Why do some people fall seriously ill and die with Covid whilst others are asymptomatic? A remarkable characteristic of Covid-19 is the way it affects individuals so differently: Around 40% of people infected with SARS-CoV-2 are asymptomatic. A further 40% experience mild, upper respiratory tract symptoms. The remaining 20% develop pneumonia, of which 10% will become hypoxic, leading to critical illness in around 3%. In addition to age, sex and underlying health issues, the ability to deploy key immunomodulatory cytokines has emerged as an important risk factor for mortality.
The calorie-rich environment of the modern world is leading to poorer diets for many people. Excess calories contribute to inflammation throughout the body, early-onset of age-related diseases/mortality and a shorter life expectancy. Extreme calorie restriction, 50% below recommended daily limits, may increase lifespan beyond current levels. However, for many people, this is not a price worth paying. Can drugs allow us to achieve greater longevity without severe calorie restriction?
Diseases that primarily affect the brain, often resulting in dementia, are some of the most prevalent, devastating, and yet poorly treated of all diseases. Despite advances in our knowledge of basic neurosciences, the failure rate for new drugs targeting important central nervous system (CNS) diseases still exceeds most other areas of drug discovery. A significant barrier to drug development for these diseases is presented by the blood-brain barrier (BBB).
Ultracentrifugation is often described as the â€œgold standardâ€ to isolate or purify extracellular vesicles (EVs) including exosomes. Now, a collaborative EV study led by researchers at Clemson University in South Carolina, has shown that for purification of EVs from urine samples, this gold standard can be improved with a simple modification.