New research database can help shape the most effective and efficient response to COVID-19

Researchers around the world can tap into a new inter-disciplinary online database of COVID-19 research – allowing them to search for new partners, resources and funding to boost the global battle against the virus.

Launched today, the international open-access database for ongoing research activity COVID CORPUS aims to encourage collaboration and reduce duplication between researchers across all academic disciplines working on Covid-19 research.

Through its easy-to-use interface, the database will allow researchers and funders around the globe to coordinate, collaborate and network to help shape the most effective and efficient response to COVID-19 and its many impacts.

University of Birmingham experts in Computer Science and Medicine worked with the Institute for Global Innovation to create the database, which includes all disciplines of research, including health-related, socio-economic, behavioural, educational, cultural, science and technology.

Fighting COVID-19 requires the academic community to share ideas

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New class of highly effective inhibitors protects against neurodegeneration — ScienceDaily

Neurobiologists at Heidelberg University have discovered how a special receptor at neuronal junctions that normally activates a protective genetic programme can lead to nerve cell death when located outside synapses. Their fundamental findings on neurodegenerative processes simultaneously led the researchers at the Interdisciplinary Center for Neurosciences (IZN) to a completely new principle for therapeutic agents. In their experiments on mouse models, they discovered a new class of highly effective inhibitors for protecting nerve cells. As Prof. Dr Hilmar Bading points out, this novel class of drugs opens up — for the first time — perspectives to combat currently untreatable diseases of the nervous system. The results of this research were published in Science.

The research by Prof. Bading and his team is focused on the so-called NMDA receptor. This receptor is an ion channel protein that is activated by a biochemical messenger: the neurotransmitter glutamate. It allows calcium to

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Regulatory Technology Strives for New Era of Effective Governance

Regtech, short for regulatory technology, is a category of software solutions that helps its business customers to manage and de-risk compliance with the regulatory obligations of their respective industries. By its nature, regtech seeks first to understand and then to simplify and manage the highly complex laws written to regulate industry. While the right seeks to free business to grow and the left seeks to protect citizens and consumers, a good regtech solution supports both sides with technology that ensures compliance with the law while minimizing the resources necessary to do so.

Consider regulatory control over the financial services industry as a prime example from modern history. Speculative investment soared during the roaring twenties while production waned and unemployment rose. Over the decade, the stock market became increasingly over-valued and consumers took on more and more debt as banks turned a blind eye to obvious risk and over-leveraged cash

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Study shows automatic enrollment, paired with option to opt-out, is highly effective at boosting parents’ participation — ScienceDaily

Researchers know that texting programs can greatly benefit young children’s literacy. Now new research shows that parents’ participation in such programs can be boosted exponentially with one simple tweak: automatic enrollment, combined with the ability to opt out.

The new research from the Center for Child and Family Policy at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy appears in the Journal of Child and Family Studies.

In recent years, mounting research evidence has shown texting to be an effective, low-cost, scalable approach for engaging parents in their children’s learning. Some studies suggest text message interventions via tips for parents on how to support their child’s development can put young children’s learning 2-3 months ahead.

Yet getting parents to enroll in these beneficial programs can be challenging. With that in mind, researchers designed a study to test strategies for increasing program participation.

In the study, researchers from Duke, New York

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Antidepressant drug effective in treating ‘lazy eye’ in adults — ScienceDaily

In a new study, published in Current Biology, researchers from the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine reveal how subanesthetic ketamine, which is used for pain management and as an antidepressant in humans, is effective in treating adult amblyopia, a brain disorder commonly known as “lazy eye.”

“Our study, demonstrates how a single-dose of subanesthetic ketamine reactivates adult visual cortical plasticity and promotes functional recovery of visual acuity defects resulting from amblyopia,” explained Xiangmin Xu, PhD, a professor of anatomy and neurobiology and director of the Center for Neural Circuit Mapping at the UCI School of Medicine.

Subanesthetic ketamine, commonly used to treat depression and pain, evokes rapid and long-lasting antidepressant effects in human patients. There was evidence that ketamine may control how the nervous system makes structural changes in response to internal and external demands, a process called neural plasticity. But, how the drug worked remained elusive,

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Genetic testing cost effective for newly diagnosed GIST — ScienceDaily

Because gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) are sensitive to the targeted small molecule therapy imatinib, oncologists tend to treat all patients with metastatic GIST with this drug. However, because this rare type of cancer is caused by different genetic mutations, imatinib does not help all patients equally.

