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Health - 06.05.2020
How and when to end the COVID-19 lockdown: an optimisation approach | University of Oxford
Countries around the world are in a state of lockdown to help limit the spread of SARS-CoV-2. However, as the number of new daily confirmed cases begins to decrease, governments must decide how to release their populations from quarantine as efficiently as possible without overwhelming their health services.

Environment - Materials Science - 06.05.2020
Filtering out toxic chromium from water
EPFL chemists have developed sponges to capture various target substances, like gold, mercury and lead, dissolved in solution. The sponges are actually porous crystals called metal organic frameworks, and now one exists for capturing toxic hexavalent chromium from water. Hexavalent chromium continues to contaminate water sources around the world, with one US company fined just this February for having put employees at risk.

Health - 06.05.2020
Rapid coronavirus test receives major funding
Rapid coronavirus test receives major funding
A coronavirus test - which aims to deliver rapid results - has received major funding. The rapid test, being developed by researchers at Imperial College London, will also be able to detect ultra-low concentrations of the virus, meaning that patients can be diagnosed much earlier in the infection's life-cycle.

Life Sciences - Pharmacology - 06.05.2020
Bacteria 'factories' used to discover potential new malaria drugs
Bacteria ’factories’ used to discover potential new malaria drugs
Researchers have engineered bacteria to produce new versions of a potential antibiotic molecule, some with potent antimalarial properties. Using bacteria to produce new forms of potential drug molecules makes the process faster and cheaper, meaning new drugs could be discovered quicker. The new method, by Imperial College London researchers, is published in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy .

Environment - Materials Science - 06.05.2020
Going against the trend
Global warming has affected the entire planet's surface, except for one particular area of the ocean, which has bucked the trend. A research team comprising scientists from ETH Zurich and Princeton University has unravelled the causes of this conundrum. Climate and marine scientists are observing pervasive warming of the ocean and the land surfaces across the globe.

Social Sciences - Health - 06.05.2020
Major stressors for parents during COVID-19 revealed in new report | University of Oxford
Work was cited as the most frequent source of stress for parents, followed by their children's wellbeing† The† interim report †from 5,000 responses to the Co-SPACE (COVID-19 Supporting Parents, Adolescents, and Children in Epidemics) survey led by experts at the , indicates some important concerns for parents, employers and health professionals.

Health - 06.05.2020
Vital coronavirus research to track frontline NHS staff in Bristol
The LOGIC project will monitor 125 healthy frontline NHS staff from the Emergency Department of the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children to inform potential vaccines and treatment. Researchers will track their symptoms (or lack of), the presence (or absence) of the virus in their mouths and noses and the development (or not) of the protective antibodies in their blood over a three-month period.

Physics - 06.05.2020
Pioneering work: Prototype of a new fuel
Pioneering work: Prototype of a new fuel
New fuel with low enriched uranium-molybdenum alloy The Technical University of Munich (TUM) and Framatome are working together on the development of a new fuel for the research neutron source Heinz Maier-Leibniz (FRM II). The fuel shall consist of low-enriched, monolithic uranium molybdenum alloy (U-Mo).

Computer Science - 06.05.2020
New AI Enables Teachers to Rapidly Develop Intelligent Tutoring Systems
"Teaching computers to teach” is key, say Carnegie Mellon researchers Intelligent tutoring systems have been shown to be effective in helping to teach certain subjects, such as algebra or grammar, but creating these computerized systems is difficult and laborious. Now, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have shown they can rapidly build them by, in effect, teaching the computer to teach.

Life Sciences - Pharmacology - 06.05.2020
Mutations in SARS-CoV-2 offer insights into virus evolution
By analysing virus genomes from over 7,500 people infected with Covid-19, a UCL-led research team has characterised patterns of diversity of SARS-CoV-2 virus genome, offering clues to direct drugs and vaccine targets. The study, led by the UCL Genetics Institute, identified close to 200 recurrent genetic mutations in the virus, highlighting how it may be adapting and evolving to its human hosts.

