News round-up (12 February)

man looking at online news headlines
12th February 2021 about a 3 minute read
The big news this week is the Government’s announcement of its plans for reorganising the NHS.  Health Secretary Matt Hancock told the House of Commons that steps for improving the health of the nation would include tackling obesity and the fluoridation of water. But meanwhile, in other news, we’ve searched out some stories you may have missed…

New research shows huge fall in new HIV infections after roll-out of PrEP in Scotland

A research study led by Glasgow Caledonian University has revealed a 20 per cent reduction in new HIV diagnosis in gay and bisexual men as a result of the implementation of the first PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) drug programme in Scotland in July 2017.

The research, funded by Public Health Scotland and published in the AIDS online journal here, also revealed a large cohort of men attending sexual health clinics fell by 43 per cent.

The Role of Data in AI

For all you data nerds out there, the open access website Zenodo has published the report from the Role of Data in AI project, commissioned by the Data Governance Working Group of the Global Partnership of AI (GPAI).  

The consortium was led by the Digital Curation Centre, with partners Trilateral Research and The School of Informatics, the University of Edinburgh. 

The report digs more deeply into the issues raised within the Data Governance Framework and identifies areas where GPAI could make an impact in deepening international collaboration.

How tech went big on green energy

The Financial Times technology sector ‘big read’ has a piece on how, to meet ambitious climate pledges, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft have become the dominant buyers of clean power.

In fact Amazon leads corporate clean energy buying in the US.

Update on the Government’s Grand Challenge missions

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has published an update on progress with the  Grand Challenges aimed at putting the UK at the forefront of the industries of the future.

Each mission focuses on a specific problem, bringing government, businesses and organisations across the country together to make a real difference to people’s lives.

For example the Artificial Intelligence and data challenge aims to use data, Artificial Intelligence and innovation to transform the prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of chronic diseases by 2030.

The future of solar technology: New technology makes foldable cells a practical reality

The Tech Xplore website notes that with the recent development of foldable mobile phone screens, research on foldable electronics has never been so intensive. 

One particularly useful application of the foldable technology is in solar panels as current solar cells are restricted to rigid, flat panels.

These are difficult to store in large numbers and integrate into everyday appliances, including phones, windows, vehicles, or indoor devices. But that is changing…

Portugal says AstraZeneca vaccine preferably only for under-65s

Reuters reports that Portugal’s health ministry has said the AstraZeneca vaccine should preferably be used on under-65s.

It is the latest European country to express reservations about its efficacy on older people.

Still, the ministry said, the vaccination of a person of 65 years or more should not be delayed if the AstraZeneca vaccine is the only one available.

Portugal has recorded 765,414 coronavirus cases and 14,158 deaths