuclear Medical Countermeasures Development Supports MCMs to mitigate and/or treat tissue injuries resulting from exposure to ionizing radiation

Apr 9: Therapeutic Products for Biodefense, AMR Infections, and Emerging Infectious Diseases Supports development of promising new therapeutics to address infections caused by NIAID Category A, B, and C priority pathogens and select bacterial and fungal infections.

Apr 9: Advanced Development of Diagnostics for Biothreats and EID BAA topic supports development of novel, rapid sample-to-answer candidate diagnostic products that will address biodefense and pandemic preparedness.

Jul 2: NIBIB Technology Accelerator Challenge: Handheld Diagnostics Anticipated to be released this month, this innovation competition will spur design and development of non-invasive, handheld, digital diagnostic devices that will target anemia, sickle cell disease, malaria, and other blood-related diseases.

Pharmaceutical Cargo Security Initiative Health Care Supply Chain Survey The purpose of this survey is to gather information from pharmaceutical owners and operators regarding the coronavirus outbreak, including concerns and challenges.

Partners + Industry News

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View All Industry Newswire

Headlines

Experts Say Cruise Ship Quarantine Pointless, Unjustified and Violates Human Rights

The Diamond Princess cruise ship has been host to the largest number of diagnosed COVID-19 cases outside China, with at least 621.  Public health and bioethics experts caution that such strict quarantines aren’t the best way to contain viruses like the novel COVID-19, and that letting people self-monitor their symptoms at home is a more […] More

The Legal Mess of Coronavirus Quarantine Across America’s 2,500+ Public Health Departments

America’s defense against epidemics is divided among 2,684 state, local, and tribal public-health departments. The federal government’s quarantine powers at U.S. borders are extensive. Travel ban on noncitizens who have been anywhere in China recently have been enacted, and the Secretary of Health and Human Services announced quarantine measures for returning citizens not long after […] More

Ebola Still Constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern

The second-biggest Ebola outbreak in history, which has upended life in eastern Congo’s North Kivu and Ituri provinces since August 2018, infecting nearly 3,500 people and killing about 2,250, is down to its last chain of transmission. Despite ongoing violence that has hampered the response from its outset, and that has spiked again recently, new […] More

WHO Director Fights to Prevent a Pandemic Without Offending China

If Tedros wants WHO to stay informed about what’s happening in China and influence how the country handles the epidemic, he cannot afford to antagonize the notoriously touchy Chinese government—even though it is clear the country has been less than fully transparent about the outbreak’s early stages, and perhaps still is. Critics say that stance […] More

The U.S. Has a Biodefense Strategy. It Just Isn’t Following It.

The US has a biodefense strategy—it just isn’t following it. In 2018, the Trump administration released a National Biodefense Strategy which was supposed to help coordinate government-wide efforts like detecting and responding to diseases. Asha George, a biosecurity expert and member of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ Science and Security Board, says the implementation […] More

China Launches Dozens of Clinical Trials to Identify Most Promising Treatments for COVID-19

A randomized, controlled trial is the gold standard of clinical research. But pulling one together for Covid-19 is complicated by the realities of working in hospital systems overwhelmed by the sheer size of the outbreak. One of the biggest issues is ensuring the same standard of care in every place where the drug is being […] More

Why Do Some of the Outbreak Genomes Have More Mutations Than Others?

Recent news reports have included speculation that the SARS-CoV-2 virus is ‘mutating’ and ‘evolving’ amid increasing concern that the outbreak could present an even more significant threat than it does already. At present there is no evidence to think that this is the case. Don’t be scared of mutation. Mutations happen all the time at […] More

Scientists Test Drugs Against Virus Samples from First U.S. COVID-19 Patient

Virologist Matthew Frieman at the University of Maryland School of Medicine is just one of the scientists cleared to receive samples of the virus derived from the first U.S. case of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), a 35-year-old man in Snohomish County, Wash., who recovered. Others have ordered the virus and are waiting. Frieman plans to test […] More

Masks vs. Respirators: Experts Explain COVID-19 Recommendations

In its newly published infection prevention and control recommendations for COVID-19, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the use of N95 respirators in a healthcare setting with the suspected novel coronavirus, but the World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended surgical masks for general patient care and respirators for aerosol-generating procedures only. […] More

