Riviste scientifiche

Can omicron-specific vaccines arrive fast enough to make a difference?

New Scientist - Ma, 30/11/2021 - 18:38
Vaccine makers are already adapting vaccines to fight the omicron coronavirus variant, but it will probably already have swept the world by the time these arrive

Covid booster shots are pushing protection to unexpected heights

New Scientist - Ma, 30/11/2021 - 17:20
Evidence suggests that vaccine booster programmes can take people’s covid-19 protection to unexpectedly high levels, but we don’t yet know how effective existing vaccines will be against the omicron variant

Arctic may switch from snow to rain-dominated as early as 2060

New Scientist - Ma, 30/11/2021 - 17:00
A rain-dominated Arctic is expected to arrive up to two decades earlier than expected, and in many parts of the region it will happen even at 1.5°C of global warming rather than 2°C as previously thought

Covid-19 news: All UK adults to be offered boosters to tackle omicron

New Scientist - Ma, 30/11/2021 - 14:00
The latest coronavirus news updated every day including coronavirus cases, the latest news, features and interviews from New Scientist and essential information about the covid-19 pandemic

A pair of nearby supermassive black holes are heading for a collision

New Scientist - Ma, 30/11/2021 - 14:00
Two supermassive black holes have been discovered just 1600 light years apart, and they are likely to collide in about 250 million years

An ultra-hot gas giant exoplanet orbits its star once every 16 hours

New Scientist - Ma, 30/11/2021 - 09:00
The second hottest planet ever found is being pulled into its star faster than any planet we have seen before

Living robots made from frog cells can replicate themselves in a dish

New Scientist - Lu, 29/11/2021 - 21:00
Swarms of tiny "xenobots" can self-replicate in the lab by pushing loose cells together – the first time this form of reproduction has been seen in multicellular organisms

Canine teeth shrank in human ancestors at least 4.5 million years ago

New Scientist - Lu, 29/11/2021 - 21:00
The extra-large, dagger-like canine teeth seen in male great apes have been missing from human ancestors for at least 4.5 million years – possibly because females opted for less aggressive partners

Mysterious origin of Earth's water may be explained by solar wind

New Scientist - Lu, 29/11/2021 - 17:22
Evidence from asteroids shows that charged particles from the sun can turn dust grains into water – a process that could be useful for space exploration too

Material inspired by blood vessels can extract uranium from seawater

New Scientist - Lu, 29/11/2021 - 17:00
The oceans are a huge untapped store of uranium, which is vital for nuclear energy, and new technology could ensure a long-lasting supply

A single vaccine could protect against many mosquito-borne diseases

New Scientist - Lu, 29/11/2021 - 16:00
A vaccine that changes the way our body responds to mosquito bites could protect us from diseases the insects carry, and also seems to make mosquitoes lay fewer eggs

COVID-19 in Africa: Catalyzing change for sustainable development

PLoS Medicine - Lu, 29/11/2021 - 15:00

by Salim S. Abdool Karim, Segenet Kelemu, Cheryl Baxter

Salim Abdool Karim, Segenet Kelemu and Cheryl Baxter discuss COVID-19 impacts and adaptations in Africa.

Cash transfers for HIV prevention: A systematic review

PLoS Medicine - Lu, 29/11/2021 - 15:00

by Marie C. D. Stoner, Kelly Kilburn, Peter Godfrey-Faussett, Peter Ghys, Audrey E. Pettifor

Background

Given the success of cash programs in improving health outcomes and addressing upstream drivers of HIV risk such as poverty and education, there has been an increasing interest in their potential to improve HIV prevention and care outcomes. Recent reviews have documented the impacts of structural interventions on HIV prevention, but evidence about the effects of cash transfer programs on HIV prevention has not been systematically reviewed for several years.

