A booster dose of Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine sharply increased levels of antibodies against the coronavirus, according to interim data from two small, early-stage trials, the company said in a press release on Aug. 25.

Ion channels may be the Achilles’ heel of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, with research emerging from Israel that identified eight already-approved compounds that inhibit the activity of the E-protein channels in the virus’ membrane.

Only eight intensive care unit beds were available on Aug. 9 in Arkansas, the state’s governor said, as the rapid spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus pushed cases and hospitalizations in the United States to a six-month high.

Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. is focused on launching the global late-stage trial of the company’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate in September 2021, chief executive Joseph Kim said in a call, with the drug developer expecting trial data in the first half of 2022.

Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine is working well in South Africa, offering protection against severe disease and death, the co-head of a trial in the country said on Aug. 6.

China rejected on July 22 a World Health Organization (WHO) plan for a second phase of an investigation into the origin of the coronavirus, which includes the hypothesis it could have escaped from a Chinese laboratory, a top health official said.

The next Covid pandemic could be prevented by using a gene drive to preemptively edit the genome of bats to prevent them from becoming hosts for coronaviruses, according to a proposal by scientists from Israel’s Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzelia and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The Delta variant is already the dominant strain of Covid-19 in the United States, according to data modeling done by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Britain said on July 7 the country would provide genomic sequencing support to Brazil, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria and Pakistan to help identify, assess and track new variants of the novel coronavirus.

In a roundup of scientific studies on the novel coronavirus and efforts to find treatments and vaccines, a prostate cancer drug improved Covid-19 survival in a clinical trial and mildly ill young Covid-19 patients reported lasting symptoms in another study.