Search for: "coronavirus" - 451 articles found

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Reverse genetics system

SARS-CoV-2: An easier and quicker way to analyse mutations

SARS-CoV-2 is the virus responsible for the Covid-19 pandemic. We know that mutations in the genome of SARS-CoV-2 have occurred and spread, but what effect do those mutations have? Current methods for studying mutations in the SARS-CoV-2 genome are very complicated and time-consuming because coronaviruses have large genomes, but now a team from Osaka University and Hokkaido University have…

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CRISPR-Cas9

An 'on-off switch' for gene editing

Over the past decade, the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing system has revolutionized genetic engineering, allowing scientists to make targeted changes to organisms’ DNA. While the system could potentially be useful in treating a variety of diseases, CRISPR-Cas9 editing involves cutting DNA strands, leading to permanent changes to the cell’s genetic material. Now, in a paper published online in Cell,…

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Protection from bacteria, fungi, viruses

Antimicrobial technologies – how do they work?

Antimicrobial technologies such as coatings and textiles containing silver and copper are helping people during the Covid-19 pandemic by ensuring that whatever they touch, whether that is a door handle or their own mask, is free from live SARS-CoV-2 particles. But how exactly do these antimicrobial technologies work? How can a silver, copper or even polymeric coating kill microorganisms such as…

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Role of end-of-life support

Covid-19: a 'stress-test' for palliative care

A new report shows how palliative and end of life care in the UK was compromised by shortages of PPE, essential medicines, and equipment, because these services were not seen as ‘frontline NHS’ in the pandemic. Better End of Life – a collaboration between Marie Curie, Hull York Medical School, University of Hull, King’s College London Cicely Saunders Institute, and the University of…

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SARS-CoV-2 detection and sequencing

'Nirvana': Fast, portable test diagnoses Covid-19, tracks variants

Clinicians using a new viral screening test can not only diagnose Covid-19 in a matter of minutes with a portable, pocket-sized machine, but can also simultaneously test for other viruses—like influenza—that might be mistaken for the coronavirus. At the same time, they can sequence the virus, providing valuable information on the spread of Covid-19 mutations and variants. The new test, dubbed…

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Study hints at increased risk

Many Covid-19 patients return to hospital within 140 days

People discharged from hospital after Covid-19 appear to have increased risks of diseases across multiple organs and nearly a third are readmitted to hospital in the following months, according to a new study co-led by researchers at University College London. The study, published in The BMJ, looked at nearly 50,000 people who were discharged from hospital by August last year and compared them to…

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Proof of concept

Surveillance system tracks Covid infection hotspots in hospital

A University of Manchester team has applied new techniques to detect and track the transmission of Covid-19 in hospital. The proof of concept system combines the movement and interaction of staff and patients with genomic sequencing of the virus, helping to signpost how best to improve patient pathways, staff movement and reduce risk. They identified hotspots within hospitals where patients and…

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Mass spectrometry analysis

Skin swabs can detect Covid-19

Skin swab samples analysed using mass spectrometry could be used to detect Covid-19 in patients, according to research conducted at the University of Surrey in the UK. Current Covid-19 testing is via a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, which involves taking a swab of the back of the throat and inside the nose, but the team from Surrey - working with Frimley NHS Trust and the Universities of…

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Post-hospitalisation

New study reveals impact of 'Long Covid'

Recovery duration, co-morbidities, mortality, risk groups: A large study across multiple UK centres reports in detail on prospectively assessed outcomes of Covid-19, the so called 'Long Covid'. We spoke with two of the study's co-investigators about why so many patients are still affected after a coronavirus infection. Led by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Leicester Biomedical…

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The hidden 'fingerprint' of liver cirrhosis

Routine blood tests could be key to stopping 'silent killer'

New research has shown that results of blood tests routinely performed by GPs everywhere contain a hidden fingerprint that can identify people silently developing potentially fatal liver cirrhosis. The researchers have developed an algorithm to detect this fingerprint that could be freely installed on any clinical computer, making this a low-cost way for GPs to carry out large scale screening…

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Immune response in pregnant and lactating women

Mothers pass on Covid-19 protection to their babies after vaccination

In the largest study of its kind to date, researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard have found the new mRNA Covid-19 vaccines to be highly effective in producing antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 virus in pregnant and lactating women. They also demonstrated the vaccines confer protective immunity to newborns…

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Mass spectrometry

"Protein fingerprint" rapidly identifies Covid-19 biomarkers

Researchers from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the Francis Crick Institute have developed a mass spectrometry-based technique capable of measuring samples containing thousands of proteins within just a few minutes. It is faster and cheaper than a conventional blood count. To demonstrate the technique’s potential, the researchers used blood plasma collected from Covid-19 patients.…

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A change of heart

New study sees huge turnaround in Covid-19 vaccine sceptics

More than four in five (86%) people who were unsure or said no to a Covid-19 vaccine in December 2020 would now take one, or have already been vaccinated, finds the latest research by the Virus Watch study conducted by University College London (UCL). The new findings, part of UCL Virus Watch’s longitudinal study of over 46,000 people in England and Wales, show the fall in vaccine hesitancy was…

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A much-needed update

New 'double antibody' delivers dual strike SARS-CoV-2 and its variants

The Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB) in Switzerland developed a second-generation ‘double antibody’ that protects from SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing Covid-19, and all its tested variants. It also prevents the virus from mutating to resist the therapy. Antibody-based immunotherapy was already shown to be effective against Covid-19 but faces two main obstacles: it needs to work…

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SARS-CoV-2 neutralising antibodies

Covid-19 immunity may last from days to decades

Scientists from Singapore found that antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 wane at different rates, lasting for mere days in some individuals, while remaining present in others for decades. The study, published in The Lancet Microbe, shows that the severity of the infection could be a deciding factor in having longer-lasting antibodies. Individuals with low levels of neutralising antibodies may still be…

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Prevalence of depression and anxiety

Covid-19 pandemic impacts mental health worldwide, study finds

A study conducted by Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health researchers reports a high global prevalence of both depression and anxiety during the Covid-19 pandemic. It also shows how the implementation of mitigation strategies including public transportation and school closures, and stay-at-home orders impacted such disorders. Results are published in Psychological Medicine.

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Asymptomatic disease spread

Why vaccines alone may not be enough to end the Covid-19 pandemic

Even as vaccines are becoming more readily available, protecting against the asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic spread of the virus (SARS-CoV-2) that causes Covid-19 is key to ending the pandemic, say two infectious disease experts at the Georgetown University Medical Center. In their Perspective, “SARS-CoV-2 Transmission Without Symptoms,” published in the journal Science, they make the case…

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AI, blockchain, hybrid cloud technology

Cooperation for smarter Covid-19 vaccine management

Moderna and IBM announced their intentions to explore technologies, including artificial intelligence, blockchain and hybrid cloud, that could help support smarter Covid-19 vaccine management. Central to the effort will be a pilot of open, standardized, technology-enabled vaccine distribution approaches aimed to improve supply chain visibility and foster near real-time tracking of vaccine…

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Coronavirus demographics analysis

Does living with children increase Covid-19 risk? Probably not

A study published by The BMJ sheds light on the risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2 and covid-19 outcomes among adults living with and without children during the first two waves of the UK pandemic. It finds no evidence of any increased risk in wave 1 (Feb to Aug 2020). Small increased risks of infection and hospital admission were seen in wave 2 (Sept to Dec 2020), but this did not translate into…

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Non-invasive corona breath testing

SpiroNose: The electronic nose that knows about Covid-19

Rapid tests, PCR tests, self-tests… there are many test options to determine contamination with Covid-19. In most this is done by inserting a cotton swab deep into the nose and/or throat to extract some mucus – unpleasant for adults and often a drama for children. Towards the end of 2020, a new system emerged to rule out a Covid-19 contamination. The electronic SpiroNose performs a…

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Liquid metal bearing technology

Keeping CT scanning running smoothly

With CT scanners proving critical in the ongoing fight against coronavirus, keeping them maintained, fully-operational, and patient-friendly has never been more important. Liquid metal bearing (LMB) technology has been a key aspect of this by extending the lifespan of CT scanners, improving workflow, and enhancing patient and operator experience via noise reduction. The LMB concept has been…

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New study confirms

Covid-19 vaccines highly effective in nursing homes

In what is believed to be the first published study of Covid-19 vaccine effectiveness in long-term care facilities such as nursing homes, a research team co-led by the Yale School of Public Health found a widely used vaccine is highly successful in preventing infections. Residents of such facilities, particularly those in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), have experienced disproportionately high…

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Model analysis

Machine learning for Covid-19 diagnosis: promising, but still too flawed

Systematic review finds that machine learning models for detecting and diagnosing Covid-19 from medical images have major flaws and biases, making them unsuitable for use in patients. However, researchers have suggested ways to remedy the problem. Researchers have found that out of the more than 300 Covid-19 machine learning models described in scientific papers in 2020, none of them is suitable…

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How our brain handles the pandemic

Fear of Covid-19: The psychology of the pandemic

During pandemics, protective behaviors need to be motivated by effective communication. A critical factor in understanding a population’s response to such a threat is the fear it elicits, since fear both contributes to motivating protective responses, but can also lead to panic-driven behaviors. Furthermore, lockdown measures affect well-being, making it important to identify protective factors…

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Epidemilogical study shows

Covid variant B.1.1.7.: A lot more dangerous than the original form

The highly infectious variant of Covid-19 discovered in Kent, which swept across the UK last year before spreading worldwide, is between 30 and 100 per cent more deadly than previous strains, new analysis has shown. A pivotal study, by epidemiologists from the Universities of Exeter and Bristol, has shown that the SARS-CoV-2 variant, B.1.1.7, is associated with a significantly higher mortality…

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Gastroenterology

Capsule cameras to test for cancer and diseases

Miniature cameras which patients can swallow to get checked for cancer are being trialled across the NHS. The imaging technology, in a capsule no bigger than a pill, can provide a diagnosis within hours. Known as a colon capsule endoscopy, the cameras are the latest NHS innovation to help patients access cancer checks at home. Traditional endoscopies mean patients need to attend hospital and have…

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Covid-19 collaterals

Coronavirus impacts heart surgery across Europe

Cardiac surgery across Europe is being set back as a result of the ongoing coronavirus. Operations are being postponed, treatment delayed, and critical care staff have been redeployed to cope with the impact of the Covid-19 epidemic on health services. However, gaining a clear picture of the Europe-wide situation, and the long-term effects coronavirus will have on heart surgery, is a challenge…

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Laboratory management

Covid-19: Overcoming unprecedented challenges

During a pandemic, the demands for laboratory testing challenge routines in an efficiently run clinical laboratory. Gold standard procedures may need modification, or to be discarded, and the more nimble, resilient and receptive a lab is to change, the better off it could be. Senior managers at ARUP Laboratories in Salt Lake City, Utah, a large clinical reference laboratory that offers over 3,000…

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Oncology expert debate

Post-Brexit and future cancer research: What EU/UK deals may mean

Despite Brexit uncertainties, four leading UK cancer research experts expressed optimism for continued pan-European collaboration and innovation during the online panel debate ‘Brexit deal: What it really means for cancer research and innovation’ hosted by the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI). The experts, Dr Sheuli Porkess, Professor Richard Sullivan, Emlyn Samuel, and Jim Elliott,…

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Airborne attack

Pollen increase Covid-19 risk

When airborne pollen levels are higher, increased SARS-CoV-2 infection rates can be observed. These results were determined by a large-scale study conducted by an international team headed by researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the Helmholtz Zentrum München. Members of high-risk groups could protect themselves by watching pollen forecasts and wearing dust filter masks.

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Improved Coronavirus detection

Low-cost and fast Covid-19 test uses pool of gargle lavage samples

In order to monitor and contain the spread of SARS-CoV-2 it is necessary to test large numbers of people on a regular basis in decentralized settings. Researchers of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and the Hospital St. Georg in Leipzig, Germany, have developed improved protocols for the detection of SARS-CoV-2. The method can detect a positive sample in a pool with 25…

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Delay in treatment for serious illness

Digital Covid-19 'symptom checkers' may do more harm than good

Digital Covid-19 ‘symptom checkers’ may stop some patients from getting prompt treatment for serious illness, suggests an international case simulation study. Both the US and UK symptom checkers consistently failed to identify the symptoms of severe Covid-19, bacterial pneumonia, and sepsis, frequently advising these cases to stay home, the findings indicate. The availability and use of…

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Mutations of SARS-CoV-2 & Co.

Tracking virus variants faster with sequencing

A global group of researchers is calling for better integration of viral genetics, bioinformatics, and public health to enable better pandemic response now and better pandemic preparedness in the future. In a comment piece in the journal Nature, an international collaboration of specialists in viral and genetic analysis, led by Swiss scientists Dr. Emma Hodcroft at the University of Bern and…

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Finding solutions for radiology tasks

Putting AI algorithms under the microscope

With a growing number of Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms to support medical imaging analysis, finding the best solution for specific radiology tasks is not always straightforward. Many are cloaked in secrecy and commercial sensitivity and while an algorithm may perform well in one area, evidence of performance and adaptability in another environment is not always available. One approach…

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Coronavirus research

Promising SARS-CoV-2 inhibitors discovered

A research team of pharmacists at the University of Bonn has discovered two families of active substances that can block the replication of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. The drug candidates are able to switch off the the key enzyme of the virus, the so-called main protease. The study is based on laboratory experiments. Extensive clinical trials are still required for their further development as…

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Covid-19's impact

Awareness is key for breast screening services

Daniela Zimmermann speaks to Samir Parikh, Hologic’s Global Vice-President (Research & Development and Clinical Affairs), about the company’s approach to raising post-Covid awareness of breast screening. The impact of Covid-19 has been devastating; countless lives lost, millions of infections worldwide, health systems overwhelmed and economies rapidly shrinking. In addition, routine…

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Radiology collaboration

Improved workflow and a touch of Disney magic

Improving workflow is one of the major challenges that radiology departments face. The need to be more efficient, deliver timely and effective patient care, and keep an eye on costs are all factors that seem to be ever-present in the modern imaging department. With the added demands of the coronavirus pandemic as radiology departments continue to play a critical role in the fight against…

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All-in-one imaging trailer

Mobile solutions for the COVID-19 frontline

With public health issues continuing to make daily mainstream news headlines across the world, it is clear how much change the healthcare environment is going through. Not only are there existing pressures on resources, space, staff, certain procedures, and budgets, but there are brand new ones resulting from the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic. This has led to an even greater need for…

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Portable ultrasound demonstrates versatility in all specialties

Covid-19 – Testing time for people and devices

Due to the coronavirus, hospitals and medical staff developed new work practices involving, in acute settings, social distancing, rigid use of personal protective equipment (PPE), handwashing, and disinfection of equipment every day. Additionally, portable, highly-mobile and versatile equipment came to the fore in point-of-care (POC) – particularly when wards and operating theatres are spread…

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Pandemic forecast modelling

Exploring the uncertainties in Covid-19 simulations

Computer modelling to forecast Covid-19 mortality contains significant uncertainty in its predictions, according to an international study led by researchers at University College London (UCL) and Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) in the Netherlands. Their article ‘The Impact of Uncertainty on Predictions of the CovidSim Epidemiological Code’ was published in Nature Computational…

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'Vaccelerate' cooperation

Building a Covid-19 vaccine network across Europe

The European Commission has launched a contingency plan to meet the challenge of the various mutations of the coronavirus. Karolinska Institutet and Karolinska University Hospital are contributing to a new network for the evaluation and testing of new vaccines. The network is called "Vaccelerate" and it will contribute both to the evaluation of ongoing and future vaccinations, as well…

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Peptide research

A 'fake handshake' to trick the coronavirus

Scientists have developed peptides that fit snugly into a groove on the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein that it would normally use to access a host cell. These protein fragments effectively trick the virus into “shaking hands” with a replica rather than with the actual protein on a cell’s surface that lets the virus in. revious research has determined that the novel coronavirus binds to a receptor…

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Immune response or breast cancer?

