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November eNews

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Top 5 October 2020

1. Researchers suggest that other anti-malarial therapies could succeed where hydroxychloroquine failed for COVID-19, published by St George's, University of London on 20/10/20

An international group of researchers believe there is enough evidence that anti-malarial drugs could be repurposed to treat COVID-19 and that they should be assessed for efficacy in clinical trials. The review article, published online in Trends in Parasitology*, outlines the evidence for the antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties of certain anti-malarial drugs that could play a role in tackling COVID-19.

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2. Nerve cell activity shows how confident we are, published by Universität Bonn on 9/10/20

Nerve cell activity shows how confident we are Study on decision-making behavior published by the University of Bonn
Should I or shouldn't I? The activity of individual nerve cells in the brain tells us how confident we are in our decisions. This is shown by a recent study by researchers at the University of Bonn. The result is unexpected - the researchers were actually on the trail of a completely different evaluation mechanism. The results are published in the journal Current Biology.

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3. Kingston University experts examine how politics played a key role in the impact of Covid-19 in democratic countries worldwide, published by the Kingston University London on 2/10/20

As the UK enters a new phase of government-imposed measures designed to combat Covid-19, a team of experts from Kingston University, London has released a report examining the initial response of eight democratic countries to the pandemic, and how local, national and international politics played a pivotal role in the outcomes.
The report, Covid-19 and Democracy, First Cut Policy Analyses: Country Case Studies, looks at how the eight countries responded from April to June 30, during the early stages of the pandemic. The UK, Germany, Bulgaria, Israel, Japan, Taiwan and the USA were all included in the study.

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4. University of Barcelona team designs a molecule to implement a quantum error correction code, published by Universidad de Barcelona on 16/10/20

One of the challenges in implementing quantum computing is the protection of quantum states that code the information of errors caused by their interaction with the environment. A solution consists on introducing error protection codes. A team from the Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology of the University of Barcelona (IN2UB) has designed a molecule that can host an algorithm of this kind. The molecule is formed by erbium and cerium atoms.

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5. New books bring pharmacy policy and practice into sharp focus, published by the University of Huddersfield on 2/10/20 (827 hits)

The potential readership of two books, published recently during the COVID-19 pandemic by Professor Zaheer-Ud-Din Babar, goes beyond pharmacy specialists to include all healthcare professionals, members of think tanks and policy makers worldwide.

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Editors' picks

HKU scientists and microbiologists jointly discover a novel antiviral strategy for treatment of COVID-19 using existing metallodrugs - 16/10/2020 - The University of Hong Kong

A research team led by Professor Hongzhe SUN, Norman & Cecilia Yip Professor in Bioinorganic Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, and Professor Kwok Yung YUEN, Henry Fok Professor in Infectious Diseases, Department of Microbiology, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine of the University of Hong Kong (HKU), has discovered a novel antiviral strategy for treatment of COVID-19.

They discovered that a class of metallodrugs currently used in the treatment of other infectious diseases is showing efficacy to potently suppress SARS-CoV-2 replication and relieve viral-associated symptoms in an animal model. The findings provide a new and readily available therapeutic option with high clinical potential for infection with SARS-CoV-2.

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Image caption: From the right: Dr Jasper F W CHAN and Dr Shuofeng YUAN of the Department of Microbioloty, Professor Hongzhe SUN and Dr Runming WANG of the Department of Chemistry

New method allows more targeted measurement of thyroid hormone action in tissue

Patients with thyroid dysfunction are routinely treated with drugs to regulate the hormone imbalance. The effect of these drugs is clinically evaluated by means of blood tests. A team led by Michael Krebs from MedUni Vienna's Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism has now conducted a study to test the use of magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMRS) to measure the effect in body tissue as well. They were able to identify certain phosphorus-containing compounds that are visible in NMRS as markers for thyroid hormone action in tissue. The study has been published in the prestigious "Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism".

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Image caption: New method allows more targeted measurement of thyroid hormone action in tissue

Special Feature: Covid19 hurts trust in Politicians and governments

In collaboration with researchers from the Karolinska Institute and Södertörn University, VA (Vetenskap & Allmaenhet) has conducted a study of how people receive and interpret information about the ongoing pandemic. The survey was undertaken between 17 and 21 September 2020.

Six out of ten (62 percent) Swedes trust the perceive scientists in handling the corona pandemic. This is an increase of eight percentage points compared to when this was measured in August.

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Stem cells: new insights for future regenerative medicine approaches

Stem cells are considered one of the most promising tools in the field of regenerative medicine because they are a cell type that can give rise to all the cells in our bodies and that has the potential to be used to treat tissue loss due to damage or disease. Stem cells that are similar to the ones of embryonic origin can be generated in the laboratory and they are known as induced stem cells (which can obtained from skin cells, for example). Their induction relies on the reprograming of their gene expression and originates a stem cell from differentiated one, a finding that earned the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2012.

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