A coronavirus that previously killed thousands of suckling pigs in China remains largely a mystery to scientists.
Prolonged global recession, high unemployment, another outbreak of infectious disease and protectionism dominate the list of near-term worries for companies, according to the World Economic Forums report, Covid-19 Risks Outlook: A Preliminary Mapping and Its Implications.
Graphene has been touted as a game changer by materials scientists, with applications envisaged in the aerospace, electronics, coatings, batteries and automotive industries.
Scientists in the US have hooked up electronics to cells, permitting genes to be controlled by applying a voltage outside of bacteria (Nature Commun., doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-16249-x).
A novel method to produce powerful, environmentally friendly disinfectants has been developed by Israeli researchers. Based on tap water, they claim it can eliminate bacteria and kill viruses.
A clinical trial is under way to test whether BCG vaccination protects against or reduces the severity of illness from Covid-19. It will enroll 10,000 healthcare workers across Australia, the Netherlands and Spain.
A team of researchers has turned waste materials into a new rubber material that can stick itself back together when cut into pieces. They claim the approach is a new concept in repairing and recycling sustainable rubber.
The South African Competition Commission has cracked the whip on medical products and equipment suppliers taking advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic to hike prices of critical personal protection equipment (PPE), contrary to the country’s consumer protection regulations.
Two separate calculations suggest that the estimated ‘herd immunity threshold’ of 60 to 70% is too high for the pandemic. This threshold is crossed when enough people in a population are immune to a disease, after infection or vaccination, to provide indirect protection to those who are not immune.
The Nipah virus was identified in 1999 during an outbreak affecting pig farmers in Malaysia and Singapore. It caused over 100 deaths and over 1m pigs were culled to stop the outbreak. Since 2001, sporadic outbreaks have occurred in India and Bangladesh – including person-to-person spread.