Tag Archives: Research

Covid-19: “Superspreading Events” Responsible For Up To 80% Of Infections

From Scientific American (June 23, 2020):

Scientific AmericanIn fact, research on actual cases, as well as models of the pandemic, indicate that between 10 and 20 percent of infected people are responsible for 80 percent of the coronavirus’s spread.

Researchers have identified several factors that make it easier for superspreading to happen. Some of them are environmental.

  • Poorly ventilated indoor areas seem especially conducive to the virus’s spread – A preliminary analysis of 110 COVID-19 cases in Japan found that the odds of transmitting the pathogen in a closed environment was more than 18 times greater than in an open-air space.
  • Places where large numbers of people congregate – As a group’s size increases, so does the risk of transmitting the virus to a wider cluster. A large group size also increases the chance that someone present will be infectious.
  • The longer a group stays in contact, the greater the likelihood that the virus will spread among them – The benchmark used for risk assessment in her contact-tracing work is 10 minutes of contact with an infectious person, though the CDC uses 15 minutes as a guideline.
  • Some activities seem to make it easier to spread respiratory gunk – Speech emits more particles than normal breathing. And emissions also increase as people speak louder. Singing emits even more particles, which may partially explain the superspreader event at the Washington State choir practice. Breathing hard during exercise might also help the spread of COVID-19.

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Coronavirus Vaccines: The Promise And Peril In Fast-Tracking (WSJ Video)

As the coronavirus continues to spread around the globe, companies and academic labs are racing to develop a vaccine that would help society get back to normal. But there could also be costs to moving too quickly.

WSJ’s Daniela Hernandez explains. Photo illustration: Laura Kammermann

New Research Podcasts: “Human Brains Are Wired To Enjoy Musical Pitch”

The Scientist PodcastsIn this month’s episode, we learn that human brains differentiate musical pitch a way that macaque monkeys do not. In fact, speech and music shaped the human brain’s hearing circuits. Researchers are studying these circuits with an eye on developing treatments for neurological disorders. 

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Top Science Podcasts: Latest Update On Covid-19 Vaccines, WHO Ultimatum

Coronapod ReportThe first results from vaccine trials are in and they are encouraging, but scientists are still urging caution. We hear the lowdown on the types of vaccines being developed and what hope there is of rolling them out any time soon. 

01:38 Trump vs the WHO

President Trump has given the WHO an ultimatum in a tweet, threatening to pull out of the organisation within 30 days unless unclear demands are met. We discuss what this means for the pandemic, the USA and the future of international health cooperation

12:06 Where are we with vaccines?

The first results from vaccine trials are in and they are encouraging, but scientists are still urging caution. We hear the lowdown on the types of vaccines being developed and what hope there is of rolling them out any time soon.

News: Coronavirus vaccine trials have delivered their first results — but their promise is still unclear

News: The race for coronavirus vaccines: a graphical guide

News: If a coronavirus vaccine arrives, can the world make enough?

25:20 One good thing

Our hosts pick out things that have made them smile in the last week, including hopeful antibody research, at-home sketch comedy and printable board games.

News: Potent human antibodies could inspire a vaccine

Video: Whiskers R we – SNL

Video:The wild affordable world of 1 Player Print’n’Play Games

Video:MORE of the Very Best Solitaire Print’n’Play Games

Video: Marble run league

Video: BBC goals at home (Only available in the UK)

30:04 The latest coronavirus research papers

Noah Baker takes a look through some of the key coronavirus papers of the last few weeks.

News: Coronavirus research updates

medRxivSaliva is more sensitive for SARS-CoV-2 detection in COVID-19 patients than nasopharangel swabs

Nature: Effect of non-pharmaceutical interventions to contain COVID-19 in China

Science: Changes in contact patterns shape the dynamics of the COVID-19 outbreak in China

New England Journal of Medicine: