The daily coronavirus news roundup – wednesday, march 25th

A new blood test in the Netherlands, declining death rates in Italy, and other fresh coronavirus news updates.

The coronavirus crisis is unique. Addressing it will require new ideas, new perspectives, and new voices. That’s our mission at Freethink.

In our daily “Coronavirus News Roundup,” we’re highlighting the most important stories from the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19. Stories that inform, challenge, and inspire.

Here are our must reads for today, March 25, 2020.

1. Blood Banks to Test COVID-19 Herd Immunity in Netherlands: Report

Researchers in the Netherlands are using a new blood test to screen the population for the coronavirus, according to the NL Times. Their goal is to see how close the nation is to herd immunity — a situation in which enough people will be immune to the coronavirus that it runs out of people to infect.

2. In the Race to Develop a Coronavirus Treatment, Regeneron Thinks It Has the Inside Track

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals is one of dozens of companies racing to develop an effective coronavirus treatment. This STAT article highlights why the biotech company’s researchers are hopeful their manufactured antibodies approach will prove a winner.

3. Italy Hopes It Has Turned a Corner After Death Toll Slows

At least 6,800 people have died from the coronavirus in Italy, more than twice as many as succumbed to it in China. After several harrowing weeks, the nation has now reported declining death counts two days in a row — leading officials to tell The Times they’re hopeful the worst is over.

4. People Are Now Stocking Little Free Libraries With Toilet Paper and Food for Neighbors in Need

Panic buying in response to the coronavirus outbreak has left some people without toilet paper and food. To address this issue, good samaritans across the U.S. have begun stocking their local Little Free Library book exchanges with the much-needed supplies, according to CNN.

5. New App Uses Location Data to Track the Coronavirus

Researchers from MIT and Harvard have built an app that alerts users if they’ve crossed paths with someone diagnosed with the coronavirus. It’s not the first app of its kind, but as this Freethink article explains, it could be the best at balancing user privacy and health officials’ need for data.

Scientists have invented a method to break down “forever chemicals” in our drinking water
Researchers have discovered a way to eliminate “forever chemicals,” or PFAS, which usually take hundreds or thousands of years to break down.
When an antibiotic fails: MIT scientists are using AI to target “sleeper” bacteria
Most antibiotics target metabolically active bacteria, but AI can help efficiently screen compounds that are lethal to dormant microbes.
The threat of avian flu — and what we can do to stop it
Avian flu is infecting cows on US dairy farms, and now a person has caught it — but new research could help us avoid a bird flu pandemic.
What’s next for COVID-19 drugs?
Paxlovid may have underperformed in a new trial, but other promising COVID-19 drugs are being authorized or in the works.
New antiviral shortens COVID-19 by 1.5 days
People taking simnotrelvir, a new antiviral treatment for COVID-19, felt almost immediate symptom relief and got better 1.5 days faster.
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