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Health & Medicine

Coronavirus: why combining the Oxford vaccine with Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine could make it more effective

Jim Barber/Shutterstock Jameel Inal, University of Hertfordshire When the efficacy of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine was announced in late 2020, there was some confusion. The overall efficacy of the vaccine at stopping people developing symptomatic COVID-19, two weeks after the second dose, was 70%. But this wasn’t the whole picture. This figure was based on averaging the results from two groups. …

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Does a lack of sleep really make children overweight? Here’s the science

Is she getting enough shuteye? Shutterstock Jim Horne, University of Leicester Much is said about today’s children not getting enough sleep, a problem blamed on lax bedtimes, and excessive evening computer and mobile phone use. Plus ça change. A hundred or so years ago, it was just as bad – but then excessive homework was a culprit. In 1884, for …

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Why sleep is so important for losing weight

Sleep is important for many aspects of our health. Stock-Asso/ Shutterstock Emma Sweeney, Nottingham Trent University and Ian Walshe, Northumbria University, Newcastle When it comes to weight loss, diet and exercise are usually thought of as the two key factors that will achieve results. However, sleep is an often-neglected lifestyle factor that also plays an important role. The recommended sleep …

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Alzheimer’s: new research shows a leap forward in identifying neurons vulnerable to the disease

The loss of neurons leads to degeneration. adike/ Shutterstock Eleftheria Kodosaki, Cardiff University Alzheimer’s disease is a devastating condition that is currently unstoppable and incurable. The main cause of the disease is the loss of neurons and other brain cells in the brain – also know as degeneration. This degeneration is what leads to problems with memory and other cognitive …

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Oxford scientists: how we developed our COVID-19 vaccine in record time

University of Oxford Tonia Thomas, University of Oxford and Rachel Colin-Jones, University of Oxford The pandemic is only a year old, but we already have multiple vaccines available to fight COVID-19 – including the vaccine developed by the team we’re part of at the University of Oxford. With our partner AstraZeneca, we have submitted both interim efficacy data and safety …

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How to stay safe with a new fast-spreading coronavirus variant on the loose

The new SARS-CoV-2 variant’s increased transmissibility is believed to come from a change in the spike protein, visible here in yellow under an electron microscope. National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases Suresh Dhaniyala, Clarkson University and Byron Erath, Clarkson University A fast-spreading variant of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 has been found in at least 10 states, and people …

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Vaccines alone aren’t enough to eradicate a virus – lessons from history

Dryvax, smallpox vaccine with bifurcated needle. James Gathany Content Providers/CDC Public Health Image Library Caitjan Gainty, King’s College London and Agnes Arnold-Forster, University of Bristol Smallpox killed countless millions – 300 million people in the 20th century alone – before it was finally declared eradicated on May 8 1980. It was a momentous day, marking what the current director general …

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Are sleep trackers accurate? Here’s what researchers currently know

Sleep trackers use an algorithm to estimate how much time you spent asleep based on body movements. Andrey_Popov/ Shutterstock Matthew Reid, University of Oxford An estimated one in three people report regular sleep complaints. So it’s hardly surprising people are more concerned than ever about getting enough sleep. This blossoming interest has seen an explosion of sleep trackers which measure …

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The cold supply chain can’t reach everywhere – that’s a big problem for equitable COVID-19 vaccination

Getting vaccines to rural and hard-to-reach areas is critical for public health and ethical reasons. Hector Roqueta Rivero/Moment via Getty Images Timothy Ford, University of Massachusetts Lowell and Charles M. Schweik, University of Massachusetts Amherst To mitigate health inequities and promote social justice, coronavirus vaccines need to get to underserved populations and hard-to-reach communities. There are few places in the …

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Five tips to help you keep exercising this new year

Try choosing exercise you enjoy. Andrey_Popov/ Shutterstock Bradley Elliott, University of Westminster Exercising more is one of the most common new year resolutions people make. But more than a quarter of people fail to keep their resolutions, and only half maintain some of them. But if that still sounds daunting, here are five tips that may help you better keep …

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