Riviste scientifiche

The Power of Fun review: A user guide to getting more fun in your life

New Scientist - Me, 12/01/2022 - 19:00
It’s time to strip back your schedule and make time for more fun, according to a new book by Catherine Price

AI makes it possible to simulate 25 billion water molecules at once

New Scientist - Me, 12/01/2022 - 17:59
Computer simulations of clouds of atoms and molecules must always trade scale for accuracy, but a new technique shows that both are possible at once using AI and clever coding

Huge gas bubble that contains the solar system mapped for first time

New Scientist - Me, 12/01/2022 - 17:00
The solar system lies inside a structure called the Local Bubble that is some 1000 light years across – and a map of its surface shows it is the site of star formation

The Large Hadron Collider blips that could herald a new era of physics

New Scientist - Me, 12/01/2022 - 16:40
Hints of a new particle carrying a fifth force of nature have been multiplying at the LHC – and many physicists are convinced this could finally be the big one

UK’s most powerful supercomputer has booted up and is doing science

New Scientist - Me, 12/01/2022 - 16:32
ARCHER2, a £79 million machine funded by the UK government, is still in a testing period, but already working on real science such as modelling volcanic plumes

How bacteria-killing viruses are being used to keep food safe

New Scientist - Me, 12/01/2022 - 16:15
Bacteria-killing viruses known as phages are increasingly being sprayed on food to keep them free of pathogens, and they could soon be put to work in healthcare

Covid-19 news: Pandemic rapidly moving towards endemicity, says EMA

New Scientist - Me, 12/01/2022 - 13:00
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

These are the games to look out for in 2022

New Scientist - Me, 12/01/2022 - 12:34
This year sees no shortage of post-apocalyptic games, but light relief is available courtesy of Star Trek and a robot-loving cat, says Jacob Aron

Unusual anglerfish glows with bioluminescent and fluorescent light

New Scientist - Me, 12/01/2022 - 12:30
We already knew that anglerfish have light-generating bacteria in their tissues – now it turns out that one species, the Pacific footballfish, can also glow by fluorescing green

Ancient Andean leaders may have mixed hallucinogen with their beer

New Scientist - Me, 12/01/2022 - 01:01
A concoction of vilca seeds and fermented alcohol may have provided a mild hallucinogenic experience, enabling Wari leaders in South America to bond with their people

Watch the best ever simulation of stars being born in a cosmic cloud

New Scientist - Ma, 11/01/2022 - 18:00
A computer simulation tracks 9 million years of evolution within a stellar nursery - also known as a giant molecular cloud – in which stars are born

Overloaded memory chips generate truly random numbers for encryption

New Scientist - Ma, 11/01/2022 - 17:08
Random numbers – a vital part of encryption – are hard for computers to generate, but a new trick turns memory chips into a source of random noise

How a pig heart was transplanted into a human for the first time

New Scientist - Ma, 11/01/2022 - 16:48
The first transplant of a pig heart genetically modified for acceptance into human bodies raises hopes for a new solution to donor organ shortages

Saturn’s small moon Mimas may be hiding an impossible ocean

New Scientist - Ma, 11/01/2022 - 15:00
Mimas doesn’t show any hints of liquid water, and it seems impossible that it could have an ocean under its surface, but that’s exactly what a new set of simulations suggest

Safety and immunogenicity of 2-dose heterologous Ad26.ZEBOV, MVA-BN-Filo Ebola vaccination in children and adolescents in Africa: A randomised, placebo-controlled, multicentre Phase II clinical trial

PLoS Medicine - Ma, 11/01/2022 - 15:00

by Zacchaeus Anywaine, Houreratou Barry, Omu Anzala, Gaudensia Mutua, Sodiomon B. Sirima, Serge Eholie, Hannah Kibuuka, Christine Bétard, Laura Richert, Christine Lacabaratz, M. Juliana McElrath, Stephen C. De Rosa, Kristen W. Cohen, Georgi Shukarev, Michael Katwere, Cynthia Robinson, Auguste Gaddah, Dirk Heerwegh, Viki Bockstal, Kerstin Luhn, Maarten Leyssen, Rodolphe Thiébaut, Macaya Douoguih, on behalf of the EBL2002 Study group

Background

Reoccurring Ebola outbreaks in West and Central Africa have led to serious illness and death in thousands of adults and children. The objective of this study was to assess safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity of the heterologous 2-dose Ad26.ZEBOV, MVA-BN-Filo vaccination regimen in adolescents and children in Africa.

