Nature waded through the literature on the coronavirus — and summarized key papers as they appeared.
The Pfizer–BioNTech vaccine has passed safety and efficacy tests — but researchers still have many questions about how this and other vaccines will perform as they’re rolled out to millions of people.
David Cyranoski &
Richard Van Noorden
Delirium is very common on COVID wards. Researchers are testing whether these temporary bouts of confusion could bring on permanent cognitive decline.
Some researchers worry that shifting priorities towards pandemic-focused science comes at the expense of other disciplines.
Canada leads the pack in terms of doses secured per capita.
Scientists welcome the first compelling evidence that a vaccine can prevent COVID-19. But questions remain about how much protection it offers, to whom and for how long.
The science supports that face coverings are saving lives during the coronavirus pandemic, and yet the debate trundles on. How much evidence is enough?
This coronavirus is here for the long haul — here’s what scientists predict for the next months and years.
What the reproduction number can and can’t tell us about managing COVID-19.
Science after the pandemic
How virtual classrooms and dire finances could alter academia: part 1 in a series on science after the pandemic.
Virtual meetings are becoming the norm under COVID-19 and winning over many researchers: part 3 in a series on science after the pandemic.
Financial crises could spell trouble for science budgets but spending could surge in some countries: part 2 in a series on science after the pandemic.
The push for rapid and open publishing could take off — although financial pressures lie ahead: part 4 in a series on science after the pandemic.
The country is rapidly gaining on the United States in research, but problems could slow its rise: part 5 in a series on science after the pandemic.
Researchers expect long-term changes that reduce travel for work and conferences: part 6 in a series on science after the pandemic.
Remote clinical trials and other changes could permanently alter pharmaceutical development: part 7 in a series on science after the pandemic.
Thousands of researchers have jumped into studying coronavirus and many want to continue: part 8 in a series on science after the pandemic.
The tiny island nation brought huge scientific heft to its attempts to contain and study the coronavirus. Here’s what it learnt.
Immunizations are speeding towards approval before clinical trials end, but scientists say this could complicate efforts to study long-term effects.
Preliminary data suggest that the immunization was more effective in trial participants who received a lower dose.
Preliminary data show that the immunization is 94% effective and seems to prevent severe infections.
Hard-won experience, changing demographics and reduced strain on hospitals are all possibilities — but no one knows how long the change will last.
Beyond vaccine safety, efficacy and procurement lie licensing and delivery — nations must get ready.
Yot Teerawattananon &
Saudamini Vishwanath Dabak
Young children are unlikely to spread the virus — but older kids are more at risk, say researchers.
Injections of antibodies might prevent mild COVID-19 from becoming severe, but the treatments are expensive and difficult to make.
It’s too soon to say whether COVID is seasonal like the flu — but where clusters aren’t under control, infections will continue to swell.
COVID-19 poses the greatest threat to older people, but vaccines often don’t work well in this group. Scientists hope drugs that rejuvenate the immune system will help.
Researchers warn that official figures underestimate the pandemic’s real death toll, which could more than triple if the virus is allowed to spread unchecked.
Researchers warn that vaccines could stumble on safety trials, be fast-tracked because of politics or fail to meet the public’s expectations.
Smriti Mallapaty &
Some people who become ill with the coronavirus develop neurological symptoms. Scientists are struggling to understand why.
Months after infection with SARS-CoV-2, some people are still battling crushing fatigue, lung damage and other symptoms of ‘long COVID’.
Different SARS-CoV-2 strains haven’t yet had a major impact on the course of the pandemic, but they might in future.
Second infections raise questions about long-term immunity to COVID-19 and the prospects for a vaccine.
Political meddling, disorganization and years of neglect of public-health data management mean the country is flying blind.
Wealthy countries have already pre-ordered more than two billion doses.
Viral immunologists say that results so far have been predictable — here’s why that’s good news.
The scenarios foresaw leaky travel bans, a scramble for vaccines and disputes between state and federal leaders, but none could anticipate the current levels of dysfunction in the United States.
Amy Maxmen &
In Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, the hard-won lessons of a deadly pandemic cannot entirely compensate for poverty and weak health systems.
Four charts show how pooling samples from many people can save time or resources.
Governments are starting to change policies amid concerns that tiny droplets can carry SARS-CoV-2. And after months of denying the importance of this, the World Health Organization is reconsidering its stance.
From immunity to the role of genetics,
Nature looks at five pressing questions about COVID-19 that researchers are tackling.
Heidi Ledford &
The virus can damage lung, liver and kidney tissue grown in the lab, which might explain some severe COVID-19 complications in people.
In a large trial, a cheap and widely available steroid cut deaths by one-third among patients critically ill with COVID-19.
Public-health researchers use the infection fatality rate to gauge how to respond to a new disease, but it’s tricky to calculate.
Evidence is mounting that healthy blood vessels protect children from serious effects of COVID-19, such as stroke.
A study that suggested using hydroxychloroquine — a malaria drug — to treat people with COVID-19 could be dangerous has slowed clinical trials, but the study itself has also been questioned.
