Vaccine factories, a promising new treatment, and more COVID-19 updates

A roundup of the top stories you may have missed this week.

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

In our weekly “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, April 11, 2020.

1. Bill Gates Is Spending Billions to Produce Seven Coronavirus Vaccines

The Gates Foundation is building seven vaccine factories to help in the fight against the novel coronavirus. We explain what those are — and why Bill Gates expects to “waste” a few billion dollars on the initiative.

2. A Promising COVID-19 Treatment Gets Fast-Tracked

Johns Hopkins Hospital has received FDA approval to begin testing the efficacy of convalescent plasma therapy on humans to both prevent and treat SARS-CoV-2 infections. This JHU article explains how the therapy works — and when it might be available for the masses.

3. Tyler Perry Pays Grocery Bills for Elderly and High-Risk Shoppers

Some grocery stores have begun opening an hour early so that seniors and other vulnerable populations can shop solo — and on April 8, filmmaker Tyler Perry paid for all the groceries bought during that hour at 73 grocery stores in Atlanta and New Orleans.

4. Group Coronavirus Testing Helps Make the Most of Limited Kits

Researchers in the United States, Israel, and other nations are turning to group testing as a way to cope with a shortage of coronavirus testing kits  — and they’re finding the method to be incredibly effective.

5. Contact-Tracing Apps Could Help End Coronavirus Lockdown

A new University of Oxford study has found that contact-tracing apps could play a major role in bringing the coronavirus pandemic to an end — without forcing people to give up their privacy.

Yale researchers have found a way to spot new viruses
By screening negative nasal swabs for a specific antiviral protein, a Yale team believes we may be able to find hidden viruses before they emerge.
First-of-its-kind nasal vaccine for COVID-19 deployed in India
India has begun deploying a nasal vaccine for COVID-19 that may be able to prevent infections, not just limit their severity.
ChatGPT-like AI creates new bacteria-killing proteins
Using a large language model AI, biotech startup Profluent has created new antimicrobial proteins.
This “living medicine” can eliminate a deadly lung infection
Researchers have engineered bacteria to create a “living medicine” against a nasty respiratory bug.
New mRNA vaccine factory is made from shipping containers
BioNTech is sending a modular mRNA vaccine factory that can produce 50 million COVID-19 vaccines annually to Africa.
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