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Study explains role of bone-conducted speech transmission in speech production and hearing
The perception of our own voice depends on sound transmission through air (air-conducted) as well as through the skull bone (bone-conducted or BC). The transmission properties of BC speech are, however, not well understood. Now, scientists from Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology report their latest findings on BC transmission under the influence of oral cavity sound pressure, which can boost BC-based technology and basic research on hearing loss and speech impairment. (2021-01-07)

SARS-CoV-2 transmission from people without COVID-19 symptoms
Under a range of assumptions of presymptomatic transmission and transmission from individuals with infection who never develop symptoms, the model presented here estimated that more than half of transmission comes from asymptomatic individuals. (2021-01-07)

Social transmission of pain, fear has different targets in mouse brain
Social contact can transfer the feeling of pain or fear in several animal species, including humans, but the exact neural mechanisms for this transmission are still being studied. (2021-01-07)

COVID-19 generally 'mild' in young children: Evidence review
Babies and asymptomatic cases account for up to half of COVID-19 infections in the under-five age group, which has implications for vaccination programs, a new UNSW study has found. (2021-01-05)

Multiple mosquito blood meals accelerate malaria transmission
Multiple bouts of blood feeding by mosquitoes shorten the incubation period for malaria parasites and increase malaria transmission potential, according to a study published Dec. 31 in the open-access journal PLOS Pathogens by Lauren Childs of Virginia Tech, Flaminia Catteruccia of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and colleagues. (2020-12-31)

Perfect transmission through barrier using sound
A research team led by Professor Xiang Zhang, President of the University of Hong Kong (HKU) when he was a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, (UC Berkeley) has for the first time experimentally proved a century old quantum theory that relativistic particles can pass through a barrier with 100% transmission. (2020-12-23)

Researchers develop new way to break reciprocity law
The breakthrough makes a significant step forward in photonics and microwave technology by eliminating the need for bulky magnets. (2020-12-23)

Assessing maternal, neonatal SARS-CoV-2 viral load, transplacental antibody transfer, placental pathology
This report of maternal viral load, transplacental antibody transmission and placental pathology in 127 pregnancies during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic provides needed data about maternal viral control, reduced transplacental transfer of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies and lack of vertical transmission in mother-newborn pairs. (2020-12-22)

Pregnant women with COVID-19 pass no virus but fewer-than-expected antibodies to newborns
Pregnant women may be especially vulnerable to developing more severe cases of COVID-19, but little is known about their anti-SARS-CoV-2 immune response or how it may affect their offspring. A new study provides new insights that could help improve care for these women and their newborns and emphasizes the need for pregnant women to be considered in vaccine rollout plans. (2020-12-22)

Trade in wild animals is thriving online, despite risk of disease transmission
Despite COVID-19 restrictions and the risk of animal to human disease transmission, illegal wildlife trade on social media networks has continued, with wild animals sometimes sold as 'lockdown pets'. (2020-12-22)

Surveillance of antimicrobial resistance could be more challenging outside of the EU
In a new policy report from the Microbiology Society, experts from around the UK explain the desperate need for long-term and ambitious funding for surveillance and research into antimicrobial resistance (AMR). (2020-12-21)

Child care facilities can be safe and are essential: new Case Western Reserve study
Child care programs can be safe within the context of low community transmission of COVID-19, according to research from Case Western Reserve University, based on data from child care programs throughout Ohio. The study took place from Aug. 15 to Nov. 20, during a timeframe of relatively low community transmission of COVID-19. The team found COVID-19 infection rates at child care programs have been low. (2020-12-21)

Frequent, fast, accessible testing should be public health tool during COVID-19 pandemic
In a perspective piece published in Science, Brigham and Women's Hospital's Michael Mina, MD, PhD, and his co-author, Kristian G. Andersen, PhD, describe the power of public health screening, which focuses on mitigating transmission of the virus at the population level, and how it may be a crucial and overlooked tool. (2020-12-21)

New Singapore obstetrics and gynaecology research network established
Singapore's three public hospitals offering maternity services -- KK Women's and Children's Hospital (KKH), Singapore General Hospital (SGH) and the National University Hospital (NUH), have established a collaborative research network. (2020-12-20)

