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From the Recovered

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Food and Drug Administration may soon issue an Emergency Use Authorization that would enable COVID-19 patients to be treated with plasma obtained from recovered individuals. It says the EUA could be issued as early as next week.

Initial tests have suggested convalescent plasma is largely safe and may improve patient survival, though studies are ongoing, the Journal notes. An expanded access program led by the Mayo Clinic, for instance, has treated 48,000 patients with convalescent plasma and is examining the treatment's safety, while researchers from University of Pittsburgh and elsewhere are examining whether earlier use of convalescent plasma mitigates disease progression, it reports.

"I think the data are pretty clear that using it as early as possible has advantages, and we should explore that possibility," William Hartman from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, tells the Journal.

An EUA, it adds, could make it easier for hospitals to access the therapy and may lead officials to approve paying for it under Medicare and Medicaid.

The Scan

Tara Pacific Expedition Project Team Finds High Diversity Within Coral Reef Microbiome

In papers appearing in Nature Communications and elsewhere, the team reports on findings from the two-year excursion examining coral reefs.

Study Examines Relationship Between Cellular Metabolism, DNA Damage Repair

A new study in Molecular Systems Biology finds that an antioxidant enzyme shifts from mitochondria to the nucleus as part of the DNA damage response.

Stem Cell Systems Target Metastatic Melanoma in Mouse Model

Researchers in Science Translational Medicine describe a pair of stem cell systems aimed at boosting immune responses against metastatic melanoma in the brain.

Open Pediatric Brain Tumor Atlas Team Introduces Genomic Data Collection, Analytical Tools

A study in Cell Genomics outlines open-source methods being used to analyze and translate whole-genome, exome, and RNA sequence data from the Pediatric Brain Tumor Atlas.