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Pharmacology - Health - 08.12.2020
UCLA nursing professor shares her experience as a subject in COVID-19 vaccine trial
In August, Kristen Choi, a UCLA assistant professor of nursing, thought about how important it would be to participate in the testing of one of the new COVID-19 vaccines. So she stepped out of her usual role of conducting research and volunteered to become a study subject. Choi describes her experience as a participant in the trial for a vaccine being developed by Pfizer and BioNTech in a perspective published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Health - Pharmacology - 08.12.2020
First peer-reviewed results of phase 3 human trials of Oxford coronavirus vaccine demonstrate efficacy
Our vaccine work is progressing quickly. To ensure you have the latest information or to find out more about the trial, please visit the  Oxford COVID-19 vaccine web hub  or visit the  COVID-19 trial website .

Social Sciences - 08.12.2020
Family violence research helps in closing the gap
Family violence research helps in closing the gap
A new report has found drivers that mitigate experiences of violence for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Researchers from The Australian National University (ANU) partnered with 18 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to gather and analyse data from 1,600 people in an effort to understand how to reduce family violence.

Environment - Health - 08.12.2020
Pollution from cooking remains in atmosphere for longer - study
Particulate emissions from cooking stay in the atmosphere for longer than previously thought, making a prolonged contribution to poor air quality and human health, according to a new study. Researchers at the University of Birmingham succeeded in demonstrating how cooking emissions - which account for up to 10 per cent of particulate pollution in the UK - are able to survive in the atmosphere over several days, rather than being broken up and dispersed.

Pharmacology - Health - 08.12.2020
Better education needed to give patients improved understanding of gene therapies, new review highlights
A new review of research bringing together patient, carer and public views of cell and gene therapies has highlighted a need for appropriate education to better inform people including how clinical trials work and the risks and benefits of various treatments. Over the last decade, new cell, gene and tissue-engineered therapies have been developed to treat various cancers, inherited diseases and some chronic conditions.

Health - 08.12.2020
Digital data reveal new pandemic dynamics in 17th-century Venice
Digital data reveal new pandemic dynamics in 17th-century Venice
Researchers at EPFL have used digitized historical records to provide novel insights into the spread of the bubonic plague in Venice, Italy. The COVID-19 pandemic has been characterized by a great deal of fear and uncertainty, as reliable data required to make key healthcare and policy decisions are often difficult and costly to obtain.

Health - Life Sciences - 08.12.2020
Lung bacteria defend against pneumonia
Lung bacteria defend against pneumonia
Commensal bacteria confer a prominent protective role against invading bacterial in mucosal surfaces, the major entry port for microbial pathogens. A research team of UNIGE shows that probiotics could be an alternative to antibiotics for treating respiratory illnesses. In healthy organisms, commensal bacteria, which live inside the host without harming it, provide a competitive barrier against invading bacterial pathogens.

Psychology - 08.12.2020
Studying trust in autonomous products
Stanford engineers investigated how people's moods might affect their trust of autonomous products, such as smart speakers. They uncovered a complicated relationship. While a certain level of trust is needed for autonomous cars and smart technologies to reach their full potential, these technologies are not infallible - hence why we're supposed to keep our hands on the wheel of self-driving cars and follow traffic laws, even if they contradict our map app instructions.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 08.12.2020
New study allows regional prediction of uranium in groundwater
New study allows regional prediction of uranium in groundwater
Stanford researchers can predict where and when uranium is released into aquifers and suggest an easy fix to keep this naturally occurring toxin from contaminating water sources. Lurking in sediments and surrounding the precious groundwater beneath our feet is a dangerous toxin: uranium. Scientists have long known this and tested for it.

Health - Life Sciences - 08.12.2020
Magnetic bacteria as micropumps
Magnetic bacteria as micropumps
Scientists use magnetic bacteria to control liquids at the micro level. They are already thinking about using them in the human bloodstream for precision delivery of cancer drugs to a tumour. Cancer drugs have side effects, so for many years, scientists have been exploring ways to transport the active substances to a tumour in the body as precisely as possible.

Life Sciences - 08.12.2020
Genetics of human face begin to reveal underlying profile
Genetics of human face begin to reveal underlying profile
In an international study led by KU Leuven and Pennsylvania State University, researchers have identified 203 genes that play a role in the shape of our face. Their study was published. The genetics behind the shape of the human face are difficult to decipher. In 2018, KU Leuven Professor Peter Claes and international colleagues, from Penn State, the University of Pittsburgh and Stanford University School of Medicine, already identified 15 genes that can be connected with specific areas of the face.