Life Sciences - 06.05.2020
Children born with a cleft lip not likely to be genetically predisposed to do poorly at school
Worldwide, around one in every 700 babies is born with a cleft lip, which is a gap in the upper lip. Some previous studies have shown that children born with a cleft lip or a cleft palate (a gap in the roof of the mouth) do less well in school, even if they don't have any other conditions or known genetic syndromes.

Pedagogy - Health - 06.05.2020
'Terrible twos' not inevitable: with engaged parenting, happy babies can become happy toddlers
’Terrible twos’ not inevitable: with engaged parenting, happy babies can become happy toddlers
Parents should not feel pressured to make their young children undertake structured learning or achieve specific tasks, particularly during lockdown.†A new study of children under the age of two has found that parents who take a more flexible approach to their child's learning can - for children who were easy babies -†minimise†behavioural†problems during†toddlerhood.

Materials Science - Environment - 06.05.2020
New material engineered to capture carbon dioxide emissions
Researchers at UCL and Newcastle University have developed a new class of self-forming membrane to separate carbon dioxide from a mixture of gases. Operating like a coffee filter, it lets harmless gases, such as nitrogen, exit into the atmosphere and allows the carbon dioxide to be processed separately.

Career - Health - 06.05.2020
Workers Happy despite Crisis and Uncertainty
Workers Happy despite Crisis and Uncertainty
In general, workers in Switzerland and Germany are coping well with the Covid-19 crisis and the associated social disruption. They are feeling happier and finding it easier to unwind and balance work and private life. They are also more engaged at work than last year, a survey among 600 participants carried out by researchers of the University of Zurich shows.

Health - Mechanical Engineering - 06.05.2020
COVID-19: in uncommon times, dark matter specialists have applied their skills to ventilators
COVID-19: in uncommon times, dark matter specialists have applied their skills to ventilators
The Mechanical Ventilator Milano (MVM), an open source ventilator to support patients severely ill with COVID-19, has moved from design to reality in six weeks, propelled by physicists specialised in dark matter who turned their attention away from unknown particles for this period. It has just been authorised by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as within the scope of the emergency use authorization for ventilators in intensive care.

Life Sciences - Health - 06.05.2020
SARS-CoV-2 has not mutated into different types, new research confirms
Analysis work from the MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research provides evidence that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, has not mutated into different types. Recent research had suggested that more than one type of SARS-CoV-2 was now circulating in the pandemic, with one strain being more aggressive and causing more serious illness than the other.

Health - 06.05.2020
Blueprint to protect the mental health of frontline medical workers
University of Queensland researchers have developed a set of recommendations to manage the mental health of frontline medical workers during viral outbreaks, such as COVID-19. Associate Professor Dan Siskind said employers can use several practical steps to minimise mental health impacts. “These include clear communication, providing training and education, enforcing infection control procedures, ensuring adequate supplies of protective equipment and providing access to psychological interventions,” Dr Siskind said.

History / Archeology - Earth Sciences - 05.05.2020
Lost silk road city located by Ghent University researcher
Lost silk road city located by Ghent University researcher
A researcher at Ghent University has identified a lost Silk Road city larger than medieval Ghent, London or Venice. Historians and archaeologists have been searching for nearly 200 years for the city of Magas, capital of the ninth to twelfth century kingdom of Alania. This Kingdom, located in the North Caucasus mountains of modern Russia, controlled a critical section of the Silk Roads: a trade route which connected East Asia and the Mediterranean centuries before the era of European expansion.

Health - Social Sciences - 05.05.2020
Time spent in busy public places could double risk of contracting COVID-19
Using public transport, shopping, dining out, going to a party or place of worship and spending time with someone who has a cold are all associated with significantly higher risks of contracting a respiratory illness such as COVID-19, according to new UCL research. The peer-reviewed Wellcome funded study, used data from the England and Wales Flu Watch cohort and is the first to investigate the impact of specific public activities on the risk of acquiring respiratory tract infection in a population-based cohort.

Health - 05.05.2020
Helium supplies at risk from plunging oil prices
Helium supplies at risk from plunging oil prices
Professor Jon Gluyas from our Durham Energy Institute explains why this is bad news for the coronavirus effort. Oil prices have plummeted as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. While the world needs far less oil than it used to, the decline in oil production will have a severe knock-on effect that could hinder efforts to combat COVID-19.
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