35 articles from SUNDAY 23.5.2021

Coronavirus live news: Pfizer and AstraZeneca jab offer protection against India Covid variant, PHE finds

Latest updates: Pfizer vaccine 88% effective against symptomatic disease from the India variant after second dose, AstraZeneca jab 60% effectivePfizer and AstraZeneca ‘highly effective’ against India Covid variantMinisters ‘failed to act on Bedford Covid variant surge for two weeks’CDC studying reports of heart inflammation in young vaccine recipientsNo 10 ‘tried to block’ data on...

Why are we so uncharitable to those doing good deeds?

From veganism to fundraising, psychologists have found acts of altruism often attract mistrust and even angerIn 2014, the word “humblebrag” was added to the Oxford online dictionary, along with the following definition: “An ostensibly modest or self-deprecating statement whose actual purpose is to draw attention to something of which one is proud.”In the wild, humblebrags often present as...

With Covid, averages are not the only story | David Spiegelhalter & Anthony Masters

We need local data to keep on top of local outbreaksIt’s a myth that statisticians are obsessed with averages. We learn most from examining variability and the current concern with variants hammers home the importance of local data.Across the United Kingdom, confirmed cases of Covid-19 are stable, at 22 per 100,000 people in the week up to 17 May. Six local authorities recorded less than two...

A natural food supplement may relieve anxiety

A natural food supplement reduces anxiety in mice, according to a new Weizmann Institute of Science study. The plant-derived substance, beta-sitosterol, was found to produce this effect both on its own and in synergic combination with an antidepressant known under the brand name Prozac.

COVID-19 vaccine benefits still outweigh risks, despite possible rare heart complications

Late last week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) alerted health care professionals that they are monitoring the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) and the Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) for cases of young adults developing the rare heart-related complication myocarditis, after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna.

IBS patients' symptoms improved under COVID-19 lockdown orders

Patients' irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms unexpectedly improved when they were under COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, reaffirming the gut-brain connection in functional gastrointestinal disorders, according to research that was selected for presentation at Digestive Disease Week® (DDW) 2021.

Is closing the gap working?

Gaping policy shortfalls in the Australian Government's 'Closing the Gap' program have seen it fail to reduce disparities in Indigenous health, income, employment, child removal and incarceration, Flinders University researchers say. Their five-year study examined why the targets of Australia's national Closing the Gap strategy to reduce or eliminate inequalities in health, education and...

Myopia link to poor sleep, and screen time

New research from Australia indicates people with myopia are more likely to experience poorer sleep quality than people with normal vision.The study indicates that people with short-sightedness have more delayed circadian rhythms and lower production of melatonin, a hormone secreted in the brain and responsible for regulating sleep at night, compared to people with normal vision.