Category Archives: Medicine

On the rise and rise of Chinese science

IT started badly, with gag orders, cover-ups and ignored offers of help from overseas, but then the Chinese government seized the narrative. It reined in the burgeoning epidemic of Covid-19 at home, and started exporting its rapidly accumulating scientific knowledge of the disease to the rest of the world. Chinese science has often been marginalised and even mistrusted in the west. But will the pandemic change its standing in the world…?

Gao Fu, head of the Chinese CDC

This article first appeared in The Observer on 11 October 2020. To continue reading, click here.

 

LOSS of muscular energy was one of the earliest symptoms,” wrote Dr Jamieson, “and convalescents have been more struck by their astonishing lack of strength than by anything else.” He noted sluggish pulses and instances of “mental aberration” persisting far into convalescence. For some the aberration took the form of delirium, for others apathy and depression…

This article first appeared in New Statesman on 8 October 2020. To continue reading, click here.

SARS-CoV-2 is changing at a glacial pace

SCIENTISTS have had eyes on Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, since the beginning of this pandemic. They can see it is evolving, but it is happening at a glacial pace compared with two other viruses with pandemic potential: those that cause flu and Aids. That is good news for efforts to develop vaccines and treatments, but scientists remain wary that anything could still happen…

Tiruppur, India

This article first appeared in The Guardian on 18 September 2020. To continue reading, click here.

The dirty vaccine race

TO begin with, it felt like a sleek performance from a well-honed relay team. On 11 January, only 10 days after reporting a new respiratory disease, the Chinese published the genome sequence of the virus that causes it. Researchers around the world set to work building vaccines against Covid-19, as the disease became known, and the first candidate entered human trials on 16 March; it was joined, as the months passed, by dozens of others…

Illustration by James Melaugh for The Observer

This article first appeared inThe Observer on 30 August 2020. To continue reading, click here.