Female Scientists at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19

The 6th International Day of Women and Girls in Science Assembly, is celebrated internationally on February 11 to raise awareness on the issue of celebrating women’s excellence in science. Gender equality is essential to achieve peaceful societies, with full human potential and to achieve all the goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development agenda and its 17 Global Goals.

The Scientist Covid19 - Selva Ozelli

 

Recovery Roses - Selva Ozelli

 

“The Scientist ” and Recovery Roses by Selva Ozelli

 Portrait of Alisa Stellini student of science

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly demonstrated the critical role of women researchers in different stages of the fight against COVID-19, from advancing the knowledge on the virus, to developing techniques for testing, and finally to creating the first vaccine against the virus.

The 2021 main event will take place online and will address the theme “Women Scientists at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19” by gathering together experts working in fields related to the pandemic from different parts of the world.

For example, Dr. Ozlem Tureci Co-founder and Chief Medical Officer of BioNTech who developed a COVID-19 vaccine will be a speaker at the UN event.

Climate change may have contributed to the  emergence of Covid-19

“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused tremendous social and economic damage. Governments must seize the opportunity to reduce health risks from infectious diseases by taking decisive action to mitigate climate change. The fact that climate change can accelerate the transmission of wildlife pathogens to humans should be an urgent wake-up call to reduce global emissions”  explained Professor Andrea Manica who co-authored a study that found that human-caused climate change “may have played a key role” in the covid-19 pandemic.

The new study examined how changes in climate over the past century have transformed the forests of Southeast Asia, resulting in an explosion of an additional 40 species of bats which have moved into the region, carrying with them 100 more types of bat-borne coronaviruses.   Scientists believe the virus that started the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic originated in bats before it crossed paths with humans.

“If bats carrying around 100 coronaviruses expanded into a new area due to climate change, then it would seem likely that this increases, rather than decreases, the chance that a coronavirus harmful to humans is present, transmitted, or evolved in this area,” explained Dr. Robert Beyer, lead author of and a researcher at the University of Cambridge.

The 5th International Climate Change Conference (ICCC 2021) hosted by environment science leaders in Sri Lanka will take place virtually on February 18 to 19th, 2021 with the theme of “Sustainable Development and Climate Change in Developing and Least Developed Countries ” where the current climate issues and mitigation of the effects to increase resilience will be discussed 

Climate change-related air pollution worsens the impact of Covid-19

Research from Rachel Nethery, Xiauo Wu, Francesca Dominici, and other colleagues at Harvard Chan has found that people who live in places with poor air quality are more likely to die from COVID-19 even when accounting for other factors that may influence the risk of death such as pre-existing medical conditions, socioeconomic status, and access to healthcare.

This finding is consistent with prior research that has shown that people who are exposed to more air pollution and who smoke fare worse with respiratory infections than those who are breathing cleaner air, and who don’t smoke.

For example, a small increase in long-term exposure to higher particulate matter leads to a large increase in COVID-19 death rate and increased the chances of hospitalization for pneumonia and emergency department visits according to studies Exposure to air pollution and COVID-19 mortality in the United States (Harvard University, preprint, 2019); The association between respiratory infection and air pollution in the setting of air quality policy and economic change (Annals of the American Thoracic Society, 2019).

Recovery Roses - Selva Ozelli

 

The Scientist 2 - Selva Ozelli

Recovery Roses & The Scientist by Selva Ozelli

Portrait of Sofia Ozelli student of science

 

Portraits in this article have been published by CIMUSET-International Committee for Museums of Science & Technology https://www.facebook.com/cimuset.

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