Rxivist uses download data on preprints from bioRxiv to help you find the papers being discussed in your field. Currently indexing 100,715 bioRxiv papers from 425,405 authors.
Most downloaded bioRxiv papers, since beginning of last month
80,059 results found. For more information, click each entry to expand.
13,237 downloads microbiology
Eric Song, Ce Zhang, Benjamin Israelow, Alice Lu-Culligan, Alba Vieites Prado, Sophie Skriabine, Peiwen Lu, Orr-El Weizman, Feimei Liu, Yile Dai, Klara Szigeti-Buck, Yuki Yasumoto, Guilin Wang, Christopher Castaldi, Jaime Heltke, Evelyn Ng, John Wheeler, Mia Madel Alfajaro, Etienne Levavasseur, Benjamin Fontes, Neal G. Ravindra, David Van Dijk, Shrikant Mane, Murat Gunel, Aaron Ring, Syed A. Jaffar Kazmi, Kai Zhang, Craig B. Wilen, Tamas L Horvath, Isabelle Plu, Stephane Haik, Jean-Leon Thomas, Angeliki Louvi, Shelli F. Farhadian, Anita Huttner, Danielle Seilhean, Nicolas Renier, Kaya Bilguvar, Akiko Iwasaki
Although COVID-19 is considered to be primarily a respiratory disease, SARS-CoV-2 affects multiple organ systems including the central nervous system (CNS). Yet, there is no consensus whether the virus can infect the brain, or what the consequences of CNS infection are. Here, we used three independent approaches to probe the capacity of SARS-CoV-2 to infect the brain. First, using human brain organoids, we observed clear evidence of infection with accompanying metabolic changes in the infected and neighboring neurons. However, no evidence for the type I interferon responses was detected. We demonstrate that neuronal infection can be prevented either by blocking ACE2 with antibodies or by administering cerebrospinal fluid from a COVID-19 patient. Second, using mice overexpressing human ACE2, we demonstrate in vivo that SARS-CoV-2 neuroinvasion, but not respiratory infection, is associated with mortality. Finally, in brain autopsy from patients who died of COVID-19, we detect SARS-CoV-2 in the cortical neurons, and note pathologic features associated with infection with minimal immune cell infiltrates. These results provide evidence for the neuroinvasive capacity of SARS-CoV2, and an unexpected consequence of direct infection of neurons by SARS-CoV-2. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.
12,773 downloads evolutionary biology
This paper has been withdrawn by its authors. They intend to revise it in response to comments received from the research community on their technical approach and their interpretation of the results. If you have any questions, please contact the corresponding author.
12,659 downloads genomics
The novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) causes pandemic of viral pneumonia. The evolution and mutational events of the SARS-CoV-2 genomes are critical for controlling virulence, transmissibility, infectivity, severity of symptoms and mortality associated to this infectious disease. We collected and investigated 309 SARS-CoV-2 genomes from patients infected in France. Detailed genome cartography of all mutational events (SNPs, indels) was reported and correlated to clinical features of patients. A comparative analysis between our 309 SARS-CoV-2 genomes from French patients and the reference Wuhan coronavirus genome revealed 315 substitution mutations and six deletion events: ten were in 5’/3’ UTR, 178 were nonsynonymous, 126 were synonymous and one generated a stop codon. Six different deleted areas were also identified in nine viral variants. In particular, 30 substitution mutations (18 nonsynonymous) and one deletion (Δ21765-21770) concerned the spike S glycoprotein. An average of 7.8 mutational events (+/- 1.7 SD) and a median of 8 (range, 7-9) were reported per viral isolate. Comparative analyses and clustering of specific mutational signatures in 309 genomes disclose several divisions in groups and subgroups combining their geographical and phylogenetic origin. Clinical outcomes of the 309 COVID-19-infected patients were investigated according to the mutational signatures of viral variants. These findings highlight the genome dynamics of the coronavirus 2019-20 and shed light on the mutational landscape and evolution of this virus. Inclusion of the French cohort enabled us to identify 161 novel mutations never reported in SARS-CoV-2 genomes collected worldwide. These results support a global and continuing surveillance of the emerging variants of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest. * Abbreviations: AA : Amino Acid GO : good clinical outcome Indel : Insertion and deletion ORF : Open Reading Frame PClinO : poor clinical outcome PVirO : poor virological outcome RBD : Receptor Binding Domain SD : Standard Deviation SNP : Single Nucleotide Polymorphism UTR : Untranslated Transcribed Region
10,629 downloads neuroscience
Aubin Moutal, Laurent F. Martin, Lisa Boinon, Kimberly Gomez, Dongzhi Ran, Yuan Zhou, Harrison J. Stratton, Song Cai, Shizhen Luo, Kerry Beth Gonzalez, Samantha Perez-Miller, Amol Patwardhan, Mohab M. Ibrahim, Rajesh Khanna
Global spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) continues unabated. Binding of SARS-CoV-2’s Spike protein to host angiotensin converting enzyme 2 triggers viral entry, but other proteins may participate, including neuropilin-1 receptor (NRP-1). As both Spike protein and vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A) – a pro-nociceptive and angiogenic factor, bind NRP-1, we tested if Spike could block VEGF-A/NRP-1 signaling. VEGF-A–triggered sensory neuronal firing was blocked by Spike protein and NRP-1 inhibitor EG00229. Pro-nociceptive behaviors of VEGF-A were similarly blocked via suppression of spontaneous spinal synaptic activity and reduction of electrogenic currents in sensory neurons. Remarkably, preventing VEGF-A/NRP-1 signaling was antiallodynic in a neuropathic pain model. A ‘silencing’ of pain via subversion of VEGF-A/NRP-1 signaling may underlie increased disease transmission in asymptomatic individuals. ### Competing Interest Statement R. Khanna is the co-founder of Regulonix LLC, a company developing non-opioids drugs for chronic pain. In addition, R. Khanna has patents US10287334 and US10441586 issued to Regulonix LLC. The other authors declare no competing financial interests. * ACE2 : Angiotensin converting enzyme 2 AUC : area under the curve CaV2.2 : N-type voltage-gated calcium channel COVID-19 : coronavirus disease 2019 DRG : dorsal root ganglia MEA : multi-well microelectrode array NaV1.7 : voltage-gated sodium channel isoform 7 NRP-1 : Neuropilin-1 PWTs : paw withdrawal thresholds SARS-CoV-2 : Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 sEPSCs : spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents SNI : spared nerve injury VEGF-A : vascular endothelial growth factor-A
10,139 downloads microbiology
Alina Baum, Richard Copin, Dharani Ajithdoss, Anbo Zhou, Kathryn Lanza, Nicole Negron, Min Ni, Yi Wei, Gurinder S. Atwal, Adelekan Oyejide, Yenny Goez-Gazi, John Dutton, Elizabeth Clemmons, Hilary M Staples, Carmen Bartley, Benjamin Klaffke, Kendra Alfson, Michal Gazi, Olga Gonzales, Edward Dick, Ricardo Carrion, Laurent Pessaint, Maciel Porto, Anthony Cook, Renita Brown, Vaneesha Ali, Jack Greenhouse, Tammy Taylor, Hanne Andersen, Mark G Lewis, Neil Stahl, Andrew J Murphy, George D Yancopoulos, Christos A. Kyratsous
An urgent global quest for effective therapies to prevent and treat COVID-19 disease is ongoing. We previously described REGN-COV2, a cocktail of two potent neutralizing antibodies (REGN10987+REGN10933) targeting non-overlapping epitopes on the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. In this report, we evaluate the in vivo efficacy of this antibody cocktail in both rhesus macaques and golden hamsters and demonstrate that REGN-COV-2 can greatly reduce virus load in lower and upper airway and decrease virus induced pathological sequalae when administered prophylactically or therapeutically. Our results provide evidence of the therapeutic potential of this antibody cocktail. ### Competing Interest Statement Regeneron authors own options and/or stock of the company. This work has been described in one or more pending provisional patent applications. N.S, A.J.M., G.D.Y. and C.A.K. are officers of Regeneron.
7,300 downloads microbiology
Several outbreaks of COVID-19 were associated with seafood markets, raising concerns that fish-attached SARS-CoV-2 may exhibit prolonged survival in low-temperature environments. Here we showed that salmon-attached SARS-CoV-2 at 4°C could remain infectious for more than one week, suggesting that fish-attached SARS-CoV-2 may be a source of transmission. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.
