Science & Nature Reviews, October 2021. Part I

Science & Nature Reviews, October 2021. Part I
ChemDiv shares reviews on Nature and Science Journal articles that we found the most exciting this month. Here is the first part of the October reviews. Today we observe Virology, Physiology, and Genetic Engineering.


 Mlcochova, P., Kemp, S., Dhar, M.S. et al. SARS-CoV-2 B.1.617.2 Delta variant replication and immune evasion. Nature (2021)

 Lee, S., Yu, Y., Trimpert, J. et al. Virus-induced senescence is driver and therapeutic target in COVID-19. Nature (2021)


The COVID pandemic is still the subject of current interest. On the pages of "Nature", you can read about two fresh studies investigating the new SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant and a novel treatment option against SARS-CoV-2. 

 The SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant causes more infections and spreads faster than early forms of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, even in some vaccinated individuals. The new study on the pages of "Nature" shows that the Delta variant is 6-fold less sensitive to  antibodies from recovered individuals, and 8-fold less sensitive to vaccine-elicited antibodies as compared to wild type in vitro. This type also demonstrated higher replication efficiency in both airway organoid and human airway epithelial systems compared to pre-existing lineages. The study of the mechanisms of inhibition by neutralising antibodies and reduced vaccine effectiveness against the Delta variant may help in the search for new, more effective therapy for the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant.

 Another important research  in this field concerns the mechanisms of cellular senescence as a response in infected cells by SARS-CoV-2 cells. Moreover, virus-induced senescence accompanied by the secretion of special markers, which are observed in airway mucosa and in serum. Virus-induced senescence increases organ and whole organism damage, however, scientists show that senolytics selectively eliminates and mitigates inflammation and other syndromes  in SARS-CoV-2-driven models. Therefore, senolytic targeting of virus-infected cells can become a novel treatment option against SARS-CoV-2.


Miyazaki, K., Miyazaki, K.W. Increased serotonin prevents compulsion in addiction. Science 373, 1197-1198 (2021)

 Drug addiction, also called substance use disorder, is a disease that affects a person's brain and behavior and leads to an inability to control the use of a drug or medication. In a new research on the pages of "Science" scientists reveal the mechanism of addiction and the role of dopamine, noradrenaline and serotonin  in this process. They also show that increased extracellular serotonin antagonizes transition to compulsive cocaine intake. Researching this mechanism may help in finding new strategies for overcoming addiction.


Genetic Engineering

Huang, Y., Knouse, K.W., Qiu, S. et al. A P(V) platform for oligonucleotide synthesis. Science 373, 1265-1270 (2021)

 The oligonucleotide therapeutics field has seen remarkable progress over the last few years with the approval of the first drug and with promising developments in late stage clinical trials. Most therapeutic oligonucleotides contain modified phosphate linkages, which are unnatural, but have desirable biological and physical properties. The use of these linkages in gene-based therapies can cause difficulties associated with its chemical structure. On pages of this issue of "Science", scientists report on a new efficient technology, a “P(V) platform,” that has oligonucleotide-chain elongation efficiency. By the use of this flexible platform the drug production can become less laborious, making them more procurable.

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