Optimization of Primer Sets and Detection Protocols for SARS-CoV-2 of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Using PCR and Real-Time PCR

Scientists provide three-step guidelines for the design and optimization of specific primer sets. The three steps include the selection of primer sets for target genes in the genome of SARS-CoV-2, the in silico validation of primer and amplicon sequences, and the optimization of PCR conditions for specific hybridization between the primers and target genes, and the elimination of spurious primer dimers.
[Experimental and Molecular Medicine]
Optimization of primer sets and detection protocols for SARS-CoV-2 of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) using PCR and real-time PCR | Experimental & Molecular Medicine. (n.d.). Retrieved June 17, 2020, from https://www.nature.com/articles/s12276-020-0452-7 Cite
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UCLA Receives Nearly $14 Million from NIH to Investigate Gene Therapy to Combat HIV

University of California, Lost Angeles (UCLA) researchers and colleagues have received a $13.65 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to investigate and further develop an immunotherapy known as CAR T, which uses genetically modified stem cells to target and destroy HIV.
[Univesity of California, Los Angeles]
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Potential Antiviral Options against SARS-CoV-2 Infection

Investigators developed a neutralization assay using SARS-CoV-2 strain and Vero-E6 cells. They identified the most potent sera from recovered patients for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2-infected patients. They also screened 136 safe-in-man broad-spectrum antivirals against the SARS-CoV-2 infection in Vero-E6 cells and identified nelfinavir, salinomycin, amodiaquine, obatoclax, emetine and homoharringtonine.
[Viruses]
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HIV-1-Associated Left Ventricular Cardiac Dysfunction in Humanized Mice

Longitudinal echocardiography was used to assess whether NOD.Cg-PrkdcscidIl2rgtm1Wjl/SzJ mice reconstituted with human hematopoietic stem cells and infected with HIV-1ADA could recapitulate the salient features of HIV-1 infection.
[Scientific Reports]
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CBASS Immunity Uses CARF-Related Effectors to Sense 3′–5′- and 2′–5′-Linked Cyclic Oligonucleotide Signals and Protect Bacteria from Phage Infection

Investigators discovered Enterobacter cloacae CD-NTase-associated protein 4 (Cap4) as a founding member of a diverse family of >2,000 bacterial receptors that responded to CD-NTase signals. Structures of Cap4 revealed a promiscuous DNA endonuclease domain activated through ligand-induced oligomerization.
[Cell]
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Considering How Biological Sex Impacts Immune Responses and COVID-19 Outcomes

The authors discuss available sex-disaggregated epidemiological data from the COVID-19 pandemic, introduce sex-differential features of immunity and highlight potential sex differences underlying COVID-19 severity.
[Nature Reviews Immunology]
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The Intermucosal Connection between the Mouth and Gut in Commensal Pathobiont-Driven Colitis

Investigators report that periodontal inflammation exacerbates gut inflammation in vivo. Periodontitis led to expansion of oral pathobionts, including Klebsiella and Enterobacter species, in the oral cavity.
[Cell]
The Intermucosal Connection between the Mouth and Gut in Commensal Pathobiont-Driven Colitis: Cell. (n.d.). Retrieved June 17, 2020, from https://www.cell.com/cell/fulltext/S0092-8674(20)30681-4 Cite
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The Tumor Suppressor TMEM127 Is a Nedd4-Family E3 Ligase Adaptor Required by Salmonella SteD to Ubiquitinate and Degrade MHC Class II Molecules

Through a genome-wide mutant screen of human antigen-presenting cells, investigators showed that the NEDD4 family HECT E3 ubiquitin ligase WWP2 and a tumor-suppressing transmembrane protein of unknown biochemical function, TMEM127, were required for SteD-dependent ubiquitination of mature MHC class II.
[Cell Host & Microbe]
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FOXO1 Promotes HIV Latency by Suppressing ER Stress in T Cells

Researchers report that, in resting T cells, FOXO1 inhibition impaired autophagy and induced endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, thereby activating two associated transcription factors: activating transcription factor 4 and nuclear factor of activated T cells.
[Nature Microbiology]
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CRISPR-Cas9 Mediated Glucocorticoid Resistance in Virus-Specific T Cells for Adoptive T-Cell Therapy Post Transplantation

In order to deliver protection against viral pathogens and allow at the same time necessary steroid therapy, scientists generated glucocorticoid-resistant T cells by CRISPR/Cas9-mediated knockout of the glucocorticoid receptor in primary human virus-specific T-cell products.
[Molecular Therapy]
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Huge Open-Access Journal Deal Inked by University of California and Springer Nature

The University of California (UC) system announced it has signed the biggest open-access deal in North America with one of the largest commercial scientific publishers. The agreement with Springer Nature includes a commitment by the publisher to explore making all articles that UC corresponding authors publish in the Nature family of journals immediately free to read on publication starting in 2022.
[ScienceInsider]
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