How a trial that mirrors intensive care practices is pinpointing life-saving coronavirus treatments

Two anti-inflammatory drugs – tocilizumab and sarilumab – as well as steroids, have been identified as potential life-saving coronavirus treatments thanks to a trial set up in the wake of the 2009 swine flu pandemic that mirrors the way that people receive multiple treatments while in intensive care. When the H1N1 swine flu outbreak hit in … Read more

Triggering original fear memories could treat phobias and PTSD

In a lab in Amsterdam, arachnophobes have volunteered to encounter their eight-legged nemeses to help researchers hoping to conjure and obliterate fear memories. These studies, as well as new understanding of overlooked brain regions, are revealing how fears linked to PTSD or phobias work, and how they may be treated. In upcoming clinical trials, Professor … Read more

Black carbon and other pollution seeds clouds. We’re just starting to understand the climate implications

Clouds that form in a polluted area will have different properties from those that form around natural particles such as desert dust. Image credit: Pixabay/Pixabay Licence

Particles swirling around our atmosphere add to climate change, yet much about how they interact with sunlight and influence the seeding of clouds remains puzzling. Studies are lifting the lid on how these tiny particles influence something as big as climate by analysing them from jet aircraft, satellites and ground measurements.  The leading cause of climate change is rising levels of carbon dioxide in the … Read more

Sterilised insects could help control mosquito-borne diseases

A form of tiger mosquito birth control and drones may help stem the spread of some tropical diseases. Image credit - James Gathany/CDC, public domain

Aggressive tiger mosquitoes capable of spreading debilitating tropical diseases such as dengue and Zika are spreading through Europe, but scientists hope it may be possible to control these biting pests with a form of insect birth control and drones.  The bite of the Asian tiger mosquito may be little more than a pin-prick, but it … Read more