From Nature News, 18 November 2020: How many people don’t experience any symptoms after becoming infected with SARS-CoV-2? And what is their role in spreading COVID-19? These have been key questions since the beginning of the pandemic. Now, evidence suggests that about one in five infected people will experience no symptoms, and they will transmit … Continue reading What the data say about asymptomatic COVID infections
From The Medical Republic, 28 September 2020: Richard Horton is angry. Early in the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom, the editor-in-chief of international medical journal The Lancet began receiving messages from frontline healthcare workers. Increasingly terrified and desperate staff with inadequate or no PPE were being sent in to deal with what was clearly a deadly … Continue reading A terrible, terrible failure’: Richard Horton on the COVID-19 response
From The Guardian, 20 August 2020: In a secret location in an industrial area in western Sydney, a test strip of asphalt is being laid. But this is no ordinary road. The 50-metre strip stretching out into the hot afternoon sun is held together by an unusual material. The gooey cellulose that binds a road … Continue reading Closing the loop: This man turns discarded coffee cups into roads
From The Medical Republic, 16 September 2020: Since arriving back in Australia aboard a COVID-19-laden flight from the United Kingdom in late March, there have been several moments when I was convinced we had picked up COVID-19 on the way. During the two weeks we remained in strict quarantine at home, my sense of taste … Continue reading So you think you’ve had COVID-19?
From The Guardian, 6 August 2020: Laurie Brosnan is frustrated. “We pay a tax to produce clean energy,” says the pig farmer from Biloela in central Queensland. In the past five years, his company, Bettafield Piggery, has invested millions of dollars in an advanced biogas system that not only meets all its own electricity needs, … Continue reading “We pay a tax to produce clean energy”
Since March 25, I have been writing a daily live blog covering COVID-19 for Australian general practitioners, for medical magazine The Medical Republic. It reports on everything from guideline updates to the latest studies, with occasional detours into welcome funny distractions. Check it out here.
From Griffith Review, April 2020: My Nan was an active, outgoing, engaged senior citizen. She gardened, kneeling on a foam pad to protect the skin of her knees and her fragile bones, honeycombed with osteoporosis. She read books, the newspaper, did the crosswords. She looked after her neighbours’ children for an afternoon here and there, … Continue reading Longevity, quality and turning back the clock
From Nature Careers India, 1 April 2020: In 2017, the World Health Organization (WHO) came up with a new classification system for antibiotics on its essential medicines list: Access, Watch, and Reserve. Antibiotics on the Access list were narrow spectrum antibiotics — only effective against a small range of organisms — that would be recommended … Continue reading How Indian scientists have been scrambling to contain antimicrobial resistance for years
From Nature, 16 October 2019: The commercial story of RNA interference (RNAi) harbours more plot twists and unexpected demises than television fantasy drama Game of Thrones. As in all good dramas, there was someone — or something — that, just as things were looking promising, showed up to foil everyone’s plans, in this case hindering … Continue reading The challenge of delivering RNA-interference therapeutics to their target cells
From The Scientist, 1 April 2020: When the first anticancer therapies based on engineered T cells hit the market a few years ago, they offered the possibility of what would have once been perceived as a medical miracle: a one-shot cure for certain blood cancers. Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapies, as they are … Continue reading Nature killer cell therapies catch up to CAR-T