Tuesday, April 7, 2020

This Week in Virology Podcast

This Week in Virology is a weekly podcast about viruses--the kind that make you sick.

Every week, they pick up a new topic in the field.  Lately, it's been Corona--of course.

This week's episode is: TWiV 598: Who was that masked man? Coronavirus update with Daniel Griffin in which "Daniel Griffin MD returns to TWiV from a hospital parking lot to provide updates on COVID-19 diagnostics, clinical picture, and therapeutics, followed by our coverage of the coronavirus pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2."

They do offer a subset under Virology 101, if you need to start with the basics.  
Here's what they say about the 101 series: 

  • "Now and then we produce a TWiV that is focused on explaining basic aspects of virology. We call this series ‘Virology 101’. All the posts in this series are listed on this page with links back to the original post. If you start from the top, soon you will have a good basic understanding of virology. Repeated listening often fosters better comprehension.
  • For those who prefer reading, there is Virology 101 and Influenza 101 at virology blog.
  • Topics include virus structure, classification, entry into cells, making viral RNA, making viral DNA, transcription, reverse transcription, etc.
It's written by scientists, so it's well-researched with additional links to scientific papers.

TWiV: This Week in Virology

A podcast about viruses – the kind that make you sick.
Subscribe: iTunes | Google Podcasts | RSS Feed

Monday, April 6, 2020

DIY Face Masks for Coronavirus

DIY Fabric Face Masks

I wrote about making fabric masks in the age of Corona on my personal blog tracking 
my creative life.  This is where the separate streams of my personal and work lives collided.
The post includes links to research, patterns, and tutorials for making fabric masks, and 
my commentary after making some of the masks.

The thinking has evolved on this whole movement from just a month ago 
when I started researching this topic from "last resort for health care workers" with
armies of safe-at-home sewers making fabric masks for health care workers experiencing 
shortages in PPE because "it's better than nothing" to the CDC's recent recommendation 
that masks be worn by everyone in public places.

  • This article traces the change in public policy.
  • It also addresses the question of how to keep them clean, and how often.
    • Regular laundry will do, but "Think of a mask as like underwear. 
    • It needs to be washed after every use."
  • Very well-researched article from a public health standpoint.
  • Acknowledges that science and circumstances change as we move ahead through the Pandemic.
  • Asks some good questions that are still unanswered
  • And links to additional articles and studies.

LitCovid: Keep Up with the latest Coronavirus Research

LitCovid  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/research/coronavirus/

An open-resource literature hub known as LitCovid curates the most comprehensive collection of international research papers so far on the new coronavirus disease COVID-19 (see go.nature.com/3almd5p). Developed with the support of the US National Institutes of Health’s intramural research programme, LitCovid is updated daily with newly published articles. The aim is to provide timely insight from the scientific literature into the biology of the virus and the diagnosis and management of those who have been infected.
LitCovid has a more sophisticated search function than existing resources. It identifies roughly 35% more relevant articles than do conventional keyword-based searches for entries such as ‘COVID-19’ or ‘nCOV’. Furthermore, the articles are categorized by topic — overview, disease mechanism, transmission dynamics, treatment, case report and epidemic forecasting — as well as by geographic location for visualization on a world map.
Nature 579, 193 (2020)
doi: 10.1038/d41586-020-00694-1

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Badger shields

I'm a compulsive news checker, and the amount of time I spend near a computer for both grad school and work hasn't been great for my mental state lately.  But speaking of states, WHSLA's home state has done something we can all be proud of.  To combat shortages of medical face shields, UW Madison's Makerspace is part of a team creating open-source design face shields and helping connect manufacturers with the facilities who need them.  Here's an article from Wired with more detail on how they're being made.