Even after the year that was 2020, I've spotted countless articles and media outlets "helping" people set New Year's resolutions and kick bad habits. Whilst I'm not one to usually set a resolution, this year I want to do more of what I love which includes these articles. So now the thesis is in and I had a Christmas break (WAHOOO), what can science tell us about habits, whether breaking or forming them?
Since the start of lockdown in the UK back in March, the government has been "tweaking" its covid-19 testing strategy. Targeted testing, only symptomatic people, mass testing etc. Until last week (6th Nov, 2020), the only widely available tests were PCR (I'll explain more in a moment). However, Liverpool is now the trial site of mass testing using a different type of covid test which is quicker and is being used on everyone, symptomatic or not. Here we'll look at the different types of covid tests and explain what they're doing.
At the start of lockdown in the UK back in March (2020, if anyone needs reminding...), doctors surgeries closed their doors to walk in appointments and everything went as online as possible. Whilst many would have been sceptical of a virtual consultation, I also think many have been surprised. GP surgeries have had fewer missed appointments and shorter waiting times to see a doctor. Going virtual meant many concerns could be addressed without the patient needing to come to the surgery. But what if the doctors themselves were computerised? What if we had robot doctors?
As we pass 6 months of lockdown measures in the UK, some long term symptoms of covid-19 are starting to emerge. Alongside viral fatigue and continued breathing difficulties, less obvious, neurological, health problems are becoming more of a concern. So what do we know about the effects of coronavirus on the brain to date, and should we be worried about a "silent wave" of neurological problems?
Could honeybee venom be used to kill aggressive cancel cells? This is the news out this month (Sept' 2020) from research into bee venom. We all know how wonderful and important the honeybee is to our lives, but could its venom now be a key to cancer prognosis?
I recently heard this line in an episode of popular American sitcom Modern Family, "sitting is the new smoking". It was an off hand comment but during the pandemic, lockdown and general office-style working, sitting has risen exponentially. What evidence is there that sitting is bad for our health?
It has been over 6 months since the first threat covid-19 hit international news, with many now believing it arrived in late 2019, and after 4 months of lockdown it is time to address the elephant in the room: immunity. What is it, and what is current research telling us about coronavirus immunity?
It's fair to say I love dogs and I share this opinion with a large percentage of the planet, but as well as their adorableness do you know what makes dogs really impressive? Their incredible sense of smell. Find out how researchers are utilising this in our fight against diseases, even coronavirus.
In school we're taught about many scientific advances, from DNA identification with Watson and Crick, radiation research with Marie Curie, and natural selection with Charles Darwin. I can guarantee however, that you have not learnt about Henrietta Lacks and even scientists, unless they work in biology or medical research, may not have heard the importance of HeLa cells. Amongst the BLM movement, it is time learn.