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Nat Commun ; 12(1): 5968, 2021 10 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1467102


There is conflicting evidence on the influence of weather on COVID-19 transmission. Our aim is to estimate weather-dependent signatures in the early phase of the pandemic, while controlling for socio-economic factors and non-pharmaceutical interventions. We identify a modest non-linear association between mean temperature and the effective reproduction number (Re) in 409 cities in 26 countries, with a decrease of 0.087 (95% CI: 0.025; 0.148) for a 10 °C increase. Early interventions have a greater effect on Re with a decrease of 0.285 (95% CI 0.223; 0.347) for a 5th - 95th percentile increase in the government response index. The variation in the effective reproduction number explained by government interventions is 6 times greater than for mean temperature. We find little evidence of meteorological conditions having influenced the early stages of local epidemics and conclude that population behaviour and government interventions are more important drivers of transmission.

COVID-19/transmission , Meteorological Concepts , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Basic Reproduction Number , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cities , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Meta-Analysis as Topic , Pandemics , Regression Analysis , Seasons , Temperature , Weather
Biochem Pharmacol ; 181: 114096, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-597939


Venomous animals have evolved toxins that interfere with specific components of their victim's core physiological systems, thereby causing biological dysfunction that aids in prey capture, defense against predators, or other roles such as intraspecific competition. Many animal lineages evolved venom systems independently, highlighting the success of this strategy. Over the course of evolution, toxins with exceptional specificity and high potency for their intended molecular targets have prevailed, making venoms an invaluable and almost inexhaustible source of bioactive molecules, some of which have found use as pharmacological tools, human therapeutics, and bioinsecticides. Current biomedically-focused research on venoms is directed towards their use in delineating the physiological role of toxin molecular targets such as ion channels and receptors, studying or treating human diseases, targeting vectors of human diseases, and treating microbial and parasitic infections. We provide examples of each of these areas of venom research, highlighting the potential that venom molecules hold for basic research and drug development.

Biomedical Research/methods , Drug Discovery/methods , Peptides/pharmacology , Toxins, Biological/pharmacology , Venoms/pharmacology , Animals , Drug Development/methods , Humans , Molecular Targeted Therapy/methods , Peptides/chemistry , Peptides/therapeutic use , Protein Conformation , Toxins, Biological/chemistry , Toxins, Biological/therapeutic use , Venoms/chemistry , Venoms/metabolism , Venoms/therapeutic use