18 – 24 July 2015

A flagship study that inspired large-scale deworming programmes has been reanalysed by School researchers, who conclude that educational benefits of deworming may be less than previously thought. Calum Davey speaks to the Guardian about the  impact of the original study: “I can’t speak [on] why it was so influential. Partly I think it was because of the optimism built on the findings – a golden bullet for some problems like attainment and education in low-income settings.” Global coverage includes Science Daily, 3ie blog, SSI Review, Malay Mail, BMJ and Medical News Today. Reuters report the story, leading to further coverage by the Daily Mail, News Canada and India’s Financial Express. The deworming debate continues as James Hargreaves and Calum Davey write for the Conversation on how re-analysing the data of scientific research can change the findings. This leads to coverage in Times Live (South Africa). Ben Goldacre also writes about the value of sharing data in reference to the study, on Buzzfeed. This initiates extensive discussion on social media.

Ian Douglas speaks to BBC Radio London (from 23m30s) about his research which shows the anti-diabetic drug glitazone may reduce the incidence of Parkinson’s disease: “In the very early stages these drugs could prevent the irreversible nerve damage that happens early on during Parkinson’s disease.” The research receives global coverage in outlets including BBC News, TIME, Times of India, Toronto Telegraph, NYC Today, Medical Tribune (Japan, Guernsey Press and Renal and Urology News.

School researchers welcome the announcement that the European Medicines Agency has given the go-ahead for the RTS,S vaccine. The Guardian quotes Brian Greenwood, who has been involved in research on RTS,S since 1998, in the lead up to the announcement:There were 198m malaria cases in sub-Saharan Africa in 2013, so even a partially effective vaccine could prevent millions of those.” 

Brian Greenwood is interviewed by ITV, Channel 4 and BBC News Channel; David Conway speaks on CNN (from 1m16s) and BBC World News TV, and Colin Sutherland appears on France 24 TV. Prior to its approval, the vaccine is reported by regional radio across the UK, including Wessex FM and Star Radio North East. After being given the green light, the vaccine receives extensive national and global coverage, including BBC News, the Telegraph, Financial Times, the Times (£), Sky News, Heart Radio, ITV News, SciDev.net, Bloomberg and TIME.

Sian Clarke in Humanosphere on research showing that rapid diagnostic tests for malaria reduced over prescription of drugs by up to 70% in drug shops in Uganda: “These tests alone will not improve the treatment of other diseases. We now need to continue working with the Ministry of Health to investigate how to improve our approach and expand it to other common illnesses.” Also covered by Channel Africa Radio, Bloomberg, Afrik-News, Daily Monitor and the Observer (Uganda), and SocioLingo Africa.

Martin McKee speaks to The Times (£) about teenagers prefering novelty vaping to a sneaky cigarette: “We have sufficient grounds to be concerned because we have no idea of the long-term effects of e-cigarettes. They are promoted as a quitting aid but we don’t have any robust evidence for that and we have more and more evidence that people are dual using them alongside cigarettes.”

Research involving the School showing that anxiety about body image can affect children aged eight receives coverage including the front page of the Guardian, the Daily MailIndependent and NHS Choices.

James Logan appears on ITV This Morning to discuss how to avoid midges, ticks and mosquitoes this summer: “An estimated 40000 midges can land on your arm in an hour.”

James Logan also speaks to BBC Radio Two about mosquitoes, midges and horseflies: “A mosquito injects an anaesthetic into you when it bites, whereas a midge just goes in for the munch, and people tend to react much more when they get bitten by a midge.”

Rashida Ferrand comments about the news that a young woman born HIV positive has been found to be in remission, despite not having taken drugs for the disease, on Newsweek: “It will provide doctors with a window of opportunity to understand the pathogenesis of HIV, in terms of how the complex immune system operates.”

A project investigating the environmental impact of palm oil production in Thailand, co-led by Richard Smith, features on SciDev.net.

SciDev.net also write about the recent real-life trial of an oral vaccine for cholera. Following a concurrent joint commentary with Kim Mulholland, Maureen O’Leary comments that the trial will: “Aid ministries of health in making decisions about whether to introduce the vaccine, based on local cholera epidemiology and on the cost effectiveness of the vaccine in their country.”

Laith Yakob speaks to New Scientist about the recent release of genetically modified mosquitoes to tackle dengue fever in Brazil.

In an article about Michael Essien, the Guardian writes about his collaboration with Penguin and Peter Piot to produce a Ladybird book with educational messages about Ebola for children in Africa.

A recent report by the Rockefeller Foundation-Lancet commission on Planetary Health, chaired by Andy Haines, receives further coverage in Scientific American, Business Insider and AOL news.

An article by Pulitzer Centre about new projects to significantly reduce AIDS in San Francisco, British Columbia and New York State mentions the recent UN AIDS report. Peter Piot warns: “It’s very important that these projects proceed and that we learn from them. These three examples are not North Korean types of islands—there will be constant reintroduction of the virus” 

BBC News mentions earlier research by the School about cancer survival rates in the UK.

Comments are closed.