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BSC research listed among 2022 top 10 scientific advances

Updated: 2023-03-23

China's Ministry of Science and Technology released the top 10 domestic scientific advances of 2022 on March 17.

Among them was a study on COVID-19 variants and immune escape mechanisms, conducted by experts of the Biophysical Society of China (BSC).


Prediction of mutation sites in receptor-binding domain of SARS-CoV-2-meditated immune escape. [Photo/WeChat account: BSC]

The project was conducted by a research group led by Cao Yunlong and Xiaoliang Sunney Xie from Peking University and its Changping Laboratory as well as a team led by Wang Xiangxi from the Institute of Biophysics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Their work pioneered the humoral immune escape mechanism and mutation characteristics of the Omicron mutant strain and its subvariants, suggesting that it is unlikely to achieve herd immunity through Omicron infection.

Their research also predicted the immune escape mutation sites of the COVID-19 receptor-binding domain based on self-developed high throughput mutation scanning technology.

The project will serve a theoretical basis for the research and development of broad-spectrum COVID-19 vaccines and antibody drugs and offers reference for the prevention and control of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The selection of China’s top 10 scientific advances aims to publicize the scientific progress of major fundamental research in China, stimulate scientists’ enthusiasm and dedication and enhance basic science literacy.

The campaign will also boost public understanding and support for basic research, and create a scientific atmosphere throughout society, according to its organizers.