World's first transmission of 1 Petabit/s using a single-core multimode optical fiber
A group of researchers from the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT, Japan) and NOKIA Bell Labs (USA) and Prysimian Group (France) succeeded in the world's first transmission exceeding 1 petabit per second in a single-core multi-mode optical fiber. This increases the current record transmission in a multi-mode fiber by a factor of 2.5. The wideband optical transmission was enabled by mode multiplexers and a transmission fiber optimized for high optical bandwidth. (2020-12-18)

UH Mānoa researcher examines why people choose to wear face coverings
A new study discovered key motivators on why people choose to wear face coverings amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (2020-12-18)

COVID-19 spread increases when UV levels decrease
Natural variations in ultraviolet radiation influence the spread of COVID-19, but the influence is modest compared to preventive measures such as physical distancing, mask wearing, and quarantine, according to new research from Harvard University. (2020-12-16)

Quantifying effects of non-pharmaceutical interventions on SARS-CoV-2 transmission with modeling
Limiting gatherings to fewer than 10 people and closing educational institutions were among the most effective nonpharmaceutical interventions at reducing transmission of SARS-CoV-2, a new modeling study finds. (2020-12-15)

Vaccines must prevent infection, disease progression and transmission - in every country - to truly bring COVID-19 under control
An editorial co-authored by a member of the UK's influential SAGE committee that advises the UK Government on COVID-19, and published in Anaesthesia (a journal of the Association of Anaesthetists) says that in order for the global COVID-19 vaccination program to be successful, the available vaccines must be able to do all three of: prevent infection becoming established in an individual, prevent disease progression and prevent onward transmission. (2020-12-14)

Genomic analysis of early SARS-CoV-2 outbreak in Boston shows role of superspreading events
SARS-CoV-2 was introduced to the Boston area of Massachusetts many times in early 2020, according to a new analysis of virus genomes, but only a small number of importations - including one related to an international business conference - led to most cases there. (2020-12-10)

Toxic pollutants can impact wildlife disease spread
Exposure to toxic pollutants associated with human activities may be influencing the spread of infectious diseases in wildlife, according to a new study from the University of Georgia. (2020-12-09)

Tension between awareness and fatigue shapes Covid-19 spread
In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, two human factors are battling it out: awareness of the virus's severe consequences and fatigue from nine months of pandemic precautions. The results of that battle can be seen in the oddly shaped case, hospitalization, and fatality-count graphs, a new study suggests. (2020-12-08)

Study of virus attack rate in Manaus, Brazil, shows outcome of mostly unmitigated epidemic
Researchers studying data from blood donors in Manaus, Brazil, who experienced high mortality from SARS-CoV-2, estimate that more than 70% of the population was infected approximately seven months after the virus first arrived in the city. (2020-12-08)

Long-term study of gene therapy technique in monkeys finds no adverse health effects
A decade after the birth of the first primates born with the aid of a gene therapy technique designed to prevent inherited mitochondrial disease, a careful study of the monkeys and their offspring reveals no adverse health effects. The new study generally bolsters the scientific basis for mitochondrial replacement therapy in human clinical trials, with an important caveat: Researchers found varying levels of carryover maternal mitochondrial DNA that had preferentially replicated and accumulated within some internal organs, although not enough to cause health effects. (2020-12-08)

The Lancet Infectious Diseases: Confirmed COVID-19 cases and outbreaks were low in schools and nurseries in England that re-opened after the first lockdown
COVID-19 cases and outbreaks were low among staff and students in schools and nurseries in England that re-opened during the summer half-term after lockdown, according to research published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal. (2020-12-08)

Astrocytes improve decision-making
A study led by researchers from the Cajal Institute of the Spanish Research Council (CSIC) has demonstrated the relevance of the astrocytes (a cell type present in the Nervous System) in the decision-making process. Data published in Nature Neuroscience journal, indicate that these glial cells favor those decisions with higher etiological value for individuals. (2020-12-07)

COVID-19 transmission in nursing homes may be affected by nurses and direct care workers with multip
Nurses and other long-term care workers in nursing homes who hold multiple jobs, may be one of the factors contributing to the spread of COVID-19 in these facilities, according to a new study published in Medical Care Research and Review. The findings examine the likelihood that nurses and direct care workers in long-term care facilities hold a second job, and how demographic differences between the two may affect this probability. (2020-12-07)

