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Coronavirus

Keep up-to-date with the latest research news, political developments, and background information on COVID-19.

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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Among trillion possibilities

Rapid method finds potent COVID-19 antibody

University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine scientists have discovered the fastest way to identify potent, neutralizing human monoclonal antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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