SciCombinator

Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

1040

Many countries introduced the requirement to wear masks in public spaces for containing SARS-CoV-2 making it commonplace in 2020. Up until now, there has been no comprehensive investigation as to the adverse health effects masks can cause. The aim was to find, test, evaluate and compile scientifically proven related side effects of wearing masks. For a quantitative evaluation, 44 mostly experimental studies were referenced, and for a substantive evaluation, 65 publications were found. The literature revealed relevant adverse effects of masks in numerous disciplines. In this paper, we refer to the psychological and physical deterioration as well as multiple symptoms described because of their consistent, recurrent and uniform presentation from different disciplines as a Mask-Induced Exhaustion Syndrome (MIES). We objectified evaluation evidenced changes in respiratory physiology of mask wearers with significant correlation of O2 drop and fatigue (p < 0.05), a clustered co-occurrence of respiratory impairment and O2 drop (67%), N95 mask and CO2 rise (82%), N95 mask and O2 drop (72%), N95 mask and headache (60%), respiratory impairment and temperature rise (88%), but also temperature rise and moisture (100%) under the masks. Extended mask-wearing by the general population could lead to relevant effects and consequences in many medical fields.

687

Obesity is a major risk factor for adverse outcomes after infection with SARS-CoV-2. We aimed to examine this association, including interactions with demographic and behavioural characteristics, type 2 diabetes, and other health conditions.

616

Wide-scale SARS-CoV-2 genome sequencing is critical to tracking viral evolution during the ongoing pandemic. Variants first detected in the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Brazil have spread to multiple countries. We developed the software tool, Variant Database (VDB), for quickly examining the changing landscape of spike mutations. Using VDB, we detected an emerging lineage of SARS-CoV-2 in the New York region that shares mutations with previously reported variants. The most common sets of spike mutations in this lineage (now designated as B.1.526) are L5F, T95I, D253G, E484K or S477N, D614G, and A701V. This lineage was first sequenced in late November 2020 when it represented <1% of sequenced coronavirus genomes that were collected in New York City (NYC). By February 2021, genomes from this lineage accounted for ~ 32% of 3288 sequenced genomes from NYC specimens. Phylodynamic inference confirmed the rapid growth of the B.1.526 lineage in NYC, notably the sub-clade defined by the spike mutation E484K, which has outpaced the growth of other variants in NYC. Pseudovirus neutralization experiments demonstrated that B.1.526 spike mutations adversely affect the neutralization titer of convalescent and vaccinee plasma, indicating the public health importance of this lineage.

577

To determine if viable virus could be isolated from the air within a car driven by a patient infected with SARS-CoV-2, and to assess the size range of the infectious particles.

484

Racial-ethnic minorities in the United States are exposed to disproportionately high levels of ambient fine particulate air pollution (PM2.5), the largest environmental cause of human mortality. However, it is unknown which emission sources drive this disparity and whether differences exist by emission sector, geography, or demographics. Quantifying the PM2.5 exposure caused by each emitter type, we show that nearly all major emission categories-consistently across states, urban and rural areas, income levels, and exposure levels-contribute to the systemic PM2.5 exposure disparity experienced by people of color. We identify the most inequitable emission source types by state and city, thereby highlighting potential opportunities for addressing this persistent environmental inequity.

462

Relative brain size has long been considered a reflection of cognitive capacities and has played a fundamental role in developing core theories in the life sciences. Yet, the notion that relative brain size validly represents selection on brain size relies on the untested assumptions that brain-body allometry is restrained to a stable scaling relationship across species and that any deviation from this slope is due to selection on brain size. Using the largest fossil and extant dataset yet assembled, we find that shifts in allometric slope underpin major transitions in mammalian evolution and are often primarily characterized by marked changes in body size. Our results reveal that the largest-brained mammals achieved large relative brain sizes by highly divergent paths. These findings prompt a reevaluation of the traditional paradigm of relative brain size and open new opportunities to improve our understanding of the genetic and developmental mechanisms that influence brain size.

434

Although COVID-19 mRNA vaccines demonstrated high efficacy in clinical trials (1), they were not 100% efficacious. Thus, some infections postvaccination are expected. Limited data are available on effectiveness in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) and against emerging variants. The Kentucky Department for Public Health (KDPH) and a local health department investigated a COVID-19 outbreak in a SNF that occurred after all residents and health care personnel (HCP) had been offered vaccination. Among 83 residents and 116 HCP, 75 (90.4%) and 61 (52.6%), respectively, received 2 vaccine doses. Twenty-six residents and 20 HCP received positive test results for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, including 18 residents and four HCP who had received their second vaccine dose >14 days before the outbreak began. An R.1 lineage variant was detected with whole genome sequencing (WGS). Although the R.1 variant has multiple spike protein mutations, vaccinated residents and HCP were 87% less likely to have symptomatic COVID-19 compared with those who were unvaccinated. Vaccination of SNF populations, including HCP, is critical to reduce the risk for SARS-CoV-2 introduction, transmission, and severe outcomes in SNFs. An ongoing focus on infection prevention and control practices is also essential.

381

Shift work is associated with lung disease and infections. We therefore investigated the impact of shift work on significant COVID-19 illness.

362

Reinfection with the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has been documented, raising public health concerns. SARS-CoV-2 reinfections were assessed in a cohort of antibody-positive persons in Qatar.

216

Repeated use of chemical irritants for crowd-control by local and federal law enforcement during sustained racial justice protests in the U.S. has raised concerns about potential adverse health effects. The objective of this study was to describe the health consequences of exposure to tear gas agents and associated healthcare utilization among adults reporting recent exposure to tear gas.