Swollen lymph nodes after Covid-19 vaccination: what women should know

For many women, swollen lymph nodes are a red flag pointing to breast cancer – but may also be a normal immune reaction to a Covid-19 vaccination. So, to avoid anxiety or downright refusal of the vaccine, the Society of Breast Imaging Patient Care and Delivery Committee has developed a comprehensive resource to help patients understand the most important facts and guide them in making the most…

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Legal, ethical, medical challenges

12 things to consider before introducing Covid-19 vaccine passports

Covid-19 vaccine passports could be created, but significant challenges need to be overcome first, according to a report from a panel led by Oxford Professors Melinda Mills and Chris Dye, which outlines a dozen issues which must be addressed before passports can be introduced. The report is published by the SET-C (Science in Emergencies Tasking: Covid-19) group at the Royal Society and it…

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Expert prediction

How will Covid affect cancer death rates in 2021?

Researchers have called on European policymakers to make adequate resources available to tackle pancreatic cancer, a disease that is almost invariably fatal and where little progress has been made over the past 40 years. In the latest predictions for cancer deaths in the EU and UK for 2021, published in the cancer journal Annals of Oncology, researchers led by Carlo La Vecchia (MD), a professor…

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Vocal biomarker

Covid-19 'voice check' screening tool validated in large clinical study

AI-based vocal biomarker company Vocalis Health announced results of a clinical study conducted in collaboration with the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) at their NESCO Covid-19 Center to validate Vocalis Health’s Covid-19 screening tool, VocalisCheck. The study included over 2,000 participants who spoke numerous languages including English, Hindi, Marathi and Gujarati. Results…

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Healthcare facilities analysed

Cutting Coronavirus air contamination in hospitals

Preventing air contamination in healthcare facilities is crucial to minimise the airborne spread of Covid-19 and its new strains. Universal masking, rigorous use of and safe disposal of PPE, plus building ventilation are vital. Twenty-four studies reporting hospital SARS-CoV-2 air contamination are summarised in a meta-analysis by a multi-institutional team of French researchers. These show that,…

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Experimental therapy

CRP apheresis: First successful treatment of Covid-19 patient

Apheresis, a procedure that separates removes particular blood constituents, has so far been primarily used with myocardial infarction patients. Now, however, it seems to be a promising approach for Covid-19 cases: the first patient successfully underwent so-called CRP apheresis. The treatment does not target the virus but can prevent potentially fatal consequences of the infection.

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Viewing through a ‘window’ empowers management

How to shape a blueprint for progress

Hospital data from a wide range of disciplines, departments and specialties strongly influences crucial decision-making and planning. Agfa HealthCare’s Business Intelligence solution, for example, uses data to measure, understand and predict developments, and aims to present this information in an accessible and transparent way so that administrators need not even ask for in-house generated…

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Inactivation of Coronavirus & Co. via electrochemistry

Antiviral mask offers protection at the push of a button

Researchers at ZHAW Zurich University of Applied Sciences are working with the Swiss company Osmotex AG to develop a self-disinfecting mask that inactivates viruses at the push of a button. The prototype of this mask made of electrochemical textiles shows an antiviral effect of over 99 percent. Further applications such as sterilizable seat covers are being examined.

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Myocarditis, infarction, ischaemia

Many Covid-19 patients leave hospital with heart damage

Around 50% of patients who have been hospitalised with severe Covid-19 and who show raised levels of a protein called troponin have damage to their hearts. The injury was detected by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans at least a month after discharge, according to new findings published in the European Heart Journal. Damage includes inflammation of the heart muscle (myocarditis), scarring or…

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Study from Zambia shows many more deaths

Experts: Impact of Covid-19 in Africa “vastly underestimated”

The impact of Covid-19 in Africa has been vastly underestimated, warn researchers in a new study. Outside of South Africa, this is the first study to provide systematic surveillance data capturing the impact of Covid-19 in Africa. Their findings are based on polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test results for 364 deceased people of all ages at the University Teaching Hospital morgue in Lusaka,…

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MHH SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Rapid Test Kit

First Covid-19 test 'made in Poland'

To date, testing for SARS-CoV-2 infection mostly has relied on RT-PCR performed on a nasopharyngeal specimen. This testing method is very unpleasant for a patient: the professional tester has to tilt the patient’s head back slightly about 45°-70° to straighten the passage from the front of the nose, insert the swab through the nostril parallel to the palate, and the swab should reach a depth…

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Study on N95, KN95 and FFP2 mask suggests

Covid-19 masks: Why proper fit matters more than material

A team of researchers studying the effectiveness of different types of face masks has found that in order to provide the best protection against Covid-19, the fit of a mask is as important, or more important, than the material it is made of. The researchers, from the University of Cambridge, carried out a series of different fit tests, and found that when a high-performance mask – such as an…

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Spotting viral differences

Finding a better way to search for Covid-19 drugs

Is there a better approach to Covid drug research? Research from the University of Kent, Goethe-University in Frankfurt am Main, and the Philipps-University in Marburg has provided crucial insights into the biological composition of SARS-CoV-2, the cause of Covid-19, revealing vital clues for the discovery of antiviral drugs. Researchers compared SARS-CoV-2 and the closely related virus SARS-CoV,…

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Portable testing solution

A corona lab that fits in a suitcase

The PCR test is the most accurate tool to identify SARS-CoV-2. However, valid results are often available only after days. Moreover, the laboratory must be well equipped, have trained personnel and sufficient financial resources. All of this is usually a problem in Africa. A portable suitcase could help. In cooperation with several African universities, scientists at Leipzig University have found…

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Target cells, medication effects, evasion methods

4 new facts about early Covid-19 infections

University of Minnesota Medical School researchers studied SARS-CoV-2 infections at individual cellular levels and made four major discoveries about the virus, including one that validates the effectiveness of remdesivir – an FDA-approved antiviral drug – as a form of treatment for severe Covid-19 disease. “Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the way that each individual responds…

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Anticoagulants vs coronavirus

Preventive blood thinning could reduce risk of Covid-19 death

Patients given preventive blood thinning drugs (prophylactic anticoagulants) within 24 hours of admission to hospital with Covid-19 are less likely to die compared with those who do not receive them, a new study finds. Clinical trials are now underway to see if prophylactic anticoagulants could be an effective treatment for Covid-19. In the meantime, the researchers say these findings provide…

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Lessons learned from Covid-19

A 'blueprint' for preventing the next pandemic

Scientific and public health experts have been raising the alarm for decades, imploring public officials to prepare for the inevitability of a viral pandemic. Infectious epidemics seemingly as benign as "the flu" and as deadly as the Ebola virus provided ample warning, yet government officials seemed caught off guard and ill prepared for dealing with Covid-19.

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Herd immunity explained in virtual reality

Using VR to win over vaccine skeptics

People who are sceptical of getting vaccinated against infectious diseases may soon get a whole new perspective on things. Professor Robert Böhm and Associate Professor Guido Makransky from the Center for Social Data Science (SODAS) and the Department of Psychology at the University of Copenhagen have received DKK three million in funding from EIT Health for developing a virtual reality app to…

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Identifying symptoms and predicting diagnosis

Covid-19 detection: Wearables have an edge over traditional diagnostics

Wearable devices can identify Covid-19 cases earlier than traditional diagnostic methods and can help track and improve management of the disease, Mount Sinai researchers report in one of the first studies on the topic. The findings were published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research. The Warrior Watch Study found that subtle changes in a participant’s heart rate variability (HRV)…

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Health worker shortage

Cooperation to strengthen women physician leaders across Ethiopia

Medics.Academy – a UK company delivering global access to medical education – and the Ethiopian Medical Women’s Association (EMeWA) have signed a partnership agreement to help women physicians in Ethiopia. The project will help EMeWA – an organisation established by female physicians in Ethiopia – to fulfil its vision to establish an excellence center for women physicians through one of…

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Environmental connections

Has climate change driven the emergence of SARS-CoV-2?

Global greenhouse gas emissions over the last century have made southern China a hotspot for bat-borne coronaviruses, by driving growth of forest habitat favoured by bats. A new study published in the journal Science of the Total Environment provides the first evidence of a mechanism by which climate change could have played a direct role in the emergence of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that caused the…

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A closer look at thapsigargin

Potential antiviral treatment for Covid-19 found

Researchers from the University of Nottingham have discovered a novel antiviral property of a drug that could have major implications in how future epidemics/pandemics – including Covid-19 – are managed. The study, published in Viruses, shows that thapsigargin is a promising broad‑spectrum antiviral, highly effective against SARS-CoV-2, a common cold coronavirus, respiratory syncytial virus…

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Coronavirus and the heart

Covid-19 infection raises risk of dying after a cardiac arrest

Covid-19 patients who suffer a cardiac arrest either in or out of hospital are far more likely to die than patients who are not infected with the coronavirus. In particular, women have the highest risk of dying: they are nine times more likely to die after suffering a cardiac arrest in hospital, according to research published in the European Heart Journal.

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Image-based diagnosis of Covid-19

AI detects coronavirus on CT scans

In order to detect the Corona virus SARS-CoV-2, there are further methods of diagnosis apart from the globally used PCR tests (Polymerase chain reaction): The infection can also be recognised on CT scans – for which Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be used as well. An AI system can not only filter CT scan of Covid-19 patients from a data set, but also estimate, which areas of the image are of…

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Covid-19, cybersecurity, AI

Top 10 technology hazards for hospitals (according to experts)

Coronavirus-associated concerns dominate the Top 10 list of important technology hazard risks for hospitals, in an annual report published by ECRI, a nonprofit technology Pennsylvania research firm. The list is derived from ECRI’s team of technology experts who monitor hospital and healthcare organizations, and published to inform healthcare facilities about important safety issues involving…

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Covid-19's impact on studies

Clinical trials during the pandemic: lessons for future cancer research

The continuing corona virus epidemic has impacted strongly on cancer care and research, including the delay of treatments and diagnoses as well as on trials of new therapies, and the shift in research to develop a Covid-19 vaccine. However, the session ‘Cancer research and Covid-19’, during the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) Virtual Showcase (online 2-3 November) looked at how UK…

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New microscopy approach

A smartphone-based test for Covid-19

Researchers at the University of Arizona are developing a Covid-19 testing method that uses a smartphone microscope to analyze saliva samples and deliver results in about 10 minutes. The research team, led by biomedical engineering professor Jeong-Yeol Yoon, aims to combine the speed of existing nasal swab antigen tests with the high accuracy of nasal swab PCR, or polymerase chain reaction,…

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Promising agents

The effect of vitamins, steroids and potential antivirals on SARS-CoV-2

Evidence is emerging that vitamin D – and possibly vitamins K and A – might help combat Covid-19. A new study from the University of Bristol published in the journal of the German Chemical Society Angewandte Chemie has shown how they – and other antiviral drugs – might work. The research indicates that these dietary supplements and compounds could bind to the viral spike protein and so…

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Viral sequencing

How SARS-CoV-2 spreads and evolves

The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 virus variants that are adding twists in the battle against COVID-19 highlight the need for better genomic monitoring of the virus, says Katia Koelle, associate professor of biology at Emory University.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What patients want to know about Covid-19 vaccine

This FAQ from the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology is provided to help answer patient questions about COVID-19 vaccines. These recommendations are based on best knowledge to date, but could change at any time, pending new information and further guidance from the FDA or CDC.

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Flu & other aerosolized viruses

Microwaves used to deactivate coronavirus

As the pandemic has continued to spread globally, studies indicate the COVID-19 virus may be contained in aerosols that can be generated and spread through breathing, coughing, sneezing, or talking by infected individuals. Researchers are increasingly focused on developing tools and methods to assist in decontaminating surfaces and spaces.

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Fight against COVID-19

AI lung scan analysis rolled out across Europe

The Belgian initiative icovid, which supports radiologists in the assessment of CT images of the lungs of COVID-19 patients, has grown into a multicentre European project, co-funded by the EU Horizon 2020 programme. Icovid was set up in March by UZ Brussel, KU Leuven, icometrix and ETRO, an imec research group of VUB.

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Microneedles

No more needles for bloodtests?

Blood draws are no fun. They hurt. Veins can burst, or even roll — like they’re trying to avoid the needle, too. Oftentimes, doctors use blood samples to check for biomarkers of disease: antibodies that signal a viral or bacterial infection, such as SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19, or cytokines indicative of inflammation seen in conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and…

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Coronavirus infection response

SARS-CoV-2 IgG II antibody test launched in CE Mark countries

Clinical diagnostics company Beckman Coulter launched its Access SARS-CoV-2 IgG II assay in countries accepting the CE Mark. The new Access SARS-CoV-2 IgG II assay quantitatively measures a patient’s level of antibodies in response to a previous SARS-CoV-2 infection. The ability to establish a quantitative baseline to evaluate an individual’s immune response to the SARS-CoV-2 virus allows…

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WHO online courses

Corona, Ebola & Co: conveying life-saving knowledge in real-time

The corona pandemic, which has been rampant for a year, and the Ebola epidemic of 2017 have shown the value of online courses for the rapid worldwide dissemination of life-saving knowledge, the German Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI) points out. One year ago, the World Health Organization (WHO) published its first online course on Covid-19 diseases. HPI head Prof. Christoph Meinel reflects on its…

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Measuring mitochondrial DNA

Rapid blood test identifies Covid-19 patients at high risk of severe disease

One of the most vexing aspects of the Covid-19 pandemic is doctors’ inability to predict which newly hospitalized patients will go on to develop severe disease, including complications that require the insertion of a breathing tube, kidney dialysis or other intensive care. Knowledge of a patient’s age and underlying medical conditions can help predict such outcomes, but there are still…

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"Faces" of the disease

Covid-19: researchers identify at least 5 variants

According to current studies, the Covid-19 disease which is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus comprises at least five different variants. These differ in how the immune system responds to the infection. Researchers from the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and the University of Bonn, together with other experts from Germany, Greece and the Netherlands, present these findings…

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Getting rid of the clutter

Bringing digital pathology to the hospital environment

It is a simple image of two desks in a hospital pathology department, taken a matter of months apart. But there can be few more vivid images that illustrate the changing world of pathology as the specialty forges ahead into the digital era. The image was taken by Dr Solène-Florence Kammerer-Jacquet during the transition towards digital pathology at Rennes University Hospital in France in the…

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Variant COH.20G/501Y

New Coronavirus strain discovered

Scientists at The Ohio State University have discovered a new variant of SARS-Cov-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. The new variant carries a mutation identical to the U.K. strain, but it likely arose in a virus strain already present in the United States. The College of Medicine researchers also report the evolution of another U.S. strain that acquired three other gene mutations not previously…

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'Nanobodies'

Small antibodies show promise against Covid-19

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have developed, in collaboration with researchers in Germany and the U.S., new small antibodies, also known as nanobodies, which prevent the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus from entering human cells. The research study, published in Science, shows that a combined nanobody had a particularly good effect – even if the virus mutated. According to the researchers, the…

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Intensive care

Protecting lungs from ventilation-induced injury

An unfortunate truth about the use of mechanical ventilation to save the lives of patients in respiratory distress is that the pressure used to inflate the lungs is likely to cause further lung damage. In a new study, scientists identified a molecule that is produced by immune cells during mechanical ventilation to try to decrease inflammation, but isn’t able to completely prevent…

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Frontal part of the nose

Covid-19 Antigen Test: CE Mark for easier sample collection

Siemens Healthineers announced CE mark has been achieved to use anterior nose swab sampling for the Clinitest Rapid Covid-19 Antigen test. This sampling method can be less cumbersome and time consuming for both the provider and the patient. The test is a point-of-care cassette test that does not require laboratory instruments or specialized lab personnel to administer, and it delivers results in…

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Lasts longer, causes more damage

Covid-19 pneumonia: not your typical garden-variety pneumonia

Bacteria or viruses like influenza that cause pneumonia can spread across large regions of the lung within hours. In the modern intensive care unit, these bacteria or viruses are usually controlled either by antibiotics or by the body’s immune system within the first few days of the illness. But in a study published in Nature, investigators at Northwestern Medicine show Covid-19 pneumonia is…

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Virion recreated

First computational model of entire SARS-CoV-2 virus

Researchers at the University of Chicago have created the first usable computational model of the entire virus responsible for Covid-19—and they are making this model widely available to help advance research during the pandemic. “If you can understand how a virus works, that’s the first step towards stopping it,” said Prof. Gregory Voth, whose team created the model published in…

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Messenger RNA vaccines explained

Busting 8 common myths about Covid-19 vaccines

Even those who understand the scientific process, trust medical experts and know how important vaccines are for fighting infectious diseases might still have some questions or concerns about the new Covid-19 vaccines. Here, Thaddeus Stappenbeck, MD, PhD, helps set the record straight on 8 common questions, concerns and myths that have emerged about Covid-19 vaccines.

