Vaccines Need Not Completely Stop COVID Transmission to Curb the Pandemic

sciam.com – Lessons from other viruses show that even if vaccines don’t completely stop disease spread, they can still successfully contain it

Source: Fernando P. Polack, et al. Safety and Efficacy of the BNT162b2 mRNA Covid-19 Vaccine. New England Journal of Medicine, 2020.

Recruiters less likely to contact ethnic minority groups on Swiss site

newscientist.com – People from ethnic minorities are up to 19 per cent less likely to be contacted by job recruiters, according to an analysis of users on a Swiss public employment website

Source: Dominik Hangartner, Daniel Kopp, Michael Siegenthaler. Monitoring hiring discrimination through online recruitment platforms. Nature, 2021.

Talking is worse than coughing for spreading COVID-19 indoors

livescience.com – In poorly-ventilated spaces, COVID-19 is more likely to spread through talking than coughing, a new study says.

Source: P. M. de Oliveira, L. C. C. Mesquita, S. Gkantonas, A. Giusti, E. Mastorakos. Evolution of spray and aerosol from respiratory releases: theoretical estimates for insight on viral transmission. Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 2021.

Watch a robot squid propel itself through water with rhythm

newscientist.com – A robot that mimics the way squid move is most efficient when it operates with a particular rhythm

Source: Thierry Bujard, Francesco Giorgio-Serchi, Gabriel D. Weymouth. A resonant squid-inspired robot unlocks biological propulsive efficiency. Science Robotics, 2021.

Study: Combination antibiotics may fuel inappropriate use globally

upi.com – The use of fixed-dose combination antibiotics needs to reconsidered, given questions about their efficacy and safety, as well as their possible role in increasing antibiotic resistance, according to the authors of a stud

Source: Barbara Bortone, et al. High global consumption of potentially inappropriate fixed dose combination antibiotics: Analysis of data from 75 countries. PLOS ONE, 2021.

New metamaterial merges magnetic memory and physical changes

arstechnica.com – A mix of actuator and bit-level memory.

Source: Tian Chen, Mark Pauly, Pedro M. Reis. A reprogrammable mechanical metamaterial with stable memory. Nature, 2021.

Elephants counted from space for conservation

bbc.com – Satellite imagery is being used to count elephants in a breakthrough that could aid conservation.

Source: Isla Duporge, et al. Using very‐high‐resolution satellite imagery and deep learning to detect and count African elephants in heterogeneous landscapes. Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation, 2020.

Your Cat Isn’t Just Getting High Off Catnip

nytimes.com – A new study hints that plants like catnip and silver vine may also protect your feline friend from mosquitoes.

Source: Reiko Uenoyama, et al. The characteristic response of domestic cats to plant iridoids allows them to gain chemical defense against mosquitoes. Science Advances, 2021.

Could a Small Test Screen People for Covid-19?

nytimes.com – A new modeling study hints that odor-based screens could quash outbreaks. But some experts are skeptical it would work in the real world.

Source: Janine Makaronidis, et al. Seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in people with an acute loss in their sense of smell and/or taste in a community-based population in London, UK: An observational cohort study. PLOS Medicine, 2020.