Tag Archives: coronavirus

Does a plant-based diet really help beat COVID-19?

Dejan Dundjerski/Shutterstock Duane Mellor, Aston University Since the beginning of the pandemic, it’s been suggested that certain foods or diets may offer protection against COVID-19. But are these sorts of claims reliable? A recent study published in BMJ Nutrition, Prevention and Health sought to test this hypothesis. It found that health professionals who reported following diets that are vegetarian, vegan …

Read More »

The coronavirus genome is like a shipping label that lets epidemiologists track where it’s been

The steady rate of genetic changes lets researchers recreate how a virus has travelled. nextstrain.org, CC BY Bert Ely, University of South Carolina and Taylor Carter, University of South Carolina Following the coronavirus’s spread through the population – and anticipating its next move – is an important part of the public health response to the new disease, especially since containment …

Read More »

The next pandemic is already happening – targeted disease surveillance can help prevent it

Sustained surveillance for disease outbreaks at global hot spots may be the key to preventing the next pandemic. MR.Cole_Photographer/Getty Images Maureen Miller, Columbia University As more and more people around the world are getting vaccinated, one can almost hear the collective sigh of relief. But the next pandemic threat is likely already making its way through the population right now. …

Read More »

Pfizer jab approved for children, but first other people need to be vaccinated

Dominic Wilkinson, University of Oxford; Jonathan Pugh, University of Oxford, and Julian Savulescu, University of Oxford Moderna and Pfizer have released data suggesting that their vaccines are well tolerated in adolescents and highly effective in preventing COVID-19. Canada, the US and the EU have already authorised the Pfizer vaccine in children as young as 12. And the UK has just …

Read More »

Dog coronavirus found in humans – why you shouldn’t worry

‘ Relax, humans! I’m not going to start the next pandemic. Firn/Shutterstock Sarah L Caddy, University of Cambridge Scientists have found a new canine coronavirus in a handful of people hospitalised with pneumonia. This may sound alarming, but once we unpack it, you will see that there’s no reason to lose any sleep. The discovery of the canine coronavirus in …

Read More »

How plant-based diets could help prevent the next COVID-19

Eating less animal proteins may help reduce the risk of future zoonotic viruses. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman) Kurtis Boyer, University of Saskatchewan Viruses like COVID-19, SARS, bovine spongiform, swine flu and avian flu all have something in common: They all come from animals, described by scientists as zoonotic diseases. Yet, these diseases do not really “come from animals.” After all, it …

Read More »

Coronavirus: so many variants, but vaccines are still effective

Luke O’Neill, Trinity College Dublin Viruses are constantly changing. This is because errors sometimes occur when they copy their genetic material. Some errors have no effect at all. Some might make the virus less viable. Some make it more benign, which means it can survive but doesn’t cause disease. The errors to watch for are those that might make the …

Read More »

Seven modern philosophers to help us build a better world after the pandemic

Vittorio Bufacchi, University College Cork When will things go back to normal? That’s what everyone seems to be asking, which is understandable given the pain and sacrifice many endured over the past 18 months. But should things go back to normal? Some would reasonably argue that “normal” is a failed economic model responsible for producing unacceptable levels of inequality that …

Read More »

Immune response might be more about signalling to others that you need help and less about protecting your body

Rido/Shutterstock Jonathan R Goodman, University of Cambridge A major debate during the pandemic, and in infectious disease research more broadly, is why infected people die. No virus “wants” to kill anyone, as an epidemiologist once said to me. Like any other form of life, a virus’s goal is only to survive and reproduce. A growing body of evidence instead suggests …

Read More »