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Influence of gut bacteria

How our gut microbiome affects Covid-19 severity

The variety and volume of bacteria in the gut, known as the microbiome, may influence the severity of Covid-19 as well as the magnitude of the immune system response to the infection, suggests research published online in the journal Gut. Imbalances in the make-up of the microbiome may also be implicated in persisting inflammatory symptoms, dubbed ‘long Covid’, the findings suggest. Covid-19…

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Dangerous immune response

New insight on severe virus attacks on the lungs

In some cases, immune cells in the lungs can contribute to worsening a virus attack. In a new study, researchers at Karolinska Institutet describe how different kinds of immune cells, called macrophages, develop in the lungs and which of them may be behind severe lung diseases. The study, which was published in Immunity, may contribute to future treatments for Covid-19, among other diseases.

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Coronavirus risk assessment

Investigating the risk of severe Covid-19 in children

So far, little research has been done on the risk of children being seriously affected by Covid-19 when the schools were open. A study from Karolinska Institutet has now shown that one child in 130,000 was treated in an intensive care unit on account of Covid-19 during the period March-June. The study has been published in New England Journal of Medicine.

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Promising candidate

Single-dose nanoparticle vaccine for Covid-19 in development

Before the pandemic, the lab of Stanford University biochemist Peter S. Kim focused on developing vaccines for HIV, Ebola and pandemic influenza. But, within days of closing their campus lab space as part of Covid-19 precautions, they turned their attention to a vaccine for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. Although the coronavirus was outside the lab’s specific area of expertise,…

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High-risk group

Covid-19 doubles death rate in acute heart failure patients

Patients with acute heart failure nearly double their risk of dying if they get Covid-19, according to new research. The small, single centre study highlights the need for patients with heart failure to take extra precautions to avoid catching Covid-19. “Our results support prioritising heart failure patients for Covid-19 vaccination once it is available,” said study lead investigator Dr.…

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Solutions for Covid-19 challenges

Plug-and-Play between Laptop and Monitor

The Corona pandemic poses new challenges for health care facilities as well as manufacturers of health IT and medical technology. Marcel Herrmann, Marketing Manager Medical Imaging at JVCKenwood, explains in an interview what these are and how they can be solved.

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Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay

Startup develops breakthrough IgG antibody test for Covid-19

ZTA Biotech, a Budapest-based biotech startup, has developed a Covid-19 antibody (IgG) test using the ELISA protocol. This new detection method represents a great step forward in determining if patients have had a coronavirus infection and if they might still have immunity to the disease. Early results have proven 100% in specificity after testing 280 samples, and 100% sensitivity by testing 260…

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Risk of miscalculations

Researchers point out flaws in current Covid-19 models

Reports from Imperial College regarding the spread and the effects of Covid-19 had considerable policy impacts in several European countries. But the models that informed the reports have considerable flaws, and are not sufficient to draw the conclusions that were published. This is according to researchers from universities including Linköping University (LiU), in an article in Nature.

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Computer model vs. Covid-19

Discovering new weaknesses of SARS-CoV-2 through bioinformatics

The search for antiviral agents against the new coronavirus is in full swing. Using a novel approach, Bioinformaticians have now discovered a weakness in the virus that could be exploited for drug development. In a computer model, the scientists discovered a human enzyme that is crucial for the virus. When it was switched off in the model, the virus could no longer multiply.

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Ready to face the pandemic

Sonosite PX launches in a moment of crisis

This July, Fujifilm Sonosite launched Sonosite PX, its newest ultrasound system, in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. Diku Mandavia, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of Fujifilm Sonosite, sat down with sonographer and Sonosite’s Director of Marketing Development Jodi Miller to discuss how Sonosite’s newest ultrasound system can help frontline health care workers combat the pandemic and why…

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For use across the UK

Covid-19 vaccine from Oxford University and AstraZeneca approved

The Covid-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University/AstraZeneca has been given regulatory approval by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) after meeting required safety, quality and effectiveness standards. Following a rigorous, detailed scientific review by the MHRA’s expert scientists and clinicians and on the basis of the advice of its scientific, independent…

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Lessons learned from the pandemic

Health professionals have to ask: “What’s next?”

The Covid-19 pandemic came as a shock but not a surprise. Bodies around the world have been warning for years of a novel disease that could wipe out millions and crash the global economy. In February 2019, Dr Jonathan Quick, chair of the Global Health Council, told Raconteur: “Our greatest fear is being blindsided by a new virus, most likely due to animal-human spill over, which then readily…

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Pandemic side-effects

Do I Know You? How masks disrupt facial perception

The identification of people wearing masks has often presented a unique challenge during the pandemic. A new study by researchers from BGU and York University in Canada reveals the impact of this predicament and its potentially significant repercussions. The findings were just published in the journal Scientific Reports.

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Coping with Covid-19

How to work in the lab (while staying at home)

Inspired by remotely controlled surgical robots, professor and Vici laureate Jaime Gómez Rivas turned the corona crisis into an opportunity. He started to transform his lab into a remotely controlled experimental facility. And with success: the first paper based on entirely remote measurements is about to be published. ‘As soon as the lockdown began in March, I sat down and had a chat with my…

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AI does not discriminate

Removing bias from mammography screening with deep learning

AI can help tackle inequities and bias in healthcare but it also brings partiality issues of its own, experts explained in a Hot Topic session entitled "Artificial Intelligence and Implications for Health Equity: Will AI Improve Equity or Increase Disparities?" at RSNA. Two leading researchers showcased how deep learning may help bring back all the patients into screening mammography…

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Measuring aerosol travel while talking and singing

Imaging exhaled breath to provide new insights into Covid-19 transmission

A new method for visualizing breath that is exhaled while someone is speaking or singing could provide important new insights into how diseases such as Covid-19 spread and the effectiveness of face masks. “Scientists believe the SARS-CoV-2 virus is primarily spread through respiratory droplets that can be carried in the breath or expelled through coughing or sneezing,” said Thomas Moore from…

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SARS-CoV-2 vs the proteome

Researchers explore coronavirus interactions with cells

Scientists from Würzburg and the US have charted the first global atlas of direct interactions between SARS-CoV-2 RNA and human host cells. This may provide a starting point for novel treatments. SARS-CoV-2 infections pose a global threat to human health and a formidable research challenge. One of the most urgent tasks is to gain a detailed understanding of the molecular interactions between the…

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Wearable sensor

Covid sensor ring detects even subtle symptoms

A smart ring that generates continuous temperature data may foreshadow Covid-19, even in cases when infection is not suspected. The device, which may be a better illness indicator than a thermometer, could lead to earlier isolation and testing, curbing the spread of infectious diseases, according to a preliminary study led by UC San Francisco and UC San Diego.

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Rapid antigen testing at point of care

AI-assisted SARS-CoV-2 testing: Cooperation for first live project in Munich

Medicus AI announces the successful launch of its first live project under SafePlay, the digital platform supporting rapid antigen testing, which went live in partnership with Roche Diagnostics Germany and 21Dx in Munich this month. Medicus provides operators with a tech-enabled end-to-end solution that supports the logistical aspects of testing, managing the administrative workflow from…

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Natural variation impacts virus-relevant proteins

How SARS-CoV-2 benefits from helpers within the human body

Like all viruses, the novel coronavirus is dependent on help from the human host cell. Proteins are the functional units of the cell and enable the virus to enter the host cell or help the virus to replicate. Scientists from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and from the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH), along with colleagues from the United Kingdom, Germany and the United States, have…

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AI, apps and more

Digital health tools to fight Covid-19

A great deal of solutions using new technologies have been released to help tackle the Covid-19 pandemic and a panel of international experts shared a few examples during the Barcelona Health Summit last October. Contact-tracing apps are an interesting option to manage a pandemic, but the creation process can take a long time and must meet several requirements, according to a Dutch official who…

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Supply and demand

Covid-19 vaccine will probably be unavailable for many until 2022

Nearly a quarter of the world’s population may not have access to a covid-19 vaccine until at least 2022, warns a study published by The BMJ. A second study estimates that 3.7 billion adults worldwide are willing to have a covid-19 vaccine, highlighting the importance of designing fair and equitable strategies to ensure that supply can meet demand, especially in low and middle income countries.

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Digital health

AI test rules out Covid-19 diagnosis within one hour

An Artificial Intelligence test has been shown to be able to rapidly screen patients arriving in Emergency Departments for Covid-19, using clinical information routinely available within the first hour of coming to hospital. Results of the CURIAL study, published in The Lancet Digital Health, show that the AI test correctly predicted the Covid-19 status of 92.3% of patients coming to Emergency…

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Fractional exponents

New approach for more accurate epidemic modeling

A new class of epidemiological models based on alternative thinking about how contagions propagate, particularly in the early phases of a pandemic, provide a blueprint for more accurate epidemic modeling and improved disease spread predictions and responses, according to a study published recently in Scientific Reports by researchers at the University of California, Irvine and other institutions.

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Pandemic problems

Covid-19: risk increased sevenfold for healthcare workers

Healthcare workers are 7 times as likely to have severe Covid-19 infection as those with other types of ‘non-essential’ jobs, finds research focusing on the first UK-wide lockdown. And those with jobs in the social care and transport sectors are twice as likely to do so, emphasising the need to ensure that essential (key) workers are adequately protected against the infection, say the…

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USA and Chinese experts share observations

AI in Covid research

A panel of experts from the USA and China highlighted AI use in radiological workflow during the Covid pandemic and identified current pitfalls during the Hot Topic session at RSNA 2020. Radiologists from the USA prioritised Covid articles, delivered quick reviews, made all results open access, and helped organise a white paper from the Fleischner Society recognising recommendations for the role…

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Coronavirus imaging

Covid-19: Is CT more sensitive than PCR testing?

Covid-19 causes characteristic changes in lung tissue visible in CT scans and chest radiographs. The “ground-glass” opacities are sharply delineated areas, bilateral and mainly located in the basal and peripheral lung sections. In the course of the infection, the opacities become increasingly consolidated. In the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, when PCR tests (RT-PCR) were scarce and had…

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The role of chest CT in diagnosis and treatment

UPDATE: Covid-19 and lung infections imaging

RSNA 2020: International experts showcased new studies on chest CT’s role in Covid-19 diagnosis and treatment. A staggering volume of work and has been produced on the pandemic this year, with an average 367 Covid-19 journal articles published per week, according to Michael Chung, Assistant professor of radiology at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, NYC.

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Pandemic management

How the Covid-19 crisis defines good leadership

A senior UK health figure has highlighted how contrasting leadership approaches are impacting the response to the global coronavirus crisis. Dr Clare Gerada also fears that response is affecting health professionals and leaders within the sector, with a significant rise numbers seeking help for mental health issues. Delivering the prestigious Sir Godfrey Hounsfield Lecture to the 2020 British…

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Open source framework

Here comes the AI healthcare era

Although the Covid-19 pandemic has put wind behind the sails of AI in healthcare, domain specific tools are needed to build and deploy AI and harness its power in data handling, training workflows and reproducibility of state-of-the-art approaches, according to Kimberly Powell, NVIDIA Vice President of Healthcare at the technology firm NVIDIA, presenter of a public address at RSNA 2020.

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The ‘new normal’ after Covid-19

Lung cancer screening: The slow return of mobile units

The coronavirus pandemic has had a severe impact on healthcare services but one area where that has been felt particularly deeply is with lung cancer screening. With sessions cancelled, treatment delays and social-distancing and safety requirements, many patients have been affected. However, as services begin to pick up again and lung cancer screening returns, three experts closely associated…

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Diagnosing SARS-CoV-2

The arsenal: Molecular (PCR), antigen and antibody testing

Germany’s lack of diagnostic ability led to significantly underestimation of its own as well as global Covid-19 infection levels during the first wave. Now, however, improved testing and diagnosis of the condition more realistically reveal nearer 20,000 new cases a day across the country, according to Professor Hendrik Streeck, one of the country’s leading virologists. Speaking at a virtual…

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Managing occupancy rates

How technology and data modelling can save hospitals from overcrowding

Overcrowding is a challenge that faces numerous hospitals across the UK. The burden of managing occupancy rates can immediately turn into a major issue that puts immense pressure on hospital staff, patients and their families alike. Studies shows that when capacity rates increase above 92.5%, the death rate in hospitals can expand exponentially. It can represent one-in-seven mortalities amongst…

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Virology

Digital epidemiology in the Covid-19 war

Digital epidemiology is on the frontline in the Covid-19 war, with innovative techniques used to observe and monitor this viral spread across populations. Its increasingly important role was outlined to a virtual session at Medica 2020 by theoretical biologist Professor Dirk Brockmann. In a keynote presentation ‘Perspective of digital epidemiology – opportunities, promises and challenges’,…

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Coronavirus genome folding

Researchers prepare for “SARS-CoV3”

For the first time, an international research alliance has observed the RNA folding structures of the SARS-CoV2 genome with which the virus controls the infection process. Since these structures are very similar among various beta corona viruses, the scientists not only laid the foundation for the targeted development of novel drugs for treating Covid-19, but also for occurrences of infection…

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For at least six months

Prior COVID-19 infection offers protection from re-infection

A new study suggests that individuals who have previously had COVID-19 are highly unlikely to contract the illness again, for at least six months following their first infection. The study, done as part of a major collaboration between the University of Oxford and Oxford University Hospitals (OUH) NHS Foundation Trust, was published as a pre-print.

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Experts: The reliance on others must stop

Covid pandemic underlines need for change in EU blood acquisition

The Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association (PPTA) welcomes the European Commission’s publication of the Inception Impact Assessment (IIA) as a necessary step in the ongoing evaluation of the EU legislation on blood, tissues, and cells (BTC). Rightfully, the assessment underlines the need for timely action to decrease Europe’s reliance on third countries for plasma. The PPTA appeals to…

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Coronavirus assay receives CE Mark

Quantitative Covid-19 test to measure neutralizing antibodies

Siemens Healthineers announced its SARS-CoV-2 IgG Antibody Test (sCOVG) has proven to measure neutralizing antibodies and has achieved CE Mark. The test is an enhanced version of the assay which became available globally this summer. It demonstrates the ability to detect neutralizing antibodies and reports quantitative results measuring the amount of neutralizing antibodies present in a patient's…

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Addressing a broad range of research applications

Mass spectrometry advances

Since the Covid-19 epidemic took hold, the public has expected ‘unprecedented progress from the scientific community,’ observed Dan Shine, senior vice president and president of the analytical instruments division of Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. ‘A deeper analysis of proteins is critical to understanding disease, including novel viruses. New instruments, software and workflows can power…

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New gargle test

Mass spectrometry to improve Covid testing

A UK biotech laboratory has used mass spectrometry in a new approach to coronavirus testing. MAP Sciences developed a gargle test, which collects samples from the back of the throat, and avoids the unpleasant sensation of the current PCR (polymerase chain reaction) swab tests. From there, the sample is tested for coronavirus using mass spectrometry (MS) with high levels of accuracy.