Methods and findings

We did a systematic review of published and unpublished literature to update and summarize the evidence around cash programs for HIV prevention from January 2000 to December 17, 2020. We included studies with either a cash transfer intervention, savings program, or program to reduce school costs. Included studies measured the program’s impact on HIV infection, other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), or sexual behaviors. We screened 1,565 studies and examined 78 in full-text review to identify a total of 45 peer-reviewed publications and reports from 27 different interventions or populations. We did not do a meta-analysis given the range of outcomes and types of cash transfer interventions assessed. Most studies were conducted in sub-Saharan Africa (N = 23; South Africa, Tanzania, Malawi, Lesotho, Kenya, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and eSwatini) followed by Mexico (N = 2), the United States (N = 1), and Mongolia (N = 1)). Of the 27 studies, 20 (72%) were randomized trials, 5 (20%) were observational studies, 1 (4%) was a case–control study, and 1 (4%) was quasi-experimental. Most studies did not identify a strong association between the program and sexual behaviors, except sexual debut (10/18 finding an association; 56%). Eight of the 27 studies included HIV biomarkers, but only 3 found a large reduction in HIV incidence or prevalence, and the rest found no statistically significant association. Of the studies that identified a statistically significant association with other STIs (N = 4/8), 2 involved incentives for staying free of the STI, and the other 2 were cash transfer programs for adolescent girls that had conditionalities related to secondary schooling. Study limitations include the small number of studies in key populations and examining interventions to reduce school costs and matched saving programs.

Conclusions

The evidence base for large-scale impacts of cash transfers reducing HIV risk is limited; however, government social protection cash transfer programs and programs that incentivize school attendance among adolescent girls and young women show the greatest promise for HIV prevention.

Heirloom tomatoes are less genetically diverse than standard varieties

New Scientist - Lu, 29/11/2021 - 14:00
A study of traditional ‘heirloom’ tomato varieties from Europe has revealed little genetic diversity despite their enormous variety in size, shape and colour

Covid-19 news: More cases of omicron found in the UK

New Scientist - Lu, 29/11/2021 - 12:45
The latest coronavirus news updated every day including coronavirus cases, the latest news, features and interviews from New Scientist and essential information about the covid-19 pandemic

NHS England to test Netflix-style subscriptions for antibiotics

New Scientist - Sa, 27/11/2021 - 09:00
Two drug firms will be paid up to £10 million a year for an antibiotic by NHS England, no matter how much or little of the medicines are used

[Editorial] Tobacco control: far from the finish line

The Lancet - Sa, 27/11/2021 - 00:00
Tobacco control is working—slowly. The number of people smoking worldwide has declined and tobacco-attributable deaths are falling. This progress is evident in WHO's fourth report on international tobacco trends, released on Nov 16, which estimates 1·30 billion tobacco users globally in 2020, compared with 1·32 billion in 2015. 60 countries are now on track—versus 32 countries 2 years ago—to achieve the voluntary global target of a 30% reduction in tobacco use between 2010 and 2025. Such progress is welcome.

[Comment] Offline: The real meaning of decolonisation

The Lancet - Sa, 27/11/2021 - 00:00
The most dangerous threat to health and health equity today is anti-globalism—a denial of evidence pointing to the intrinsic interdependence of human beings; a refusal to accept the transnational nature of risks to our wellbeing; and an antipathy to institutions and individuals promoting cosmopolitan values. Anti-globalism lies behind the failure of governments to accelerate actions to address the climate crisis, is responsible for the failure of nations to coordinate their responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, and underlies the savage xenophobia directed towards those fleeing conflict and repression.

[World Report] Countries prepare for pandemic treaty decision

The Lancet - Sa, 27/11/2021 - 00:00
Health diplomats are negotiating over whether to craft a pandemic accord ahead of a Special Session of the World Health Assembly. John Zarocostas reports from Geneva, Switzerland.

[World Report] Theranos founder counters fraud charges in federal trial

The Lancet - Sa, 27/11/2021 - 00:00
Elizabeth Holmes, founder of medical company Theranos, has given evidence in the trial, with a verdict due next month. Susan Jaffe reports.
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