7,276 downloads neuroscience
Brain-machine interfaces (BMIs) hold promise for the restoration of sensory and motor function and the treatment of neurological disorders, but clinical BMIs have not yet been widely adopted, in part because modest channel counts have limited their potential. In this white paper, we describe Neuralink’s first steps toward a scalable high-bandwidth BMI system. We have built arrays of small and flexible electrode “threads”, with as many as 3,072 electrodes per array distributed across 96 threads. We have also built a neurosurgical robot capable of inserting six threads (192 electrodes) per minute. Each thread can be individually inserted into the brain with micron precision for avoidance of surface vasculature and targeting specific brain regions. The electrode array is packaged into a small implantable device that contains custom chips for low-power on-board amplification and digitization: the package for 3,072 channels occupies less than (23 × 18.5 × 2) mm3. A single USB-C cable provides full-bandwidth data streaming from the device, recording from all channels simultaneously. This system has achieved a spiking yield of up to 70% in chronically implanted electrodes. Neuralink’s approach to BMI has unprecedented packaging density and scalability in a clinically relevant package.
5,142 downloads genomics
Bas B. Oude Munnink, Reina S. Sikkema, David F. Nieuwenhuijse, Robert Jan Molenaar, Emmanuelle Munger, Richard Molenkamp, Arco van der Spek, Paulin Tolsma, Ariene Rietveld, Miranda Brouwer, Noortje Bouwmeester-Vincken, Frank Harders, Renate Hakze-van der Honing, Marjolein C.A. Wegdam-Blans, Ruth J. Bouwstra, Corine GeurtsvanKessel, Annemiek A. van der Eijk, Francisca C. Velkers, Lidwien A.M. Smit, Arjan Stegeman, Wim H.M. van der Poel, Marion P.G. Koopmans
The zoonotic origin of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is still unknown. Animal experiments have shown that non-human primates, cats, ferrets, hamsters, rabbits and bats can be infected by SARS-CoV-2. In addition, SARS-CoV-2 RNA has been detected in felids, mink and dogs in the field. Here, we describe an in-depth investigation of outbreaks on 16 mink farms and humans living or working on these farms, using whole genome sequencing. We conclude that the virus was initially introduced from humans and has evolved, most likely reflecting widespread circulation among mink in the beginning of the infection period several weeks prior to detection. At the moment, despite enhanced biosecurity, early warning surveillance and immediate culling of infected farms, there is ongoing transmission between mink farms with three big transmission clusters with unknown modes of transmission. We also describe the first animal to human transmissions of SARS-CoV-2 in mink farms. One sentence summary SARS-CoV-2 transmission on mink farms. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.
4,993 downloads cell biology
Juan A Pérez-Bermejo, Serah Kang, Sarah J. Rockwood, Camille R. Simoneau, David A. Joy, Gokul N. Ramadoss, Ana C. Silva, Will R. Flanigan, Huihui Li, Ken Nakamura, Jeffrey D. Whitman, Melanie Ott, Bruce R. Conklin, Todd C. McDevitt
Although COVID-19 causes cardiac dysfunction in up to 25% of patients, its pathogenesis remains unclear. Exposure of human iPSC-derived heart cells to SARS-CoV-2 revealed productive infection and robust transcriptomic and morphological signatures of damage, particularly in cardiomyocytes. Transcriptomic disruption of structural proteins corroborated adverse morphologic features, which included a distinct pattern of myofibrillar fragmentation and numerous iPSC-cardiomyocytes lacking nuclear DNA. Human autopsy specimens from COVID-19 patients displayed similar sarcomeric disruption, as well as cardiomyocytes without DNA staining. These striking cytopathic features provide new insights into SARS-CoV-2 induced cardiac damage, offer a platform for discovery of potential therapeutics, and raise serious concerns about the long-term consequences of COVID-19. ### Competing Interest Statement B.R.C. is a founder of Tenaya Therapeutics (https://www.tenayatherapeutics.com/), a company focused on finding treatments for heart failure, including genetic cardiomyopathies. B.R.C. and T.C.M. hold equity in Tenaya.