To determine whose cancer may be most responsive, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network suggests that patients undergo genetic testing to identify each individuals’ tumor mutations. And yet, only 30 percent of patients have genetic testing at the time of diagnosis, likely due to concerns over cost and utility of testing, said Jason Sicklick, MD, professor of surgery in the Division of Surgical Oncology at University of California San Diego School of Medicine.

“We recommend that all patients with a new diagnosis of metastatic GIST undergo genetic testing prior to the initiation of first-line chemotherapy,” said Sicklick, surgical oncologist and co-leader of the Sarcoma Disease

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Here’s The Most Effective Flirting Expression According To Science, Study Finds

KEY POINTS

  • Researchers outline three elements of most effective flirtatious look
  • Study concludes that flirting has the same weight as other widely-studied emotions
  • Result of the study could contribute to today’s debate on consent

By using the Facial Action Coding System (FACS), a team of researchers from the University of Kansas (KU) was able to identify the specific flirtatious look from women that proved to be the most effective cues for men. 

In the study published in the Journal of Sex Research, the team determined three elements that made the most obvious flirting cues for men to tell that the females are interested in them. These three elements are —

  • Head turned to one side and tilted down slightly
  • A slight smile
  • Eyes turned forward toward the implied target

To conduct the study, the researchers asked women volunteers to show them their most flirtatious look when conveying their romantic or

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Highly effective antibodies against the coronavirus were identified — ScienceDaily

Researchers at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and Charité — Universitätsmedizin Berlin have identified highly effective antibodies against the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and are now pursuing the development of a passive vaccination. In this process, they have also discovered that some SARS-CoV-2 antibodies bind to tissue samples from various organs, which could potentially trigger undesired side effects. They report their findings in the scientific journal Cell.

Initially, the scientists isolated almost 600 different antibodies from the blood of individuals who had overcome COVID-19, the disease triggered by SARS-CoV-2. By means of laboratory tests, they were able to narrow this number down to a few antibodies that were particularly effective at binding to the virus. Next, they produced these antibodies artificially using cell cultures. The identified so-called neutralizing antibodies bind to the virus, as crystallographic analysis reveals, and thus prevent the pathogen from entering cells and reproducing. In addition,

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Remote neuropsychology tests for children shown effective, study finds — ScienceDaily

Administering neuropsychology evaluations to children online in the comfort of their own homes is feasible and delivers results comparable to tests traditionally performed in a clinic, a new study led by UT Southwestern researchers and Children’s Health indicates. The finding, published online this month in the Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, could help expand access to specialists and reduce barriers to care, particularly as the popularity of telemedicine grows during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Patients with a variety of neurological disorders require periodic neuropsychological evaluations to track their cognition, academic skills, memory, attention, and other variables. Typically, these tests are done in clinics, often by specialists in these disorders.

However, explains Lana Harder, Ph.D., ABPP, associate professor of psychiatry and neurology at UTSW, many patients travel hundreds of miles to access specialists for their care — a major expense and inconvenience that can also cause fatigue and potentially influence the results.

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Randomized, controlled trial finds that weighted blankets are safe and effective — ScienceDaily

Weighted blankets are a safe and effective intervention in the treatment of insomnia, according to Swedish researchers who found that insomnia patients with psychiatric disorders experienced reduced insomnia severity, improved sleep and less daytime sleepiness when sleeping with a weighted chain blanket.

Results of the randomized, controlled study show that participants using the weighted blanket for four weeks reported significantly reduced insomnia severity, better sleep maintenance, a higher daytime activity level, and reduced symptoms of fatigue, depression and anxiety. Participants in the weighted blanket group were almost 26 times more likely to experience a decrease of 50% or more in their insomnia severity compared with the control group, and they were nearly 20 times more likely to achieve remission of their insomnia. Positive results were maintained during a 12-month, open follow-up phase of the study.

“A suggested explanation for the calming and sleep-promoting effect is the pressure that the chain

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