Coronavirus Disease Naming Announcement Creates Confusion

“COVID-19. I’ll spell it: C-O-V-I-D hyphen one nine. COVID-19.” That’s how Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, head of the World Health Organization (WHO),  introduced the agency’s official name  for the new disease that’s paralyzing China  The christening yesterday, at one of WHO’s outbreak press conferences in Geneva.1 COVID-19 is a name for the disease, not for the […] More


PODCASTS + VIDEOS

TWiV 586: Coronavirus Update: Wash Your Hands TWiV team discusses the fatality rate, China’s initial reaction to the outbreak, conspiracy theories, how long the virus remains infectious on surfaces, and evidence for virus in the intestinal tract. This Week in Virology

COVID-19: What’s Happening Now IDSA speaks with Drs. Elisa Choi of Harvard Medical School, Amesh Adalja of Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security & Adeel Butt of Weill Cornell Medicine about the latest COVID-19 response efforts, public risk here and abroad, & the effects of recent travel restrictions. IDSA

Prevention, Protection, and Paediatrics During COVID-19 Dr Shunmay Yeung is a paediatrician who specialises in infectious diseases, and was one of the first LSHTM responders to the Ebola outbreak in 2014. Here, she discusses personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers during outbreaks, advice for how the public can best protect themselves, and why children don’t seem to be affected by COVID-19. LSHTM Viral

COVID-19 Special Episode with Dr. Jonathan (Jono) Quick, author of The End of Epidemics and Professor at Duke University PDR Podcast

Novel Coronavirus Panel at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Johns Hopkins University

The Emerging Role of Pathogen Genomics in Public Health CDC


Journal Watch + Research Updates

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FEATURED EVENTS

Feb 24: CDC National Call Series on Novel Coronavirus Monitoring and Preparedness

CDC’s 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) response team will host a series of national calls to continue providing state and local partners with the latest information on the novel coronavirus outbreak and U.S. preparedness efforts. Learn more.

Feb 25-26: Developing MCMs to Treat Acute and Chronic Effects of Ocular Chemical Toxicity

A U.S. Trans-Agency Scientific Meeting on Developing Medical Countermeasures to Treat Acute and Chronic Effects of Ocular Chemical Toxicity will be held Feb 25-26, 2020 at the NIAID Conference Center in Rockville, Md. Learn more

Feb 26: Emerging Bioethical Issues in Biomedical Research: A Workshop

A planning committee of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine will conduct a one day workshop on Feb 26, 2020 to bring together stakeholders to discuss potential ethical issues that may arise from new and emerging trends in biomedical research. Event is also webcast. Learn more.

Feb 29 – Mar 3: 16th CDC International Symposium on Biosafety

The 16th CDC International Symposium on Biosafety – Laboratory Safety and Security for Clinical, Public Health, Research and Animal Care will be held 29 February – 4 March, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. Learn more

Mar 2: CDC National Call Series on Novel Coronavirus Monitoring and Preparedness

CDC’s 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) response team will host a series of national calls to continue providing state and local partners with the latest information on the novel coronavirus outbreak and U.S. preparedness efforts. Learn more.

Mar 3-5: Mitigating the Impact of Blast-related Burn Injuries: From Prolonged Field Care to Rehabilitation and Resilience

The 9th DoD State-of-the-Science Meeting on Blast Injury Research will be held March 3-5, 2020 in Arlington. The meeting will address epidemiology and outcomes of blast-related burn injuries; prevention and acute management of blast-related burn injuries; prolonged field care and chronic care; and transforming research. Learn more REGISTRATION IS FULL

Feb 27: House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and Nonproliferation: Coronavirus Disease 2019: The U.S. and International Response

Officials from the State Department and the CDC Director will testify. Learn more

VIEW ALL EVENTS

Mar 12: Center for the Study of WMD Spotlight Seminar: Coronavirus and Biosecurity

The panel will feature experts in the fields of bioterrorism, biosurveillance, and infectious disease who can provide timely context for the outbreak. Learn more

Mar 18: Next Evolution: Overhauling Key Elements of Biodefense

The Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense will discuss the Federal Select Agent Program, BioWatch, and the Hospital Preparedness Program at this meeting in DC (and webcast). Learn more

Mar 18-19: Joint Civil + DoD CBRN Symposium

An annual gathering of the most respected minds in the CBRN defense community, including operational leaders, intelligence providers, key policymakers and solution providers from Industry and Academia. Register now

Mar 26-30: Decennial 2020 – International Conference on Healthcare Associated Infections

Held once every ten years, the Decennial Conference reviews the advances of the previous decade and the opportunities and trends for the fields of healthcare epidemiology, infectious diseases, and infection prevention and control for the future. Learn more

Mar 31-Apr 3: Preparedness Summit 2020

The NACCHO will host this year’s 2020 Preparedness Summit from 31 March – 3 April 2020 in Dallas, Texas.