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Profiling the coronavirus

Experts unlock Covid-19 secrets

Experts have identified two distinct immunological and cellular profiles in the lungs of Covid-19 patients which they believe could help define treatment pathways. From some of the earliest Covid-19 autopsies conducted in Europe, Swiss-based researchers have performed integrative digital pathology and transcriptomic analyses of lung tissues of 16 coronavirus patients who died from respiratory…

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MEDICA session

PCR tests excel during Covid-19 pandemic

In early 1990, at Analytica, in Munich, a young US-American researcher Kary B Mullis received the award for biochemical analytics for his 1983 invention: the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) – a success topped in 1993 by the Nobel Prize for chemistry. Mullis’ work revolutionised DNA copying, a process which, before PCR, had taken weeks. Whilst initially PCR was used to create digital…

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Overview

9 disinfection robots fighting the coronavirus

As COVID-19 spreads across the world, hospitals are utilizing disinfection robots to sanitize surfaces and minimize risk for their staff. Read on our partner site tectales.com about how some of those robots kill 99.99 percent of germs.

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The countdown is on

virtual.MEDICA starts off with full programme and innovations

For the first time in their history, the world-leading medical trade fair MEDICA and the international number one event for the medical manufacturing supply market, COMPAMED, will be held entirely online as virtual.MEDICA and virtual.COMPAMED from Monday, with around 1,400 exhibitors hailing from 56 countries. Throughout the four days of the trade fair (16 – 19 November 2020), international…

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Detecting coronavirus infections

Covid-19: CRISPR-based test gives GPs quick results

Recent research in Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) has identified two enzymes that can detect Covid-19 RNA as simply as a pregnancy test Jesús Pla, an eminent microbiologist at the Complutense University in Madrid, explained in our exclusive interview. CRISPR technology could help alleviate workloads in packed hospitals and expand testing to primary care and…

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Early imaging assessment of Covid-19

Robot-assisted tele-ultrasound on 5G

Ultrasound specialists at the Hainan Hospital of Chinese People’s Liberation Army General Hospital in Sanya and the Zhejiang Provincial People’s Hospital of Hangzhou successfully conducted robotic tele-ultrasound examinations over a 5G network of four patients with confirmed and suspected Covid-19. They were in Tongxiang and Wuhan, cities some 2600+ kilometres distant.

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spotlight at virtual.MEDICA

Digital health is on the rise due to COVID-19

MEDICA in Düsseldorf is a world-leading platform for the medical technology business and the healthcare industry and has always been one of the places to be for the entire sector as it covers current digital health trends, innovative products and services for linking all of the major stakeholders in medical care. Consequently, digital health is a mainstay of virtual.MEDICA, which, due to the…

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In countries accepting CE Mark

Beckman Coulter launches SARS-CoV-2 IgM antibody test

Beckman Coulter announced the launch of its Access SARS-CoV-2 Immunoglobulin M (IgM) assay in countries accepting the CE Mark. The new IgM antibody test demonstrated 99.9% specificity with 1,400 negative samples and 100% sensitivity at >18 days post symptom onset and post positive PCR. Beckman Coulter’s IgM assay is part of a full suite of testing solutions the company is developing to…

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False positive results

Accuracy of rapid covid test may be lower than previously suggested

The accuracy of a rapid finger-prick antibody test for SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for covid-19 infection, may be considerably lower than previously suggested, finds a study published by The BMJ. The results suggest that if 10% of people given the test had previously been infected, around 1 in 5 positive test results would be incorrect (false positive results). These conclusions contrast…

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"B1" accessory

Droplet reduction mouthpiece to increase endoscopy safety

Safety and protection for patients and healthcare professionals during routine procedures is imperative for Fujifilm, which it intends to pursue by constantly innovating its offering of accessories and instruments for endoscopy. The company announced the launch of the Mouthpiece “B1” incorporating a sponge rubber, a droplet reduction accessory, and a drape shield specifically created to catch…

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Quality aspects

Lab automation – economic aspects and Covid-19

The academic teaching Karlsruhe Hospital, at the University of Freiburg, is the largest hospital providing tertiary care in the Middle Upper Rhine Valley. Every year, 63,000 in-patients and 180,000 out-patients are treated in the 1,500-bed facility with 50 departments and 30 out-patient clinics. Inevitably, a hospital of this size has a central lab. We spoke with Dr Horst Mayer, managing senior…

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Preclinical data

COVID-19 vaccine candidate designed via computer

An innovative nanoparticle vaccine candidate for the pandemic coronavirus produces virus-neutralizing antibodies in mice at levels ten-times greater than is seen in people who have recovered from COVID-19 infections. Designed by scientists at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, the vaccine candidate has been transferred to two companies for clinical development.

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International Day of Radiology 2020

IDoR dedicated to professionals fighting COVID-19

This year, the International Day of Radiology is dedicated to all imaging professionals and their essential role in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, making an indispensable contribution to the diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19 patients.

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Autopsy study

Myocarditis linked to COVID-19 not as common as believed

A study conducted by Richard Vander Heide, MD, PhD, Professor and Director of Pathology Research at LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine, and Marc Halushka, MD, PhD, Professor of Pathology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, suggests myocarditis caused by COVID-19 may be a relatively rare occurrence.

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Using virus particles in exhaled breath

New SARS-CoV-2 test to deliver results in under 5 minutes

Research and innovation hub Imec announced that it has started developing a groundbreaking SARS-CoV-2 test. Unlike current approaches (using blood, saliva, or a nasopharyngeal swab), the new test will identify SARS-CoV-2 virus particles in a person’s exhaled breath. The solution promises the accurate identification of a contagious case in less than five minutes.

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Risk assessment

Understanding the spread of COVID-19 on public transport

Researchers at Newcastle University are involved in a study to understand the risks of COVID-19 transmission on public transport and to identify the best measures to control it. Known as Project TRACK (Transport Risk Assessment for Covid Knowledge), the study will conduct fieldwork on buses and trains in London, Leeds and Newcastle, including the Metro system in Tyne and Wear.

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At the heart of science

Scientific research has to be ‘passion-driven’, says Nobel Prize winner

Scientists cannot be expected to drop everything they’re working on to turn their attention to beating COVID-19, according to the winner of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, Professor Sir Peter Ratcliffe. Speaking before he delivered the prestigious Michel Clavel lecture to the 32nd EORTC-NCI-AACR Symposium on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics, which was due to take place…

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Flaws in study design

Will COVID-19 vaccines save lives? Right now, we cannot tell

Vaccines are being hailed as the solution to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the vaccine trials currently underway are not designed to tell us if they will save lives, reports Peter Doshi, Associate Editor at The BMJ. Several COVID-19 vaccine trials are now in their most advanced (phase 3) stage, but what will it mean exactly when a vaccine is declared “effective”? Many may assume that successful…

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Neuropilin-1 as a 'helper' for COVID-19

Coronavirus: Study finds further 'door opener' into the cell

The coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is known to infect cells via the receptor ACE2. An international research team under German-Finnish coordination has now identified neuropilin-1 as a factor that can facilitate SARS-CoV-2 entry into the cells’ interior. Neuropilin-1 is localized in the respiratory and olfactory epithelia, which could be a strategically important localization to contribute to…

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'QCOVID' model

New COVID-19 tool predicts risks of hospital admission and death

A new risk tool, developed by UK researchers to predict a person’s risk of being admitted to hospital and dying from COVID-19 has been published by The BMJ. With cases increasing in the UK and elsewhere, and winter approaching, there is an urgent need for reliable models that predict the likely course of COVID-19, to support decisions about shielding, hospital admission, treatment, and…

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Therapy development

New approach to 'BEAT' COVID-19

The present Coronavirus pandemic with all its effects on society – both health and economic – highlights the urgency of developing new therapies for COVID-19 treatment. At the same time, it demonstrates the necessity to become well prepared for new virus infections we may be facing in the future. To help control the current pandemic and brace for novel pathogens that may cause future…

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COVID immunity research

Coronavirus re-infection: what we know so far – and the vital missing clues

As President Trump claims that he is immune to COVID-19 and isolated reports emerge of reinfection, what is the truth about immunity to COVID-19? To date, there have been six published cases of COVID-19 reinfection, with various other unverified accounts from around the world. Although this is a comparably small fraction of the millions of people known to have been infected, should we be…

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Infection with Covid-19

The antiviral effect of innate immunity

Innate immunity is the fastest-acting component of the immune system, but so far little is known about its role during infection with SARS-CoV-2. A few hours after an infection, the body emits an alarm signal, interferon, enabling cells that have not yet been infected to produce antiviral proteins. This phenomenon occurs well before the production of neutralizing antibodies. Scientists from the…

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Uncommon, but reversible

Sudden deaf: permanent hearing loss linked to COVID-19

Although uncommon, sudden permanent hearing loss seems to be linked to COVID-19 infection in some people, warn doctors, reporting the first UK case in the journal BMJ Case Reports. Awareness of this possible side effect is important, because a prompt course of steroid treatment can reverse this disabling condition, they emphasise. Sudden hearing loss is frequently seen by ear, nose and throat…

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New insights on the virus' ‘survivability’

How long does SARS-CoV-2 last on surfaces?

Researchers at CSIRO, Australia's national science agency, have found that SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19, can survive for up to 28 days on common surfaces including banknotes, glass – such as that found on mobile phone screens - and stainless steel.

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Simulation model for pathological mechanisms

Understanding the progress of viral infections

It is only 120 millionths of a millimetre in size but can bring entire countries to a standstill: the Corona virus. Even if it were to disappear one day, viral infections will still be among the most frequent and difficult-to-treat diseases in humans. Even decades of research have only produced a few standardized vaccines and strategies for treatment to combat just a small number of viruses. Nor…

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Using artificial lungs

How COVID-19 causes blood clots

Scientists at EPFL are using technology to better understand how coronavirus causes blood clots in some patients. They have developed a simplified model of a lung that lets them observe, for the first time, how the virus attacks the cells lining blood vessels.

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Strict separation policy

Creating 'COVID-19 free' hospital areas to save lives after surgery

Setting up ‘COVID-19 free’ hospital areas for surgical patients could save lives during the second wave of the pandemic – reducing the risk of death from lung infections associated with coronavirus, a new global study reveals. Researchers working together in Brazil and beyond found that that patients who had their operation and hospital care in ‘COVID-19 free’ areas had better outcomes.…

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Fending off the coronavirus

The role of T-cells in SARS-CoV-2 virus defense

Our immune system can efficiently fend off viral diseases. Two types of immune cells play an important role in this process: The T-cells, which firstly can directly destroy virus-infected cells and secondly enable the formation of efficient, virus-neutralizing antibodies by B-cells. These two cell types also play a crucial role in the immune defense against SARS-CoV-2 infection. Whereas antibody…

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Managing coronavirus testing

Successful pilot study for new COVID-19 screening management software

With COVID-19 testing an important part of controlling the spread of the virus, finding an effective software system to manage the testing process and collate the results, on a national level and individually within businesses, hospitals, care-homes and schools etc., is essential. Thomson Screening developed SchoolScreener Imms in order to manage health testing within schools, but with the…

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'Rush to publish'

Have research standards suffered during COVID-19?

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a flood of potentially substandard research amid the rush to publish, with a string of papers retracted or under a cloud and a surge in submissions to pre-print servers where fewer quality checks are made, a leading ethicist has warned in the Journal of Medical Ethics. This has implications for patients, clinicians, and potentially government policy, says…

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Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance

Insight on the use of CMR in COVID-19 patients

The Society for Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance (SCMR), a Society dedicated to improving cardiovascular health by advancing the field of cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR), has released a formal statement supporting and explaining their position on the use of CMR in COVID-19 patients. The topic has led to debate among medical professionals, especially those in the cardiology specialty.

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Insufficient protective properties

Covid-19: Experts warn of KN95 masks quality issues

An analysis by ECRI, the U.S.’s largest patient safety organization, shows that up to 70 percent of KN95 masks it tested do not meet its standards for effectiveness, raising risks of contracting Covid-19 for care providers and patients at hospitals and other healthcare organizations that imported masks from China.

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Reduced complications, death

COVID-19: The benefits of vitamin D

Adequate levels of vitamin D reduces complications and deaths among COVID-19 patients, reveals new research performed at the Boston University School of Medicine. Hospitalized COVID-19 patients who were vitamin D sufficient, with a blood level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D of at least 30 ng/mL (a measure of vitamin D status), had a significant decreased risk for adverse clinical outcomes including…

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Testing strategy re-evaluated

COVID-19 testing at random? Here's a better idea

As COVID-19 infections begin to rise again, a novel testing strategy proposed by researchers at the University of Oxford at the start of the pandemic has become urgent once again. The strategy aims to bring the virus’s reproduction number (‘R’) down to below 1, by concentrating testing resources on particular groups in the population that are most likely to spread the infection to others,…

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Basis for a passive vaccination

Researchers identify highly effective antibodies against SARS-CoV-2

Researchers at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin have identified highly effective antibodies against the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and are now pursuing the development of a passive vaccination. In this process, they have also discovered that some SARS-CoV-2 antibodies bind to tissue samples from various organs, which could potentially…

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Nitrogen dioxide levels

Air pollution linked to higher COVID-19 mortality

Scientists have unearthed a possible link between the severity of COVID-19 and air quality. The preliminary study – looking at whether areas with higher levels of air pollutants in England are associated with a larger number of cases/deaths from COVID-19 – was conducted by a team from the University of Cambridge. Aware of the effects that air pollutants have on human health – and that…

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Silent alarm

‘Silent’ COVID-19 patients may still act as a spreader, warn experts

People with ‘silent’ COVID-19 infection have as much coronavirus in their noses and throats as those with symptoms, reveals research published online in the journal Thorax. Given how many of these people there are---a fifth of those infected, the study findings show--they may have a key role in driving the spread of COVID-19, warn the researchers, who go on to suggest that this warrants…

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Modality comparison

COVID-19 imaging: lung ultrasound vs chest CT

A recent preprint study in France underpins the debate on whether lung ultrasound (LUS) should be used to triage COVID-19 patients better at the hospital as well as in primary care. The eChoVid study, published as a preliminary report of work on medTrix, shows that LUS enables identification of lung lesions as well as chest CT in COVID-19 patients. A team of French researchers compared routinely…

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POCT as initial coronavirus screening tool

Ultrasound confirms frontline value in COVID-19 setting

Ultrasound could become the prime modality in emergency settings for tracking disease progression in COVID-19 patients. While chest CT has held a key diagnostic role thus far, many experts now advocate the benefits of ultrasound within the context of the coronavirus epidemic. Dr Rachel Liu, who recently led a high-profile panel discussion with experts from the USA and areas of Europe with high…

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Due to COVID-19

Medica 2020 goes all virtual

Medica 2020 and Compamed 2020, the information and communication platforms for the medical technology industry and supplier industry for the medical technology industry, will take place entirely online from 16 to 19 November. Within the framework of 'virtual.Medica' and 'virtual.Compamed', decision-makers from all sectors of the healthcare industry can then expect a comprehensive range of…

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Taking control

How the coronavirus hijacks cells

Researchers at ETH Zurich and the University of Bern have discovered a mechanism by which the coronavirus manipulates human cells to ensure its own replication. This knowledge will help to develop drugs and vaccines against the coronavirus.

