Like a handful of other viruses, the novel coronavirus may also be capable of crossing the placental barrier in pregnant women and infecting the fetus. A recent study from researchers at ICMR-National Institute for Research in Reproductive Health (ICMR-NIRRH) and Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, has examined molecular players in the placenta which may be responsible for allowing the virus to access the developing fetus.
One of the reasons why viral infections can be difficult to treat is the high mutation rate displayed by many viruses, which can sometimes allow them to evade our immune systems and develop resistance to drugs. In this article, Shivani looks into the evidence gathered by scientists around the world on mutations in the genome of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
The COVID-19 pandemic has set off a wave of research activities across the world, aimed at finding clues that would allow us to design effective therapeutics and vaccines. In one such effort, a team of researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, have initiated a study into the molecular dynamics of the process via which the novel coronavirus attaches to cells of the human respiratory system.