infections

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Microbiome study

Do microscope eyepieces pose an infection risk?

Light microscope for viewing microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi are commonly found in scientific laboratories. A research team from Furtwangen University, the University of Tübingen and Carl Zeiss Vision International GmbH, Aalen, examined more closely their role as potential vectors of infectious pathogens. „Very little was known about this until now," explains the head of the…

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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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Molecular electronics

Biosensor chips for infection surveillance and more

Roswell Biotechnologies, Inc., a manufacturer of molecular electronics sensor chips, and imec, a research and innovation hub in nanoelectronics and digital technologies, announced a partnership to develop the first commercially available molecular electronics biosensor chips. These chips are the brains behind Roswell Technologies' new platform for DNA sequencing, to support precision medicine,…

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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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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 chronology

COVID-19 in the U.S.: Government inaction gave virus a head start

The sense of fear is palpable in the images and videos of hospital intensive care units (ICUs) and emergency departments that are broadcast on television and posted on social media. Fear and heartbreak can be heard in the voices of physicians and nurses who describe what they are experiencing. It’s not as if healthcare professionals hadn’t warned United States residents and government…

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Coronavirus duration questioned

COVID-19 symptoms disappear – while the virus itself remains

In a new study, researchers found that half of the patients they treated for mild COVID-19 infection still had coronavirus for up to eight days after symptoms disappeared. The research letter was published online in the American Thoracic Society’s American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. In “Time Kinetics of Viral Clearance and Resolution of Symptoms in Novel Coronavirus…

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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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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. Members…

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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. As of 22nd March 2020, there are 14 459 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in France with 562 deaths, as the disease is in an exponential phase these figures will have multiplied several fold by the time this article is published. The strategy taken by the French to stem the spread of the virus and relieve the pressure on…

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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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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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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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Development of a highly sensitive analytical workflow

Collaboration for infectious disease diagnosis and patient monitoring

Thermo Fisher Scientific and NanoPin Technologies, Inc. have entered into a collaborative relationship to advance blood-based infectious disease detection technology through the development of highly sensitive liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS)-based workflows. Through the detection of disease-related antigens directly from patient blood samples, NanoPin's unique diagnostic platform…

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