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AI app could help diagnose HIV more accurately

 Pioneering technology developed by UCL and Africa Health Research Institute (AHRI) researchers could transform the ability to accurately interpret HIV test results, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.

Academics from the London Centre for Nanotechnology at UCL and AHRI used deep learning (artificial intelligence/AI) algorithms to improve health workers’ ability to diagnose HIV using lateral flow tests in rural South Africa.

COVID-19 variant B.1.1.7 more transmissible, but does not increase disease severity in hospitalised patients

An observational study of patients at UCLH and North Middlesex University Hospital, published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, suggests that the B.1.1.7 variant of COVID-19 – sometimes known as the UK or Kent variant – is not associated with more severe illness and death, but appears to lead to higher virus load.

Using lasers to rapidly detect antimicrobial resistance

Antibiotic resistence is a growing global concern and major threat to human health.

The standard method used to detect resistance in bacteria, known as phenotypic antibiotic sensitivity testing, monitors bacterial growth over about 12 – 24 hours and is therefore a slow process. New rapid methods for antibiotic sensitivity testing are urgently needed to improve antibiotic stewardship.

Digital technologies and data privacy in the COVID-19 pandemic

A Nature Medicine review, led by researchers in the EPSRC funded i-sense project, looks at how digital technologies have been mobilised for a global public health response to COVID-19 and the associated concerns with privacy and efficacy in an evolving digital world.

Lead author and Director of i-sense EPSRC IRC at UCL, Prof Rachel McKendry said: “Our review shows that digital technologies have an important role in a comprehensive response to the pandemic, alongside conventional measures.”

Meet our researchers - Dr Leah Frenette

Dr Leah Frenette is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Prof Molly Stevens group at Imperial College London. Her research area and insterests cover nanomaterials chemistry, developing new nanoparticles and investigating how they can be used in infectious disease diagnostics. In this short interview, Leah shares with us her career so far and how she's adapted her research during the COVID-19 lockdown period. 

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