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Stonehenge SHOCK: Archaeologists reveal huge slabs DID arrive over Salisbury Plain

STONEHENGE bluestone blocks did arrive over land, archaeologists have concluded – debunking a controversial claims the giant slabs were floated on rafts from Wales to the Salisbury Plain. Experts have long been suspected the famous Neolithic monument is constructed of both local stones and some sourced from much further away, in Wales’ Preseli Hills. The debate over which path these rocks took to Stonehenge has long been anchored by a unique block called the Altar Stone, thought collected en-route. [contfnewc] A popular theory had suggested the Altar Stone arrived from the Pembrokeshire coast, with the blocks then sent up the Bristol Channel. [contfnewc] However, a new analysis of the age and mineral composition of both the Altar Stone and its supposed source revealed the two actually do not match. The Altar Stone is instead likely to have arrived from further east — near the modern-day town of Abergavenny — suggesting the bluestones were transported by land. In fact, the stones..

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Shock study finds coronavirus can infect your HEART

CORONAVIRUS can potentially infect your heart, a disturbing new study into the deadly pandemic has revealed. A landmark new study has revealed SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind Coronavirus (COVID-19), can infect heart cells in a lab dish. This suggests it may be possible for heart cells in COVID-19 patients to be directly infected by the virus. [contfnewc] The shock discovery was made using heart muscle cells produced by stem cell technology.[contfnewc] Although many COVID-19 patients experience heart problems, the reasons remain unclear. Pre-existing cardiac conditions or inflammation and oxygen deprivation resulting from the infection have all been implicated. But there has until now been only limited evidence the SARS-CoV-2 virus directly infects the individual muscle cells of the heart. Dr Arun Sharma, of the Governors Regenerative Medicine Institute and first author of the study, said: “We not only uncovered that these stem cell-derived heart cells are susceptible to infection by..

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Scientist David Wails named as third victim of Reading terror attack

A senior scientist at a global chemicals company has been identified as the third man to be killed in the Reading terrorist attack. David Wails, senior principal scientist at Johnson Matthey, a British FTSE 100 listed company, died in the attack in Forbury Gardens on Saturday. Wails was a graduate of the University of York and former post-doctoral researcher at Queens University Belfast, according to online profiles. Wails was connected to the two other men killed in the attack – US-born Joe Ritchie-Bennett and teacher James Furlong – via Facebook, and it appears they were all together in the park on Saturday. Ritchie-Bennetts father, Robert Ritchie, told reporters his son worked for a law firm in London before taking a job about 10 years ago at a Dutch pharmaceutical firm with British headquarters in Reading, where the stabbing attack took place. Ritchie described his son, from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as an “absolutely fabulous guy”. “I absolutely love my son with all of my ..

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what kind of face mask gives the best protection against coronavirus?

. Different types of mask offer different levels of protection. Surgical grade N95 respirators offer the highest level of protection against Covid-19 infection, followed by surgical grade masks. However, these masks are costly, in limited supply, contribute to landfill waste and are uncomfortable to wear for long periods. So even countries that have required the public to wear face masks have generally suggested such masks should be reserved for health workers or those at particularly high risk. The evidence on the protective value of single-use paper masks or reusable cloth coverings is less clear, but still suggests that face masks can contribute to reducing transmission of Covid-19. Analysis by the Royal Society said this included homemade cloth face masks. Are paper surgical single-use masks better or is a cloth mask OK? The evidence on any mask use, outside of surgical masks, is still emerging: there appears to be some benefit, but the exact parameters of which masks are the bes..

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Scientists discover ‘breakthrough’ treatment

A common steroid drug is seeing game-changing results as a treatment for COVID-19. What is it and what results is it seeing? New hope has been ignited in the fight against coronavirus today as scientists in the UK reveal they have made a “major breakthrough” with a drugs treatment. The common steroid drug dexamethasone was shown to reduce death rates by a third for patients on ventilators, and by a fifth for patients needing oxygen. The results have been published from the Recovery trial which is assessing a number of different possible COVD-19 treatments. [contfnewc] Initial reports suggest the drug could have saved between 4,000 to 5,000 lives if it had been used earlier in the pandemic. Martin Landray, an Oxford University professor who is co-leading the trial, said: “This is a result that shows that if patients who have COVID-19 and are on ventilators or are on oxygen are given dexamethasone, it will save lives, and it will do so at a remarkably low cost.” His co-lead investig..

