May 19, 2021

Testing antivirals to defeat SARS-CoV-2

Testing antivirals at the biosafety laboratory
Testing antivirals at the biosafety laboratory

Dear supporters,

First of all, we really hope that you continue to be safe and healthy.

In this fourth report, we wanted to express once more our gratitude for your generous contributions.

We also wanted to share with you how your donations are being spent. We have recently sent a new 5000€ donation to a laboratory working on the development of new antiviral compounds against SARS-CoV-2. As you are probably aware, despite the success of Covid-19 vaccines, we are still lacking efficient antivirals able to eliminate the virus in infected patients. This kind of antivirals are urgently needed because it will still take some time before the majority of the population is vaccinated, especially in less favored areas of the world. Treatment of Covid patients with antivirals could save many lives.

The laboratory that will receive the donation is led by the virologists Dr. Cristian Smerdou and Dr. Gloria Gonzalez-Aseguinolaza at the Center for Applied Medicine (CIMA) of the University of Navarra, located in Pamplona, Spain. They were able to isolate the virus from a patient at the beginning of the pandemic and have been testing the antiviral effect of many different drugs against SARS-CoV-2. Many of the drugs that they are testing are used in the clinic for other indications, like cancer, and if they also show antiviral activity, they could be easily tried in Covid-19 patients, since they are already approved for human use. Scientists working in this project have often diverted their time from other projects and have faced difficulties to acquire all the material needed for their research, like reagents used in the infectivity assays or in PCR analysis of samples generated in the lab, as well as safety protection equipment needed to work with the virus in a especial high safety laboratory.

These materials and reagents can be bought thanks to your donations, so your help is been greatly appreciated. With every 10 € donation, the researchers can analyze one laboratory sample to determine whether a certain antiviral compound has been able to inhibit viral infection in cells. But each compound has to be tested at many different concentrations in different cell lines, making the number of samples for these studies very high.

As Dr. Smerdou explains “Our group at Cima Universidad de Navarra has already tested dozens of compounds against SARS-CoV-2, finding some candidates that have shown promising results”. With the donation received we will be able to confirm the results obtained until now with the best candidates and to perform further analysis that could bring this therapy closer to the clinic, thus hopefully contributing to save lives.

You will find further information on this initiative (in Spanish) in the links below as well as some photos of the biosafety level 3 laboratory where they work with SARS-CoV-2.

We will let you know soon where your generosity is headed in June!

In the meantime, please help us spread the word further, among family, friends, colleagues…

By donating your money to Apadrina la Ciencia, you are contributing to projects that help handle the COVID-19 pandemic in Spain and to understand the Science behind the SARS-CoV-2 and the pandemic.

Thank you all again for your support!

See you soon!

Fully protected to work with virus and fight Covid
Fully protected to work with virus and fight Covid

Links:

May 10, 2021

Covid-19 facts for children, teenagers and the elderly

Covid-19 presentation at school by Cristian
Covid-19 presentation at school by Cristian

Dear supporters,

 

We hope that you all continue to be well and safe. We also hope that most of you are already or almost vaccinated against Covid-19!

 

In this new report, we want to update you about outreach activities that we performed during these last months with your help. And once again, we would like to deeply thank you for your contributions, which are always greatly appreciated.

 

During the last months, scientists and volunteers from our non-profit association Sponsor Science (Apadrina la Ciencia; www.apadrinalaciencia.org) have been working really hard to spread knowledge about COVID-19, with a special emphasis on preventive measurements and the importance of vaccines. But also transmitting more basic science about SARS-CoV2 and the research being performed about this new virus.

 

We have focused on three groups of people which include children, young teenagers and the elderly. In the first two cases we believed that it was of paramount importance that our children and teens get the most complete and real information about Covid-19, since many of them are overexposed to social media and other sources of information where, unfortunately, fake news are so abundant these days. To this aim we imparted the conference entitled “Covid and pandemics” to several groups of students of ages between 12-15 in the school La Presentación-FESD (Villaba, Spain). No less important is to provide information and education to our elderly, the population that more severely suffered the effects of this pandemic. With this aim we participated in the Senior Program of the University of Navarra (Pamplona, Spain) imparting a four-hour course entitled “Covid-19: a medical challenge for the XXI century”.

