Researchers are publishing and sharing coronavirus data at an unparalleled pace

There are 1581 articles and counting on Covid-19 on the preprint servers medRxiv and bioRxiv. This represents a phenomenal deluge of publications, given that the novel coronavirus Sars-CoV-2 was first described in early January and only formally named on 11 February.

Peer reviewed papers are now coming out at breakneck speed. ‘It is essential that scientific information is made available as quick as possible, but also evaluated as quickly as possible during a pandemic,’ explains Magdalena Skipper, chief editor of Nature.

…’Sharing data straight away can be crucial to people’s lives. We know this from previous epidemics,’ says Skipper, who became editor of Nature in 2018. Nature also sends new data to the World Health Organization, which is aggregating information on Covid-19.

The pace of research and presentation of research is astonishing,’ says Tom Gallagher, a coronavirus scientist at Loyola University Chicago. He says quality can be variable, but ‘some of the papers are the best of the best, and it is truly remarkable that they’ve come out so quickly.’ Under normal circumstances some of the virology papers might take years. ‘To have them completed in a month, I find truly amazing,’ says Gallagher.

The article is delightful, describing the response from the scientific community. Graphics are mind-boggling. Truly a worthwhile read.

One thought on “Researchers are publishing and sharing coronavirus data at an unparalleled pace

  1. UPDATE says:

    “A team led by New Mexico scientists says the strain of COVID-19 we are dealing with now, is much more contagious than the original version that arose in China. It can even infect someone again once they have recovered.” https://www.krqe.com/health/coronavirus-new-mexico/los-alamos-natl-labs-report-shows-dominant-covid-19-strain-can-reinfect-survivors/
    “A new study spearheaded by Los Alamos National Labs shows the virus mutated and became stronger when it reached Europe in February. It spread to the U.S. from there, becoming the dominant strain worldwide. On top of the potential to reinfect, the newer strain also spread faster and creates more of a virus in the body.
    According to the report, research on vaccines and treatments so far has been largely based on the genetic sequences of earlier strains and might no longer apply. The report does not indicate that the new strain is any more deadly with hospitalization rates remaining about the same.”

    Report: “Spike mutation pipeline reveals the emergence of a more transmissible form of SARS-CoV-2” https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.04.29.069054v1

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