The early prediction that a COVID-19 vaccine could be ready in 12-18 months “raised a lot of eyebrows in the vaccine scientific and development community.” Credit: Adobe Stock/Sebastian Stankiewicz, Boston Children’s

The novel coronavirus is not expected to disappear anytime soon. With physical distancing, virus testing, contact tracing, and potentially new therapeutics, we may be able to keep it partially at bay. But many eyes are looking toward a COVID-19 vaccine, and scientists are feeling the urgency.

A timeline frequently cited suggests that a vaccine ready for will be available by early 2021. But is such a timeline

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From next year, access to e-cigarettes and related products containing liquid nicotine will require a doctor’s prescription. This is to ensure liquid nicotine is handled like the poisonous, addictive substance it is and not promoted to young people. It’s good news for public health and bad news for the tobacco and e-cigarette industries.

This restriction comes into effect from January 1, 2021, six months later than originally proposed.

It’s not a ban on importing e-cigarettes. But it will close loopholes between established prohibitions on the supply and sale of nicotine at the federal level, and

People move away as health workers fumigate a slum to prevent an outbreak of dengue fever in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Monday, March 23, 2020. While 2019 was the worst year on record for global dengue cases, experts fear an even bigger surge is possible because their efforts to combat it were hampered by restrictions imposed in the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)

To slow the spread of the coronavirus, governments issued lockdowns to keep people at home. They curtailed activities that affected services like trash collection. They tried to shield hospitals from a surge of patients.

But the cascading effects

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Brazil surpassed 70,000 coronavirus deaths on Friday, the health ministry said, though the number of daily fatalities appears to be stabilizing.

The ministry said there had been 45,000 new infections and 1,200 deaths over the last 24 hours, taking the totals to 1.8 million cases and 70,400 deaths.

Brazil, a country of 212 million, is the second worst-affected country in the world after the United States.

The number of deaths has doubled over the last 35 days with Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro states the worst hit, respectively reporting 17,400 and 11,200 deaths.

In relative

The vaccine developed at the Rega Institute is one of the first that is proven to protect lab animals from infection. Credit: © Layla Aerts – KU Leuven

Virologists at the Rega Institute at KU Leuven (Belgium) have developed a vaccine candidate that protects hamsters from infection with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. Theirs is one of the first vaccine candidates that is proven to protect lab animals from infection. The team aims to start clinical trials next Winter. Their findings are pending peer review, but the researchers have already submitted their results to preprint server bioRxiv.

The team, which is led

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The human heart is like a sponge, able to expand and grow, increasing its capacity to take up blood. In theory, an enlarged heart can also squeeze out more blood, with more power, than an average-sized heart. But in reality, for most people, this growth—known as cardiac hypertrophy—is abnormal and signals trouble.

Cardiac hypertrophy is brought on by various factors, high pressure in particular. Existing treatments only delay the inevitable—that the spongy heart muscle becomes thicker and stiffer over time, culminating in , in which the heart can no longer contract strongly enough