4,926 downloads immunology
Takuya Sekine, André Perez-Potti, Olga Rivera-Ballesteros, Kristoffer Strålin, Jean-Baptiste Gorin, Annika Olsson, Sian Llewellyn-Lacey, Habiba Kamal, Gordana Bogdanovic, Sandra Muschiol, David J. Wullimann, Tobias Kammann, Johanna Emgård, Tiphaine Parrot, Elin Folkesson, Olav Rooyackers, Lars I Eriksson, Anders Sönnerborg, Tobias Allander, Jan Albert, Morten Nielsen, Jonas Klingström, Sara Gredmark-Russ, Niklas K Björkström, Johan K. Sandberg, David A. Price, Hans-Gustaf Ljunggren, Soo Aleman, Marcus Buggert, Karolinska COVID-19 Study Group
SARS-CoV-2-specific memory T cells will likely prove critical for long-term immune protection against COVID-19. We systematically mapped the functional and phenotypic landscape of SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell responses in a large cohort of unexposed individuals as well as exposed family members and individuals with acute or convalescent COVID-19. Acute phase SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells displayed a highly activated cytotoxic phenotype that correlated with various clinical markers of disease severity, whereas convalescent phase SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells were polyfunctional and displayed a stem-like memory phenotype. Importantly, SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells were detectable in antibody-seronegative family members and individuals with a history of asymptomatic or mild COVID-19. Our collective dataset shows that SARS-CoV-2 elicits robust memory T cell responses akin to those observed in the context of successful vaccines, suggesting that natural exposure or infection may prevent recurrent episodes of severe COVID-19 also in seronegative individuals. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.
4,783 downloads microbiology
With continued expansion of the COVID-19 pandemic, antiviral drugs are desperately needed to treat patients at high risk of life-threatening disease and even to limit spread if administered early during infection. Typically, the fastest route to identifying and licensing a safe and effective antiviral drug is to test those already shown safe in early clinical trials for other infections or diseases. Here, we tested in vitro oleandrin, derived from the Nerium oleander plant and shown previously to have inhibitory activity against several viruses. Using Vero cells, we found that prophylactic oleandrin administration at concentrations down to 0.05 μg/ml exhibited potent antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2, with an 800-fold reduction in virus production, and a 0.1 μg/ml dose resulted in a greater than 3,000-fold reduction in infectious virus production. The EC50 values were 11.98 ng/ml when virus output was measured at 24 hours post-infection, and 7.07 ng/ml measured at 48 hours post-infection. Therapeutic (post-infection) treatment up to 24 hours after infection of Vero cells also reduced viral titers, with the 0.1 μg/ml dose causing greater than 100-fold reductions as measured at 48 hours, and the 0.05 μg/ml dose resulting in a 78-fold reduction. The potent prophylactic and therapeutic antiviral activities demonstrated here strongly support the further development of oleandrin to reduce the severity of COVID-19 and potentially also to reduce spread by persons diagnosed early after infection. ### Competing Interest Statement RAN is Chief Science Officer of Phoenix Biotechnology Inc. KJS is a paid consultant with Phoenix Biotechnology Inc.
4,757 downloads genomics
A recent genetic association study (Ellinghaus et al. 2020) identified a gene cluster on chromosome 3 as a risk locus for respiratory failure in SARS-CoV-2. Recent data comprising 3,199 hospitalized COVID-19 patients and controls reproduce this and find that it is the major genetic risk factor for severe SARS-CoV-2 infection and hospitalization (COVID-19 Host Genetics Initiative). Here, we show that the risk is conferred by a genomic segment of ~50 kb that is inherited from Neandertals and occurs at a frequency of ~30% in south Asia and ~8% in Europe. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.