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Non-pulmonary aspects

The cardiovascular impact of Covid-19

The increased Covid-19 risk to cardiac patients was discussed during an online presentation at ECR 2020. Focusing on the prevalence of pulmonary embolism in Covid-19 patients, Dr Karl-Friedrich Kreitner, Professor of Radiology at the Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology at the Johannes-Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany, discussed hypotheses which can explain cardiac…

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Cutting-edge

Taiwan companies present latest equipment advances

The healthcare system of Taiwan, renowned for its ability to tackle challenges, has held up very well during the COVID-19 pandemic. To underline the nation’s role as a healthcare innovator, the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) presented several of the most promising companies and their products in an exclusive webinar. The event showcased cutting-edge technologies as well as…

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Coronavirus

“Hotspots” of a corona infection in the human body

An infection with the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 can affect multiple organs. With this in mind, researchers of the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and Cornell University in the US have investigated cellular factors that could be significant for an infection. To this end, they analysed the activity of 28 specific genes in a wide range of human tissues.

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Prototype

Portable point-of-care for Covid-19 tests

As COVID-19 continues to spread, bottlenecks in supplies and laboratory personnel have led to long waiting times for results in some areas. In a new study, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign researchers have demonstrated a prototype of a rapid COVID-19 molecular test and a simple-to-use, portable instrument for reading the results with a smartphone in 30 minutes, which could enable…

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Joint Research

AI helps diagnosing Covid-19

Fujitsu and Tokyo Shinagawa Hospital today announced the launch of a joint R&D project for AI technology to support diagnostic imaging via chest CT (Computed Tomography), which represents a promising candidate for the effective diagnosis of COVID-19 pneumonia.

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Corona demographics

Why Covid-19 registries for cancer patients are so important

Due to compromised immune systems cancer patients are at higher risk of contracting infections. How does cancer impact on patients who also contract Covid-19? To collect this data, four cancer registries, one in the EU, one in the UK, two in the USA, have been established. The first large, multi-institution study of the impact of Covid-19 was conducted in Wuhan, China, and presented at the…

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Aerosol recommendations

How humidity affects indoor spread of SARS-CoV-2

The airborne transmission of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 via aerosol particles in indoor environment seems to be strongly influenced by relative humidity. This is the conclusion drawn by researchers from the Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research (TROPOS) in Leipzig and the CSIR National Physical Laboratory in New Delhi from the analysis of 10 most relevant international studies on the…

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Research shows

Children are silent spreaders of COVID-19 virus

In the most comprehensive study of COVID-19 pediatric patients to date, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Mass General Hospital for Children (MGHfC) researchers provide critical data showing that children play a larger role in the community spread of COVID-19 than previously thought. In a study of 192 children ages 0-22, 49 children tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, and an additional 18…

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After coronavirus infection

Study reveals why people with COVID-19 may lose their sense of smell

Researchers studying tissue removed from patients noses during surgery believe they may have discovered the reason why so many people with COVID-19 lose their sense of smell, even when they have no other symptoms. In their experiments they found extremely high levels of angiotensin converting enzyme II (ACE-2) only in the area of the nose responsible for smelling. This Enzyme is thought to be the…

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Rapidly meeting a surging demand

The science behind 3-D printed nasal swabs

Medical device approved 3-D printers are producing clinically safe and effective nasopharyngeal swabs for COVID-19 testing. A nasal swab may seem rudimentary, but is essential for testing COVID-19. Diagnostic test kits and components – nasal swabs, collection vials, and chemical reagents – have been in short supply worldwide, especially in March. Ironically, nasopharyngeal swabs are…

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Electrostatic interactions

New research exposes weak spot in SARS-CoV-2

Northwestern University researchers have uncovered a new vulnerability in the novel coronavirus’ infamous spike protein — illuminating a relatively simple, potential treatment pathway. The spike protein contains the virus’ binding site, which adheres to host cells and enables the virus to enter and infect the body. Using nanometer-level simulations, the researchers discovered a positively…

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Deep learning application

COVID-19 cough camera: device detects location of coughing sounds in real-time​

The Center for Noise and Vibration Control at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) announced that their coughing detection camera recognizes where coughing happens, visualizing the locations. The resulting cough recognition camera can track and record information about the person who coughed, their location, and the number of coughs on a real-time basis. Professor…

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Reducing coronavirus test burden

AI speeds up COVID-19 screening in emergency rooms

Researchers from Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) and the Catharina Hospital in Eindhoven have developed a new algorithm for the rapid screening for COVID-19. The software is intended for use in Emergency Rooms (ER), to quickly exclude the presence of corona in incoming patients. As a result, doctors need to conduct fewer standard coronavirus tests, increasing efficiency. The quick scan…

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Improved accuracy and efficiency

AI could improve CT screening for COVID-19

Researchers at the University of Notre Dame are developing a new technique using artificial intelligence (AI) that would improve CT screening to more quickly identify patients with the coronavirus. The new technique will reduce the burden on the radiologists tasked with screening each image. Testing challenges have led to an influx of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 requiring CT scans which…

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Volunteers for bio-detection trial

COVID-19-sniffing dogs put to the test in the UK

A rather unique trial in the UK currently explores the capability of dogs to detect coronavirus infections in humans with their highly sensitive noses. The researchers are asking people in England for help with the trial. Led by the ARCTEC team at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) in collaboration with the charity Medical Detection Dogs and Durham University, the trial…

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Coronavirus research

Boosting the immune system: a potential treatment strategy for COVID-19?

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to claim lives around the world, much research has focused on the immune system’s role in patients who become seriously ill. A popular theory has it that the immune system gets so revved up fighting the virus that, after several days, it produces a so-called cytokine storm that results in potentially fatal organ damage, particularly to the lungs.

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Re-evaluation of the coronavirus disease

COVID-19: A tale of two conditions

The SARS CoV-2 virus which causes COVID-19 may have been named prematurely. As more has become known about the infection, the severe disease does not appear to be a respiratory syndrome at all. Patients who only have a respiratory illness tend not to have a severe condition, while patients who develop a severe condition tend to have non-respiratory conditions, primarily thrombotic or hyper-immune…

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Pregnancy risk

Coronavirus could infect embryos as early as the first trimester

Genes that are thought to play a role in how the SARS-CoV-2 virus infects our cells have been found to be active in embryos as early as during the second week of pregnancy, say scientists at the University of Cambridge and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). The researchers say this could mean embryos are susceptible to COVID-19 if the mother gets sick, potentially affecting the…

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Demographic disconnect

COVID-19 drives telehealth (but older people might get left behind)

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a significant increase in video visits between patients and their doctors, but for many older adults, the shift has cut them off from care, rather than connecting them. A study by researchers at the University of California San Francisco has found that more than a third of adults over age 65 face potential difficulties seeing their doctor via telemedicine, with…

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Smart breathing support

Self-learning ventilators could save more COVID-19 patients

As the corona pandemic continues, mechanical ventilators are vital for the survival of COVID-19 patients who cannot breathe on their own. One of the major challenges is tracking and controlling the pressure of the ventilators, to ensure patients get exactly the amount of air they need. Researchers at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) have developed a technique based on self-learning…

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Corona in radiology

Revealing COVID-19-related brain injury in MRI and CT imaging

Injuries in the nervous system of patients with severe COVID-19 are revealed by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT). In a study of 185 patients, researchers at Karolinska Institutet (KI) and Karolinska University Hospital show an affection of microscopic blood vessels and inflammation in the brain, meninges and nerves. The results are published in Radiology.

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Corona & tinnitus

COVID-19 also reported to cause hearing problems

A significant number of patients reported a deterioration in their hearing when questioned eight weeks after discharge from a hospital admission for COVID-19, according to University of Manchester audiologists, in a study supported by the NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Centre (BRC). One hundred and twenty one of the adults admitted to Wythenshawe Hospital, part of Manchester University NHS…

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Critical care

COVID-19: High mortality in hospital patients

Approximately one fifth of COVID-19 patients admitted to German hospitals between the end of February and mid-April died. For patients receiving ventilation, the mortality rate was 53%. For those not receiving ventilation, the rate was significantly lower at 16%. 17% of all patients were ventilated during this period. These are the main results of an analysis by WIdO, the research institute of…

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Combined against corona

COVID-19: promising drug combination opens up new therapeutic avenues

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, finding a treatment to effectively fight the disease remains a major research challenge. Researchers from Inserm, CNRS, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 and ENS Lyon within the International Center for Infectious Disease Research (CIRI) have developed a unique strategy for selection, evaluation and repositioning of drugs already on the market to assess their…

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Coronavirus

Lab-made virus mimics COVID-19 virus

Airborne and potentially deadly, the virus that causes COVID-19 can only be studied safely under high-level biosafety conditions. Scientists handling the infectious virus must wear full-body biohazard suits with pressurized respirators, and work inside laboratories with multiple containment levels and specialized ventilation systems. While necessary to protect laboratory workers, these safety…

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Self-sanitising surfaces

First long-lasting surface treatment to kill coronavirus launched

Chemical binding company Affix Labs has created the first long-lasting surface treatment proven to kill COVID-19. Si-Quat combines a safe and well-established disinfectant and a proprietary chemical binding technique, so that the active ingredient can kill viruses, including SARS-CoV-2. Testing at Portugal’s Biochemistry Institute at the University of Lisbon proves that Si-Quat effectively…

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'ChAdOx1' delivers promising results

Breakthrough for coronavirus vaccine candidate

A team of scientists at Oxford University’s Jenner Institute and Oxford Vaccine Group has taken the next step towards the discovery of a safe, effective and accessible vaccine against coronavirus. The results of the Phase I/II trial published in the scientific journal, The Lancet, indicate no early safety concerns and induces strong immune responses in both parts of the immune system.

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Immune system sabotage

SARS-CoV-2 induces shutdown of protein synthesis

Although its name is relatively unspecific and indeed opaque, the Nonstructural Protein 1 (Nsp1) encoded by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, which is responsible for the current pandemic, has now been shown to have a devastating effect on host cells. Nsp1 is in fact one of the central weapons used by the virus to ensure its own replication and propagation in human hosts. Nsp1 was identified as a…

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COVID-19

Scientists uncover SARSCoV-2-specific T cell immunity in recovered patients

The T cells, along with antibodies, are an integral part of the human immune response against viral infections due to their ability to directly target and kill infected cells. A Singapore study has uncovered the presence of virus-specific T cell immunity in people who recovered from COVID-19 and SARS, as well as some healthy study subjects who had never been infected by either virus.

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Growth segment focus, resource optimization, massive restructuring

Healthcare experts: 2020 will be 'unforgiving but transformational'

Frost & Sullivan’s recent analysis, Post-Pandemic Global Healthcare Market Outlook, 2020, forecasts that 2020 will be an unforgiving but transformational year for the healthcare industry. As the world grapples with a global emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the healthcare industry is expected to witness a drop in growth from 5.3% to 0.6% in 2020, with revenues remaining below the…

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Coronavirus in radiology

Why we need a global view of COVID-19

There are major complications from COVID-19 – ARDS, pulmonary embolism and neurological – that imaging can help detect, manage and/or follow up in the long term, radiologists from France and the UK explained during a recent ESR Connect session. ARDS is the most dreaded complication and the number one morbidity in COVID-19 patients. The incidence was up to 30% of patients in initial reports.…

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Coronavirus research

How type 1 interferon deficiency hints at severe forms of COVID-19

Which patient will develop a severe form of COVID-19? This is an essential question which must be answered in order to improve the individual management and the prognosis of these patients. In a publication in the journal Science, teams from the Assistance publique – Hôpitaux de Paris (AP-HP), Inserm, Université de Paris, Institut Pasteur and Institut Imagine describe a unique and unexpected…

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Restriction research

COVID-19: The earlier the lockdown, the fewer new cases, study shows

Physical distancing measures, such as closing schools, workplaces, and public transport, and restricting mass gatherings, are associated with a meaningful reduction in new COVID-19 cases, finds a study published by The BMJ. The data, gathered from 149 countries and regions, also show that implementing lockdown restrictions earlier was associated with a greater reduction in new cases. “These…

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Corona management in Taiwan

Standing united against COVID-19

Despite its proximity to China, Taiwan contained COVID-19 successfully, without a lockdown or movement restriction measures introduced elsewhere. With few new cases reported, life almost returned to normal. Behind the scenes, however, efforts have continued to maintain that positive situation.

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Imaging workflow challenges

The long-term impact of COVID-19 on teleradiology

The coronavirus pandemic – an international tragedy – created unprecedented upheaval and challenges within health systems, economies, and society. In hospitals, new ways of working had to evolve. Social distancing led to virtual consultations and teleradiology has found an added dimension, with its success, practicality, and effectiveness likely to see more widespread future use. We asked…

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Radiology and COVID-19

Out of adversity comes opportunity

The critical role of radiographers in the coronavirus epidemic was highlighted in the final episode of the ESR Connect series of webcasts, ‘Radiology fighting COVID-19’. Three European speakers in the session ‘Radiologists & Radiographers: Lessons learned from the pandemic’ (chaired by Helmut Prosch, Professor of Radiology at the Medical University Vienna), discussed their coronavirus…

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Surprising find

More than half of heart scans abnormal in hospitalised COVID-19 patients

Half of COVID-19 patients who received a heart scan in hospital showed abnormalities in heart function, according to new research funded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF). The study, published in the European Heart Journal - Cardiovascular Imaging, found that around one in seven showed severe abnormalities likely to have a major effect on their survival and recovery. It also showed that one…

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Weaning from respiration

COVID-19: novel Diaphragm Therapy shows promise

Department B for Internal Medicine of the University Medical Center Greifswald successfully used, within an international multi-center trial, a special diaphragmatic stimulation therapy to treat a COVID-19 patient as the first clinical site in Europe. "The first patient treated in this trial happened to be a woman who survived COVID-19, but was not able to be weaned from mechanical…

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Blood testing for astronauts

Health in space: a mini-lab for zero gravity

Nanoelectronics and digital technologies R&D and innovation hub Imec recently received NASA funding to test a new technology in a gravity-free environment. Eventually, this will enable astronauts to perform blood tests to monitor their health. We discussed the project and technology with Nicolas Vergauwe, CEO of miDiagnostics, the Leuven firm that developed the diagnostic device, and Susana B…

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SARS-CoV-2

COVID-19: why do patients immune response differ?