 

It was really interesting to observe the differences of knowledge and concerns in these different audiences. From the naïve and sane curiosity of the younger kids who had been less exposed to false information, to the more incredulous attitude of the older teenagers, with some of them even believing in conspiracy theories that circulate in the web. Hopefully, we convinced them to be more critical in these matters and only believe information that has scientific evidence, although we have to admit it that it was a hard job with some of them…

 

With the elderly it was a completely different story, being most of them very interested in how to improve measurements to prevent the spread of the virus and totally convinced of the importance of vaccination. In this sense, to communicate to this population was an easier job for us.

 

But these experiences, which were very rewarding, allowed us to verify that, despite the abundance of information in the media, there is still a profound lack of knowledge in the society about Covid19 and SARS-CoV-2. In this sense, we think that our small contribution to spread this knowledge has been greatly positive, something that it was possible thanks to your support!

 

Have a nice spring, and continue to be healthy :) 

 

Stay tune for updates on our ongoing new and exciting outreach activity!!!

Jan 19, 2021

All together to defeat COVID-19

Prize as best "Network against COVID-19 in 2020"
Prize as best "Network against COVID-19 in 2020"

Dear supporters,

Apadrina La Ciencia (Sponsor Science) Team hopes you and your loved ones are well and managed to start the new year with tons of positive energy and solidarity.

A lot has happened since we last contacted you! And we want to share the scientific advances reached to decrease COVID-19 with those of you who made them possible through your donations. We have not achieved the final defeat yet, but we are on the right track:

Strike 1! Reduce COVID-19 spread through early diagnose and selective confinement. Thanks to your contributions a research team was able to specifically perform hundreds of PCR tests out of the thousands run on residents and workers at nursing homes, and prevent many fatal infections. Their exceptional work has been recognized in many articles and they have even been stars in a comic strip by Peridis, a very famous Spanish cartoonist, to celebrate their prize as best “Network against COVID-19 in 2020” presented on November 19th 2020 by FEI (Foro de Empresa Innovadoras).

https://tribuna.ucm.es/news/reconocimientos-fei-2020-maria-vallet-red-ucm-de-laboratorios-covid-19

https://twitter.com/sebbm_es/status/1329702915188121600?lang=bg

Strike 2! Generate viral-related products for diagnostic kits or vaccines. Some of your donations were assigned to finance new technologies that focus on the use of plants as biofactories to obtain large amounts of viral proteins needed for antibody detection or antibody induction. Their work has been presented to the general public in a webinar about research in covid-19.

https://www.imib.es/ServletDocument?document=67792

Strike 3! More research to identify coronavirus weaknesses and turn them against the pathogen. Your economic support is enough to cover a part time salary to support the advancement of a young researcher career. We aim to complete the amount required to cover the salary for a one-year full time contract for a scientist, a total of 22,000.00 €, dedicated to learn about virology.

As you can see, we are cornering the coronavirus, but we are not done yet! Now we need your help more than ever to eliminate this undesired companion. We invite all of you to continue supporting our initiative by spreading the word all over the planet, the more the better.

We know, it is an ambitious challenge, but joining efforts, we can definitively defeat COVID-19!

Best wishes,

Apadrina la Ciencia Team

Prize as best "Network against COVID-19 in 2020"
Prize as best "Network against COVID-19 in 2020"
Prize as best "Network against COVID-19 in 2020"
Prize as best "Network against COVID-19 in 2020"
Prize as best "Network against COVID-19 in 2020"
Prize as best "Network against COVID-19 in 2020"
Prize as best "Network against COVID-19 in 2020"
Prize as best "Network against COVID-19 in 2020"

Links:

 
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.