Oxford COVID-19 vaccine follows its programmed genetic instructions, independent analysis finds 22 October 2020The AstraZeneca Oxford COVID-19 vaccine (ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 and also known as AZD1222) now undergoing Phase III clinical trials, has already undergone rigorous testing to ensure the highest standards of quality and safety. Now a team at Bristol University has used recently developed techniques to further validate that the vaccine accurately follows the genetic instructions programmed into it by the Oxford team. This novel analysis provides even greater clarity and detail about how the vaccine successfully provokes a strong immune response.
Neuropilin-1 drives SARS-CoV-2 infectivity, finds breakthrough study20 October 2020In a major breakthrough an international team of scientists, led by the University of Bristol, has potentially identified what makes SARS-CoV-2 highly infectious and able to spread rapidly in human cells. The findings, published in Science today [20 October] describe how the virus’s ability to infect human cells can be reduced by inhibitors that block a newly discovered interaction between virus and host, demonstrating a potential anti-viral treatment.
Researchers launch first study into COVID bereavement among BAME people12 October 2020A pioneering study into people's experience of bereavement during the COVID-19 pandemic has been launched by researchers from the universities of Cardiff and Bristol. The study is calling for participants, particularly those from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds following the disproportionate effect COVID-19 has had on ethnic minority groups.
Good Grief Festival to explore the many faces of grief8 October 2020A free online festival exploring the many faces of grief will take place for the first time this month [Friday 30 October to Sunday 1 November]. Broadcast from a studio in Bristol and reaching thousands of people all over the UK, Good Grief, will include 70 events exploring the universal human experience of grief through panel discussions, conversations, interactive workshops and webinars.
Research suggests significantly less risk of COVID-19 transmission from anaesthesia procedures
6 October 2020Since the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been much debate about the danger to hospital staff from anaesthetic procedures. Concerns include that placing a tube in the patient's airway (intubation) before surgery or removing it at the end (extubation) may produce a fine mist of small particles (called aerosols) and spread the COVID-19 virus to nearby staff.
Bristol part of new £4 million FDA study to advance understanding of severe coronavirus infection5 October 2020Bristol is part of a major new international project to improve our understanding of severe coronavirus infection in humans. The study, funded by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), will analyse samples from humans and animals to create profiles of various coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19. The results will help inform the development of new treatments and vaccines to tackle coronavirus infections.
Discovery of a druggable pocket in the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein could stop virus in its tracks21 September 2020A druggable pocket in the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein that could be used to stop the virus from infecting human cells has been discovered by an international team of scientists led by the University of Bristol. The researchers say their findings, published today [21 September] in the journal Science, are a potential 'game changer' in defeating the current pandemic and add that small molecule anti-viral drugs developed to target the pocket they discovered could help eliminate COVID-19.
Stopping the spread of coronavirus in universities14 September 2020As universities prepare to welcome students back, infectious disease modelling experts at the University of Bristol have conducted a rapid review and developed a new epidemic model which contributed to evidence considered by SAGE to assess the effectiveness of different interventions that could stop the spread of Sars-CoV-2 in a university setting. The findings, published on the preprint server medRxiv, provides the sector with recommendations to help reduce the risk for students, staff and the wider community.
Study to identify transmission risk of COVID-19 aerosols during medical procedures11 September 2020Many operations, due to the potential risk of COVID-19 aerosols being generated, have been delayed or are being performed with additional personal protective equipment (PPE), which has greatly reduced NHS services. A new National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)-funded study will identify which medical procedures are truly aerosol generating and whether the virus remains viable in the aerosol produced. The findings will be crucial in providing guidance about the safe reopening of essential NHS services.
How can we get pupils and staff back-to-school safely during COVID-19?11 September 2020Ensuring pupils and staff stay safe when they return to school this autumn is a major challenge because there is very little scientific evidence on the incidence and transmission of COVID-19 within schools. A ground-breaking research project will test whether 5,000 staff and pupils have active or past COVID-19 infection, develop systems to help schools prevent and cope with an outbreak and assess strategies to support the mental wellbeing of the school community now and moving forward.
Singing is no more risky than talking finds new COVID-19 study20 August 2020The performing arts has been badly affected during the coronavirus pandemic with live musical performances cancelled for many months because singing was identified as a potential "higher risk" activity. New collaborative research has shown that singing does not produce very substantially more respiratory particles than when speaking at a similar volume. The findings, published on the pre-print server ChemRxiv, are crucial in providing COVID-19 guidance for live musical performances and the safe distancing of performers and audience.
Researchers extend recruitment to COVID-19 vaccine trial19 August 2020Researchers at University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust (UHBW), North Bristol NHS Trust (NBT) and the University of Bristol have begun a new round of recruitment to a clinical trial of a vaccine pioneered in the UK which could protect against COVID-19.
Opening schools should be prioritised24 July 2020A general return to school in September and keeping schools open after that should be prioritised by the government as it manages the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a report by the Royal Society’s Data Evaluation and Learning for Viral Epidemics (DELVE) group, led by researchers at the Universities of Bristol and Cambridge.