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Michael Head

Michael Head

Senior Research Fellow in Global Health, University of Southampton
Dr Michael Head is a Senior Research Fellow in Global Health, based in the Clinical Informatics Research Unit at the University of Southampton, UK. He has a background in public health research and infectious disease epidemiology, with research links in Ghana, Togo, Ethiopia and Brazil. His main research interests are pneumonia and also Neglected Tropical Diseases, including scabies and onchocerciasis. Michael also analyses portfolios of research, to review levels of funding for different diseases and to provide insight into research strength, knowledge gaps, and future priorities. He has communicated extensively with the written and TV media throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Why is whooping cough surging in the UK? Falling vaccination rates may be answer

May 15, 2024 07:27 am UTC| Health

A large outbreak of pertussis (more commonly known as whooping cough) has been ongoing in the UK since the beginning of 2024. There have been 2,793 confirmed cases so far this year. Sadly, five infant deaths due to...

AstraZeneca’s COVID vaccine withdrawn – right to the end it was the victim of misinformation

May 09, 2024 07:10 am UTC| Insights & Views Health

The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine was a critical part of the COVID-19 pandemic response. However, on May 7 2024, the European Commission announced the vaccine is no longer authorised for use. This EU announcement was...

Food prices will climb everywhere as temperatures rise due to climate change – new research

Mar 25, 2024 05:09 am UTC| Insights & Views Life Economy

Climate change, and specifically rising temperatures, may cause food prices to increase by 3.2% per year, according to a new study by researchers in Germany. As climate change continues to worsen, this price inflation will...

Scabies: UK facing unusually large outbreaks – and treatment shortages appear mostly to blame

Jan 08, 2024 22:24 pm UTC| Health

Scabies is an unpleasant skin infection thats common all around the world. Outbreaks happen regularly with an estimated 450 million cases occurring globally each year. But since the start of winter, outbreaks in the UK...

Billions is spent on cancer research globally – but is it money well spent?

Jun 03, 2023 03:27 am UTC| Insights & Views Business

In 2020, 19 million people around the world received a cancer diagnosis. By 2040, that number is expected to reach 28 million. Poorer countries will be especially hard hit, with an increasing number of cases and more...

Leprosy, scabies and yaws - Togo's neglected tropical skin diseases need attention

Mar 28, 2023 14:17 pm UTC| Health

Neglected tropical diseases are a group of 20 diseases found mostly in tropical regions that are strongly associated with poverty. Among them are skin diseases like scabies, leprosy and yaws. They are caused by some...

Three years on, the COVID pandemic may never end – but the public health impact is becoming more manageable

Mar 13, 2023 12:18 pm UTC| Insights & Views

Three years ago, on March 11 2020, World Health Organization (WHO) director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus first formally described COVID-19 as a pandemic. The impact of the pandemic on all aspects of society has...

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Economy

Latest inflation figures are good news

The U.S. economy is slowing, but not crashing. In the dismal science, this is what counts as good news. Thats the message I took away from the latest inflation data, released May 15, 2024, which showed U.S. consumer...

The budget is full of good news, but good news isn’t the same as good management

This years budget has something for everyone, with very little in the way of cuts and no new taxes. Its a classic good news pre-election budget. Whether it is too good to be true hinges on whether this budget...

Interest rates: the ugly dilemma facing Europe’s central banks – and why it’s a mistake to cut too soon

Central banks in Europe are discovering an old dilemma: when they lower interest rates because inflation is slowing down, its likely to weaken their currencies. This in turn may delay the fall in inflation towards their...

Europe is still in short-term crisis mode over Ukraine and lacks a vision for its post-war identity

Some believe that the war in Ukraine has fundamentally changed Europe, giving birth to a different kind of European order. That is, it appears to be driving structural shifts in the way Europe is run and organised that...

Mortgage prisoners: regulatory changes and low credit scores have left thousands trapped in a cycle of high payments

There are 8.5 million households in the UK who own a home with a residential mortgage, often with fixed interest rates from two to five years. Usually, when that mortgage deal ends, the borrower will move to another deal...

Politics

Why is the government proposing caps on international students and how did we get here?

The federal government is due to introduce legislation on Thursday to enable new caps on the number of international student places at educational institutions in Australia. These include universities, TAFEs and private...

Britain is not as broken as everyone seems to think

According to many politicians and commentators, the UK is in a very sorry state. Ahead of the general election expected this year, Labour leader Keir Starmer has pledged to fix broken Britain. He has spoken of his vow...

Belief in democracy is on the decline in Africa

Democracy in Africa has not had a good year. Military juntas from Mali to Niger appear to have cemented their grip on power. Sudans democratic dreams were dashed when the countrys two most powerful strongmen opted for war....

Term limits aren’t the answer

Theres no denying that the current Congress has been one of the most chaotic in recent memory. The paralysis in 2023 and 2024 over the selection of the speaker of the House helped lead to one of Congress most unproductive...

An obscure provision of Ohio law could keep Biden off the ballot there in November

President Joe Biden might not appear on the November 2024 presidential ballot in Ohio. Ohio law requires that presidential candidates be certified that is, the state must be notified that presidential candidates have been...

Science

Black holes are mysterious, yet also deceptively simple − a new space mission may help physicists answer hairy questions about these astronomical objects

Physicists consider black holes one of the most mysterious objects that exist. Ironically, theyre also considered one of the simplest. For years, physicists like me have been looking to prove that black holes are more...

Is dark matter’s main rival theory dead? There’s bad news from the Cassini spacecraft and other recent tests

One of the biggest mysteries in astrophysics today is that the forces in galaxies do not seem to add up. Galaxies rotate much faster than predicted by applying Newtons law of gravity to their visible matter, despite those...

Why are algorithms called algorithms? A brief history of the Persian polymath you’ve likely never heard of

Algorithms have become integral to our lives. From social media apps to Netflix, algorithms learn your preferences and prioritise the content you are shown. Google Maps and artificial intelligence are nothing without...

IceCube researchers detect a rare type of energetic neutrino sent from powerful astronomical objects

About a trillion tiny particles called neutrinos pass through you every second. Created during the Big Bang, these relic neutrinos exist throughout the entire universe, but they cant harm you. In fact, only one of them is...

The Mars Sample Return mission has a shaky future, and NASA is calling on private companies for backup

A critical NASA mission in the search for life beyond Earth, Mars Sample Return, is in trouble. Its budget has ballooned from US$5 billion to over $11 billion, and the sample return date may slip from the end of this...

Technology

Samsung to Increase Outsourcing Smartphone Production in China to 25% of 2024 Output

Samsung plans to significantly boost its smartphone production by outsourcing to Chinese manufacturers, increasing output from 44 million to 67 million units. Samsungs Outsourcing Strategy Targets Cost...

Elon Musk’s xAI to Build Oracle-Powered Supercomputer, Expands Grok to Europe

Elon Musk revealed that xAI plans to construct a supercomputer, partnering with Oracle, to enhance its AI automaton Grok. The company targets operational status by autumn 2025. Building a Future with Oracle In a...

Trump Vows US Will Lead Crypto Industry, Rejects ‘Second Place’

Former President Donald Trump vowed to support cryptocurrency enterprises, asserting the US should not settle for second place in the crypto industry. Trumps Vision for Crypto Dominance As per Cointelegraph, Trump...

How Fast-Food Prices Have Escalated Dramatically Under Joe Biden Since 2020

Fast-food prices have surged significantly since President Biden took office, transforming affordable meals into luxuries for many Americans. Rising Fast-Food Costs Turn Dining Out into a Luxury for Many...
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