[RESEARCH INSIDER] Volcano monitoring: Linking volcanic processes

Research Insider this week gets up close with Stanley Yip who is in his first year pursuing a PhD in Geology at the University of Bristol, UK with his major focusing on volcanology. His goal is to understand magma properties using satellite data to measure sulfur dioxide emissions from volcanoes and volcano deformation.

[OPINION] Microplastic Pollution and Health

Microplastics, broadly defined < 5 mm, are plastic particles of different shape, size and polymer composition. Recently, there has been extensive media coverage on microplastic pollution including news release from the World Health Organization on the potential environmental health threat from microplastics. Single-use plastics and inappropriate plastic waste management are the primary reasons for pollution.

[MEDIA RELEASE] WHO discontinues hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ritonavir treatment arms for COVID-19

These interim trial results show that hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ritonavir produce little or no reduction in the mortality of hospitalized COVID-19 patients when compared to standard of care. Solidarity trial investigators will interrupt the trials with immediate effect.

[RESEARCH INSIDER] Self-harm: What do our genes have to do with it?

Research Insider this week gets up close with Kai Xiang Lim who is in his second year pursuing a PhD in Social, Genetics and Developmental Psychiatry Research at King's College London, UK. He uses genetic information to investigate the underlying causes of self-harm behaviours and their relationships with mental health conditions.

[Q&A] Know Your Microbiome: Your Questions, Our answers

We celebrated World Microbiome Day 2020 over the weekend by hosting a webinar "Gut feeling is real science: Know your gut microbiome!" with our expert speakers from Malaysia and Singapore who provided insights on the connection of gut microbiome to our health and mental state. During the live session, we received many questions from viewers but did not have time to get to everyone. So as promised, here are answers to some of the questions we did not get a chance to answer.

[OPINION] Have we found the panacea to COVID-19 with remdesivir, an old but newly packaged drug?

As of 12 May 2020, 4,425,094 people have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 with deaths reaching 297,723.Doctors are desperately looking for an effective drug, and there have been a number of candidates on trial; one of them, remdesivir, is probably the most exciting of all. This is the drug developed for the Ebola epidemic in 2015, but it was found to be less effective in clinical trials than in in vitro studies. Is remdesivir the panacea for COVID-19?

[MEDIA RELEASE] Gut feeling is real science: Know your microbiome!

Did you know that more than half of your body is not human? The human cells make up roughly less than half of the body’s total cell count, while the rest are microbes. To understand the other half of ourselves, the Science Media Centre (SMC) Malaysia organised a webinar “Gut feeling is real science: Know your microbiome!” in conjunction with World Microbiome Day 2020 which was celebrated worldwide on Saturday, June 27.

[RESEARCH INSIDER] Not Just Fun and Games: Using Digital Games to Study Teamwork

Research Insider this week gets up close with Evelyn Tan who is in her second year pursuing her PhD in Team Dynamics and Player Psychology in Digital Games at the University of York. Her research focuses on the emergence and development of team cohesion in games like League of Legends, Dota 2 and Overwatch.

[EXPERT REACTION] Dexamethasone: Effective Treatment for COVID-19?

A research team at Oxford University has recently found a cheap and widely available drug called dexamethasone that can be used to effectively treat severe forms of COVID-19. The 'breakthrough' drug has shown to significantly reduce the number of deaths among those seriously ill with the coronavirus. We asked experts to comment on the effectiveness of the drug in treating COVID-19.

[Q&A] Bats, Pangolins and the Coronavirus

While bats have been put forward as the original host of SARS-CoV-2 nonetheless, the transmission of the virus from bats to humans requires intermediate hosts as well. Several studies have linked pangolins with SARS-CoV-2 infection where coronaviruses found in pangolin are highly similar to the novel coronavirus, which suggests that the mammal is the most likely intermediate host.