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Health & Medicine

How well does the AstraZeneca vaccine work? An expert reviews the current evidence

Sarah Pitt, University of Brighton When the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine was first authorised by the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, it was hailed as a milestone in turning the tide on the coronavirus. But in the time since, this highly efficacious vaccine has suffered a lot of reputational damage. In January, the German press and French president Emmanuel Macron …

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How does the Johnson & Johnson vaccine compare to other coronavirus vaccines? 4 questions answered

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine only requires one dose. Phill Magoke/AFP via Getty Images Maureen Ferran, Rochester Institute of Technology The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has authorized the use of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine in adults. Maureen Ferran, a virologist at the Rochester Institute of Technology, explains how this third authorized vaccine works and explores the differences …

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New coronavirus variant: here is what scientists know about B1525

Sharon Peacock, University of Cambridge A coronavirus variant called B1525 has become one of the most recent additions to the global variant watch list and has been included in the list of variants under investigation by Public Health England. Scientists are keeping a watchful eye on this variant because it has several mutations in the gene that makes the spike …

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Do genetic differences make some people more susceptible to COVID-19?

Do genetic differences make some people more susceptible to COVID-19? males_design/Shutterstock Vikki Rand, Teesside University and Maria O’Hanlon, Teesside University Coronavirus affects people differently – some infected develop life-threatening disease, while others remain asymptomatic. And a year aftere COVID-19 emerged, it’s still unclear why. To try and answer this question, researchers have started looking at the genetics of people who …

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Napping in the afternoon can improve memory and alertness – here’s why

Short and long naps both have benefits. Rawpixel.com/ Shutterstock John Axelsson, Karolinska Institutet and Tina Sundelin, Stockholm University Some people swear by an afternoon nap – whether it’s to catch up on lost sleep or to help them feel more alert for the afternoon ahead. Even Boris Johnson supposedly favours a power nap during his work day (though the prime …

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Breast cancer: eating yoghurt could help build natural microbiome

Reducing your risk of breast cancer might be as simple as eating yoghurt. Julia Sudnitskaya/ Shutterstock Rachael Rigby, Lancaster University For each year that a woman breastfeeds, the risk that she will ever develop breast cancer is reduced by 4.3%, on average. The breast, like the intestine, has its own bacterial microflora and breastfeeding changes the varieties of bacteria that …

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Breast cancer: is milk a risk factor?

Some studies have linked drinking milk with higher risk of oestrogen-receptor positive breast cancer. Summersky/ Shutterstock Richard Hoffman, University of Hertfordshire Breast cancer has now overtaken lung cancer as the world’s most commonly diagnosed cancer, and as the leading cause of cancer-related deaths for women in many countries. While genetics can certainly increase risk of the disease, for most women …

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COVID-19 vaccination: What we can learn from the great polio vaccine heist of 1959

In a pandemic, vaccines are in very high demand, and this threatens their supply. (Shutterstock) Paula Larsson, University of Oxford We find ourselves at a precarious time in global health. Many people are anxiously awaiting their turn to receive a vaccine for COVID-19, yet roll-out is slow and disorganized, with many countries facing supply shortages. The conditions are ripe for …

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4 ways to close the COVID-19 racial health gap

New strategies are needed to help people of color battle the COVID-19 virus. dmbaker via Getty Images Tamra Burns Loeb, University of California, Los Angeles and Dorothy Chin, University of California, Los Angeles The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the reality that health in the U.S. has glaring racial inequities. Since March, people of color have been more likely to get …

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