Pedagogy - 08.12.2020
Pupils can learn more effectively through stories than activities
Storytelling is the most effective way of teaching school children about evolution, say researchers at the Milner Centre for Evolution. Last updated on Tuesday 8 December 2020 A randomised controlled trial found that children learn about evolution more effectively when engaged through stories read by the teacher, than through doing tasks to demonstrate the same concept.

Chemistry - Life Sciences - 08.12.2020
Vitamin boosts essential synthetic chemistry
Vitamin boosts essential synthetic chemistry
Rice lab discovers light-driven catalyst forms olefins for drug, agrochemical manufacturing Inspired by light-sensing bacteria that thrive near hot oceanic vents , synthetic chemists at Rice University have found a mild method to make valuable hydrocarbons known as olefins, or alkenes. Like the bacteria, the researchers use vitamin B12, eliminating harsh chemicals typically needed to make precursor molecules essential to the manufacture of drugs and agrochemicals.

Life Sciences - Health - 08.12.2020
Open-source toolkit helps developing countries meet demand for COVID-19 research and diagnostics
Researchers have developed a free, open-source toolkit that allows laboratories in developing countries to produce their own tools for COVID-19 research and diagnosis, without relying on an increasingly fractured global supply chain. A resilient local supply chain for diagnostics is vital to future health security and pandemic preparedness Jenny Molloy High demand for millions of COVID-19 tests per day combined with a disrupted global supply chain has left many countries facing diagnostic shortages.

Economics / Business - Health - 07.12.2020
Full cost of California’s wildfires to the US revealed
California's 2018 wildfires cost the US economy $148.5bn (£110bn) (0.7% of the country's annual GDP), of which $45.9bn was lost outside the state, according to researchers from universities including UCL. More than 8,500 separate fires burned during 2018 in California, making them the deadliest and most destructive of any year in the state's history.

Health - Life Sciences - 07.12.2020
Gut research identifies key cellular changes associated with childhood-onset Crohn’s Disease
Scientists have tracked the very early stages of human foetal gut development in incredible detail, and found specific cell functions that appear to be reactivated in the gut of children with Crohn's Disease. Our results indicate there might be a reprogramming of specific gut cell functions in Crohn's Disease Matthias Zilbauer The results are an important step towards better management and treatment of this devastating condition.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 07.12.2020
Getting to the bottom of Arctic landslides
Getting to the bottom of Arctic landslides
Erosion of the frozen soil of Arctic regions, known as permafrost, is creating large areas of subsidence, which has catastrophic impact in these regions sensitive to climate change. As the mechanisms behind these geological events are poorly understood, researchers from the Géosciences Paris Sud (GEOPS) laboratory (CNRS / Université Paris-Saclay), in cooperation with the Melnikov Permafrost Institute in Yakutsk, Russia, conducted a cold room 1 simulation of landslides, or slumps, caused by accelerated breakdown of the permafrost.

Health - Life Sciences - 07.12.2020
COVID-19 virus causes multiple organ failure in mice
Researchers are the first to create a version of COVID-19 in mice that shows how the disease damages organs other than the lungs. Using their model, the scientists discovered that the SARS-CoV-2 virus can shut down energy production in cells of the heart, kidneys, spleen and other organs. "This mouse model is a really powerful tool for studying SARS-CoV-2 in a living system,' said Dr. Arjun Deb, a co-senior author of a paper about the study and a member of the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCLA.

Religions - Politics - 07.12.2020
2021 Northern Ireland census unlikely to clarify prospects of Irish unity
Expectations are rising that the 2021 Northern Ireland census may act as a trigger for a referendum on Irish unification, but 'new' census questions on religious background and national identity are likely to shape the debate about Northern Ireland's constitutional future, a new study reveals. While 'sectarian head-counting' has featured in Northern Irish politics since partition in 1921, the 1998 Good Friday Agreement (GFA) introduced a mechanism for a 'border poll' on Irish unification.

Health - Psychology - 07.12.2020
Music therapy helps combat stress
Stress increases the risk of physical and emotional problems, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, anxiety disorders, depression and burnout. Millions of people are on anxiety-reducing medication to diminish stress, but they can have nasty side-effects or even be addictive. Fortunately, there are alternatives, such as music therapy.
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