This is exciting and positive news. The real sciences are one of the best things about our higher education system.

FOX News reports:

Potential coronavirus vaccine candidate developed by University of Pittsburgh scientists

In the race to find a vaccine to combat the aggressive spread of the novel coronavirus, scientists with the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine may have found a potential option.

With funding from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases and the National Cancer Institute, university scientists developed a candidate vaccine to fight against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The team’s findings were reported Thursday in eBioMedicine, which is published by The Lancet.

The study is the first “to be published after critique from fellow scientists at outside institutions that describes a candidate vaccine for COVID-19,” according to a news release, which added: “The researchers were able to act quickly because they had already laid the groundwork during earlier coronavirus epidemics.”

“We had previous experience on SARS-CoV in 2003 and MERS-CoV in 2014. These two viruses, which are closely related to SARS-CoV-2, teach us that a particular protein, called a spike protein, is important for inducing immunity against the virus. We knew exactly where to fight this new virus,” said Andrea Gambotto, associate professor of surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and co-senior author of the study, in a statement.

Researchers used mice in the study, delivering the vaccine to them through a “fingertip-sized patch” that they claim “produces antibodies specific to SARS-CoV-2 at quantities thought to be sufficient for neutralizing the virus.” The mice began to develop antibodies against the novel virus two weeks after receiving the shot, according to the study.


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