31 articles from SUNDAY 17.5.2020

U.S. Military’s Mystery Space Plane Rockets Back Into Orbit

(CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.) — The U.S. military’s mystery space plane rocketed into orbit again Sunday, this time with an extra load of science experiments. It’s the sixth flight of an X-37B, a solar-powered plane that’s flown by remote control without a crew. Officials aren’t saying how long the spacecraft will remain in orbit this time or the purpose of the mission....

UK plans £38m centre to start production of coronavirus vaccine

Centre will allow manufacture to begin this summer before it is known whether vaccine worksCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageAn experimental coronavirus vaccine will go into production this summer at a “rapid deployment facility” before clinical trials have established whether the shots are safe and protect against the infection.The business secretary, Alok Sharma,...

Covid-19 test results could mislead public | Letters

Dr Michael Browning is concerned by the limitations of the Roche antibody test, while Dennis Sherwood is worried about the reliability of self-administered swabsPublic Health England’s report on its validation of the Roche Covid-19 antibody test (which the government is promoting for widespread use) reveals a number of limitations that were not mentioned in the public briefings (Public Health...

UK hospital tackles PPE shortage by making 5,000 visors a day

Hospital in Wolverhampton believed to be first in NHS to resort to in-house productionCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverage With hospitals across the country struggling to get enough visors for their frontline staff, one has come up with a clever solution – make your own.New Cross hospital in Wolverhampton has turned its library into a mini-factory and has called in its...

Possible breakthrough in coronavirus-related syndrome in children

UK researchers believe blood markers may help them identify those most at riskCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageDoctors have identified a group of blood compounds that may help to reveal which children are most at risk of developing a rare but life-threatening immune reaction to coronavirus.The new syndrome emerged last month after hospitals in London admitted a number...

Coronavirus UK map: the latest deaths and confirmed cases in each region

Latest figures from public health authorities on the spread of Covid-19 in the United Kingdom. Find out how many confirmed cases have been reported in each of England’s local authoritiesCoronavirus - live news updatesFind all our coronavirus coverage hereHow to protect yourself from infectionPlease note: these are government figures on numbers of confirmed cases - some people who report symptoms...

Rare long-necked dinosaur that roamed the polar world unearthed in Australia

Discovery of a single vertebra of an elaphrosaur in Victoria hugely expands known range of the group, which had teeth as juveniles but beaks as adults A dinosaur relative of T. rex and Velociraptor with an unusually long neck, and which may have transitioned from predator to plant-eater as it reached adulthood, has been unearthed in Victoria.The elaphrosaur was a member of the theropod family of...

US and UK 'lead push against global patent pool for Covid-19 drugs'

Efforts to dilute world health assembly resolution on open licensing decried as ‘appalling’Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageMinisters and officials from every nation will meet via video link on Monday for the annual world health assembly, which is expected to be dominated by efforts to stop rich countries monopolising drugs and future vaccines against Covid-19.As...

Would you dare to dye your partner's hair?

As grey roots appear, imagine the plight of a wary partner asked to stand in for the experts… A cautionary taleRecently, my wife has started walking towards me and bowing her head, as if in penitence. In fact, she’s showing me the roots of her hair. “Howdsit look?” she asks.Yesterday, she sent me an email from her “office” in the kitchen to mine in the converted loft upstairs. This...

Staying at home works: debunking the biggest coronavirus myths in the US

Where did the virus come from? And can hydroxychloroquine treat it? Some answers to fight the misinformation out there Coronavirus – latest US updatesCoronavirus – latest global updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThere are questions central to the Covid-19 pandemic that scientists across the world long to be able to answer. Where exactly did the coronavirus come from? How can it be treated...

Maybe it’s time to retire the idea of “going viral”

For years we’ve been using the phrase “gone viral” to describe something that becomes wildly popular on the internet. But it strikes a different note in the middle of a global pandemic, especially when the viral content is about an actual virus that is killing people. It’s even worse when you’re talking about “viral” content containing dangerous misinformation and conspiratorial...

Scientists divided over coronavirus risk to children if schools reopen

Some studies show pupils are less likely to become ill if infected, while others show they are as infectious as adultsCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe most striking feature about the impact of Covid-19 on children is how little research has been conducted in the field. Only a handful of studies have been carried out across the world, and scientists are divided over...

Did singing together spread coronavirus to four choirs?

In Amsterdam, 102 members of one choir fell ill, and cases have been reported in Europe, America and the UK. But scientists cannot agree on the causeCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageOn 8 March this year, the Amsterdam Mixed Choir gave a performance of Bach’s St John Passion in the city’s Concertgebouw auditorium. It was one of the last major classical concerts to...

Poorer middle-aged men most at risk from suicide in pandemic, say Samaritans

Charity raises concerns over ‘hidden victims’ in a socioeconomic group known to be reluctant to seek helpCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageMiddle-aged men from poor backgrounds have been identified as potential “hidden victims” of the Covid-19 pandemic, and urgent government intervention is required to protect them, the Samaritans charity has warned.Analysing...

Reopen the schools or a generation will bear the mental health scars

Children’s Covid symptoms are usually mild, but a lack of education can be severeCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe plan for children to start returning to school in England has caused much debate about safety. Understandably, parents and teachers are worried about what this will mean for risk to children, and teachers are justifiably concerned about risk to...

Llama antibodies could help fight coronavirus, study finds

Researchers hope llama antibodies could help protect humans who have not been infectedCoronavirus – latest US updatesCoronavirus – latest global updatesThe solution to the coronavirus may have been staring us in the face this whole time, lazily chewing on a carrot. All we need, it seems, is llamas.A study published last week in the journal Cell found that antibodies in llamas’ blood could...

A theoretical boost to nano-scale devices

Researchers with the School of Electrical Engineering at KAIST have developed a new approach to the underlying physics of semiconductors. They calculated the quasi-Fermi levels in molecular junctions applying an initio approach.

Chinese to rise as a global language

With the continuing rise of China as a global economic and trading power, there is no barrier to prevent Chinese from becoming a global language like English, according to Flinders University academic Dr Jeffrey Gil.Dr Gil's paper challenges arguments that suggest Chinese faces insurmountable hurdles to become a commonly used international language due to the complexity of Chinese written...