Basic virology

There Is Something to Be Gained From Gain of Function Experiments

by Gertrud U. Rey In recent years, the phrase “gain of function” and its abbreviation “GoF” have attained a sinister connotation that is coupled with a general mistrust toward scientists who engage in this type of experimentation. This public perception is grounded in a basic misunderstanding of what constitutes GoF and a lack of appreciation …

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An mRNA Vaccine to Treat Cancer

by Gertrud U. Rey There are several highly effective vaccines that block infection by human papillomaviruses (HPVs) and thereby prevent the cervical, anogenital, and head and neck cancers caused by these viruses. However, none of these vaccines are effective for the treatment of established HPV-induced tumors. The success of the COVID-19 messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines …

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H5N1 – It’s All About the Transmission

by Gertrud U. Rey Recent news headlines have been highlighting the global spread of H5N1, the strain of influenza virus that is typically associated with “bird flu.” This outbreak is the largest in recorded history, involving at least 50 million dead birds and countless non-human mammals, including sea lions, otters, mink, foxes, cats, dogs, and …

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“Paxlovid Rebound” Is Just COVID Rebound

by Gertrud U. Rey The antiviral drug Paxlovid is highly effective at inhibiting SARS-CoV-2 replication and reducing symptoms associated with COVID-19. Nevertheless, there have recently been numerous reports of recurrence of positive tests and symptoms after completing treatment with Paxlovid, leading some to infer that the drug triggers the recurrence. Is this inference actually correct, …

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Antibodies Against SARS-CoV-2 Nucleocapsid Protein May Not Be Reliable Markers for Infection in Vaccinated People

by Gertrud U. Rey You are fully vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2 and have presumably never been infected with the virus. But how can you know for sure? One way to find out is by testing your blood for the presence of antibodies against the viral nucleocapsid protein, which can only be encountered during natural infection. This …

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