It remains one of the key questions of the current corona pandemic: Why do people infected with SARS-CoV-2 experience varying degrees of COVID-19, the disease which it triggers? Researchers, led by Professor Mascha Binder from University Hospital Halle (Saale), have investigated more than 14 million receptor sequences of B and T cells, i.e. immune cells, obtained from blood samples of COVID-19…

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Paediatric health risks

Children in the COVID-19 pandemic: Between fear and care

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected children with direct impacts of the infection as well as on them leading normal lives. Schooling, play and vaccinations are among issues that can affect children’s health. Delay in taking paediatric patients to the emergency room (ER) has also had a negative impact, for example late treatment of acute appendicitis. Two experts from Spain tackled these topics…

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COVID-19 video

Coughing visualization shows benefits of wearing a good mask

Coupling function with fashion, cloth and home-sewn face masks are available in a variety of forms and fabrics. While experts underscore that wearing a mask is effective in helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19, not all masks — or the materials with which they’re made — contain virus particles equally. In a new video, University of Wisconsin–Madison engineer Scott Sanders demonstrates…

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Blocking coronavirus entry portals

Cell ‘membrane on a chip’ could speed up COVID-19 drug screening

Researchers have developed a human cell ‘membrane on a chip’ that allows continuous monitoring of how drugs and infectious agents interact with our cells, and may soon be used to test potential drug candidates for COVID-19. The researchers, from the University of Cambridge, Cornell University and Stanford University, say their device could mimic any cell type - bacterial, human or even the…

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Coronavirus protection

COVID-19: The best (and worst) materials for masks

It's intuitive and scientifically shown that wearing a face covering can help reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. But not all masks are created equal, according to new University of Arizona-led research. Amanda Wilson, an environmental health sciences doctoral candidate in the Department of Community, Environment and Policy in the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of…

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Coronavirus research

Immunity to COVID-19 is probably higher than tests have shown

New research from Karolinska Institutet and Karolinska University Hospital shows that many people with mild or asymptomatic COVID-19 demonstrate so-called T-cell-mediated immunity to the new coronavirus, even if they have not tested positively for antibodies. According to the researchers, this means that public immunity is probably higher than antibody tests suggest. The article is freely…

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Airborne droplet travel distance

Why you shouldn't underestimate the reach of COVID-19

A plea issued by 239 scientists from around the world to recognise and mitigate airborne transmission of COVID-19 addressed to international health authorities is published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases. Led by internationally recognised air quality and health expert Professor Lidia Morawska from Queensland University of Technology (QUT), the appeal is to address the overwhelming…

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Aerosol study

Singing in times of COVID-19: more space to the front than to the side

How high is the risk that aerosol transmission during choral singing could cause infection with the coronavirus? After occurrences of infection among choirs in the USA and Germany, Bavarian Broadcasting carried out a complex series of experiments for its musical ensembles in conjunction with the LMU University Hospital Munich and the Universitätsklinikum Erlangen (FAU).

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Review sheds doubt

Major flaws in evidence base for COVID-19 antibody tests found

Major weaknesses exist in the evidence base for COVID-19 antibody tests, finds a review of the latest research published by The BMJ. The evidence is particularly weak for point-of-care tests (performed directly with a patient, outside of a laboratory) and does not support their continued use, say the researchers. Serological tests to detect antibodies against COVID-19 could improve diagnosis and…

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COVID-19 diagnostics

SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibody test receives FDA Emergency Use Authorization

Beckman Coulter announced that its Access SARS-CoV-2 IgG assay has received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA). Beckman Coulter has already shipped tests to more than 400 hospitals, clinics and diagnostics laboratories in the U.S., and has begun distribution of the new antibody test globally to countries that accept the FDA EUA and CE Mark. The…

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UK experts raise concerns

COVID-19 antibody tests: Not a game-changer after all?

A group of senior clinical academics and physicians are concerned about the rapid roll out of COVID-19 antibody testing in England and are publicly questioning how good the tests are - or even what they mean. In a letter to The BMJ, they argue that there is currently no valid clinical reason for large scale testing, test performance has not yet been adequately assessed, and testing risks…

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Light or severe progression

The dangerous dual role of the immune system in COVID-19

Infection with the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 follows a highly variable course: some of those infected do not even notice it, while others become so seriously ill that their lives are placed at risk. Scientists from the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) and Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and their colleagues from Leipzig and Heidelberg have now discovered that the immune system has a…

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Coronavirus and gender

Why COVID-19 hits men harder than women

When infected by the new coronavirus, women may mount a more potent adaptive immune response than do men, a new study suggests. By comparison, the male immune response appears to progress less effectively, fostering inflammation that’s harmful to the body. This study is the first to delve into sex differences in how the immune system defends itself against the virus SARS-CoV-2. It could help…

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Virtual consultations

COVID-19 pandemic boosts telemedicine in Spain

The coronavirus crisis has accelerated the use of telemedicine in Spain with an increase in virtual consultation and positive impact on workflow. The challenge will be to make these changes permanent, according to a panel of experts who took part in a conference last June in Barcelona. Spanish patients and healthcare professionals have widely accepted virtual consultation as a new alternative to…

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Heart failure monitoring

App detects fluid in the lungs via voice recordings

Voice analysis by a smartphone app identifies lung congestion in heart failure patients, allowing early intervention before their condition deteriorates. The small study is presented on HFA Discoveries, a scientific platform of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). “Speech is personal and as such, very small changes (related to the same person) can be detected – for example, the ability…

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Disinfection

Robots help fight hospital infections

In the hustle and bustle of a hospital, properly disinfecting all surfaces in a patient room can be a challenging and time-consuming task. Now, in times of the coronavirus pandemic, it can also be life-threatening. To minimize the risk for their staff, hospitals are utilizing disinfection robots to sanitize surfaces and rooms. Read on and learn more about how some of those robots are used to…

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Innovative textiles

Researchers develop face mask that takes out SARS-CoV-2

Researchers from Freie Universität Berlin at the Institute for Animal and Environmental Hygiene and the Institut für Textiltechnik (ITA) of RWTH Aachen University are collaborating on the topic of alternative personal protection equipment. The testing was conducted in the context of the EIT Health Project ViruShield, supported by the European Union, with the objective to discover alternative…

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Protective equipment

Face masks could shrink the 'R' number and prevent a second COVID-19 wave

Population-wide use of facemasks keeps the coronavirus ‘reproduction number’ under 1.0, and prevents further waves of the virus when combined with lockdowns, a modelling study led by the University of Cambridge suggests. The research suggests that lockdowns alone will not stop the resurgence of SARS-CoV-2, and that even homemade masks with limited effectiveness can dramatically reduce…

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BTK inhibitor vs. respiratory distress

Off-label cancer drug shows promise against severe COVID-19

Early data from a clinical study suggest that blocking the Bruton tyrosine kinase (BTK) protein provided clinical benefit to a small group of patients with severe COVID-19. Researchers observed that the off-label use of the cancer drug acalabrutinib, a BTK inhibitor that is approved to treat several blood cancers, was associated with reduced respiratory distress and a reduction in the overactive…

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Increased risk for severe infections

Up in smoke: Smoking increases SARS-CoV-2 receptors in the lung

New research suggests that cigarette smoke spurs the lungs to make more ACE2 (angiotensin-converting enzyme 2), the protein that the coronavirus responsible for COVID-19 grabs and uses to enter human cells. The findings, reported in the journal Developmental Cell, may explain why smokers appear to be particularly vulnerable to severe infections. The analysis also indicates that the change is…

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Opinion

Cloud computing vs. edge computing: rethinking healthcare infrastructure

Cloud computing isn’t exactly a new concept in the healthcare industry. Its benefits have become increasingly well-known across the sector and, without it, we wouldn’t have many health-related services that both healthcare professionals and patients now rely on. It’s no surprise then that the European healthcare cloud computing market is expected to be worth around £44 billion by 2025.…

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Hypertension

High blood pressure increases COVID-19 death risk

Patients with raised blood pressure have a two-fold increased risk of dying from the coronavirus COVID-19 compared to patients without high blood pressure, according to new research published in the European Heart Journal. In addition, the study found that patients with high blood pressure who were not taking medication to control the condition were at even greater risk of dying from COVID-19.

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Re-establishing routine workloads

Restoring radiology to the 'new normal' after COVID-19

Diagnostic imaging examinations and radiology departments have been essential in the care of the millions of COVID-19 patients. As the virus abates, how should radiology departments return to “normal” operations? The American College of Radiology (ACR) and the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) have published recommendations and guidelines.

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Predictive proteins

Biomarkers in COVID-19 patients could predict how ill they become

Researchers at the Francis Crick Institute and Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin have identified 27 protein biomarkers that could be used to predict whether a patient with COVID-19 is likely to become severely ill with the disease. People infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19, respond differently. Some do not develop any symptoms, some need to be hospitalised and, for…

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Teixobactin against superbugs

Researchers find 'resistance resistant' antibiotic

University of Melbourne researchers are finding ways to beat dangerous superbugs with ‘resistance resistant’ antibiotics, and it could help in the fight against coronavirus (COVID-19) complications. As bacteria evolve, they develop strategies that undermine antibiotics and morph into ‘superbugs’ that can resist most available treatments and cause potentially lethal infections. The…

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Lack of ventilation increases risk

Experts explore COVID-19 airborne transmission

Preventing airborne transmission of COVID-19 should be the next front of the battle against the virus, argue experts from the University of Surrey. In a study published by the City and Environment Interaction journal, scientists from Surrey’s Global Centre for Clean Air Research (GCARE), together with partners from Australia’s Queensland University and Technology, argue that the lack of…

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Immunology

COVID-19 study reveals universally effective antibodies

The first round of results from an immunological study of 149 people who have recovered from COVID-19 show that although the amount of antibodies they generated varies widely, most individuals had generated at least some that were intrinsically capable of neutralizing the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Antibodies vary widely in their efficacy. While many may latch on to the virus, only some are truly…

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Acceptance study

Digital distrust: Skepticism towards COVID-19 contact tracing apps

Early results from a study by researchers at Swansea University and The University of Manchester shows people are torn over whether they will use the COVID-19 contact tracing smartphone app planned for release in the UK. The study finds: Only one-third of people taking part said they will be downloading the app, with the rest either saying they will not be downloading it or are not yet sure;…

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COVID protective equipment

Face mask disinfects itself via USB cable

A self-disinfecting reusable protective face mask was developed at the Israel Institute of Technology (Technion) faculty of Materials Science and Engineering. The disinfection process occurs when a layer of carbon fibers in the mask is heated using a low current source, such as an electric mobile phone charger, the developers state. A patent application for this invention has been submitted in…

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Implications for lockdown policies

Cruise ship study hints at many ‘silent’ COVID-19 infections

The prevalence of ‘silent’ symptomless COVID-19 infection may be much higher than thought, reveals a study charting the enforced isolation of cruise ship passengers during the current pandemic, and published online in the journal Thorax. More than eight out of 10 of passengers and crew who tested positive for the infection had no symptoms. This has implications for the easing of lockdown…

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Synapse 3D visualization tool

Improving diagnostic management of patients during the COVID-19 pandemic

The novel Coronavirus infection (severe acute respiratory syndrome SARS-CoV-2), which has led to the spread of COVID-19 around the world, has upset normal workflow in hospitals. The increased workload and stress, due to the necessity of implementing safe and separate diagnostic pathways, and the need to constantly monitor the development of the disease after its onset, continues to have a…

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COVID-19 protection around the world

Coronavirus mask parade: diverse and united

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, face masks become a common sight in our everyday lives. However, there is still lots of room for individuality, as these photos prove. Enjoy!

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COVID-19 detection

New analyzer detects virus antibodies in 20 minutes

Researchers at Hokkaido University have succeeded in detecting anti-avian influenza virus antibody in blood serum within 20 minutes, using a portable analyzer they have developed to conduct rapid on-site bio tests. If a suitable reagent is developed, this technology could be used to detect antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, the causative virus of COVID-19.

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Profiling the coronavirus

Risk factors for severe and fatal COVID-19 cases identified

Age, male sex, obesity, and underlying illness have emerged as risk factors for severe and fatal cases of COVID-19 in the UK, according to the largest cohort study to date published by The BMJ. As the largest prospective observational study reported worldwide to date, it provides a comprehensive picture of the characteristics of patients hospitalised in the UK with COVID-19 and their outcomes.…

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Canine vs. coronavirus

Trained dogs can detect COVID-19 with their nose

The extremely sensitive olfactory sense of dogs might prove to become a groundbreaking new tool in the fight against the COVID-19. Trained medical scent detection dogs have previously worked with identifying different types of cancers. Researchers at the veterinary and human medicine faculties at the University of Helsinki have now joined forces to identify COVID-19 infected individuals using…

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Deadly mechanism uncovered

Inside COVID-19's 'cytokine storm'

Leading immunologists in Japan are proposing a possible molecular mechanism that causes massive release of proinflammatory cytokines, or a cytokine storm, leading to the acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in COVID-19 patients. Their suggestions, published in the journal Immunity, are based on recent findings that explain how SARS-CoV-2 enters human cells.

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Heart attacks, heart failure, stroke

COVID-19’s cardiovascular complications

COVID-19 can cause serious cardiovascular complications including heart failure, heart attacks and blood clots that can lead to strokes, emergency medicine doctors at the University of Virgina report in a new scientific paper. They also caution that COVID-19 treatments can interact with medicines used to manage patients’ existing cardiovascular conditions.

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Changes in cells caused by coronavirus

Potential targets for COVID-19 therapy discovered

A team of biochemists and virologists at Goethe University and the Frankfurt University Hospital were able to observe how human cells change upon infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19 in people. The scientists tested a series of compounds in laboratory models and found some which slowed down or stopped virus reproduction. These results now enable the search for an active substance…

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Coronavirus misinformation

Experts find COVID-19 fake news in 1 of 4 most popular YouTube videos

More than one in four of the most viewed COVID-19 videos on YouTube in spoken English contains misleading or inaccurate information, reveals the first study of its kind, published online in BMJ Global Health. Public health misinformation on COVID-19 is reaching far more people than in previous pandemics and has considerable potential for harm, warn the researchers. While good quality accurate…

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Coronavirus imaging

AI enhanced lung ultrasound for COVID-19 testing

Establishing whether a patient is suffering from severe lung disease, possibly COVID-19, within a few minutes: this is possible using fairly simple ultrasound machines that are enhanced with artificial intelligence. A research team at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) and the University of Trento in Italy has been able to translate the expertise of top lung specialists into a software…

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Neuro-infection

Can COVID-19 infect the brain?

As COVID-19 spreads throughout the country, much attention has been paid to the devastating effects of the virus on the lungs. But doctors are learning how the virus may affect other organs, including the brain. Some patients with COVID-19 have had neurological symptoms, which may include an increased risk of stroke. Other symptoms may include headache, loss of the senses of smell and taste,…

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Adapt and overcome

Coronavirus evolving: How SARS-CoV-2 mutations could delay vaccine development

A new analysis of the worldwide effort to sequence the coronavirus genome has revealed the scale of the genetic changes that are occurring in the virus known as SARS-CoV-2, as it spreads across the world. These changes have important implications for molecular diagnostics and potentially vaccine success. Led by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, the research identified several…

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Coronavirus disease symptom

Exploring why COVID-19 makes people lose their sense of smell

Doctors have reported that partial or total loss of the sense of smell is often an early symptom of infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Now, researchers reporting in ACS Chemical Neuroscience have shown that in mice, two proteins required for SARS-CoV-2 entry are produced by cells of the nasal cavity that contribute to odor detection.