4,486 downloads microbiology
Alexander E. Gorbalenya, Susan C. Baker, Ralph S. Baric, Raoul J. de Groot, Christian Drosten, Anastasia A. Gulyaeva, Bart L. Haagmans, Chris Lauber, Andrey M Leontovich, Benjamin W Neuman, Dmitry Penzar, Stanley Perlman, Leo L.M. Poon, Dmitry Samborskiy, Igor A. Sidorov, Isabel Sola, John Ziebuhr
The present outbreak of lower respiratory tract infections, including respiratory distress syndrome, is the third spillover, in only two decades, of an animal coronavirus to humans resulting in a major epidemic. Here, the Coronavirus Study Group (CSG) of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses, which is responsible for developing the official classification of viruses and taxa naming (taxonomy) of the Coronaviridae family, assessed the novelty of the human pathogen tentatively named 2019-nCoV. Based on phylogeny, taxonomy and established practice, the CSG formally recognizes this virus as a sister to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronaviruses (SARS-CoVs) of the species Severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus and designates it as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). To facilitate communication, the CSG further proposes to use the following naming convention for individual isolates: SARS-CoV-2/Isolate/Host/Date/Location. The spectrum of clinical manifestations associated with SARS-CoV-2 infections in humans remains to be determined. The independent zoonotic transmission of SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 highlights the need for studying the entire (virus) species to complement research focused on individual pathogenic viruses of immediate significance. This research will improve our understanding of virus-host interactions in an ever-changing environment and enhance our preparedness for future outbreaks.
3,991 downloads immunology
Pamela C. Proud, Daphne Tsitoura, Robert J Watson, Brendon Y. Chua, Marilyn J Aram, Kevin R Bewley, Breeze E Cavell, Rebecca Cobb, Stuart Dowall, Susan A Fotheringham, Catherine M K Ho, Vanessa Lucas, Didier Ngabo, Emma Rayner, Kathryn A Ryan, Gillian S Slack, Stephen Thomas, Nadina I Wand, Paul Yeates, Christophe Demaison, David C. Jackson, Nathan W Bartlett, Francesca Mercuri, Miles W Carroll
Respiratory viruses such as coronaviruses represent major ongoing global threats, causing epidemics and pandemics with huge economic burden. Rapid spread of virus through populations poses an enormous challenge for outbreak control. Like all respiratory viruses, the most recent novel human coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, initiates infection in the upper respiratory tract (URT). Infected individuals are often asymptomatic, yet highly infectious and readily transmit virus. A therapy that restricts initial replication in the URT has the potential to prevent progression of severe lower respiratory tract disease as well as limiting person-to-person transmission. We show that prophylactic intra-nasal administration of the TLR2/6 agonist INNA-051 in a SARS-CoV-2 ferret infection model effectively reduces levels of viral RNA in the nose and throat. The results of our study support clinical development of a therapy based on prophylactic TLR2/6 innate immune activation in the URT to reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission and provide protection against COVID-19. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.
3,961 downloads immunology
Annette B. Vogel, Isis Kanevsky, Ye Che, Kena A. Swanson, Alexander Muik, Mathias Vormehr, Lena M. Kranz, Kerstin C. Walzer, Stephanie Hein, Alptekin Güler, Jakob Loschko, Mohan S. Maddur, Kristin Tompkins, Journey Cole, Bonny G. Lui, Thomas Ziegenhals, Arianne Plaschke, David Eisel, Sarah C. Dany, Stephanie Fesser, Stephanie Erbar, Ferdia Bates, Diana Schneider, Bernadette Jesionek, Bianca Sänger, Ann-Kathrin Wallisch, Yvonne Feuchter, Hanna Junginger, Stefanie A. Krumm, André P. Heinen, Petra Adams-Quack, Julia Schlereth, Christoph Kröner, Shannan Hall-Ursone, Kathleen Brasky, Matthew C. Griffor, Seungil Han, Joshua A. Lees, Ellene H. Mashalidis, Parag V. Sahasrabudhe, Charles Y. Tan, Danka Pavliakova, Guy Singh, Camila Fontes-Garfias, Michael Pride, Ingrid L. Scully, Tara Ciolino, Jennifer Obregon, Michal Gazi, Ricardo Carrion, Kendra J. Alfson, Warren V. Kalina, Deepak Kaushal, Pei-Yong Shi, Thorsten Klamp, Corinna Rosenbaum, Andreas N. Kuhn, Özlem Türeci, Philip R. Dormitzer, Kathrin U. Jansen, Ugur Sahin
