Summary and Outlook2

Summary and Outlook

“I deem those blessed to whom, by favour of the gods, it has been granted either to do what is worth writing of, or to write what is worth reading; above measure blessed [be] those on whom both gifts have been conferred.”

―Pliny the Younger (61–c.113)

Proposals for New Research

Research efforts focused on understanding SARS-CoV-2 and the COVID-19 infection are expected to grow rapidly worldwide in the forthcoming months and years. There will need to be highly informative in silico, machine learning, systems and integrative network biology, the latter as has been recently described to help uncover the complete genetic and molecular interactome of the virus (Kumar et al. iScience, 2020) in order to better design precision therapies for the new coronavirus, its evolving mutants, and other pathogenic coronaviruses that may and most likely will emerge in the future. In this section, we collect a few recommendations for proposals of new work:

  1. Long-term lung and heart tissue damage study for recovered patients
  2. Reactivation of SARS-CoV-2 in repeat infections (before and after testing)
  3. Study assessing Type 1 IFN secretion of SARS-CoV-2-infected cells
  4. Age, gender, and ethnic disparity studies of COVID-19 infections
  5. Zinc chelate supplementation trials for COVID-19 infections
  6. Machine-learning algorithm involving Ferritin, C-reactive protein, IL-6, TNF-α, CD8+T, and NK levels to estimate time to cytokine storm and COVID-19 death
  7. Long-term sensory and neurological damage study for recovered patients
  8. Animal coronavirus genome study where several species are sampled to search for direct genome ancestors of SARS-CoV-2.
  9. Dynamics of airborne transmission study in spread of infection in buildings.

In collaboration with physicians from MA, NY, and FL, we are currently conducting a national survey by online questionnaire to study asymptomatic, pre-symptomatic, and symptomatic prevalence of Influenza and COVID-19, pre-clinical progression and post-clinical resurgence of COVID-19, the effects of pre-existing conditions and medication on COVID-19 severity, and density analysis of COVID-19 infections across U.S. metropolitans. The questionnaire can be found here.

Conclusion and Legacy

In this work, we have collected a wide selection of the most relevant and currently available scientific facts, medical observations, and professional recommendations concerning the COVID-19 Pandemic caused by the second novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, a new RNA-virus infecting the human species. Although the full scope of this global health crisis has not been fully realized, it is expected to cause many millions of infections worldwide and result in widespread casualties especially in the elderly (Pearman et al., 2020), infirm, poor, or otherwise vulnerable, leading to a significant strain on local, state, national, and global infrastructure, and professional healthcare systems, the likes of which have not been observed since the Influenza Pandemic of 1918 or World War II. However, with the acceleration of collaborative scientific research, large-scale manufacturing of rapid diagnostic devices, far reaching availability and deployment of simple laboratory testing, development and improvement of life-saving treatments, initiation of several candidate vaccine trials, and persistent education of the public with best hygiene practices and decontamination protocols, many lives can and will be spared. Knowledge is therefore strategic when faced with such a formidable foe as COVID-19.

We dedicate this work to the many unfortunate victims who have lost their lives due to this great calamity, to the few courageous medical professionals who have held fast during the final hours and imparted dignity with compassion, despite a clear and present danger to themselves from an unfamiliar yet formidable force, and to the human species, as one collective entity, whose responsibility it is to share scientific knowledge to help prevent a similar fate to future generations.