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Symptom study app

AI diagnostic to predict COVID-19 without testing

Researchers at King’s College London, Massachusetts General Hospital and health science company ZOE have developed an artificial intelligence (AI) diagnostic that can predict whether someone is likely to have COVID-19 based on their symptoms. Their findings are published in Nature Medicine. The AI model uses data from the COVID Symptom Study app to predict COVID-19 infection, by comparing…

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Utilizing findings from cancer research

Understanding immunity to SARS-CoV-2

Why does every person react differently to an infection with the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2? Why do some people have no symptoms or only mild symptoms of COVID-19, the disease which it causes? And why do some people become so severely ill that they require ventilators or even die? These questions are being investigated by Professor Mascha Binder, director of the Department of Internal Medicine IV at…

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What radiologists need to know

How lung disorders like COVID-19 affect children

Although the clinical symptoms of new pediatric lung disorders such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), swine-origin influenza A (H1N1), Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury (EVALI), and coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pneumonia may be nonspecific, some characteristic imaging findings "have emerged or are currently…

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Beyond QR and barcodes

Sold: 50 million digital health passports

A British cyber security company, VST Enterprises has signed a contract with international digital health technology firm Circle Pass Enterprises (CPE), owner of ‘Covi-Pass’, to supply 50 million of its ‘digital health passports’ to 15 countries. VST was founded by tech entrepreneur Louis-James Davis to integrate its state-of-the-art VCode & VPlatform technologies into the Covi-Pass…

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Nephritis as a marker

Kidney an early warning sign for severe COVID-19 cases

A course of action to early detect and treat severe courses of COVID-19 infections has been developed by an expert-team of the University Medical Center Goettingen (UMG). A simple urine test is intended to help medical professionals to recognize warning signs of future decompensation of COVID-19 infections earlier. With the help of a few parameters, the treatment of imminent complications can…

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COVID-19 contact tracing

NHS corona app can be a success (if it's linked to testing)

It is possible to implement a privacy-respecting contact tracing app that can achieve widespread adoption in the UK, but only if the NHS, rather than the government, run it, researchers at Cass Business School have found. The researchers found that adoption rates increase further if the app is linked to priority testing for COVID-19 for those who get infection alerts. They also found that the…

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Estimating the 'Deep-Replicability' of scientific findings

AI speeds up search for COVID-19 treatments and vaccines

Researchers at Northwestern University are using artificial intelligence (AI) to speed up the search for COVID-19 treatments and vaccines. The AI-powered tool makes it possible to prioritize resources for the most promising studies — and ignore research that is unlikely to yield benefits. In the midst of the pandemic, scientific research is being conducted at an unprecedented rate. The Food and…

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Post-intensive care syndrome (PICS)

How physical therapists can aid COVID-19 patients' recovery after ICU

At least half of all patients who survive treatment in an intensive care unit will experience at least one of a triad of problems associated with post-intensive care syndrome, or PICS, and this may be true for people recovering from COVID-19 following ICU care. PICS can manifest as problems with physical function, cognition and mental health, according to a fact sheet from the American Thoracic…

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Going viral

Coronavirus clone produced in the lab

Researchers in virology and veterinary bacteriology at the University of Bern have cloned the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). The synthetic clones are being used by research groups worldwide to test corona samples, find antiviral drugs and develop vaccines as quickly as possible. The method developed in Bern can also be used in future to combat other highly infectious viruses. In the…

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Coronavirus origins

Researchers crack COVID-19 genome signature

Using machine learning, a team of Western computer scientists and biologists have identified an underlying genomic signature for 29 different COVID-19 DNA sequences. This new data discovery tool will allow researchers to quickly and easily classify a deadly virus like COVID-19 in just minutes – a process and pace of high importance for strategic planning and mobilizing medical needs during a…

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Coronavirus treatment

Can stem cells treat COVID-19?

Niels-Bjarne Woods, a researcher at Lund University in Sweden, has developed lung-specific mesenchymal stem cells to treat inflammation of the lungs and fibrosis. This research now may be the needed breakthrough for treatment of the severe respiratory issues related to COVID-19. A clinical study may soon be underway contingent on a successful application to the Swedish Medical Products Agency.…

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Coronavirus collaterals

COVID-19 could cause 20% rise in cancer deaths

The COVID-19 pandemic could, over the next year, lead to a 20% rise in the number of deaths from people who have been newly diagnosed with cancer, according to research supported by DATA-CAN. The analysis is the first to focus on the impact of the emergency on mortality rates in people with cancer and uses data from the health records of over 3.5 million patients in England.

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Xenios consoles as lifesavers

ECMO: crucial in the battle against COVID-19

As the coronavirus spreads and infections with COVID-19 further increase throughout Europe, ECMO therapy turns out to be a necessary option for patients with severe courses. Xenios AG, a subsidiary of Fresenius Medical Care, provides ECMO consoles that can be used for the treatment of patients who develop severe pneumonia and ARDS with lung failure which also might result from infection with the…

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Coronavirus politics

Experts attest Trump's "astounding incompetence" in dealing with COVID-19

Donald Trump has downplayed the risk of COVID-19 and delayed action, costing countless avertable deaths, argue experts in The BMJ. Gavin Yamey, professor of global health and public policy at Duke University, and Gregg Gonsalves, assistant professor of epidemiology at Yale School of Public Health, say Trump’s “astounding incompetence” was a political determinant of the US COVID-19 epidemic.…

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Coronavirus impact on A&E

Covid-19: UK emergency departments see dramatic fall in attendance

Accident and Emergency departments across the NHS have seen dramatic falls in attendances amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis. Senior A&E practitioners are becoming increasingly concerned that people who need to be seen for serious conditions such as suspected heart attacks are staying away – or not seeking help until much later – because they are frightened of contracting coronavirus.

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Coronavirus countermeasures

Learning from China – the role of radiology in combatting COVID-19

As the first country to be hit by COVID-19, China learned a number of early lessons into how to combat the highly-infectious disease. With radiology teams playing an important role and utilising CT chest scans as a diagnostic tool against coronavirus, Chinese practitioners have found themselves well-placed to offer a valuable insight on how to combat and contain COVID-19. In a special webcast –…

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Calculating course and resolution

New COVID-19 model predicts light at the end of the tunnel

COVID-19 has infected millions and killed hundreds of thousands of people worldwide, but a new predictor model devised at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) offers glimmers of hope, suggesting the worst has passed and indicating well under 1000 deaths for Australia. The team at QUT, led by physician, mathematician and Future Fellow Dan Nicolau, has developed what they believe to be a…

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Imaging collaboration

AI quantifies COVID-19 in chest CT images

Hospitals and organizations worldwide joined forces with AI imaging company icometrix in a global initiative to leverage artificial intelligence (AI) in the fight against COVID-19. The multinational collaboration resulted in the development of an AI algorithm, icolung, which received CE-marking for clinical use in Europe. icolung is the first CE-marked AI solution for CT resulting from a…

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Coronavirus analysis

AI-generated design blueprints for SARS-CoV-2 vaccines published

NEC Corporation announced analysis results from efforts using AI prediction platforms to design blueprints for SARS-CoV-2 vaccines that can drive potent T-cell responses in the majority of the global population. This initiative by the scientific teams within the NEC Group to help combat outbreaks of COVID-19 and support international vaccine development efforts is led by NEC OncoImmunity (NOI) in…

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COVID-19 gateway

Nose cells identified as likely coronavirus entry points

Two specific cell types in the nose have been identified as likely initial infection points for COVID-19 coronavirus. Scientists discovered that goblet and ciliated cells in the nose have high levels of the entry proteins that the COVID-19 virus uses to get into our cells. The identification of these cells by researchers from the Wellcome Sanger Institute, University Medical Centre Groningen,…

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Health IT solutions for the coronavirus pandemic

#StrongerTogether against COVID-19

To deal with the COVID-19 outbreak, the continuity of the radiology reporting activities is crucial. To guarantee this, care providers are expanding the remote reporting capabilities for their radiology teams. As part of their #StrongerTogether campaign, Agfa HealthCare demonstrates how remote and home reporting solutions can keep imaging workflows going across quarantine lines.

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Healthcare exhibition

Medical Taiwan 2020 puts COVID-19 prevention in the front row

Medical Taiwan, taking place October 15-17 at Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center, Hall 2, features four major themes of medical devices, healthcare products, smart medical solutions and startups in the B2B medical industry. The show will not only showcase Taiwan's medical innovation and technology, but also include this year’s conspicuous theme – epidemic prevention.

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Infection control in hospitals

Nosocomial influenza: The enormous effect of mask wearing

The Coronavirus dominates everyday conversation as well as medical and scientific discussions, but in a Leipzig hygiene congress, other topics – such as nosocomial influenza – took a strong position. Dr Andreas Ambrosch, head of the Institute of Laboratory Medicine, Microbiology and Hospital Hygiene at the Brothers of Mercy Hospital in Regensburg, Germany, presented a new study on the spread…

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COVID incidence at airports and in hospitals

Biosensor to detect coronavirus in crowded places

A team of researchers from Empa, ETH Zurich and Zurich University Hospital has succeeded in developing a novel sensor for detecting the new coronavirus. In future it could be used to measure the concentration of the virus in the environment - for example in places where there are many people or in hospital ventilation systems. Jing Wang and his team at Empa and ETH Zurich usually work on…

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Coronavirus research

COVID-19 severity and air pollution: exploring the connection

Scientists at the University of Cambridge have found an association between living in an area of England with high levels of air pollution and the severity of COVID-19, the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Because of the urgent need to share information relating to the pandemic, the researchers have published their report on MedRXiv. It has not yet been peer-reviewed. However, the…

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Dealing with the disease

Leading European cancer centers share their corona knowledge

Cancer patients are particularly at risk for infections because of their disease and its treatment. Due to the rapid spread of the coronavirus in Europe, cancer centers within a short period were faced with the challenge of minimizing the risk of infection for these patients while at the same time not compromising the provision of the necessary treatments. Seven leading European cancer centers…

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Coronavirus structured reporting

Radiology and COVID-19: How to establish safe workflows

Radiology experts from Norway and Germany highlighted the role of structured reporting in communicating clear results to the rest of the team, to improve patient and staff safety during the pandemic. They also related Germany’s experience of the crisis and what lies ahead in an online conference organized by the European Society of Radiology (ESR) last week.

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Coronavirus mutations

Tracking COVID-19 with genetic ‘barcode’

Drexel University researchers have reported a method to quickly identify and label mutated versions of the virus that causes COVID-19. Their preliminary analysis, using information from a global database of genetic information gleaned from coronavirus testing, suggests that there are at least six to 10 slightly different versions of the virus infecting people in America, some of which are either…

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Digital pathology

COVID-19: Inspirata launches remote pathology resource

Hamamatsu and KiKo Knowledge Hub Join Inspirata’s Initiative to Offer Free Remote Pathology Solution for Healthcare Institutions Affected by COVID-19. Inspirata gains strategic support in its initiative to allow pathology departments across the world to offer work-from-home opportunities for their pathologists during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.

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COVID-19 prevention

Social distancing: does it work?

The number of cases tested positive for COVID-19 initially grew exponentially in China, but then slowed down. Dirk Brockmann, professor at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU) and project group leader at the Robert Koch-Institut (RKI), and his postdoc Benjamin F. Maier have developed a diffusion model that takes into account the effect of social distancing and other measures to explain this…

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Coronavirus research

'Organ-on-a-chip' model to find out how COVID-19 invades our bodies

In order for a COVID-19 vaccine and antiviral drugs to be developed, scientists first need to understand why this virus spreads so easily and quickly, and why it invades our bodies with seemingly little resistance from our immune system. To understand how COVID-19 enters the body and does its damage, a team of top researchers from universities, hospitals and the National Research Council of…

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Existing solutions to a new problem

COVID-19 vaccine candidate could cover global demand

Any new coronavirus vaccine that works well and is safe will still have the daunting challenge of needing to be produced to scale in a very short amount of time. It will also have to be safely delivered into the hands of the most remote populations. The more complex and untested the vaccine approach, the more difficult it will be to both scale its production and deliver it around the world. By…

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Corona-induced coughing

New app listens to the 'sounds of COVID-19'

A new app, which will be used to collect data to develop machine learning algorithms that could automatically detect whether a person is suffering from COVID-19 based on the sound of their voice, their breathing and coughing, has been launched by researchers at the University of Cambridge. The COVID-19 Sounds App is now available as a web app for Chrome and Firefox browsers. Versions for Android…

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COVID-19 in the UK: an update

UK goes into 'controlled lockdown', Boris Johnson infected

As the United Kingdom enters its third week of lockdown and the battle against COVID-19 continues, the country’s health and care services are facing an ever-growing number of patients with the condition. The hospital-recorded death toll sat at 5,373 on April 6, up by 439 from 4,934 the previous day, with a total of 51,608 (up 3,802) confirmed cases reported. That compared with 5,683 cases of…

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Solidarity against the coronavirus

Coalition to fight COVID-19 in low-income countries

A group of scientists, physicians, funders, and policy makers from over 70 institutions from over 30 countries have launched an international coalition to respond to COVID-19 in resource-poor settings. The COVID-19 Clinical Research Coalition aims to accelerate desperately needed COVID-19 research in those areas where the virus could wreak havoc on already-fragile health systems and cause the…

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Coronavirus treatment

Promising trial drug blocks early stages of COVID-19

An international team led by University of British Columbia (UBC) researcher Dr. Josef Penninger has found a trial drug that effectively blocks the cellular door SARS-CoV-2 uses to infect its hosts. The findings, published in Cell, hold promise as a treatment capable of stopping early infection of the novel coronavirus that, as of April 2, has affected more than 981,000 people and claimed the…

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Corona consequences in Spain

COVID-19 fears put interventional cardiology on lockdown

The number of primary angioplasties – the main treatment for heart attack – has dropped by 40% in Spain since the beginning of the coronavirus lockdown. Other key diagnostic and therapeutic procedures have also considerably diminished. Spanish cardiologists are urging the population to call the emergency medical systems whenever symptoms of myocardial infarction occur, in spite of fears…

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COVID-19 research

Clues to coronavirus’s vulnerability emerge from SARS antibody

An antibody recovered from a survivor of the SARS epidemic in the early 2000s has revealed a potential vulnerability of the new coronavirus at the root of COVID-19, according to a study from scientists at Scripps Research. The study, published in Science, is the first to map a human antibody’s interaction with the new coronavirus at near-atomic-scale resolution. Although the antibody was…

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Reprogramming viruses

From cancer to corona: UK scientists switch research focus

A team of Cardiff University scientists has switched from researching cancer to work that could help towards a vaccine for coronavirus. The team at the School of Medicine usually work on reprogramming viruses so they can target and kill cancer - but are now focusing their efforts to help in the fight against the new virus which is gripping the world. Dr Alan Parker and his team, whose work on…

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Green light for trial study

Blood plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients: a promising approach

In a small clinical trial just granted approval, about 30 COVID-19 patients at Karolinska University Hospital may soon begin to receive blood plasma from people who have recovered from the disease. Sweden's Ethical Review Authority has approved the trial treatment, and its effectiveness will be evaluated in a study by researchers at Karolinska Institutet and the Karolinska University Hospital.…

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COVID-19 app HeraeusCare

Heraeus Medical enables healthcare authorities to remotely monitor and prioritize potential COVID-19 patients

Heraeus Medical, makers of the market-leading PALACOS bone cement, has enhanced its online HeraeusCare orthopedic care coordination solution to a new digital health platform that connects healthcare authorities and providers with patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. “The coronavirus crisis is putting enormous strain on healthcare organizations, with worried patients filling emergency rooms…

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Volunteering against the coronavirus

Scientists on Standby portal to support COVID-19 testing recruitment

Scientists on Standby has been rapidly conceptualised and launched in response to the COVID-19 crisis and in anticipation of the increasing pressure on UK diagnostic testing laboratories and facilities in the coming weeks and months. The portal enables scientists with relevant skills and experience to volunteer their time, expertise and support for COVID-19 screening and testing.

