MDR WISSEN News: New studies on Long Covid: 65 million sufferers, role of vaccination and molecular causes

01/18/2023, 12:55 p.m. | Fathers were already significantly older than mothers 250,000 years ago

It is not only nowadays that men are older than women when their children are born. This was also the case 250,000 years ago, according to a study by Indiana University. The genetic data of around 1,500 Icelanders were analyzed – with the result that fathers were on average seven years older than mothers in the entire period from 250,000 years ago to the present day.

The authors of the study explain the older age of the men when their children are born primarily with the fact that, from a biological point of view, they have longer opportunities to father children. There are also social factors, such as the pressure on men in patriarchal societies to acquire a certain status before they become fathers.

01/18/2023, 11:40 am | International Space Station: Crew Dragon becomes emergency spacecraft

NASA has declared the Crew Dragon docked at the International Space Station as an emergency spacecraft. The authority announced this on Tuesday (local time) after discussions with the operator SpaceX. The background is a leak on the Russian spacecraft Soyuz MS-22, which is therefore no longer available for a crewed return flight. However, the Crew Dragon Endurance is only intended for use in unplanned emergencies. Soyuz MS-22 is to be replaced by the successor spacecraft MS-23, which will be launched to the ISS in February.

18.01.2023, 10:00 | Corona infection increases the risk of death for pregnant women

If pregnant women become infected with Sars-CoV-2-, this increases the risk of serious illnesses and even death – for both the pregnant woman and her baby. This is the result of an international study that evaluated health data from various countries. In contrast to many previous studies, countries from the Global South were also focused on, such as Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda and South Africa.

In total, the information on 13,136 women who were pregnant during the corona pandemic was analyzed. It was found that those women who were suffering from Covid-19 during this time had an eight times higher risk of death than those who did not become infected. In addition, those infected were four times more likely to need treatment in an intensive care unit; She was 15 times more likely to need mechanical ventilation and five times more likely to need any type of intensive care. In addition, the risk of suffering from pneumonia increased by a factor of 23 for the infected women and by a factor of five for blood clots.

The risk of complications also increased for babies born after the mother had Covid 19 disease. She was twice as likely to need treatment in a neonatal intensive care unit. The risk of preterm birth (before the 34th week) was almost three times higher and the risk of being underweight at birth was 19 percent higher. The authors of the study emphasize that their findings illustrate the importance of vaccinating pregnant women and that this should also be incorporated into future health policy.

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