Q&A: We have to rethink disease detection to get ahead of the outbreak after coronavirus

Disease outbreaks are likely to become more common in the future because of the growing human population, climate change and land-use change, says Prof. Marion Koopmans. Image credit - rawpixel/licenced under CCO

We know that outbreaks like coronavirus will become more common in the future and tackling them is the Apollo programme of our time, according to Professor Marion Koopmans, head of the viroscience department at Erasmus University Medical Centre in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.  She is a member of the European Commission’s recently established advisory panel on Covid-19 and … Read more

Covid-19: How unprecedented data sharing has led to faster-than-ever outbreak research

Online tools such as NextStrain are helping to track the spread of coronavirus in real time. Image credit - nextstrain.org

by Ian Le Guillou Advances in gene sequencing have allowed scientists to trace and monitor the COVID-19 pandemic faster than any previous outbreak. However, gaps in our knowledge of how coronaviruses work has made it difficult to understand what makes the new coronavirus special. When the new coronavirus (formally known as SARS-CoV-2) was identified in China … Read more

The prostheses that could alleviate amputees’ phantom limb pain

When it comes to improving amputees’ quality of life, one of the biggest challenges is making prostheses that feel like a natural part of the user. Image credit - Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Wikimedia Commons

by Ian Le Guillou New prosthetic technologies that stimulate the nerves could pave the way for prostheses that feel like a natural part of the body and reduce the phantom limb pain commonly endured by amputees. Silvestro Micera, a professor of translational neuroengineering at Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland, has spent the past 20 … Read more

Covid-19: Social distancing will help health authorities deal with coronavirus, says epidemiologist

There are still many unanswered questions about SARS-CoV-2, such as whether children are affected. Image credit - NIAID Rocky Mountain Laboratories (RML)/Public domain

by Richard Gray Social distancing policies, such as cancelling high-density gatherings, discouraging handshakes and asking people to increase their distance from each other will delay a coronavirus pandemic and help health authorities plan resources, according to epidemiologist Dr Vittoria Colizza who is modelling the spread of Covid-19 and the effectiveness of interventions. It has taken just … Read more