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Recent research shows that the novel coronavirus can stay in the air for some time, but whether it is likely to cause infection is very conditional.

This depends on the size of virus particles. Droplets, which are the larger ones (over 5 micrometres), don’t travel further than 1 metre and quickly fall on a surface. They are released through coughing, sneezing or speaking. Aerosols are smaller than 5 micrometres, can travel up to 4 metres and can stay in the air for up to 3 hours, but their concentration would be dangerous only in certain cases.

What are those cases? Can I walk into a viral cloud and get sick? Chinese research found SARS-CoV-2 aerosols in two Wuhan hospitals. High concentrations were only detected in confined spaces, such as unventilated toilets or crowded areas. In contrast, concentrations were very low in ventilated patients’ rooms. Another study found an additional hotspot: areas where medical staff removed their contaminated protective equipment. As to the outdoors, such as parks, a Dutch study using computational fluid dynamics simulation observed particle clouds created by walkers, runners and cyclists and suggested that people should keep a 4, 9 or 20-metre distance to avoid aerosols. However, the research did not look at viral levels in aerosols and could not inform about specific SARS-CoV-2 infection risk. The above studies of ventilated indoor spaces suggest that aerosols would carry even less viral particles in the open than indoors. …


Answer: Depending on the material, the virus causing COVID-19 can stay on surfaces for days. Recent research suggests that SARS-CoV-2 could last longer on some surfaces than previously thought and that crucially, it could stay viable on the outer layer of surgical masks for up to seven days.

How do we know this? Researchers conducted a lab experiment and dropped viral samples on different surfaces in a room temperature (22 C) environment with 65% relative humidity. They found that the virus stopped being infectious

  • on tissue paper and printing paper after 3 hours,
    on wood and clothing after 1 day
  • on smooth, shiny surfaces, like glass and banknotes after 3…

The novel coronavirus causing COVID-19 is unlikely to disappear with warm weather.

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French researchers have conducted an experiment and found that only temperatures higher than on an extremely hot summer day could kill the 2019-nCoV virus. Researchers at Aix-Marseille University “cooked” the virus for different periods of times and at different temperatures. They found that either 1 hour at 60 ℃ or 15 minutes at 92 ℃ was the best method to inactivate the virus.

Does this mean we have to expect the same levels of infections in the summer?
Scientists can’t give a definite answer. Although earlier varieties of coronaviruses proved to be seasonal, currently we have a highly susceptible population that has not developed the necessary immunity yet. …


At the time of writing, known Covid-19 cases stood at around 1.9 million known cases with deaths passing 120,000 over the world. Quarantines lasting for weeks have disrupted work and put many researchers from our Sparrho Community into an unusual position. How did the restrictions affect your fellow scientists? Read the fourth part of our series personal accounts.

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At the time of writing, known Covid-19 stands at around 1.3 million known cases with deaths passing 75,000 over the world. Quarantines lasting for weeks have disrupted work and put many researchers from our Sparrho Community into an unusual position. How did the restrictions affect your fellow scientists? Read the third part of our series personal accounts.

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The coronavirus pandemic has caused sorrow for lost loved ones and a major shock worldwide. It is forcing people to re-think how they work while staying at home or practising ‘social distancing’. We’ve asked researchers from Sparrho’s Community to share their stories. Read the second part here.


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The coronavirus pandemic has caused sorrow for lost loved ones and a major shock worldwide. It is forcing people to re-think how they work while staying at home or practising ‘social distancing’. We’ve asked researchers from Sparrho’s Community to share their stories. Read the first part here.


Making microbes gobble up pollution and standing up for science — these are just some of the things that drive our October Researcher Prize winner. By the looks of it, Michael Eze must have cracked a secret energy efficiency formula. How else could one explain him working on a ‘dual PhD’, playing football and being a family man?

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Michael used his Sparrho travel money to present and build contacts at the annual convention of American Association of Petroleum Geologists

Michael Eze knows how to nurture his scientific capital: our Sparrho Prize has got him to the annual convention of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, where he bagged the Carlos Walter M. Campos Memorial Award for Best International Student Paper.

As he explained in an interview with Sparrho, he wanted to use his Researcher Prize award money to present at “one of the greatest geoscience conferences in the world” in Houston, Texas. Why? To be able to connect with the top experts in the organic contaminants remediation field and with world-class institutions. …


A great summary is like a good story that stops people in their tracks. Let’s see how you can write one for maximum impact!

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First things first — the audience

Do you know who reads you on Sparrho? It’s scientists like you, but from other fields, laypeople, interested in research and even potential employers. Meaning, most of them are not experts in your field. So, keep their level of understanding in mind!

OK, have you got a recipe?

Well, yes! Let’s think of your summary as a science story. Research says we relate to information better if it’s presented as a story. Science is often about a sea of data… but if you find a story among them, you’ll be on your way to rockstar status among your readers.

And how do I craft a story?

Well, let’s consider this. …


Did you know? There is more evidence linking obesity and diabetes with ‘brain fog’ in later life. And did you know? PhD and postdoc life does not have to be dull — the living proof is our singing, footballing, meme-loving March researcher prize winner.

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Quick factsheetWho: Dr Tuki AttuquayefioWhat: Neurocognition in youth with prediabetesWhere: Yale University

Sparrho’s March Researcher Prize winner, Tuki Attuquayefio is quite a character. Despite working in the US, he rather walks then drives. A few American eyebrows might be raised because he prefers to play soccer to American football. Oh, and he likes to sing too, having performed in a musical for 2000 people.

From diet to dementia

But that’s not all, Tuki is researching the intriguing connection between how much we eat and how much we might be able to think, as a result of it in later life. In other words, how diet an obesity can lead to congnitive dysfunction, which is characterised by difficulties in thinking, remembering, simple math and concentration. …

About

Endre Szvetnik

I’m Senior Editor at Sparrho.com working with researchers to tell their stories to the wider public

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