May 2020

International community rallies to support open research and science to fight COVID-19


WHO and Costa Rica launch landmark COVID-19 Technology Access Pool

Thirty countries and multiple international partners and institutions have signed up to support the COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP) an initiative aimed at making vaccines, tests, treatments and other health technologies to fight COVID-19 accessible to all.

The Pool was first proposed in March by President Carlos Alvarado of Costa Rica, who joined WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus today at the official launch of the initiative. 

“The COVID-19 Technology Access Pool will ensure the latest and best science benefits all of humanity,” said President Alvarado of Costa Rica.

Treatment of chloroquine poisoning


Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Research by Bangor University’s Professor Dyfrig Hughes has provided important evidence on the safety of treatments that are being tested for use in COVID-19.

Chloroquine, an old drug developed for treating malaria, and hydroxychloroquine, a related drug used in , are being used as potential treatments for COVID-19. The Food and Drug Administration authorised their emergency use in the U.S., and clinical guidelines have made recommendations for their use in the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 across many countries.

However, both drugs are poisonous in high dose. Several cases of overdose have been

WHO, UN Foundation and Illumination partner on health messages


WHO, the United Nations Foundation and Illumination have partnered to launch a Public Service Announcement (PSA) that reinforces safe and healthy practices during these challenging times,
featuring Illumination’s globally beloved Gru and the Minions. The PSA focuses on lifesaving behaviors to help mitigate the impacts of COVID-19, including physical distancing, being active at home and remaining kind to each other —all
aimed at making sure people of all ages stay safe and healthy during this pandemic.

“At this challenging time, we must find all ways possible to provide hope to people while sharing advice that can protect our health,”

Examining the impact of major life events on wellbeing


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Major life events, such as marriage, death of a loved one, or bankruptcy, all affect our wellbeing. Now, for the first time, researchers have compared the differing impact of these events on the happiness and life satisfaction of Australians, and how long that impact lasts.

The study examined 18 major , and how they affected a sample of 14,000 Australians between 2002 and 2016. The data was taken from the HILDA survey, which examines the social, health and economic conditions of Australian households using face-to-face interviews and self-completion questionnaires.

The study: The differential impact of

Researchers discover how protein can inhibit cancer development in mice


The researchers’ illustration of PP2A binding to ADAM17 whcich cleaves other proteins such as the growth factor EGF which again binds the receptor EGFR and stimulates cell growth. Credit: The University of Copenhagen

Proteins are found throughout our cells and regulate biological processes that are important for survival. But some of them also regulate processes that can make us sick. Now, an international research team, with researchers from the University of Copenhagen at the forefront, has achieved a much better understanding of one such protein.

In a new study, the researchers discovered how the PP2A works at the

The coronavirus doesn’t exist in isolation—it feeds on other diseases, crises


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We may be in self-isolation, but the COVID-19 pandemic is clearly not.

It isn’t isolated from other social, environmental and health crises—like food insecurity, the opioid crisis and the mental health crisis—nor is it separate from other epidemics like HIV, malaria, dengue fever and Zika virus.

When two or more epidemics co-exist and compound one another to worsen health, they are said to be syndemic, or “synergistic epidemics.”

What is a syndemic?

The concept of syndemics arose in the 1990s to describe how substance abuse, violence and AIDS (known