Here’s a round-up of some of the latest stories about UK university COVID-19 projects and initiatives shared on social media over the weekend.
1. Researchers call for loss of taste and smell to be used as a COVID-19 screening symptom – King’s College London
According to researchers at King’s College London, the inclusion of the loss of taste and smell (anosmia) in COVID-19 screening would help trace around 16% of cases that would otherwise go undiagnosed.
Researchers found that the loss of taste or smell was the strongest single predictor of COVID-19 infection.
2. University of Sheffield study investigates the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on local food suppliers
Academics at the University of Sheffield’s Institute for Sustainable Food are researching how the COVID-19 crisis has affected local food suppliers.
Preliminary findings of the study will be available in September 2020 and recommendations will be presented to the government to improve long-term UK food security.
3. COVID-19 economic impacts expected to reduce willingness to address environmental issues – University of Kent
In a letter to the scientific journal, Global Change Biology, conservationists including Dr Charlie Gardner from the University of Kent’s Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE) share their concerns about the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the environment.
The authors believe that as society’s willingness to address environmental issues declines, the likelihood of another pandemic increases.
4. University of Wolverhampton academics raise awareness of COVID-19 across the Congo Basin
The Centre for International Development and Training (CIDT) at the University of Wolverhampton have repurposed £174,000 of funds to raise awareness of COVID-19 in the Congo Basin.
The money is being used to provide sanitation kits to over 6,000 households and for the CIDT to provide support, advice and equipment in the response to the COVID-19 crisis.
5. University of Essex scientists develop a new app to assess COVID-19 patient CT scans
A new app developed by computer scientists at the University of Essex could be used by NHS frontline staff in the future to detect if a patient is infected with COVID-19 by uploading a CT scan of their lungs.
The app could be used as a quick and early diagnostic test for COVID-19, taking under an hour from the CT scan to receiving the results.
6. Free linguistic learning tools and resources to help support homeschooling during COVID-19 – SOAS University of London
The linguistics department at SOAS University of London has developed Homeschool Grammar, a series of videos and activities to help children aged 7-12 years old get to grips with key grammatical concepts during the lockdown.
7. University of Brighton scientists ensure hospitals’ supply chain of essential chemical for ventilators
Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust called on the University of Brighton to help them secure a supply-chain for a vital chemical used in ventilators.
University Professors Hal Sosabowski and Lizzy Ostler reached out to local diving centres that supplied the essential chemical and gave expert advice and recommendations.
8. The London School of Economics (LSE) analyse government responses to the COVID-19 crisis
LSE researchers, Theologos Dergiades, Costas Milas, and Theodore Panagiotidis, have analysed the government responses to the COVID-19 crisis across the world.
Their research supports the link between the strength and timing of government responses to death rates.
9. The University of Newcastle call out for contributions to a collective poem about the natural world during COVID-19
In collaboration with New Writing North, the University of Newcastle are writing a collective poem about the natural world during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The project, Murmuration, was devised by Linda France, Climate Writer in Residence at the University. She aims to bring people together in an online collaboration of poetry about the natural world.