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Coronavirus: only one of the many thousands of deadly diseases

The coronavirus has infected more than 70,000 people in China and cases have appeared in 26 other countries. Media outlets across the globe are preoccupied with the outbreak, and panic and misinformation are widespread on social media; but infectious diseases have been part of our lives throughout history – and vaccines, hygiene and quarantine have […]

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Health Science

Study finds potential link between Alzheimer’s disease and gum disease

A landmark study published in Science Advances has found evidence suggesting that the bacterium responsible for gum disease, called Porphyromonas gingivalis, may play a role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease. There have been previous hints from animal studies that this common oral bacteria may be linked in some way to Alzheimer’s disease. Work in […]

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Science

The spooky science behind Halloween’s most iconic monsters

Halloween is fast approaching, and the majority of the student population start to look forward to costumes, pumpkins, and drinking opportunities. Rather than writing about the science of alcohol poisoning or hypothermia (seriously, wear a coat over your costume), we are going to be looking at the scientific basis behind everyone’s favourite monsters and costume […]

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Science

The naked truth about mole-rats

Recent work suggests that naked mole-rats are highly durable, resistant to many diseases, and seemingly live without ageing.   The naked mole-rat has stood out to scientists for some time, as they have a lifespan of over 30 years – 5 times greater than would normally be expected for a rodent of their size. In […]

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Science Science

The suicide swarm: mosquitoes to halt the spread of disease

Mosquitoes are an annoying, if mostly harmless, summer threat in the UK and Europe. However, they are a major disease carrier in other parts of the world, spreading Dengue fever and Chikungunya. They were the primary vector for transmitting the Zika virus during its 2015 outbreak, and remain a serious threat in South and Central […]

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Science Science

A vaccine for the Zika virus

A new approach, published in Nature, outlines a vaccine that is successful at protecting mice and rhesus macaques from Zika virus. The vaccine is based on delivering viral mRNA to cells to induce an immune response and build protection. Since its highly publicised outbreak in South America around the time of the 2016 Rio Olympics, […]

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Science Science

Yaws, the second disease in the world to be eradicated?

Dr. Oriol Mitja is a young Spanish doctor who, after graduating from the Barcelona Institute of Global Heath and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and following some breakthrough research on the diagnosis and treatment of yaws, set himself the goal of eradicating this disease in his lifetime. If successful, this would be […]