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Covid-19 news: Italy, Spain, Belgium limit use of AstraZeneca vaccine

Covid-19 news: Italy, Spain, Belgium limit use of AstraZeneca vaccine

×By,,,,,,andSeveral European countries have now restricted use of the AstraZeneca vaccine in younger peopleAdvertisementOther coronavirus newsCoronavirus deathsUK committee advises under-30s be offered alternative to AstraZeneca jab, while EU review finds no evidence age or gender are risk factors for side effectsOther coronavirus newsCoronavirus deathsThe EU’s drugs regulator has been investigating reports of rare blood clots in a small number of people who received the vaccineOther coronavirus newsCoronavirus deathsLong-lasting symptoms after covid-19 reported by 13.7 per cent of people...

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Apr 9
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Covid-19 news: 95 per cent of over 70s in Great Britain given vaccine

Covid-19 news: 95 per cent of over 70s in Great Britain given vaccine

×95 per cent of people over 70 in Great Britain have had a vaccine doseAdvertisementOther coronavirus newCoronavirus deathsLife expectancy fell by one year in 2020, helped by theOther coronavirus newsCoronavirus deathsUK government plans to send 400,000 tests a day to homes and workplacesOther coronavirus newsCoronavirus deaths:Will the new variants scupper efforts to get life back to normal?Nearly two million more people will be added to England’s shielding listOther coronavirus newsCoronavirus deaths Coronavirus variants carrying similar mutations detected in the US Other coronavirus...

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Feb 20
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Recent drop in emissions from China may speed up ozone layer recovery

Recent drop in emissions from China may speed up ozone layer recovery

×The ozone layer may recover more quickly than first thought, thanks mostly to reduced emissions from China of a banned ozone-depleting gas.Luke Western at the University of Bristol, UK, and his colleagues analysed data on atmospheric levels of the banned ozone-depleting gas trichlorofluoromethane, or CFC-11, and found that emissions from eastern declined after 2017. Emissions in 2019 were 10,000 tonnes less than the average annual emissions between 2014 and 2017, says Western.AdvertisementAnother study, led by Steve Montzka at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in...

Feb 14
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Microplastics left in water are more easily absorbed by mouse cells

Microplastics left in water are more easily absorbed by mouse cells

×Microplastic particles that are exposed to fresh water or saltwater for several weeks are more likely to be absorbed by mouse cells growing in the laboratory, suggesting that environmental microplastics may be able to enter cells more easily than we thought.Studies investigating the potential effects of in animals often use clean – or “pristine” – microplastic particles. Yet these don’t fully resemble the particles found in nature, which can become coated with debris from the environment.Anja Ramsperger at the University of Bayreuth in Germany and her colleagues took pristine microplastic...

Dec 10
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Gel layer inspired by camel fur could keep food and medicines cool

Gel layer inspired by camel fur could keep food and medicines cool

×A thin gel layer that mimics camel fur could help insulate objects, potentially keeping them cool for days, without electricity.Researchers have long been interested in hydrogels, which can absorb water and then release it through evaporation to produce a passive without power. But a key challenge has been in finding ways to make this effect last longer.Jeffrey Grossman at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his colleagues looked to camels for inspiration by combining hydrogel with a thin layer of another gel aerogel which is .Advertisement“Our evaporation-insulation bilayer...

Nov 17
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Water could be extracted from desert air using heat from sunlight

Water could be extracted from desert air using heat from sunlight

×A device that can extract water from almost dry air using heat from sunlight could help provide a sustainable source of water in remote regions with limited access to electricity.“In areas where water scarcity is a problem, it’s important to consider different technologies which provide water, particularly as climate change will exacerbate many water scarcity issues,” says Alina LaPotin at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.The device, developed by LaPotin and her colleagues, contains an adsorbent material called a zeolite inside it, which collects water vapour from the air at...

Oct 23
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Plastic baby bottles shed millions of microplastics when shaken

Plastic baby bottles shed millions of microplastics when shaken

×Plastic feeding bottles release an average of 4 million microplastic particles per litre into baby formula during preparation, but it still isn’t clear whether ingesting microplastics is harmful to infant health.John Boland at Trinity College Dublin in Ireland and his colleagues measured released during the process of baby formula preparation in feeding bottles made of polypropylene plastic, which they estimate account for almost 69 per cent of such bottles available on the market.The researchers cleaned and sterilised brand-new polypropylene feeding bottles, left them to dry and then...

Oct 22
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Near-uncrushable beetle's exoskeleton could inspire tough structures

Near-uncrushable beetle's exoskeleton could inspire tough structures

×The diabolical ironclad beetle is so tough that engineers are hoping to copy features of its exoskeleton to design stronger and more robust structures.“You can run these things over with a car and they don’t die,” says David Kisailus at the University of California, Irvine. “We took a Toyota, like a sedan, and drove over them and they survived. That was kind of surprising.”To investigate what makes these virtually uncrushable, Kisailus and his colleagues performed compression tests on the beetle’s exoskeleton, while analysing it under a microscope and by CT scan.AdvertisementThe...

Oct 22
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BCG vaccine helps fight infections by boosting immune cell production

BCG vaccine helps fight infections by boosting immune cell production

×The BCG (Bacillus Calmette-Guérin) tuberculosis vaccine boosts the production of immune cells, which may explain why it can protect newborn babies from dying of sepsis.Previous studies have shown that can protect newborns against a broad range of infections beyond tuberculosis, reducing overall deaths from sepsis. But exactly how this works was unclear.“Knowing the mechanism behind this effect will support the use of the BCG vaccine to prevent newborn sepsis,” says Nelly Amenyogbe at the Telethon Kids Institute in Perth, Australia. Amenyogbe and her colleagues analysed blood samples from...

May 9, 2020
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