Protect privacy, equality and fairness in digital contact tracing with these key questions.
Josh Cowls ⋯
Analysts are tracking false rumours about COVID-19 in hopes of curbing their spread.
Reported rates of influenza and other infections have fallen sharply, but some communicable diseases may see a rise.
Near-real-time data on carbon emissions reveal the sectors, countries and events that had the most impact, but it is unclear how long the dip will last.
US scientists say that better data, testing and hospital preparedness are key to erasing inequalities — and to defeating the pandemic overall.
Stopping the pandemic could rely on breakneck efforts to visualize SARS-CoV-2 proteins and use them to design drugs and vaccines.
Drug manufacturers face supply-chain weaknesses and sourcing issues as they ramp up complex production processes to meet global demand.
Studies of social networks show that opposition to vaccines is small but far-reaching — and growing.
Research begins to pick apart the mechanisms behind a deadly COVID-19 complication.
The kit has been granted approval under ‘emergency use’ provisions, and should help to ease testing backlogs in the country.
Schools are beginning to reopen — but scientists are still trying to understand what the deal is with kids and COVID-19.
Scientists are piecing together how SARS-CoV-2 operates, where it came from and what it might do next — but pressing questions remain about the source of COVID-19.
Developers and funders are laying the groundwork for efficacy trials, but only a handful of vaccines are likely to make the cut.
Despite conflicting studies, results from largest trial yet show the antiviral speeds up recovery, putting it on track to become a standard of care in the United States.
Eight ways in which scientists hope to provide immunity to SARS-CoV-2 .
Researchers sift through data to compare nations’ vastly different containment measures.
With politicians touting the potential benefits of malaria drugs to fight COVID-19, some people are turning away from clinical trials of other therapies.
From Bangladesh to Somalia, researchers and aid workers are taking different steps to protect people among the most vulnerable to the pandemic.
Despite uncertainties, some scientists are betting that blood tests will help end lockdowns and get people back to work.
Anders Tegnell talks to
Nature about the nation’s ‘trust-based’ approach to tackling the pandemic.
An online survey reveals bottlenecks and challenges and barriers faced by more than 1,700 biology labs.
Touted as society’s way out of widespread lockdowns, scientists say the true potential of these rapidly developed tests is still unknown.
Researchers everywhere must continue to press their lawmakers to act now and challenge US President Donald Trump’s undermining of the global health agency.
Researchers warn production constraints and hoarding could limit SARS-CoV-2 vaccine supplies.
Doctors are reaching for drugs that dampen the immune response — but these also undermine the body’s own fight against the coronavirus.
And a new, influential research consortium launches a bid to accelerate trials in low-income countries.
Antoaneta Roussi &
The World Health Organization says the evidence is not compelling, but scientists warn that gathering sufficient data could take years and cost lives.
How epidemiologists rushed to model the coronavirus pandemic.
Snapshots from four nations struggling to limit deaths faster than the United States and other wealthy countries.
Scientists are teaming up to fight COVID-19. Presidents and prime ministers should, too.
A reduction in seismic noise because of changes in human activity is a boon for geoscientists.
Radical proposal to conduct ‘human challenge’ studies could dramatically speed up vaccine research.
Studies grind to a halt as fears of health-care shortages and risk of exposure put the brakes on clinical research.
Research will offer the best exit strategy, and we will do everything we can to help researchers and clinicians realize that goal.
Nature examines how viral diagnostic tests work, why testing has varied around the world and the CRISPR-based tests under development to fight COVID-19.
Some experts warn that accelerated testing will involve some risky trade-offs.
From papers published to carbon emissions to confirmed cases, these data reveal an unprecedented viral outbreak and its impacts around the world.
David Cyranoski ⋯
Researchers are studying the effects of China’s lockdowns to glean insights about controlling the viral pandemic.
Three leading health officials talk about gauging the size of local outbreaks, and why containment strategies aren’t futile yet.
Researchers have identified microscopic features that could make the pathogen more infectious than the SARS virus — and serve as drug targets.
As outbreaks surge worldwide, scientists fear that COVID-19 might soon become pandemic.
From laboratory closures to equipment shortages, researchers worldwide tell
Nature how they have been affected by the epidemic.
Concerns are rising about the virus’s potential to circulate undetected in Africa and Asia.
Scientists need the pathogen to probe the biology of the emerging infection and to develop tests, drugs and vaccines.
Experts weigh up the best- and worst-case scenarios as the World Health Organization declares a global health emergency.
Measures to contain a new virus’s spread have cut off the city's researchers.
David Cyranoski &
Researchers are racing to find out more about the epidemiology and genetic sequence of the coronavirus spreading in Asia and beyond.
Ewen Callaway &
Chinese officials have confirmed that the virus is spreading between people, but it’s still unclear how easily this happens.
Smriti Mallapaty &
Chinese officials reported more than 100 new infections and South Korea confirmed its first case.
The legacy of SARS has haunted the race to understand a respiratory infection that has affected 60 people.