696 research outputs found

    Bacterial ligands as flexible and sensitive detectors in rapid tests for antibodies to SARS-CoV-2

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    Lateral flow immunoassay (LFIA) is widely employed as point-of-care tests (POCT) for the diagnosis of infectious diseases. The accuracy of LFIA largely depends on the quality of the immunoreagents used. Typical LFIAs to reveal the immune response to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) employ anti-human immunoglobulin (hIG) antibodies and recombinant viral antigens, which usually are unstable and poorly soluble. Broad selective bacterial proteins, such as Staphylococcal protein A (SpA) and Streptococcal protein G (SpG) can be considered alternatives to anti-hIG to increase versatility and sensitivity of serological LFIAs because of their high binding capacity, interspecies reactivity, and robustness. We developed two colorimetric LFA devices including SpA and SpG linked to gold nanoparticles (GNP) as detectors and explored the use of a specific, stable, and soluble immunodominant fraction of the nucleocapsid protein from SARS-CoV-2 as the capturing agent. The optimal amount of SpA-GNP and SpG-GNP conjugates and the protein-to-GNP ratios were defined through a full factorial experimental design to maximize the diagnostic sensitivity of the LFIAs. The new LFA devices were applied to analyze 105 human serum samples (69 positive and 36 negatives according to reference molecular diagnostic methods). The results showed higher sensitivity (89.9%, 95% CI 82.7-97.0) and selectivity (91.7%, 82.6-100) for the SpA-based compared to the SpG-based LFA. In addition, 18 serum samples from cats and dogs living with COVID-19 patients were analyzed and 14 showed detectable levels of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, thus illustrating the flexibility of the SpA- and SpG-based LFAs

    Exploring Cosmic Origins with CORE: Cosmological Parameters

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    We forecast the main cosmological parameter constraints achievable with theCORE space mission which is dedicated to mapping the polarisation of the CosmicMicrowave Background (CMB). CORE was recently submitted in response to ESA'sfifth call for medium-sized mission proposals (M5). Here we report the resultsfrom our pre-submission study of the impact of various instrumental options, inparticular the telescope size and sensitivity level, and review the great,transformative potential of the mission as proposed. Specifically, we assessthe impact on a broad range of fundamental parameters of our Universe as afunction of the expected CMB characteristics, with other papers in the seriesfocusing on controlling astrophysical and instrumental residual systematics. Inthis paper, we assume that only a few central CORE frequency channels areusable for our purpose, all others being devoted to the cleaning ofastrophysical contaminants. On the theoretical side, we assume LCDM as ourgeneral framework and quantify the improvement provided by CORE over thecurrent constraints from the Planck 2015 release. We also study the jointsensitivity of CORE and of future Baryon Acoustic Oscillation and Large ScaleStructure experiments like DESI and Euclid. Specific constraints on the physicsof inflation are presented in another paper of the series. In addition to thesix parameters of the base LCDM, which describe the matter content of aspatially flat universe with adiabatic and scalar primordial fluctuations frominflation, we derive the precision achievable on parameters like thosedescribing curvature, neutrino physics, extra light relics, primordial heliumabundance, dark matter annihilation, recombination physics, variation offundamental constants, dark energy, modified gravity, reionization and cosmicbirefringence. (ABRIDGED

    Combined searches for the production of supersymmetric top quark partners in proton-proton collisions at root s=13 TeV

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    A combination of searches for top squark pair production using proton-proton collision data at a center-of-mass energy of 13 TeV at the CERN LHC, corresponding to an integrated luminosity of 137 fb(-1) collected by the CMS experiment, is presented. Signatures with at least 2 jets and large missing transverse momentum are categorized into events with 0, 1, or 2 leptons. New results for regions of parameter space where the kinematical properties of top squark pair production and top quark pair production are very similar are presented. Depending on themodel, the combined result excludes a top squarkmass up to 1325 GeV for amassless neutralino, and a neutralinomass up to 700 GeV for a top squarkmass of 1150 GeV. Top squarks with masses from 145 to 295 GeV, for neutralino masses from 0 to 100 GeV, with a mass difference between the top squark and the neutralino in a window of 30 GeV around the mass of the top quark, are excluded for the first time with CMS data. The results of theses searches are also interpreted in an alternative signal model of dark matter production via a spin-0 mediator in association with a top quark pair. Upper limits are set on the cross section for mediator particle masses of up to 420 GeV

    Observation of tW production in the single-lepton channel in pp collisions at root s=13 TeV