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Coronavirus could survive for LONGER in humid conditions, study finds

Daily Mail - Science & tech

The novel coronavirus that causes Covid-19 can survive in the air for longer in humid conditions, a new study has reported. SARS-CoV-2, which has killed around three-quarters of a million people worldwide, is carried in microscopic droplets emitted during natural respiratory activities, such as breathing, and talking. But in an environment with high humidity – a high concentration of water vapour present in the air – droplets can travel up to 16 feet away. High humidity can extend the airborne lifetime of medium-sized droplets by as much as 23 times, the US researchers claim. Dry air with a low humidity, on the other hand, can accelerate natural evaporation of the droplets and restricts the distance they can travel.

Cloth masks are NOT enough to stop the spread of COVID-19 without social distancing

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Wearing a cloth mask is not enough to prevent the spread of the coronavirus without practicing social distancing, a new study suggests. Researchers from New Mexico State University, in Las Cruces, examined five different types of face coverings. Every material greatly reduced the number of droplets that were spread. However, the team found that the cloth masks let enough sneeze droplets through so, if standing less that six feet apart, a user could breathe enough of them in to potentially fall ill with COVID-19. Five types of face masks were examined with results showing that the N95 (top right) blocked the most at 100% of droplets and the regular cloth mask (bottom left) blocked the least at 96.4% of droplets'A mask definitely helps, but if the people are very close to each other, there is still a chance of spreading or contracting the virus,' said co-author Dr Krishna Kota, an associate professor in the department of mechanical and aerospace engineering at New Mexico State University.

Fat stores in our cells also hold immune proteins to fight infections

New Scientist

Tiny fatty droplets in our cells are part of the immune system and help fight off bacterial infections. Until now the droplets were thought to be among the most vulnerable parts of the cell. Lipid droplets are found in the cells of all complex organisms. They store fats and other lipids, which are essential nutrients. In humans, specialised cells called adipocytes store body fat in the form of lipid droplets. For many years, biologists thought lipid droplets were "just an inert structure, just a storage site", says Robert Parton at the University of Queensland in Australia.

Homemade cotton masks can prevent 99.9% of coronavirus droplets from spraying into the air

Daily Mail - Science & tech

More evidence has emerged that wearing masks can prevent an infected person from spreading the novel coronavirus to others. A new study found that homemade cotton face coverings stop 99.9 percent of contagious droplets from spraying into the air when someone coughs or speaks - and surgical masks prevented 100 percent of droplets. Tests showed a person standing six feet away from someone without a mask was up to 1,000 times greater risk of inhaling droplets than someone standing 1.5 feet away from a coughing person wearing a mask. What's more, even the homemade single-layer cotton mask reduced the number of infectious droplets by more than 1,000-fold. The team, from the University of Edinburgh's Roslin Institute in the UK, says the findings show the importance of wearing a face covering in public so that, if you are infected with COVID-19, you are not sickening others.

Bandana-style masks 'significantly worse' than homemade cotton coverings

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Cone-style well fitting masks and home-made coverings made from multiple fabric layers are the best designs for stopping the spread of coronavirus, study shows. Researchers from Florida Atlantic University examined different materials and designs to find the best option for slowing the spread of virus carrying droplets. These droplets are expelled when someone with COVID-19 coughs or sneezes and tests show loosely-folded masks and bandana-style coverings perform the worst. According to researchers this is because those designs provide minimal stopping-capability for respiratory droplets which can spread up to 8ft if unobstructed. They found a simple bandana-style mask can stop droplets going more than 3ft but a homemade well-fitting cotton-fabric stitched mask stops droplets at 2.5 inches.