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Today, during a live broadcast from the Nobel Assembly, it was announced that the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to Katalin Karikó and Drew Weissman for their research that paved the way to mRNA vaccines against COVID-19. In this article, we take a closer look at their research and the promises it holds with Ekaterina Skorb, the head of ITMO’s Infochemistry Scientific Center.
In October’s final digest of all things science at ITMO, we’ll be covering a promising new COVID-19 test tool, the latest updates on ITMO Highpark, a rankings success – and insight-rich interviews with some of the university’s brightest minds in the realms of robotics and science art.
A team of scientists from ITMO University have used DNA molecules to develop a high-performance nanobot that detects pathogens. Its effectiveness has been tested on COVID-19, but the technology may be adapted to seek out other viruses. Unlike PCR testing, this method does not require costly reagents, complex equipment, or trained personnel while demonstrating the same level of accuracy.
Before a vaccine becomes publicly available, researchers conduct dozens of studies to prove its efficacy and safety. Leading scientific journals keep publishing papers on how current coronavirus vaccines work and can save us from severe cases of the disease. How do scientists analyze new vaccines and assess their safety? How can you understand their conclusions without a degree in medicine? Anton Barchuk, an epidemiologist, head of the Institute for Interdisciplinary Health Research and ITMO’s Public Health Sciences Master’s program, answered these and other questions for ITMO.NEWS.
ITMO students and staff will be able to get vaccinated against COVID-19 with Sputnik Light at the university’s campuses.
Russia’s vaccination campaign against COVID-19 was launched on December 15, 2020, when the Russian Ministry of Health approved the Sputnik V vaccine. Since then, a lot of research has been conducted on its safety and efficiency with results published in Nature and The Lancet, and in late August the first international article on the Russian CoviVac vaccine was published in Emerging Microbes & Infections. Researchers from all over the world agree that the only way to end the pandemic is through herd immunity. It means that everyone can contribute if they get vaccinated. ITMO.NEWS asked university staff and students why they decided to get vaccinated and why it’s important to rely on science instead of rumours spread online.
Researcher Artemy Okhotin: If Vaccine Makes Hospitalization Five Times Less Likely – Then It’s a Powerful Tool
In late August, researchers from the European University at St. Petersburg, the Sergey Berezin Medical Institute, the Pavlov First State Medical University of St. Petersburg, and the central district hospital of Tarusa conducted an independent study of the efficacy of the Sputnik V vaccine in preventing hospitalization among those infected with the Delta variant of COVID-19. The study demonstrated that the vaccine is 81% effective in preventing hospitalization in such cases. ITMO.NEWS got the chance to interview Arseny Okhotin, one of the authors of the study, a cardiologist and physician in Tarusa, and a student at ITMO’s new Master’s program Public Health Sciences. Read on to learn more about the research project and the way it can change public perception of vaccines.
The pandemic and introduced protective measures against COVID-19 have created a great storm for dispute, disinformation, and conspiracy theories. In this article, Marina Dukhinova, an immunologist and a senior researcher at ITMO’s ChemBio Cluster, answers the most frequently asked questions about immunity, antibodies, and revaccination.
Scientists have analyzed the spread of coronavirus in St. Petersburg throughout the past year. The research was headed by Anton Barchuk, head of the European University’s Institute of Interdisciplinary Medical Research and executive director at the Northwestern Federal District Association of Oncologists, and Daniil Shirokov, head of ITMO’s Center for Development of Publishing Activities and the scientific department of Severgroup Medicine. ITMO.NEWS asked them to share the achieved results and discuss plans for further research.
trillion dollars due to the pandemic. At the beginning of this global challenge, it was suggested that venture capital investments would plummet, but 2020 actually witnessed a record-breaking rise in investments into life sciences – the yearly volume amounted to $20 billion. The pandemic was definitely a stress test for health care and the global pharma industry. Progressive digitalization of medical services was an ongoing process for many years, but it was in the first month of the pandemic that the share of online medical consultations went from 10% to 40% of the total amount. For the first time in history, researchers dared to create a vaccine against a new virus in under a year with over 200 projects launched, including some international collaborations. All of this led to new trends and changes in life science that Anton Gopka, a general partner of the ATEM Capital biotechnology investment foundation and dean of ITMO’s Faculty of Technological Management and Innovations, discussed in a recent open lecture on New Holland Island.