Budding scientists, techies, engineers and mathematicians from schools across the UK inspire new ideas to tackle malaria

Anopheles mosquito malaria
Anopheles mosquito malaria

Science-led healthcare company GSK challenged school children across the UK to come up with their own solutions to the problem posed by malaria and by doing so, they hope to ignite a real creative spark and enthusiasm for STEM subjects in school.

The future of scientific research and development in the UK looks to be bright, as the children took to up the challenge with gusto, and one idea in particular being recognised for its potential. Excellent in its simplicity, as many solutions often are, and the question from one extraordinary group of school children was if holy basil was used with other natural products commonly found in areas most affected by malaria, it could be used to make a new mosquito repellent, that could have the potential to keep mosquitos at bay for up to eight hours!

In our video, some of our future scientists and engineers showcase their skills at the Science Museum at the ‘Mission Control: Fight Malaria’ event…

World Antibiotic Awareness Week – How much do you know about antibiotic resistance?

How much do you know about antibiotic resistance?
How much do you know about antibiotic resistance?

As many of you know today is World Antibiotic Awareness Week. Am important topic for many of us. Indeed the World Health authority has put up a short online quiz asking “How much do you know about antibiotic resistance?”. You can take the test by dropping round here.

Many thanks in advance

Tuberculosis – What are the signs and symptoms of TB?

Tuberculosis symptoms
Tuberculosis symptoms

Häggström, Mikael. “Medical gallery of Mikael Häggström 2014“.

Tuberculosis (TB) is a bacterial infection that mainly affects the lungs. However, it can affect any part of the body, including the glands, bones and nervous system.

TB is spread through inhaling tiny droplets from the coughs or sneezes of an infected person. Not everybody is infectious and it does take close and lengthy contact with an infected person. It is a serious condition, but can be cured with proper treatment.

Typical symptoms of TB include:_

a persistent cough that lasts more than three weeks and usually brings up phlegm, which may be bloody
weight loss
night sweats
high temperature (fever)
tiredness and fatigue
loss of appetite
new swellings that haven’t gone away after a few weeks


Awareness raising is specifically recommended in the Collaborative TB Strategy for England.

TB Patient Experience Day came up with the idea of a short animation that we could spread through established communications pathways and social media. We asked for the help and support of our colleagues in De Montfort University. Pinky Bazaz, lecturer of Design within the Creative Industries, was approached to help create a simple animation to raise awareness of TB. The animation needed to be visual and simple so it could be shared with the local community and get the message across to hard to reach communities, particularly where English is not their first language.

Pinky, along with MA Digital Design student Matthew Brookes and Nick Niggett (MA Digital Design Programme Leader) developed an informative animation which aims to educate viewers on the signs and symptoms of TB, let them know who is at a higher risk and where to seek help if you think you or someone you know may have TB.

How long is someone infectious after a viral infection?

How long is someone infectious after a viral infection?
How long is someone infectious after a viral infection?


[Original article on NHS Choices website]

The length of time you’re infectious for after having a viral infection depends on the type of virus involved. The infectious period often begins before you start to feel unwell or notice a rash.

The infectious periods for some common viral infections are described below.


The length of time that bronchitis is infectious varies, depending on its cause. In most cases, bronchitis is caused by the same viruses that cause the common cold or flu and you’re likely to be infectious as long as you have cold or flu symptoms.


Chickenpox is infectious from about one to two days before the rash appears until all the blisters have fully crusted or scabbed over. This is usually five to six days after the start of the rash.

Common cold

The common cold is infectious from a few days before your symptoms appear until all of the symptoms are gone. Most people will be infectious for around two weeks.

Symptoms are usually worse during the first two to three days and this is when you’re most likely to spread the virus.

Flu (influenza)

Flu is usually most infectious from the day your symptoms start and for a further three to seven days. Children and people with lowered immune systems may be infectious for a few days longer.

Glandular fever

Glandular fever is infectious during the incubation period (the time between catching the virus and developing the symptoms). For glandular fever, this can be two to four weeks.

Some people have the virus in their saliva for a few months after recovering from glandular fever, and may continue to have the virus in their saliva on and off for years. However, glandular fever isn’t very infectious and the length of time people remain infectious varies considerably.


Symptoms of measles appear around 10 days after you become infected. Measles is most infectious after the first symptoms appear and before the rash develops.

First symptoms of measles include:

a high temperature
red eyes
sensitivity to light
cold-like symptoms – such as a runny nose, watery eyes, swollen eyelids and sneezing

Around two to four days later, a red-brown spotty rash develops that normally fades after about a week.


Mumps causes your salivary glands to swell. These glands are just below and in front of your ears. Mumps is most infectious from a few days before your glands swell until a few days afterwards.

Rubella (German measles)

Rubella is infectious for one week before the rash appears and for up to four days afterwards.

You should stay away from school or work for six days after the rash starts to avoid infecting others and try to avoid contact with pregnant women during this time.


Shingles is infectious from when the rash first appears until the last blister has scabbed over. This is usually after about 10-14 days.


Tonsillitis itself isn’t contagious but the viruses that cause it are. The length of time you’re infectious will depend on the virus. Read more on the causes of tonsillitis.