Get your coronavirus test, join the party: Experimental mass events in the Netherlands draw fire

Science Magazine, 29-4-2021 / online 27-4-2021 The Eurovision Song Contest, known best for its over-the-top performances and outrageous costumes, has a new feature this year: It will be the site of a massive field experiment to see whether concerts and other events can be held safely in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nine rehearsals and televised shows, staged 18–22 May in Rotterdam, Netherlands, will each be attended by 3500 visitors who will have to show a recent negative SARS-CoV-2

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Is New Zealand ‘a particular case’ or does it show what would have been our best bet?

"I thought everyone would be going down the elimination path and follow the success of Asia." Reporters Online Exclusive While populations across Europe and North America are preparing for a harsh winter and the most austere Christmas in ages, their fellows in a country far away are in an entirely different situation. Early in the pandemic, New Zealand decided to go for elimination of the coronavirus. At just 100 cases and zero deaths, the experts ascertained they were - just

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Not the virus will determine our future, but the way society is dealing with it

Anthropologist Agustin Fuentes emphasizes COVID-19 is not just a biological event For months, we’ve been obsessed by the virus. But according to Agustin Fuentes, COVID-19 is about our social, economical, political and health infrastructures. We should no longer regard COVID-19 as a biological event. At least, that’s what anthropologist Agustin Fuentes of Notre Dame University in Indiana, argues. Of course, he recognizes the virus SARS-CoV-2 is a biological entity, and COVID-19 is characterized by significant morbidity and mortality. But we

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Guest post: A comparison of coronavirus approaches

Last week I was pointed at an interesting analysis of the global coronavirus approaches. The author, dr. Daxin Ni, a deputy director of the public health emergency center at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and former steering committee member of WHO's Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN), compared two general approaches: the SARSlike and pandemic flu-like approach. Although I want to emphasize this is not my analysis and I do not necessarily agree with all

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Can a century-old TB vaccine steel the immune system against the new coronavirus?

Science Magazine / sciencemag.org Researchers in four countries will soon start a clinical trial of an unorthodox approach to the new coronavirus. They will test whether a century-old vaccine against tuberculosis (TB), a bacterial disease, can rev up the human immune system in a broad way, allowing it to better fight the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 and, perhaps, prevent infection with it altogether. The studies will be done in physicians and nurses, who are at higher risk of

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How does someone become a conspiracy thinker?

A HEALTHY DOSE OF SUSPICION Until recently, conspiracy thinkers were mainly studied to find out what derailed them. But a new generation of researchers is taking them more seriously. 'The important thing is not whether the theories are correct, but where the distrust is coming from." Originally published in Dutch in EOS Magazine 20-2-2018 The 1990s. The age of The X-Files and other tv series full of dark practices, extraterrestrial life and government cover-ups. The young Jaron Harambam (1983), who

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What science reporters should know about meta-analyses before covering them

As science journalists who take our job seriously, we’ve learned a couple of rules by heart: never present a correlation as a causation, always check whether a sample is representative and never rely on a single study. As the expression goes: one swallow doesn’t make a summer. These are all good starting points. But they are far from making us unimpeachable in our reporting. As a result of the third principle, we tend to rely on review studies. More specifically:

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