Health & Medicine

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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Low carb, Paleo or fasting – which diet is best?

Ekaterina Markelova/Shutterstock Duane Mellor, Coventry University and Paul D McArdle, University of Birmingham At this time of year, we are bombarded with books and TV shows telling us what we should be eating and how best to lose weight. Particularly in vogue are low-carb diets, Paleo diets and intermittent fasting diets. But which diet is the most effective for sustained …

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Conspiracy theories may seem irrational – but they fulfill a basic human need

Shutterstock/Lightspring Lisa Bortolotti, University of Birmingham and Anna Ichino, University of Milan There has been a proliferation of conspiracy theories about COVID-19 that either reject the existence of the virus altogether or question the official account of its origins, its mode of transmission, its effects and its remedies. Many of these theories are highly implausible and harmful and it has …

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What psychology can tell us about why some people don’t wear masks – and how to change their minds

Marina Biryukova/Shutterstock Helen Wall, Edge Hill University; Alex Balani, Edge Hill University, and Derek Larkin, Edge Hill University While the world is eagerly waiting for COVID-19 vaccines to bring an end to the pandemic, wearing a mask to help prevent viral transmission has become more or less mandatory globally. Though many people embrace mask wearing and adhere to public health …

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