33 articles from SUNDAY 20.6.2021

New technique allows for identification of potential drugs to fight resistant bacteria

Researchers have optimized a new technique that will allow scientists to evaluate how potential inhibitors work on antibiotic-resistant bacteria. This technique, called native state mass spectrometry, provides a quick way for scientists to identify the best candidates for effective clinical drugs, particularly in cases where bacteria can no longer be treated with antibiotics alone.

‘Two Americas’ may emerge as Delta variant spreads and vaccination rates drop

Biden’s 70% vaccination target by Fourth of July likely to fall short as efforts to entice people to get shots have lost their initial impact With Covid vaccination penetration in the US likely to fall short of Joe Biden’s 70% by Fourth of July target, pandemic analysts are warning that vaccine incentives are losing traction and that “two Americas” may emerge as the aggressive Delta...

Readers reply: is ignorant bliss better than knowledgable gloom?

The long-running series in which readers answer other readers’ questions on subjects ranging from trivial flights of fancy to profound scientific and philosophical conceptsHappier people live longer, more pleasant lives. Informed people are weighed down with the woes of the world. So, is ignorant bliss better than knowledgable gloom? Mary Shider, MacclesfieldSend new questions to...

Children of obese mums at higher risk of fatty liver disease – study

Researchers say influences in the womb may play a role in increasing the risk of developing the conditionChildren of obese mothers have a greater risk of developing fatty liver disease in their 20s, according to researchers who say policymakers need to do more to tackle the promotion of poor-quality food and drink.Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) can be caused by obesity. If it progresses...

New technique allows for identification of potential drugs to fight resistant bacteria

Researchers from the Miami University in Ohio have optimized a new technique that will allow scientists to evaluate how potential inhibitors work on antibiotic-resistant bacteria. This technique, called native state mass spectrometry, provides a quick way for scientists to identify the best candidates for effective clinical drugs, particularly in cases where bacteria can no longer be treated with...

Under-18s could be ‘reservoirs’ for virus when all adults are jabbed, expert warns

Unvaccinated children have potential to drive third wave of highly transmissible Delta variant, says virologistThe drive to vaccinate all adults over the age of 18 in the UK could lead to the concentration of Covid-19 cases in schoolchildren, a leading British virologist has warned.Under-18s would then become reservoirs in which new variants of the virus could arise, said Julian Tang, of Leicester...

Giles Yeo: ‘Let’s consider the type of food we eat, and not fixate on calories’

The scientist and broadcaster discusses the drawbacks of calorie-counting and BMI in measuring obesity, and how our growing understanding of genetics is leading to new treatmentsSince the dawn of the 20th century, almost all weight loss guidelines have used calories as a simple measure of how much energy we’re consuming from our food. But according to Giles Yeo, a Cambridge University research...

Ask Philippa: meet the Observer’s brilliant new agony aunt

As psychotherapist and author Philippa Perry becomes our new agony aunt, she reveals why helping you with your worries will help us all. Plus, a special welcome from Jay RaynerJohn Dunton founded the Athenian Mercury in the 1690s. A paper that consisted of readers’ questions and the answers. His idea was that readers could send in dilemmas to be answered by a panel of experts, the Athenian...

Sunday with Tim Peake: ‘I’m a dreadful chef, but I can do a roast’

The astronaut reveals why he likes nothing more than a nice and relaxed down-to-earth day with the kidsWhat time do you get up? Whatever time my youngest comes bouncing into the room. He’s nine and has an uncanny ability to sleep in on school days and wake up early on weekends.What’s for breakfast? We’ll make pancakes with blueberries and raspberries. We’ve got a little pancake maker –...

Head of Independent Sage to launch international climate change group

Sir David King hopes to emulate success of British Covid advisory body by issuing monthly reports on environmental crisisSeveral of the world’s leading scientists plan to launch an independent expert group this week to advise, warn and criticise global policymakers about the climate and nature crises.The new body has been inspired by Independent Sage – the cluster of British scientists who...

During COVID-19 pandemic, increased screen time correlates with mental distress

Increased screen time among young adults during the COVID-19 pandemic correlated with a rise in pandemic-related distress, according to research led by investigators at the Saint James School of Medicine on the Caribbean island nation, Saint Vincent. The increase in time spent viewing entertainment on a screen both prior to and during the pandemic was associated with a boost in anxiety scores.