To contain the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, a safe and effective vaccine against the new severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) is urgently needed in quantities sufficient to immunise large populations. In this study, we report the design, preclinical development, immunogenicity and anti-viral protective effect in rhesus macaques of the BNT162b2 vaccine candidate. BNT162b2 contains an LNP-formulated nucleoside-modified mRNA that encodes the spike glycoprotein captured in its prefusion conformation. After expression of the BNT162b2 coding sequence in cells, approximately 20% of the spike molecules are in the one-RBD ‘up’, two-RBD ‘down’ state. Immunisation of mice with a single dose of BNT162b2 induced dose level-dependent increases in pseudovirus neutralisation titers. Prime-boost vaccination of rhesus macaques elicited authentic SARS-CoV-2 neutralising geometric mean titers 10.2 to 18.0 times that of a SARS-CoV-2 convalescent human serum panel. BNT162b2 generated strong TH1 type CD4+ and IFNγ+ CD8+ T-cell responses in mice and rhesus macaques. The BNT162b2 vaccine candidate fully protected the lungs of immunised rhesus macaques from infectious SARS-CoV-2 challenge. BNT162b2 is currently being evaluated in a global, pivotal Phase 2/3 trial ([NCT04368728]). ### Competing Interest Statement U.S. and O.T. are management board members and employees at BioNTech SE (Mainz, Germany); K.C.W., B.G.L., D.S., B.J., T.K. and C.R. are employees at BioNTech SE; A.B.V., A.M., M.V., L.M.K., S.He., A.G., T.Z., A.P., D.E., S.C.D., S.F., S.E., F.B., B.S., A.W., Y.F., H.J., S.A.K., A.P.H., P.A., J.S., C.K., and A.N.K. are employees at BioNTech RNA Pharmaceuticals GmbH (Mainz, Germany); A.B.V., A.M., K.C.W., A.G., S.F., A.N.K and U.S. are inventors on patents and patent applications related to RNA technology and COVID-19 vaccine; A.B.V., A.M., M.V., L.M.K., K.C.W., S.He., B.G.L., A.P., D.E., S.C.D., S.F., S.E., D.S., B.J., B.S., A.P.H., P.A., J.S., C.K., T.K., C.R., A.N.K., O.T. and U.S. have securities from BioNTech SE; I.K., Y.C., K.A.S., J.L., M.M., K.T., M.C.G., S.H., J.A.L.,E.H.M., P.V.S., C.Y.T., D.P., G.S., M.P., I.L.S., T.C., J.O., W.V.K., P.R.D. and K.U.J. are employees of Pfizer and may hold stock options; C.F.-G. and P.-Y.S. received compensation from Pfizer to perform neutralisation assays; J.C., S.H.-U, K.B., R.C., jr., K.J.A. and D.K., are employees of Southwest National Primate Research Center, which received compensation from Pfizer to conduct the animal challenge work; no other relationships or activities that could appear to have influenced the submitted work. : /lookup/external-ref?link_type=CLINTRIALGOV&access_num=NCT04368728&atom=%2Fbiorxiv%2Fearly%2F2020%2F09%2F08%2F2020.09.08.280818.atom
3,770 downloads microbiology
The greatest hazard for humans on deep-space exploration missions is radiation. To protect astronauts venturing out beyond Earth’s protective magnetosphere and sustain a permanent presence on Moon and/or Mars, advanced passive radiation protection is highly sought after. Due to the complex nature of space radiation, there is likely no one-size-fits-all solution to this problem, which is further aggravated by up-mass restrictions. In search of innovative radiation-shields, biotechnology holds unique advantages such as suitability for in-situ resource utilization (ISRU), self-regeneration, and adaptability. Certain fungi thrive in high-radiation environments on Earth, such as the contamination radius of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. Analogous to photosynthesis, these organisms appear to perform radiosynthesis, using pigments known as melanin to convert gamma-radiation into chemical energy. It is hypothesized that these organisms can be employed as a radiation shield to protect other lifeforms. Here, growth of Cladosporium sphaerospermum and its capability to attenuate ionizing radiation, was studied aboard the International Space Station (ISS) over a time of 30 days, as an analog to habitation on the surface of Mars. At full maturity, radiation beneath a ≈ 1.7 mm thick lawn of the melanized radiotrophic fungus (180° protection radius) was 2.17±0.35% lower as compared to the negative control. Estimations based on linear attenuation coefficients indicated that a ∼ 21 cm thick layer of this fungus could largely negate the annual dose-equivalent of the radiation environment on the surface of Mars, whereas only ∼ 9 cm would be required with an equimolar mixture of melanin and Martian regolith. Compatible with ISRU, such composites are promising as a means to increase radiation shielding while reducing overall up-mass, as is compulsory for future Mars-missions. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.
