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Omicron exposes inflexibility of Europe’s public hospitals

A patient is pushed on a trolley outside the Royal London Hospital in the Whitechapel area of east London, Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022. The omicron variant is exposing weaknesses at the heart of Europe’s public health system. In France and Britain, a sharp rise in coronavirus hospitalizations coupled with staff …

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Masks rules get tighter in Europe in winter’s COVID-19 wave

People, some wearing surgical masks, others FFP2 masks, to cope with the surge of COVID-19 cases stroll past stalls at the Porta Portese open air market, in Rome, Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022. Italy, Spain and other European countries are re-instating or stiffening mask mandates as their hospitals struggle with mounting …

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How retrotransposons control the brain

Credit: Wikipedia Around half of the genome is made up of transposable elements or ‘jumping genes’ that derive from ancient viral integrations. They persist in various states of decay like an old fashioned ‘pull your own’ junkyard where parts from old scrapped vehicles can be harvested and repurposed. While most …

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US hospitals seeing different kind of COVID surge this time

Registered nurse Rachel Chamberlin, of Cornish, N.H., right, steps out of an isolation room where where Fred Rutherford, of Claremont, N.H., left, recovers from COVID-19 at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, in Lebanon, N.H., Monday, Jan. 3, 2022. Hospitals like this medical center, the largest in New Hampshire, are overflowing with severely …

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Israel sets COVID-19 record amid zigzag policy and 4th jab

Judit Kagan, 75, receives her fourth dose of the coronavirus vaccine in a private nursing home in Petah Tikva, Israel, Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022. Israel’s prime minister says a 4th vaccination against the omicron variant of the coronavirus generates a five-fold increase in antibodies to fight the virus. Naftali Bennett …

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Asia keeps omicron at bay, but a surge may be inevitable

Medical Technologist Erika Alvarado performs a COVID-19 test on a patient who just delivered a baby outside a hospital in Manila, Philippines on Friday, Dec. 24, 2021. In the Philippines, one of the worst-hit by the pandemic in Southeast Asia, daily COVID-19 infections have considerably dropped from an average 22,000 …

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Head to head: The ethics of vaccine passports and COVID passes

Credit: Gumbariya/Shutterstock COVID passes for England were given the green light in parliament in December, with 369 MPs voting in favour and 128 against. From now on, people attending large events will be required to show proof of vaccination—two doses, to become three after a “reasonable” amount of time—or a …

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‘Biggest killer’ cancer thwarted by home tests, AI

Adolescent girls ages 11 to 13 receive HPV Vaccination in Sao Paulo Brazil. This image has been cropped. Credit: HR@PAHO/WHO, CC BY-ND 2.0 Ugandan street vendor Saudah Namutebi found out about cervical cancer one day when she was listening to the radio. “During a radio talk show a doctor was …

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Is it true that new medications treat obesity?

“Obesity is a complex metabolic disease with a clear biological basis, and we can treat it with targeted therapy aimed at the biology,” says Ania Jastreboff, MD, PhD, a Yale Medicine adult and pediatric endocrinologist. Credit: Anthony DeCarlo There is no magic pill that will cure obesity, a condition that …

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Netherlands ‘going into lockdown again’ to curb omicron

Participants gather to demonstrate against COVID-19 measures in downtown Hamburg, Saturday Dec. 18, 2021. Credit: Markus Scholz/dpa via AP Nations across Europe moved to reimpose tougher measures to stem a new wave of COVID-19 infections spurred by the highly transmissible omicron variant, with the Netherlands leading the way by imposing …

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Surging COVID-19 cases bring a 2020 feel to the end of 2021

Nurse Sheena Davis administers a dose of a Moderna COVID-19 vaccine during a vaccination clinic at the Keystone First Wellness Center in Chester, Pa., Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2021. Credit: AP Photo/Matt Rourke U.S. officials intensified calls Friday for unvaccinated Americans to get inoculated in the face of the new omicron …

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