Methods and findings

In this multicentre, randomised, observer-blind, placebo-controlled Phase II study, 131 adolescents (12 to 17 years old) and 132 children (4 to 11 years old) were enrolled from Eastern and Western Africa and randomised 5:1 to receive study vaccines or placebo. Vaccine groups received intramuscular injections of Ad26.ZEBOV (5 × 1010 viral particles) and MVA-BN-Filo (1 × 108 infectious units) 28 or 56 days apart; placebo recipients received saline. Primary outcomes were safety and tolerability. Solicited adverse events (AEs) were recorded until 7 days after each vaccination and serious AEs (SAEs) throughout the study. Secondary and exploratory outcomes were humoral immune responses (binding and neutralising Ebola virus [EBOV] glycoprotein [GP]-specific antibodies), up to 1 year after the first dose. Enrolment began on February 26, 2016, and the date of last participant last visit was November 28, 2018. Of the 263 participants enrolled, 217 (109 adolescents, 108 children) received the 2-dose regimen, and 43 (20 adolescents, 23 children) received 2 placebo doses. Median age was 14.0 (range 11 to 17) and 7.0 (range 4 to 11) years for adolescents and children, respectively. Fifty-four percent of the adolescents and 51% of the children were male. All participants were Africans, and, although there was a slight male preponderance overall, the groups were well balanced. No vaccine-related SAEs were reported; solicited AEs were mostly mild/moderate. Twenty-one days post-MVA-BN-Filo vaccination, binding antibody responses against EBOV GP were observed in 100% of vaccinees (106 adolescents, 104 children). Geometric mean concentrations tended to be higher after the 56-day interval (adolescents 13,532 ELISA units [EU]/mL, children 17,388 EU/mL) than the 28-day interval (adolescents 6,993 EU/mL, children 8,007 EU/mL). Humoral responses persisted at least up to Day 365.A limitation of the study is that the follow-up period was limited to 365 days for the majority of the participants, and so it was not possible to determine whether immune responses persisted beyond this time period. Additionally, formal statistical comparisons were not preplanned but were only performed post hoc.

Conclusions

The heterologous 2-dose vaccination was well tolerated in African adolescents and children with no vaccine-related SAEs. All vaccinees displayed anti-EBOV GP antibodies after the 2-dose regimen, with higher responses in the 56-day interval groups. The frequency of pyrexia after vaccine or placebo was higher in children than in adolescents. These data supported the prophylactic indication against EBOV disease in a paediatric population, as licenced in the EU.

Trial registration

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02564523.

Protection against discrimination in national dementia guideline recommendations: A systematic review

PLoS Medicine - Ma, 11/01/2022 - 15:00

by Tiffeny James, Naaheed Mukadam, Andrew Sommerlad, Hossein Rostami Pour, Melanie Knowles, Ignacia Azocar, Gill Livingston

Background

National dementia guidelines provide recommendations about the most effective approaches to diagnosis and interventions. Guidelines can improve care, but some groups such as people with minority characteristics may be disadvantaged if recommended approaches are the same for everyone. It is not known if dementia guidelines address specific needs related to patient characteristics. The objectives of this review are to identify which countries have national guidelines for dementia and synthesise recommendations relating to protected characteristics, as defined in the UK Equality Act 2010: age, disability, gender identity, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation.

Methods and findings

We searched CINAHL, PsycINFO, and Medline databases and the Guideline International Network library from inception to March 4, 2020, for dementia guidelines in any language. We also searched, between April and September 2020, Google and the national health websites of all 196 countries in English and in each country’s official languages. To be included, guidelines had to provide recommendations about dementia, which were expected to be followed by healthcare workers and be approved at a national policy level. We rated quality according to the iCAHE guideline quality checklist. We provide a narrative synthesis of recommendations identified for each protected characteristic, prioritising those from higher-quality guidelines. Forty-six guidelines from 44 countries met our criteria, of which 18 were rated as higher quality. Most guidelines (39/46; 85%) made at least one reference to protected characteristics, and we identified recommendations relating to age, disability, race (or culture, ethnicity, or language), religion, sex, and sexual orientation. Age was the most frequently referenced characteristic (31/46; 67%) followed by race (or culture, ethnicity, or language; 25/46; 54%). Recommendations included specialist investigation and support for younger people affected by dementia and consideration of culture when assessing whether someone had dementia and providing person-centred care. Guidelines recommended considering religion when providing person-centred and end-of-life care. For disability, it was recommended that healthcare workers consider intellectual disability and sensory impairment when assessing for dementia. Most recommendations related to sex recommended not using sex hormones to treat cognitive impairment in men and women. One guideline made one recommendation related to sexual orientation. The main limitation of this study is that we only included national guidelines applicable to a whole country meaning guidelines from countries with differing healthcare systems within the country may have been excluded.

Conclusions

National guidelines for dementia vary in their consideration of protected characteristics. We found that around a fifth of the world’s countries have guidelines for dementia. We have identified areas of good practice that can be considered for future guidelines and suggest that all guidelines provide specific evidence-based recommendations for minority groups with examples of how to implement them. This will promote equity in the care of people affected by dementia and help to ensure that people with protected characteristics also have high-quality clinical services.

Covid-19 news: Majority of people in Europe will soon catch omicron

New Scientist - Ma, 11/01/2022 - 13:48
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 West African writing system shows how letters evolve to get simpler

New Scientist - Ma, 11/01/2022 - 12:46
The characters used to write the Vai script, which was invented in Liberia in 1833, have become visually simpler over time, reflecting the evolutionary pressures acting on writing

Ancient humans may have started hunting 2 million years ago

New Scientist - Ma, 11/01/2022 - 12:24
Cut marks on animal bones suggest ancient hominins butchered them for their meat, and that they were first on the scene instead of having to scavenge from carnivores like big cats

Two black holes merged to form a huge one moving at incredible speeds

New Scientist - Ma, 11/01/2022 - 11:25
Astronomers have long suspected that merging black holes can give the resulting larger black hole a massive boost of speed, and have finally spotted this happening
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