Health & Medicine

A (scientific) defence of the Brussels sprout

Shutterstock Trevor George, King’s College London Brussels sprouts, like their European namesake, divide opinion. Some people embrace the flavour and familiarity of the small green vegetable. To others, they are an object of derision and disgust. Whatever you think of them, millions of sprouts will be sold, cooked, and either eaten or pushed to the side of the plate over …

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Coronavirus: how the pandemic could play out in 2021

Maridav/Shutterstock Adam Kleczkowski, University of Strathclyde Vaccines for COVID-19 are now being rolled out, but in some parts of the world, this good news has been tempered by the emergence of new, potentially more infectious strains of the virus. Exactly how the pandemic will evolve has become more uncertain. Certainly, the next three or so months will be challenging, and …

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A brief history of Christmas Pudding – and why it can actually be quite good for you

Olesia Reshetnikova/Shutterstock Hazel Flight, Edge Hill University Even in these hard and strange times, Christmas will be celebrated and traditions upheld. And for many British households, Christmas dinner would not be complete without a Christmas pudding – traditionally served with brandy sauce, brandy butter or custard. The Christmas pudding originated in the 14th-century as a sort of porridge, originally known …

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Coronavirus vaccines: how will we know when life can go back to normal?

Jasmina Panovska-Griffiths, UCL The first people have begun to receive vaccines in the UK and US as part of mass vaccination campaigns to immunise people against COVID-19. Excitement is building – finally, the end of the coronavirus crisis is in sight. Since early December, elderly patients and health workers in 50 hospitals across the UK have been given the vaccine …

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Coronavirus new variant – genomics researcher answers key questions

Kateryna Kon/Shutterstock Lucy van Dorp, UCL A new variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19, is thought to be driving increased transmission of the disease in parts of the UK. The government has placed some regions including London under new, stricter coronavirus restrictions, known as Tier 4. People in Tier 4 areas will not be able to gather with …

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Coronavirus mutation – not as scary as it sounds

Shawn Hempel/Shutterstock Matt Webster, Anglia Ruskin University A new strain of the coronavirus may be responsible for the faster spread of the virus in London and south-east England, it has been announced. Unconfirmed reports suggest that coronavirus variant is called N501Y. This particular strain has been increasing in frequency since August. The idea of a mutating virus, breaking out into …

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