Apr 20-24: Achieving Data Quality and Integrity in Maximum Containment Laboratories Training Event

This BSL-4 training event 20-24 April is co-sponsored by the FDA and UTMB Galveston National Lab. Learn more.

May 28-29: Critical Public Health Value of Vaccines in the Age of Pandemics

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Board on Global Health will host a 1.5-day public workshop May 28-29 that will examine the current state of vaccine preventable diseases and the impact of vaccine access and hesitancy globally, and the multidimensional drivers and impacts of declining vaccine confidence. Learn more


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Latest News from Global Biodefense

NIAID-Led Study of COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine Supports Advance to Phase 3 Human Trials

NIAID-Led Study of COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine Supports Advance to Phase 3 Human Trials

Two doses of an experimental vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)  induced robust immune responses and rapidly controlled the coronavirus in the upper and…

The Role Nuclear-Related Techniques Play in Fighting Zoonotic Diseases

The Role Nuclear-Related Techniques Play in Fighting Zoonotic Diseases

Nuclear-derived techniques, such as tests using real time reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), are important tools in the detection and characterization of viruses. The IAEA…

Relief Funds Being Used to Pay Hospital Shareholders at the Expense of Frontline Health Care Workers

Relief Funds Being Used to Pay Hospital Shareholders at the Expense of Frontline Health Care Workers

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin is raising questions for U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar about the use of funding appropriated by Congress to…

COVID-19 Mistakes in Texas: What Other States Can Learn as Younger People Get Sick

COVID-19 Mistakes in Texas: What Other States Can Learn as Younger People Get Sick

The July 4 holiday weekend usually means cookouts and big gatherings in Texas, but right now, the state is facing a public health catastrophe. Hospitals…

The U.S. Isn’t In a Second Wave of Coronavirus – the First Wave Never Ended

The U.S. Isn’t In a Second Wave of Coronavirus – the First Wave Never Ended

After sustained declines in the number of COVID-19 cases over recent months, restrictions are starting to ease across the United States. Numbers of new cases…

Coronavirus Can Cause Lasting Lung Damage – But the Effects May Ease Over Time

Coronavirus Can Cause Lasting Lung Damage – But the Effects May Ease Over Time

We know a lot about the symptoms of severe COVID-19, but relatively little about what happens after someone recovers. Could there be long-term effects? Let’s…

Researchers Identify Multiple Molecules that Shut Down SARS-Cov-2 Polymerase Reaction

Researchers Identify Multiple Molecules that Shut Down SARS-Cov-2 Polymerase Reaction

A library of molecules with unique structural and chemical features inhibit the novel coronavirus polymerase, a key drug target for COVID-19 SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus causing…

Whole-Town Study Reveals Large Percentage of Asymptomatic COVID-19 Cases

Whole-Town Study Reveals Large Percentage of Asymptomatic COVID-19 Cases

A study of COVID-19 in the quarantined Italian town of Vò, where most of the population was tested, reveals the importance of asymptomatic cases. The…

COVID-19 Causes Blood-Clotting Cells to Go Into Overdrive

COVID-19 Causes Blood-Clotting Cells to Go Into Overdrive

Changes in blood platelets triggered by COVID-19 could contribute to the onset of heart attacks, strokes, and other serious complications in some patients who have…

NDAA Amendment Proposes Further Scale Up of PPE and Diagnostic Supplies

NDAA Amendment Proposes Further Scale Up of PPE and Diagnostic Supplies

“We need more testing supplies, more testing, and more personal protective equipment for workers on the frontlines of this pandemic.” U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)…

Lessons for COVID-19 Pandemic from the Massive Public Health Effort to Eradicate Smallpox

Lessons for COVID-19 Pandemic from the Massive Public Health Effort to Eradicate Smallpox

Smallpox was a terrible scourge on humanity, killing hundreds of millions of people over the centuries. But its origin remains obscure. Egyptian mummies from 3,000…

Cities Hosting Pro Sports Events See Substantially More Flu Deaths

Cities Hosting Pro Sports Events See Substantially More Flu Deaths

Sports leagues may want to consider calling a timeout on reopening their doors to fans, based on new West Virginia University-led research that links an uptick…