New Clue May Explain Why Coronavirus Attacks The Lungs
A neurologist at New York’s Mount Sinai Health System stumbled onto it while doing a "bubble study." In other developments: COVID-19 can survive on plastic, but it might not matter; scientists dig deeper into patients' loss of taste and smell; and a new study links metabolism and cancer.
Trail Of Bubbles Leads Scientists To New Coronavirus Clue
A doctor checking comatose COVID-19 patients for signs of a stroke instead stumbled onto a new clue about how the virus may harm the lungs -- thanks to a test that used tiny air bubbles and a robot. Dr. Alexandra Reynolds, a neurologist at New York’s Mount Sinai Health System, initially was baffled as she tracked “the cacophony of sound” made by those harmless bubbles passing through the bloodstream of patient after patient. Yet the weird finding excited lung specialists who now are studying if it helps explain why often, the sickest coronavirus patients don’t get enough oxygen despite being on ventilators. (Neergaard, 8/19)
Science Shows Coronavirus Can Survive On Plastic, Metal Surfaces, But Does It Matter?
Yes, the novel coronavirus can survive on surfaces. No, it doesn't seem to matter. Last week, a new coronavirus outbreak in New Zealand -- where cases were originally thought to be linked to frozen food -- again begged the often asked but rarely answered question: Can you catch COVID-19 from a surface contaminated with the virus? (Wood, 8/19)
Covid-19 And Common Colds Can Both Impair Taste And Smell, But Study Finds Big Difference
Loss of smell and taste is more severe in Covid-19 patients than in patients with common colds and that could be due to the effect the coronavirus has on the brain and nervous system, British researchers reported on Wednesday. Loss of smell and taste is a symptom of Covid-19, but patients infected with coronaviruses that cause the common cold can also lose taste and smell because of congestion. The new research, described in a letter to the editor published in the journal Rhinology, suggests that loss of taste and smell in Covid-19 patients isn't simply due to congestion in the nose. (Mascarenhas and Howard, 8/19)
In cancer research news —
Natural Byproduct Of Metabolism Seen As A Trigger Of Cancer Spread
Aging is the biggest risk factor for cancer: The older we get, the more likely it is that a tumor becomes malignant — and lethal. But the biology behind this phenomenon is little understood. A new study, published in Nature, describes a stunning new link between aging and the rapid proliferation of cancer, pinpointing a substance that our bodies naturally produce. (Keshavan, 8/19)