3,748 downloads biochemistry
Michael Schoof, Bryan Faust, Reuben A. Saunders, Smriti Sangwan, Veronica Rezelj, Nicholas Hoppe, Morgane Boone, Christian B. Billesbølle, Cristina Puchades, Caleigh M. Azumaya, Huong T. Kratochvil, Marcell Zimanyi, Ishan Deshpande, Jiahao Liang, Sasha Dickinson, Henry C. Nguyen, Cynthia M Chio, Gregory E Merz, Michael C Thompson, Devan Diwanji, Kaitlin Schaefer, Aditya A. Anand, Niv Dobzinski, Shoshana Zha, Camille R. Simoneau, Kristoffer Leon, Kris M. White, Un Seng Chio, Meghna Gupta, Mingliang Jin, Fei Li, Yanxin Liu, Kaihua Zhang, David Bulkley, Ming Sun, Amber M. Smith, Alexandrea N. Rizo, Frank Moss, Axel F. Brilot, Sergei Pourmal, Raphael Trenker, Thomas Pospiech, Sayan Gupta, Benjamin Barsi-Rhyne, Vladislav Belyy, Andrew W. Barile-Hill, Silke Nock, Yuwei Liu, Nevan J. Krogan, Corie Y. Ralston, Danielle L. Swaney, Adolfo García-Sastre, Melanie Ott, Marco Vignuzzi, QCRG Structural Biology Consortium, Peter Walter, Aashish Manglik
Without an effective prophylactic solution, infections from SARS-CoV-2 continue to rise worldwide with devastating health and economic costs. SARS-CoV-2 gains entry into host cells via an interaction between its Spike protein and the host cell receptor angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). Disruption of this interaction confers potent neutralization of viral entry, providing an avenue for vaccine design and for therapeutic antibodies. Here, we develop single-domain antibodies (nanobodies) that potently disrupt the interaction between the SARS-CoV-2 Spike and ACE2. By screening a yeast surface-displayed library of synthetic nanobody sequences, we identified a panel of nanobodies that bind to multiple epitopes on Spike and block ACE2 interaction via two distinct mechanisms. Cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM) revealed that one exceptionally stable nanobody, Nb6, binds Spike in a fully inactive conformation with its receptor binding domains (RBDs) locked into their inaccessible down-state, incapable of binding ACE2. Affinity maturation and structure-guided design of multivalency yielded a trivalent nanobody, mNb6-tri, with femtomolar affinity for SARS-CoV-2 Spike and picomolar neutralization of SARS-CoV-2 infection. mNb6-tri retains stability and function after aerosolization, lyophilization, and heat treatment. These properties may enable aerosol-mediated delivery of this potent neutralizer directly to the airway epithelia, promising to yield a widely deployable, patient-friendly prophylactic and/or early infection therapeutic agent to stem the worst pandemic in a century. ### Competing Interest Statement M.Schoof, B.Faust, R.Saunders, N.Hoppe, P.Walter, and A.Manglik are inventors on a provisional patent describing anti-Spike nanobodies described in this manuscript.
3,214 downloads synthetic biology
In the field of artificial intelligence, a combination of scale in data and model capacity enabled by unsupervised learning has led to major advances in representation learning and statistical generation. In the life sciences, the anticipated growth of sequencing promises unprecedented data on natural sequence diversity. Evolutionary-scale language modeling is a logical step toward predictive and generative artificial intelligence for biology. To this end we use unsupervised learning to train a deep contextual language model on 86 billion amino acids across 250 million protein sequences spanning evolutionary diversity. The resulting model contains information about biological properties in its representations. The representations are learned from sequence data alone; no information about the properties of the sequences is given through supervision or domain-specific features. The learned representation space has a multi-scale organization reflecting structure from the level of biochemical properties of amino acids to remote homology of proteins. Information about secondary and tertiary structure is encoded in the representations and can be identified by linear projections. Representation learning produces features that generalize across a range of applications, enabling state-of-the-art supervised prediction of mutational effect and secondary structure, and improving state-of-the-art features for long-range contact prediction. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.
