Advances in gene sequencing have allowed scientists to trace and monitor the COVID-19 pandemic faster than any previous outbreak. However, gaps in our knowledge of how coronaviruses work has made it difficult to understand what makes the new coronavirus special.
New prosthetic technologies that stimulate the nerves could pave the way for prostheses that feel like a natural part of the body and reduce the phantom limb pain commonly endured by amputees.
Social distancing policies, such as cancelling high-density gatherings, discouraging handshakes and asking people to increase their distance from each other will delay a coronavirus pandemic and help health authorities plan resources, according to epidemiologist Dr Vittoria Colizza who is modelling the spread of Covid-19 and the effectiveness of interventions.
Patients with rare diseases often suffer a long and lonely path as they struggle to find out what the cause of their debilitating symptoms are, but recent advances in diagnostics are helping to give them new hope of identifying their illness, and perhaps even finding a treatment, according to Dr Lucia Monaco of Italy's Fondazione Telethon and chair of the International Rare Diseases Research Consortium (IRDiRC).
As more people live for years and even decades after being diagnosed with cancer, the question of how best to support survivors is a challenge now facing health systems in Europe. More research into survivors’ specific care and support requirements is now needed, say experts.
Facing the death of a loved one, being given a life-threatening diagnosis, or living through a natural disaster is difficult enough. But those who get through these traumatic life events often face further ill effects.
Declaring a global planetary emergency, improving sub-volcanic imaging to predict eruptions and developing artificial intelligence that works for humans are some of the urgent actions and research that experts in different fields want to see in 2020.
The red planet may be our best bet for finding out whether we’re alone in the universe.
Reducing crew numbers onboard ships could overcome labour shortages and increase shipping levels.
Metagenomics can help us spot emerging diseases such as coronavirus, says virologist Marion Koopmans.