Cigarette smoke and COVID-19

Some evidence suggests that cigarette smokers are more likely to develop severe COVID-19 disease than non-smokers. Chronic smoke exposure appears to trigger the expansion of cell types in the respiratory tract that produce ACE2, the receptor for SARS-CoV-2. This observation provides a plausible hypothesis to explain why cigarette smokers might experience more severe COVID-19. A …

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TWiV 616: Singing about coronavirus

Vincent, Kathy and Rich discuss COVID-19 research paper overload, Moderna’s mRNA vaccine Phase I results, increase of ACE2 RNA by cigarette smoke, and answer listener questions. Click arrow to play Download TWiV 616 (62 MB .mp3, 103 min) Subscribe (free): iTunes, Google Podcasts, RSS, email Become a patron of TWiV! Show notes at

Why is COVID-19 Less Severe in Children?

by Gertrud U. Rey The prevalence of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is steadily increasing around the world. Yet despite this unsettling fact, one statistic continues to hold true: most infected children experience mild symptoms, respond well to treatment, recover more quickly than adults, and have a better prognosis. An initial report from China showed …

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TWiV 588: Coronavirus update – Save the pangolin!

The TWiV team returns this week to SARS-CoV-2019 coverage to review the latest epi curves, the fatality rate, furin cleavage site and receptor binding domain in the spike glycoprotein, related CoV recovered from pangolins, evidence that the virus did not escape from a laboratory, and many more questions sent in by listeners. Click arrow to …

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Pangolins and the origin of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus

A coronavirus related to SARS-CoV-2 has been isolated from Malayan pangolins illegally imported into Guangdong province. It is not the precursor of SARS-CoV-2, but comparison of viral genome sequences provides further evidence that the virus currently infecting humans was not produced in a laboratory. There are two important sequences in the viral spike glycoprotein (pictured) …

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TWiV 258: Hedging our bats

On episode #258 of the science show This Week in Virology, Matt joins the TWiV team to discuss the discovery of a SARS-like coronavirus in bats that can infect human cells, and what is going on with MERS-coronavirus. You can find TWiV #258 at

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