Vaccines have been reserved for one-seventh of the world’s population

According to one recent estimate, more than half of all vaccines against COVID-19 have been reserved for one-seventh of the world’s population. At the time of writing, the UK alone has reportedly secured enough vaccines to give each of its citizens five doses. If orders are met, the EU and US could jab their populations…

Why do we miss working with our heads similarly down in a public setting?

Some of the most successful people in history have done their best work in coffee shops. Pablo Picasso, JK Rowling, Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre, Bob Dylan – whether they’re painters, singer-songwriters, philosophers or writers, people across nations and centuries have tapped into their creativity working away at a table in a café. Of…

Over 70s should not be forgotten in the recovery of travel and tourism

A reported spike in travel bookings from the over 70s shows that this demographic should not be overlooked when businesses make plans for recovery, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company. Johanna Bonhill-Smith, Travel & Tourism Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Not only is this demographic one of the first to be vaccinated, they are…

Continued growth in vegan lifestyle to set ethical precedence for personal care

As the Veganuary challenge draws to a close, leading data and analytics company GlobalData explores the implications a second record-breaking sign-up will have on categories outside of food and drinks – primarily, the personal and household care sectors. With nearly half (43%) of global consumers heavily influenced by a product’s ethical or sustainable credentials*, and…

Why the COVID-19 variants are so dangerous and how to stop them

Michael Plank, University of Canterbury and Shaun Hendy, University of Auckland. With new, more infectious variants of COVID-19 detected around the world, and at New Zealand’s border, the risk of further level 3 or 4 lockdowns is increased if those viruses get into the community. These include a variant called B.1.1.7 that has spread very…

A guide to safely holiday road-tripping through a pandemic

AS I PLAN my family’s holiday road trip in a few weeks’ time, my mind keeps turning to The Oregon Trail. Just like in the game (and the lives of actual early travelers), we’ll be traversing several Western states, dodging deadly illness, and rationing food. But if I’m honest, gamifying my thoughts has been an…

Extroverts are least likely to follow official guidance to stay at home

Despite more of the population staying at home as government policies on COVID-19 become stricter, a study has found that a person’s personality influences how likely they are to stay at home during the pandemic – and cannot be entirely overridden. Extroverts…were most likely to break lockdown rules, and stayed at home less than people…

Has the current pandemic crisis changed how people perceive science?

The sociologist Michel Dubois expresses his views on the findings of a survey conducted in late May to assess the public’s perception of scientific research. In France and around the world, the Covid-19 pandemic has dramatically focused public attention on the sciences with the mobilisation of researchers playing a decisive role. Called upon by both…

Young people’s mental health: COVID has accelerated a worrying decline

We have been following more than 2,000 Queenslanders from their adolescence into adulthood. The aim of the Our Lives study is to investigate how young people think about their future and how they master their trajectories in a world of rapid change and uncertainty. In 2006, our research team began tracking more than 7,000 students…

Virology ~ Between a Marathon and a Race against Time

Sometimes qualified as biological objects, viruses lie at the frontier of the living world. They nevertheless have an extremely strong impact on living organisms, whether plants or animals. So what differentiates them from other microscopic creatures such as bacteria, protozoans or fungi? “Viruses are absolute parasites; they have no choice but to enter a cell…

Why schools are not hotspots for coronavirus infections

Data gathered worldwide are increasingly suggesting that schools are not hotspots for coronavirus infections. Despite fears, COVID-19 infections did not surge when schools and day-care centres reopened after pandemic lockdowns eased. And when outbreaks do occur, they mostly result in only a small number of people becoming ill. “There’s no such thing as zero transmission…

Mortality rates are higher among most indigenous communities

The nature of coronavirus makes it an unprecedented disease for the entire human race, but its mortality rates are higher among most indigenous communities because of their adverse socioeconomic conditions, which increase their vulnerability to this new infectious agent. It was quite striking to see how this pandemic has revived memories among native societies of…

The most severe cases could be associated with major oxidative stress

  The term “neutrophils” is little known to the general public, but in fact this family of white blood cells may play a key role in the body’s reaction to Covid-19. “Circulating neutrophils in the blood are the first cells to be recruited in the event of viral intrusion into a tissue. These cells from…