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UK-built ESA solar probe makes first close pass to the Sun

A SOLAR probe assembled in the UK has made its first close pass of the Sun today as it swept by the Earth’s nearest star at a distance of around 47.8 million miles. In comparison, Earth orbits the Sun at a distance of around 93 million miles, on average. The European orbiter, called SolO, is a European Space Agency craft. [contfnewc] It was launched in February this year. Its close pass is still some distance from the Sun – indeed, its closest pass has put it in between the orbits of Mercury and Venus. But the spacecraft is not yet entirely up and running for routine operations. That particular milestone is around a year away, the BBC reports. Since its launch, scientists have been testing the systems of the probe and sorting out the 10 scientific instruments that are on board as it sails through space. So far, the magnetometer, which can detect magnetic fields that are emitted from the Sun, is up and running. This is important for tracking huge explosions that the Sun regularl..

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Is the worst of the pandemic behind us? Here’s what scientists know

Over the weekend, there were no new deaths from coronavirus in London, Scotland or Northern Ireland. Slowly, the number of hospitalisations and deaths is falling across the UK. Rather than celebrating these early signs that the worst of the pandemic could be behind us, however, some scientists are warning of a second wave of infections – an increase in coronavirus cases in the coming weeks or months, which could occur even after a sustained fall in the number of cases. These warnings often refer back to the 1918 flu pandemic. That outbreak killed tens of millions of people when it returned the following winter in a deadlier form after the first outbreak had been controlled. But theres a confusing lack of consensus from scientists about whether well see a second wave of coronavirus cases. Although the future is uncertain, we can imagine four scenarios for what might come next. One hypothesis, floated by doctors in Italy, is that coronavirus could grow weaker as it spreads. Through vir..

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Coronavirus breakthrough: Scientists make exciting announcement about new treatment

BRITISH scientists thought to be leading the global race to develop a COVID-19 vaccine are close to a major breakthrough according to reports. The life-saving antibody treatment developed by Oxford University has been hailed as potentially vital for the elderly and vulnerable, whose bodies may not respond well to a vaccine. Millions of doses of the treatment is already being manufactured by pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca in the expectation that it will work. The vaccine, named ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, is made from a weakened version of the common cold virus, which causes infections in chimpanzees. The virus has been manipulated to not cause harm to humans, but contains part of COVID-19 so to trigger the body’s immune response to the virus’s spike proteins, which it uses to enter human cells and multiply. A separate project to create an antibody treatment for those especially vulnerable to COVID-19 is also being developed, with the team confident it will prove successful. Testing for the..

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Hydroxychloroquine does not cure Covid-19, say drug trial chiefs

Hydroxychloroquine does not work against Covid-19 and should not be given to any more hospital patients around the world, say the leaders of the biggest and best-designed trial of the drug, which experts will hope finally settle the question. “If you are admitted to hospital, dont take hydroxychloroquine,” said Martin Landray, deputy chief investigator of the Recovery trial and professor of medicine and epidemiology at Oxford University. “It doesnt work.” Many countries have permitted emergency use of the drug for Covid-19 patients in hospitals, following claims from a few doctors, including Didier Raoult in France, that it was a cure, and the ensuing clamour from the public. President Donald Trump backed the drug, saying it should be given to patients, and later said he was personally taking it to protect himself from the virus. Landray said the hype should now stop. “It is being touted as a game-changer, a wonderful drug, a breakthrough. This is an incredibly important result, bec..

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Lyrids meteor shower to peak TONIGHT

A SPECTACULAR show of shooting stars is set to take place tonight as the Lyrids Meteor shower peaks. The Lyrids Meteor Shower, caused by the falling debris from the comet C/1861 G1 Thatcher, occurs annually in mid-April as Earth travels through the trail of dust and tiny rocks left by the travelling comet. This year, the meteor shower will peak on April 20 to 21, giving stargazers in the UK a chance to step outside from their lockdown to view the phenomenon from their gardens. Lyrids is described as one of the most significant meteor showers, with shooting stars expected to occur up to 20 times an hour. The Lyrids meteors look like they are coming from the constellation Lyra, meaning Lyra is the radiant. The shower starts only after the radiant rises in the sky so onlookers should check times to know when to head out to look to the heavens. An astronomer’s handy tip to look for Lyra is to seek out Vega – the brightest star in the constellation. The Royal Observatory Greenwich sa..

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