3,187 downloads microbiology
Peng Zhou, Xing-Lou Yang, Xian-Guang Wang, Ben Hu, Lei Zhang, Wei Zhang, Hao-Rui Si, Yan Zhu, Bei Li, Chao-Lin Huang, Hui-Dong Chen, Jing Chen, Yun Luo, Hua Guo, Ren-Di Jiang, Mei-Qin Liu, Ying Chen, Xu-Rui Shen, Xi Wang, Xiao-Shuang Zheng, Kai Zhao, Quan-Jiao Chen, Fei Deng, Lin-Lin Liu, Bing Yan, Fa-Xian Zhan, Yan-Yi Wang, Gengfu Xiao, Zheng-Li Shi
Since the SARS outbreak 18 years ago, a large number of severe acute respiratory syndrome related coronaviruses (SARSr-CoV) have been discovered in their natural reservoir host, bats. Previous studies indicated that some of those bat SARSr-CoVs have the potential to infect humans. Here we report the identification and characterization of a novel coronavirus (nCoV-2019) which caused an epidemic of acute respiratory syndrome in humans, in Wuhan, China. The epidemic, started from December 12th, 2019, has caused 198 laboratory confirmed infections with three fatal cases by January 20th, 2020. Full-length genome sequences were obtained from five patients at the early stage of the outbreak. They are almost identical to each other and share 79.5% sequence identify to SARS-CoV. Furthermore, it was found that nCoV-2019 is 96% identical at the whole genome level to a bat coronavirus. The pairwise protein sequence analysis of seven conserved non-structural proteins show that this virus belongs to the species of SARSr-CoV. The nCoV-2019 virus was then isolated from the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid of a critically ill patient, which can be neutralized by sera from several patients. Importantly, we have confirmed that this novel CoV uses the same cell entry receptor, ACE2, as SARS-CoV.
2,996 downloads microbiology
Marjorie C Pontelli, Italo A Castro, Ronaldo B Martins, Flávio P Veras, Leonardo La Serra, Daniele C Nascimento, Ricardo S Cardoso, Roberta Rosales, Thais M Lima, Juliano P Souza, Diego B Caetité, Mikhael H F de Lima, Juliana T Kawahisa, Marcela C Giannini, Letícia P Bonjorno, Maria I F Lopes, Sabrina S Batah, Li Siyuan, Rodrigo L Assad, Sergio C L Almeida, Fabiola R Oliveira, Maíra N Benatti, Lorena L F Pontes, Rodrigo C Santana, Fernando C Vilar, Maria A Martins, Thiago M Cunha, Rodrigo T Calado, José C Alves-Filho, Dario S Zamboni, Alexandre Fabro, Paulo Louzada-Junior, Rene D R Oliveira, Fernando Q Cunha, Eurico Arruda
Although SARS-CoV-2 severe infection is associated with a hyperinflammatory state, lymphopenia is an immunological hallmark, and correlates with poor prognosis in COVID-19. However, it remains unknown if circulating human lymphocytes and monocytes are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection. In this study, SARS-CoV-2 infection of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) was investigated both in vitro and in vivo . We found that in vitro infection of whole PBMCs from healthy donors was productive of virus progeny. Results revealed that monocytes, as well as B and T lymphocytes, are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 active infection and viral replication was indicated by detection of double-stranded RNA. Moreover, flow cytometry and immunofluorescence analysis revealed that SARS-CoV-2 was frequently detected in monocytes and B lymphocytes from COVID-19 patients, and less frequently in CD4+T lymphocytes. The rates of SARS-CoV-2-infected monocytes in PBMCs from COVID-19 patients increased over time from symptom onset. Additionally, SARS-CoV-2-positive monocytes and B and CD4+T lymphocytes were detected by immunohistochemistry in post mortem lung tissue. SARS-CoV-2 infection of blood circulating leukocytes in COVID-19 patients may have important implications for disease pathogenesis, immune dysfunction, and virus spread within the host. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.
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