news 2020



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Health - Life Sciences - 10.12.2020
Testing memory over four weeks could predict Alzheimer’s disease risk
New research suggests testing people's memory over four weeks could identify who is at higher risk of developing Alzheimer's disease before it has developed. Importantly, the trial found testing people's ability to retain memories for longer time periods could predict this more accurately than classic memory tests, which test memory over half an hour.

Health - 10.12.2020
Preschoolers’ eating, activity and sleep behaviours were impacted during first COVID-19 lockdown
Preschool children's eating, activity, and sleep routines were disrupted during the spring COVID-19 lockdown, which may be detrimental to child health and development a study suggests. Parents of children (aged threeto five-year-old) due to start school in September 2020 shared their children's experiences of the spring lockdown with academics from the Universities of Bristol, Birmingham and Glasgow.

Health - Social Sciences - 10.12.2020
Men significantly more likely to need intensive care treatment for COVID-19
Men have almost three times the odds of needing admission to intensive care and 40% higher odds of dying from COVID-19 than women, according to a new study led by researchers at UCL, Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) and the University of Cape Town. The study, published and the largest review of its kind, looked at publicly available data from 92 reports across 47 countries to investigate why COVID-19 may affect genders differently.

Life Sciences - Health - 10.12.2020
Cataloging Nature's Hidden Arsenal: Viruses that Infect Bacteria
Cataloging Nature’s Hidden Arsenal: Viruses that Infect Bacteria
A new genetic approach can accelerate the study of phage-microbe interactions with implications for health, agriculture, and climate Scientists are continually searching for new and improved ways to deal with bacteria, be it to eliminate disease-causing strains or to modify potentially beneficial strains.

Health - Life Sciences - 10.12.2020
Gene therapy injection in one eye surprises scientists by improving vision in both
Injecting a gene therapy vector into one eye of someone suffering from  LHON , the most common cause of mitochondrial blindness, significantly improves vision in both eyes, scientists have found. Saving sight with gene therapy is now a reality Patrick Yu-Wai-Man In a landmark phase 3 clinical trial, the international team, coordinated by Dr Patrick Yu-Wai-Man from the University of Cambridge and Dr José-Alain Sahel from the University of Pittsburgh and Institut de la Vision, Paris, successfully treated 37 patients suffering from Leber hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON) .

Health - Economics - 09.12.2020
Grasping exponential growth
Grasping exponential growth
Most people underestimate exponential growth, including when it comes to the spread of the coronavirus. The ability to grasp the magnitude of exponential growth depends on the way in which it is communicated. Using the right framing helps to understand the benefit of mitigation measures. The coronavirus outbreak offered the public a crash course in statistics, with terms like doubling time, logarithmic scales, R factor, rolling averages, and excess mortality now on everyone's tongue.

Health - Life Sciences - 09.12.2020
Cancer Research in Bern: Analysing and finding solutions to treatment resistance
Cancer Research in Bern: Analysing and finding solutions to treatment resistance
A number of types of cancer are prone to adapt to targeted treatment, enabling resistance. Prof. Mark Rubin, Department for BioMedical Research and Bern Center for Precision Medicine, together with colleagues from the Weill Cornell Medicine and the University of Manchester have now published a 'Perspective' in the journal Molecular Cell.

Health - Social Sciences - 09.12.2020
Exposure to coronavirus explains racial disparities in COVID-19 mortality rates
Large variations in exposure at home, in the community and at work-rather than case-fatality rates-may explain the well-documented racial disparities in COVID-19 mortality during the first wave of the pandemic last spring, according to a new University of Michigan study. "Our results highlight yawning gaps in COVID-19 incidence and mortality in Michigan that cannot be explained away by differences in population age and sex composition,” said lead author Jon Zelner, assistant professor of epidemiology.

Health - Social Sciences - 09.12.2020
Very high rates of Covid-19 in the Brazilian Amazon
By testing approximately 1,000 blood donation samples each month in in the Brazilian cities of São Paulo and Manaus, an international team of researchers have shown that, while both cities have experienced large epidemics with high mortality, as much as three-quarters of the population in Manaus was infected between March and October, and a third of the population in São Paulo.

Health - Career - 09.12.2020
Healthcare workers 7 times as likely to have severe COVID-19 as other workers
Healthcare workers are seven times as likely to have severe COVID-19 infection as those with other types of 'non-essential' jobs, finds research led by the University of Glasgow which focused on the first UK-wide lockdown The study, which is published in the journal Occupational & Environmental Medicine, found those with jobs in the social care and transport sectors are twice as likely to have severe COVID-19, emphasising the need to ensure that essential (key) workers are adequately protected against the infection, say the researchers.

Health - Materials Science - 09.12.2020
This Anti-COVID Mask Breaks the Mold
This Anti-COVID Mask Breaks the Mold
Scientists from Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley have designed a rechargeable N95 mask with a custom fit In the early days of the pandemic, amidst all the uncertainty, one thing was for sure: N95 masks - the personal protective respiratory devices that filter out viruses, bacteria, and wildfire smoke - were in short supply.

Environment - Health - 09.12.2020
Social media messages help reduce meat consumption
Sending direct messages on social media informing people of the negative health and environmental impacts of consuming meat has proven successful at changing eating habits, a new study from Cardiff University has shown. The study showed that sending direct messages twice a day through Facebook Messenger led to a significant reduction in the amount of red and processed meat the participants consumed over a 14-day period.

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 .

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.

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 - 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.