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  • High levels of salt in the diet have been associated with high blood pressure and poor cardiovascular health. A recent trial in The New England Journal of Medicine investigates whether a salt substitute could decrease the rate of strokes, other cardiovascular events and deaths in a high risk population.

    • Ben Abbott
    Research Highlight Open Access
  • Sachak-Patwa et al. estimate the risk of SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks in low prevalence settings following the removal of travel restrictions and other non-pharmaceutical interventions, with the Isle of Man and Israel as case studies. Using a branching process mathematical model, the authors show that even after a large proportion of the population is vaccinated, there remains a risk of local outbreaks from imported cases.

    • Rahil Sachak-Patwa
    • Helen M. Byrne
    • Robin N. Thompson
    Article Open Access
  • Reducing energy intake is known to result in weight loss. However, there is a need for real-world data on the impact of specific interventions to reduce energy intake. A recent trial in PLOS Medicine evaluated whether reductions in portion size and in the availability of high energy foods in workplace cafeterias could reduce energy consumption.

    • Katharine Barnes
    Research Highlight Open Access
  • Dalle Carbonare et al. perform a serology study in participants with a prior infection of SARS-CoV-2 and those who are SARS-CoV-2-naïve, who received two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech BNT162b2 vaccine. After a single dose they observe a quicker recall of pseudovirus neutralization titres in previously-infected participants and a potent IgA response in both groups that was not associated with serum neutralization titres.

    • Luca Dalle Carbonare
    • Maria Teresa Valenti
    • Donato Zipeto
    Article Open Access
  • Plontke et al. report data on the preservation of vestibular function in a series of patients undergoing surgical removal of intracochlear tumors. Using objective clinical tests, the authors show that in most patients the vestibular system can function normally despite major surgical trauma to the cochlea.

    • Stefan K. Plontke
    • Torsten Rahne
    • Laura Fröhlich
    Article Open Access
  • Bast et al. discuss the early detection of ovarian cancer in the context of the recent UKCTOCS screening trial. The authors suggest potential reasons why the trial failed to achieve a reduction in mortality and outline next steps in the development of biomarkers and imaging modalities to detect ovarian cancer.

    • Robert C. Bast
    • Chae Young Han
    • Karen H. Lu
    Comment Open Access
  • Ying et al. conduct a multi-instrument Mendelian randomization study looking at the link between aging and COVID-19 risk. They observe an association between genetic variation implicated in longevity and decreased risk of COVID-19 infection and hospitalization, with Notch signaling and immune system development loci found to be important in aging-related COVID-19 risk.

    • Kejun Ying
    • Ranran Zhai
    • Vadim N. Gladyshev
    Article Open Access
  • Regenerative medicine may offer strategies to alleviate the debilitating symptoms of osteoarthritis and delay the time to joint replacement. In a study now published in Science Translational Medicine, Acevedo Rua and colleagues provide evidence of the therapeutic potential of autologous nasal chondrocyte-derived cartilage grafts in repairing arthritis-damaged knee joints.

    • Ben Abbott
    Research Highlight Open Access
  • Wong and Ngan et al. characterize the expression and structural variation of SARS-CoV-2 subgenomic RNAs (sgRNAs) in diagnostic specimens from symptomatic and asymptomatic COVID-19 patients. In a series of genomic and transcriptomic analyses, the authors observe reduced sgRNA expression and a distinct set of structural deletions in asymptomatic infections compared with symptomatic infections.

    • Chee Hong Wong
    • Chew Yee Ngan
    • Chia-Lin Wei
    Article Open Access
  • Levi and Ubaldi et al. evaluate SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence in a cohort of 4735 healthcare workers in northern Italy. In seropositive individuals, they show that antibodies are maintained over a period of 8 to 10 months and associate changes in antibody levels over this period with symptoms and specific subgroups of participants.

    • Riccardo Levi
    • Leonardo Ubaldi
    • Maria Rescigno
    Article Open Access
  • Nemira et al. study the genomic epidemiology and phylodynamics of SARS-CoV-2 in Belarus. They identify potential introduction routes of the virus from other countries, determine that during the first wave of the pandemic the number of infections was likely several times higher than reported case numbers, and estimate the impact of early non-pharmaceutical interventions on SARS-CoV-2 transmission.

    • Alina Nemira
    • Ayotomiwa Ezekiel Adeniyi
    • Pavel Skums
    Article Open Access
  • de Figueiredo et al. perform a global exploratory study to estimate COVID-19 vaccination acceptance and its determinants based on a survey across 32 countries. With some exceptions, they find that factors associated with increased vaccine acceptance are male sex, age over 65, being highly educated, and a belief that their government is handling the pandemic well.

    • Alexandre de Figueiredo
    • Heidi J. Larson
    Article Open Access
  • Hanlon et al. study the prevalence of frailty and multimorbidity in a cohort of 20,566 UK Biobank participants with type 2 diabetes aged between 40 and 72 years. They observe that, even in this relatively young population, people living with frailty and/or multimorbidity are at increased risk of adverse outcomes including mortality, major adverse cardiovascular events, and hypoglycaemia.

    • Peter Hanlon
    • Bhautesh D. Jani
    • Frances S. Mair
    Article Open Access
  • Improvements in life expectancy have stalled over the last ten years in England, prompting research into the underlying causes. A recent study in The Lancet Public Health examines the relationship between cuts to local government funding and mortality in England.

    • Ben Abbott
    Research Highlight Open Access
  • Kurtovic et al. highlight some of the recent advances in the development and clinical evaluation of malaria vaccines. The authors outline key vaccine strategies and clinical trials, and discuss priorities for research into the development of an efficacious malaria vaccine.

    • Liriye Kurtovic
    • Linda Reiling
    • James G. Beeson
    Comment Open Access
  • Vokinger et al. discuss potential sources of bias in machine learning systems used in medicine. The authors propose solutions to mitigate bias across the different stages of model development, from data collection and preparation to model evaluation and application.

    • Kerstin N. Vokinger
    • Stefan Feuerriegel
    • Aaron S. Kesselheim
    Comment Open Access
  • Wang et al. characterize the tissue distribution of SARS-CoV-2 viral infection and replication as well as the expression of host cell entry factors in postmortem samples from six patients with COVID-19. They report the co-existence of SARS-CoV-2 infection and host entry factors in multiple pulmonary and non-pulmonary tissues.

    • Xiao-Ming Wang
    • Rahul Mannan
    • Rohit Mehra
    Article Open Access