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Coping with COVID-19

Taiwan: a role model for pandemic management

As many nations struggle to keep COVID-19 infection numbers down through increasingly tough public health measures, some point out the island of Taiwan presents an example of how to be prepared in the event of a pandemic. Located less than 150 kilometres from the original viral source – China – Taiwan has seen far fewer cases of the coronavirus in the past month, with a much lower infection…

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Global community

Taiwan provides help to combat COVID-19 pandemic

The severity of the global COVID-19 pandemic has caused lots of countries to face shortage of medical supplies and resources, and some medical care systems are on the brinks of collapsing. Taiwan, with strong medical care capabilities and experiences, is standing with the world as an active member of the global community to provide assistance, exchange experiences and conduct further…

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Radiographers in Spain report

Equipment hygiene: taking back center stage during the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic is putting extra pressure on radiology services. Radiographers are particularly at risk of catching and spreading the disease. This is why they must follow strict cleaning and disinfection protocols, according to Pablo Valdés Solís, President of the Spanish Society of Radiology (SERAM), who has just published new guidelines on how to protect staff and patients, as the…

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Support during the COVID-19 crisis

103 portable ultrasound systems for Italy

Esaote, an Italian company in the field of medical diagnostic imaging systems, recently delivered 103 portable ultrasound scanners in four Italian regions. An operation that confirms the full operation of the Company even during the COVID-19 emergency and strong support to the national health system. Esaote won the tender launched by Consip (central purchasing body procuring goods and services…

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IgM/IgG identification

Coronavirus antibody test in development

In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, Beckman Coulter announced that it is developing assays to identify IgM and IgG antibodies to the coronavirus or SARS-CoV-2. The assays will be designed for use on any of its high-throughput Access family of immunoassay systems, including the Access 2 and DxI series installed globally. Research has shown that after infection with SARS-CoV-2, viral…

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Blood gas testing

Aiding COVID-19 efforts: FDA clearance for blood gas analyzer

Siemens Healthineers announced that its latest critical care testing solution, the RapidPoint 500e Blood Gas Analyzer, has received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and is now available in the U.S., Europe and countries requiring the CE mark. The analyzer generates blood gas, electrolyte, metabolite, CO-oximetry, and neonatal bilirubin results, which are used to…

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COVID-19 diagnostics

Corona 'pool testing' increases worldwide capacities many times over

Researchers at the German Red Cross Blood Donor Service in Frankfurt headed by Professor Erhard Seifried, and the Institute for Medical Virology at the University Hospital Frankfurt at Goethe University headed by Professor Sandra Ciesek succeeded in developing a procedure that makes it possible to immediately and dramatically increase worldwide testing capacities for detecting SARS-CoV-2.

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Improving coronavirus diagnosis

COVID-19 detection tool launched

The world’s only online image-based COVID-19 diagnosis improvement tool for healthcare workers is launched by University of Sydney spinoff DetectED-X, drawing on its global experience and outcomes in breast cancer detection and patient cases from the coronavirus pandemic. The cloud-based technology will help doctors and radiologists diagnose cases faster and more accurately. Computed tomography…

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Monitoring Covid-19 from the sky

A ‘pandemic drone’ to detect coronavirus infections

A ‘pandemic drone’ to remotely monitor and detect people with infectious respiratory conditions is being developed by the University of South Australia (UniSA) in partnership with a Canadian company. The drone will be fitted with a specialised sensor and computer vision system that can monitor temperature, heart and respiratory rates, as well as detect people sneezing and coughing in crowds,…

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Coronavirus disease imaging

Radiology fighting Covid-19 - Live report from Italy

A special report by the European Society of Radiology (ESR) addresses the role of radiology in fighting COVID-19. In an expert interview with Prof. Nicola Sverzellati from the University of Parma, Italy, he will share insights on the experience of patient and imaging management in Europe's currently most affected area. Together with ESR Second Vice-President Dr. Adrian Brady from Cork, Ireland,…

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Cultural differences matter

Study shows: Hand washing is key against COVID-19

Countries where people do not have a habit of washing their hands automatically tend to have a much higher exposure to coronavirus, a new study reveals. University of Birmingham researchers have discovered that at least 50% of people do not have a habit of automatic handwashing after using the toilet in China (77%), Japan (70%), South Korea (61%) and the Netherlands (50%). These countries are…

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Coronavirus disease diagnostics

Emergency Use Authorization for COVID-19 test

French in vitro diagnostics company bioMérieux announced that its subsidiary, BioFire Defense, has received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration of its BioFire COVID-19 test for use in CLIA moderate and high complexity clinical laboratories to detect the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. The test detects SARS-CoV-2 in approximately 45 minutes from a…

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Public health

The fight against COVID-19 in the United Kingdom

The sunny Sunday of March 22, 2020, may well go down as a watershed date in the context of Coronavirus in the UK. A couple of days earlier, UK schools had closed en masse – open only thereafter for children of key workers – and the British government had advised that pubs, bars, cinemas, gyms and restaurants should close and people should adhere more rigorously to social distancing.

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COVID-19 status

Whole genome sequencing to map coronavirus spread

The Government and the UK’s Chief Scientific Adviser have backed the UK’s leading clinicians and scientists to map how COVID-19 spreads and behaves by using whole genome sequencing. Through a £20 million investment, the consortium will look for breakthroughs that help the UK respond to this and future pandemics, and save lives. COVID-19 Genomics UK Consortium - comprised of the NHS, Public…

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Coronavirus in laboratory medicine

Video: COVID-19 at a glance

To provide reliable information about the coronavirus disease COVID-19, Professor Giuseppe Lippi, Director of the Laboratory for Clinical Chemistry and Hematology at the University Hospital of Verona, Italy, gives an overview on the current state of scientific knowledge on COVID-19 and the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The video was provided by the American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC), who…

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Coping with Covid-19

How France handles the coronavirus pandemic

The first case of the new coronavirus infection was reported on the 24th January. The strategy taken by the French to stem the spread of the virus and relieve the pressure on the health service may seem draconian to some, but many feel that it is either not strong enough and/or too long in coming because it is only recently that the borders have finally been closed.

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SARS-CoV-2 durability

New coronavirus can remain stable for hours on surfaces

The virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is stable for several hours to days in aerosols and on surfaces, according to a new study from National Institutes of Health, CDC, UCLA and Princeton University scientists in The New England Journal of Medicine. The scientists found that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was detectable in aerosols for up to three…

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Understanding COVID-19

Why children are vital to slowing the coronavirus pandemic

Though the coronavirus disease COVID-19 so far appears to be largely sparing children, researchers are cautioning that it is critical to understand how the virus affects kids to model the pandemic accurately, limit the disease’s spread and ensure the youngest patients get the care they need. The warning comes from Steven L. Zeichner, MD, PhD, the head of UVA Health’s Division of Pediatric…

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Coronavirus disease research

Seeking a COVID-19 antidote: the potential of ACE2

As coronavirus disease COVID-19 continues to jet and alight invisibly around the globe, scientists now report that the virus has mutated to become two strains: the older ‘S-type’ appears milder and less infectious, while the later-emerging ‘L-type’, is more aggressive, spreads more quickly, and currently accounts for about 70 per cent of cases. Worldwide, medical researchers are exploring…

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Chest X-ray, CT and more

Imaging the coronavirus disease COVID-19

Chest X-ray is the first imaging method to diagnose COVID-19 coronavirus infection in Spain, but in the light of new evidence this may change soon, according to Milagros Martí de Gracia, Vice President of the Spanish Society of Radiology (SERAM) and head of the emergency radiology unit at La Paz Hospital in Madrid, one of the hot spots for viral re-production of COVID-19.

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Covid-19 information

Coronavirus update

The outbreak and spread of the coronavirus affects everyday life. Keep up-to-date with the latest research news, political developments, and background information on Covid-19.

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COVID-19 medication safety

New traffic light system to prevent coronavirus drug interaction

The University of Liverpool launched a new website featuring a traffic light system to aid the safe prescribing of experimental drugs being trialled against coronavirus (COVID-19). The site, created by the University’s Liverpool Drug Interactions Group, provides vital information on whether or not combinations of an experimental drug and co-medications are safe to prescribe. This is of…

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COVID-19 update

WHO labels coronavirus disease as a pandemic

The World Health Organization (WHO) has officially categorized the current outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as a pandemic. Speaking at the COVID-19 media briefing, the WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom said: "WHO has been assessing this outbreak around the clock and we are deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity, and by the alarming levels…

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RT-PCR for COVID-19

First of 3 diagnostic tests for SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus available

Biotechnology company bioMérieux, a world leader in the field of in vitro diagnostics, is announcing the forthcoming launch of 3 different tests to address the COVID-19 epidemic and to meet the different needs of physicians and health authorities in the fight against this emerging infectious disease. bioMérieux has finalized the development of the SARS-CoV-2 R-Gene test. This real-time PCR test…

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At-home testing for COVID-19

Coronavirus testing? There's an app for that

A coronavirus app coupled with machine intelligence will soon enable an individual to get an at-home risk assessment based on how they feel and where they’ve been in about a minute, and direct those deemed at risk to the nearest definitive testing facility, investigators say. It will also help provide local and public health officials with real time information on emerging demographics of those…

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Pandemic prevention

German lab developed coronavirus detection method

Investigators at Hannover Medical School (MHH) in Germany have developed a molecular assay for detecting the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (previously 2019-nCoV) on the automated Panther Fusion system by Hologic. The preclinical assay is described online in the Journal of Clinical Virology. “Rapid diagnosis is critical to combatting the spread of pandemics, and the Panther Fusion system is well…

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Dutch experts discuss

On the implications of the coronavirus

The coronavirus last week reached the Netherlands and began to spread around the country. How has the Dutch population reacted? What is a useful frame of reference for this situation? And what are the legal guidelines for dealing with the outbreak? Four researchers from the University of Amsterdam – a clinical microbiologist, an anthropologist, a social scientist and a health lawyer – explain…

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Radiology congress (update)

ECR 2020 will be online-only due to coronavirus

The 2020 edition of the European Congress of Radiology (ECR) in Vienna, which had been postponed due to safety concerns regarding COVID-19, will not take place on site this year. Instead, the congress organisers at the European Society of Radiology (ESR) opt for an online-only event: "It is with a heavy heart and much regret that the Board of Directors of the European Society of Radiology…

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EUA for respirators issued

Coronavirus: U.S. permits more protective masks for healthcare setting

In a joint effort, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) take action to make more respirators, including certain N95s, available to health care personnel. Currently, the majority of respirators on the market are indicated for use in industrial settings. This action allows certain National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health…

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COVID-19 in radiology

CT outperforms lab diagnosis for coronavirus infection

In a study of more than 1,000 patients published in Radiology, chest CT outperformed lab testing in the diagnosis of 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Researchers at Tongji Hospital in Wuhan, China, concluded that CT should be used as the primary screening tool for COVID-19. In the absence of specific therapeutic drugs or vaccines for COVID-19, it is essential to detect the disease at an…

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Pilot clinical trial

China to test targeted therapy for COVID-19

A University of British Columbia (UBC) researcher is part of an international team working with a biotechnology company on a pilot clinical trial of a potential new treatment for patients with severe coronavirus infections in China. Dr. Josef Penninger, director of UBC’s Life Sciences Institute and Canada 150 Chair in Functional Genetics, is working closely with Vienna-based Apeiron Biologics…

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Myths around SARS-CoV-2 busted

Coronavirus FAQ to dispel fake and harmful advice

The current outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is making headlines by the minute. However, some less-than-trustworthy advice can be found among the information. Understandably, many people are concerned and confused. To prevent unnecessary panic, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has assembled advice for the public. Is it safe to receive parcels from China? Will sesame oil…

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COVID-19 infection control

Combatting the novel coronavirus with thorough hand hygiene

WHO Chief Adhanom Ghebreyesus has declared the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) a global health emergency. He said the decision was reached not because of the situation in China, but because of, “what is happening in other countries.” On Feb. 17, the number of infections totaled around 71,000 globally based on data of the WHO. COVID-19 – the official shorthand name of the novel corona virus…

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Smart infection control

China uses AI to combat the novel coronavirus outbreak

Infrared thermometers are now used in most subway stations in China to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) pneumonia (MCP). Many stations have implemented an artificial intelligence (AI) based fever screening system developed by the Beijing-based company Megvii Technology Limited. The system supports non-contact remote temperature screening from a distance of 3 meters. "This…

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Outbreak

A genome browser posts the coronavirus genome

Research into the novel Wuhan seafood market pneumonia virus, the deadly "coronavirus" that has forced the Chinese government to quarantine more than 50 million people in the country's dense industrial heartland, will be facilitated by the UC Santa Cruz Genomics Institute. The Genomics Institute's Genome Browser team has posted the complete biomolecular code of the virus for researchers…

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Genomic insights into 2019-nCoV

New coronavirus: largest meta-analysis yet answers important questions

Scientists at the University of Bologna have conducted the largest analysis of coronavirus 2019-nCoV genomes sequenced so far. This analysis confirms that the virus originates in bats and shows a low variability: the virus heterogeneity is low. At the same time, researchers identified a hyper-variable genomic hotspot in the proteins of the virus responsible for the existence of two virus…

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Deadly virus

New test to identify and control Ebola variants

The situation is extraordinary: there have only ever been four declarations of public health emergencies of international concern in the past and now there are two at the same time. Whilst the risks associated with the novel coronavirus are still unclear, people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are still battling with an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus which has been ongoing since 2018…

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New virus 2019-nCoV

Scientists grow Wuhan coronavirus in the lab

Scientists from The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity in Melbourne have successfully grown the Wuhan coronavirus (also known as SARS-CoV-2) from a patient sample, which will provide expert international laboratories with crucial information to help combat the virus. This is the first time the virus has been grown in cell culture outside of China. The Royal Melbourne Hospital’s…

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SARS-like virus from China

What we know about the new corona virus

Nine people have died and more than 400 have been sickened by the new corona virus spreading in China. A few cases have been confirmed in Taiwan, Thailand, South Korea, Japan and the U.S., and on Wednesday, the World Health Organization is holding an emergency meeting on the outbreak. How worried about a new pandemic should we be? Virus researcher Ali Mirazimi, adjunct professor at the Department…

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MERS-CoV

Seeking answers to combat Middle East respiratory syndrome

With a case fatality rate of 35 percent, a Middle East respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection – also called camel flu – is a dangerous disease. About seven years ago, when the virus was first isolated, mortality was close to 100 percent since only severe infections that led to the patient being in intensive care were recorded. Today the environment of each victim is…

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Cross-species concerns

Could a new pig virus be a potential threat to humans?

A recently identified pig virus can readily find its way into laboratory-cultured cells of people and other species, a discovery that raises concerns about the potential for outbreaks that threaten human and animal health. Researchers at The Ohio State University and Utrecht University in the Netherlands collaborated to better understand the new virus and its potential reach. Their study, the…

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Infections

Science can only react

The ‘Transmission, Prevention, and Reporting of Emerging Infectious Diseases’ programme for the International Conference IMED 2016 in Vienna, this November, reflected events in the field of emerging diseases that have occurred over the last two years.

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MERS

First reported autopsy of patient with MERS provides critical insights

Since 2012, at least 1,500 individuals have developed Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), resulting in more than 500 fatalities. Only now are results being reported of the first autopsy of a MERS patient, which was performed in 2014. Not only do these findings, published in The American Journal of Pathology, provide unprecedented, clinically-relevant insights about how MERS progresses, they…

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Therapy

First-ever possible treatments for MERS

As the South Korean epidemic of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) continues unabated, researchers have raced to find treatments for the deadly virus, which has killed more than 400 people since it was first discovered three years ago in Saudi Arabia.

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Poor management and overcrowding exacerbate MERS outbreak

“The Saudi Arabian government’s response to the new virulent Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) has recently been criticized, following high-level dismissals within the Saudi state healthcare service. Criticism has been leveled at the slowness of the government’s response to the outbreak, as well as in-fighting between physicians", says Andrew Thompson, Ph.D., GlobalData’s…

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MERS-CoV: Global action needed?

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recently formed an international emergency committee to decide whether Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) should be ascribed Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) status, amid reports of a lack of information from the worst affected countries.

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An essential tool for detection of respiratory illnesses

By performing just a single test healthcare personnel is now able to simultaneously detect eighteen of the most prevalent respiratory infections in patients. The Seeplex 18-plex Respiratory Test is a highly economical method for molecular diagnostics of respiratory infections. It achieves results rapidly at minimal costs per test.

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Healthcare expo

Medical Taiwan goes online and offline to present Taiwan’s smart healthcare and anti-epidemic ecosystem

Taiwan has won global praise for its rapid pandemic response and precautionary measures taken to contain the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that emerged earlier this year. This success is testament to Taiwan’s highly efficient public health and medical system, and the excellent quality of MIT (made in Taiwan) products. Medical Taiwan, which takes place from October 15 to 17, 2020 at Taipei…

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Coronavirus special topic

COVID-19 protective equipment company list

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