Science News Roundup: English COVID study finds record prevalence in January; Researchers achieve milestone on path toward nuclear fusion energy and more
The object, spotted using the Murchison Widefield Array telescope in outback Western Australia, unleashed huge bursts of energy roughly three times per hour when viewed from Earth during two months in 2018, the researchers said. Analysis-A metaverse with Chinese characteristics is a clean and compliant metaverse How will China's metaverse evolve?
Following is a summary of current science news briefs.
Wanted: Volunteers to catch COVID in the name of science
The world's first medical trial authorised to deliberately expose participants to the coronavirus is seeking more volunteers as it steps up efforts to help develop better vaccines. The Oxford University trial was launched last April, three months after Britain became the first country to approve what are known as challenge trials for humans involving COVID-19.
Researchers achieve milestone on path toward nuclear fusion energy
U.S. government scientists said on Wednesday they have taken an important step in the long trek toward making nuclear fusion - the very process that powers stars - a viable energy source for humankind. Using the world's largest laser, the researchers coaxed fusion fuel for the first time to heat itself beyond the heat they zapped into it, achieving a phenomenon called a burning plasma that marked a stride toward self-sustaining fusion energy.
English COVID study finds record prevalence in January
An English COVID-19 study reported record prevalence in January after an Omicron-fuelled spike in infections, Imperial College London said on Wednesday, adding that infections had dropped back from their peak but were now plateauing. England will on Thursday ditch mask mandates and COVID-19 vaccine passes introduced to slow the spread of Omicron. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has credited the success of Britain's booster rollout and the lower severity of the variant as he aims to live with COVID-19.
Scientists amazed by blinking star's 'totally unexpected' behavior
Scientists have detected what appears to be an incredibly dense star behaving unlike anything else ever seen - and suspect it might be a type of exotic astrophysical object whose existence has until now been only hypothesized. The object, spotted using the Murchison Widefield Array telescope in outback Western Australia, unleashed huge bursts of energy roughly three times per hour when viewed from Earth during two months in 2018, the researchers said.
Analysis-A metaverse with Chinese characteristics is a clean and compliant metaverse
How will China's metaverse evolve? Look to the letter "c". Clean, censored, compliant and crypto-less is the view from experts. The descriptions point to the long shadow thrown by Chinese authorities who have already intimated they will have a heavy regulatory hand in how it will develop - a shadow some China metaverse advocates fear will stunt its growth.
Boosters increase protection against death from Omicron in over-50s to 95% - UKHSA
COVID-19 boosters increase protection against death from the Omicron variant to 95% in people aged 50 or over, the UK Health Security Agency said on Thursday. The UKHSA said that around six months after a second dose of any of the COVID-19 vaccines, protection against death with Omicron was around 60% in those aged 50 and over. However, this increased to around 95% two weeks after receiving a booster vaccine dose.
Pfizer, Moderna shots safe during in vitro fertilization; healthy gut bacteria may help prevent long COVID
The following is a summary of some recent studies on COVID-19. They include research that warrants further study to corroborate the findings and that has yet to be certified by peer review. mRNA vaccines safe during in vitro fertilization
China's Walvax says has most participants for large mRNA COVID vaccine trial
China's Walvax Biotechnology has recruited most of the 28,000 participants needed for a large clinical trial of its mRNA COVID-19 vaccine candidate, a senior company official said on Thursday. China has yet to approve a Chinese vaccine of the novel messenger RNA (mRNA) technology and has yet to import a foreign mRNA vaccine.
(With inputs from agencies.)