COVID-19 in Victorian schools and childcare mainly driven by community transmission
COVID-19 cases in schools, early childhood education centers and childcare are mainly driven by community transmission. Off-site learning should therefore be a last resort, a new Australian report has found. (2020-12-04)

Riding in a car in the pandemic: which windows to open?
If you find yourself in a car with someone outside your household during the COVID-19 pandemic, your instinct may be to roll down your window, whether you're the driver or a back-seat passenger. But a University of Massachusetts Amherst physicist has shown in a new study that opening the car window closest to you isn't always the best option to protect yourself from coronavirus or any airborne infection. (2020-12-04)

Airflow modeling suggests driving with all windows down safest to prevent COVID-19 transmission
A new series of computational fluid dynamics simulations suggests that, for two people who must travel together in the same passenger car, the safest way to prevent possible transmission of COVID-19 in such a risky, enclosed environment is to do so with all four windows down and the passenger seated as far as (2020-12-04)

Oral drug blocks SARS-CoV-2 transmission, Georgia State biomedical sciences researchers find
Treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection with a new antiviral drug, MK-4482/EIDD-2801 or Molnupiravir, completely suppresses virus transmission within 24 hours, researchers in the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State University have discovered. (2020-12-03)

Outbreak investigation reveals "super-spreader" potential of Andes virus
''Super-spreader'' events and extensive person-to-person contact propelled an outbreak of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome in a small village in Argentina from 2018-2019, according to research published today in The New England Journal of Medicine. An international scientific team reports the genetic, clinical, and epidemiologic features of the outbreak caused by the Andes virus, a member of the hantavirus family. Their analysis could aid in managing outbreaks of other viral diseases with similar transmission patterns, including COVID-19. (2020-12-03)

After 100 years, Cornell University plant pathologists revisit fire blight hypothesis
Historically credited as being the first bacterium ever characterized as a plant pathogen, fire blight is a bacterial disease that leads to significant losses of pear and apple. The role of insects in the spread of this disease has been long studied. In a new study, plant pathologists based at Cornell University and Cornell AgriTech take a hypothesis that has been more or less ignored for 100 years and provided support for its validity. (2020-12-01)

Safe ultraviolet light could be used to sterilise high-risk COVID-19 environments
Research at Cranfield University is paving the way for a new solution to kill aerosolised COVID-19 in enclosed environments such as hospitals and long-term care facilities. Computational modelling has shown that low dose far-ultraviolet C (UVC) lighting can be used to disinfect in-room air, increasing disinfection rates by 50-85% compared to a room's ventilation alone. (2020-11-26)

SARS-CoV-2 mutations do not appear to increase transmissibility
None of the mutations currently documented in the SARS-CoV-2 virus appear to increase its transmissibility in humans, according to a study led by UCL researchers, published in Nature Communications. (2020-11-25)

Effect of climate change on infectious diseases unknown to half of the population
Although it is a widely known scientific fact that infectious diseases emerge and re-emerge due to climate change, a study which included the involvement of the UAB published in PlosOne reveals that 48.9% of the population surveyed are not aware of this relation. (2020-11-25)

SARS-CoV-2 transmission model offers decision-making pathways for safe school opening
A study in BMC Public Health reports on a new model of SARS-CoV-2 transmission in the school setting that finds if appropriate precautions are followed both in school and in the community, schools can safely remain open or reopen. (2020-11-20)

SFU researchers examine which approaches are most effective at reducing COVID-19 spread
Simon Fraser University professors Paul Tupper and Caroline Colijn have found that physical distancing is universally effective at reducing the spread of COVID-19, while social bubbles and masks are more situation-dependent. The researchers developed a model to test the effectiveness of measures such as physical distancing, masks or social bubbles when used in various settings. (2020-11-20)

For COVID-19 surveillance, test frequency and turnaround time are paramount, modeling suggests
Speed of test results and frequency of testing are paramount for effective COVID-19 surveillance, suggests a new study that modeled trade-offs in test sensitivity, test frequency, and sample-to-answer reporting time, in select scenarios. Test sensitivity is secondary to these factors in the scenarios studied. (2020-11-20)

How the flu virus spreads within cities
New insights into the local transmission of seasonal influenza may be valuable for planning interventions to combat the spread of respiratory diseases within cities, according to a study published November 19, 2020 in the open-access journal PLOS Pathogens by Nicola Müller and Tanja Stadler of ETH Zürich, and colleagues. (2020-11-19)

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