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The great big biomedical science quiz: 2021 roundup

As we say goodbye to 2021, we finish the year with two rounds of questions to test members’ knowledge on the pandemic and science headlines from the last 12 months. (Scroll to the bottom for a link to the answers.)

Round one: The pandemic

1. What does the 19 stand for in COVID-19?

  • It was discovered in 2019
  • It is the nineteenth known coronavirus
  • There are 19 variants

2. What does the “corona”, mean in coronavirus?

  • Sun
  • Crown
  • Respiratory

3. An effective hand sanitiser contains at least what percentage of alcohol to kill the coronavirus?

  •  20%
  •  60%
  •  90%

4. In which month were nightclubs reopened for the first time in England?

  • June 
  • July
  • August

5. What is the estimated total cost of NHS Test and Trace so far?

  • £14bn 
  • £37bn 
  • £97bn

6. In November, what type of animal tested positive for COVID-19 for the first time in the UK?

  • Cat 
  • Dog 
  • Squirrel

7. As of 11 November, what percentage of the global population was estimated to have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine?

  • 15% 
  • 39% 
  • 53%

8. Which region has had the most confirmed cases of COVID-19?

  • Americas 
  • Europe 
  • South East Asia

9. In October, which of the following countries recorded their first case of coronavirus?

  • Tonga 
  • North Korea 
  • Turkmenistan

10. How long was the lockdown in Sydney that ended in October?

  • 65 days 
  • 99 days 
  • 107 days

Round two: A year in science

1. January – In Lyon, France, the first transplant of what was performed on an Icelandic patient?

  • All limbs 
  • Both arms and shoulders
  • Stomach

2. February – Scientists reported the first sequencing of DNA from animal remains more than a million years old. What was the animal?

  • Mammoth 
  • Jellyfish 
  • Coelacanth

3. April – A vaccine with 77% efficacy after one year – the first to meet the WHO’s goal of 75% efficacy – was reported by the University of Oxford. What disease does it protect against?

  • COVID-19 
  • Malaria 
  • Tuberculosis

4. May – Scientists reported that what type of diet protects against memory decline and mediotemporal atrophy by decreasing amyloidosis and tau-pathology?

  • Vegetarian diet 
  • Vegan diet
  • Mediterranean diet

5. May – Researchers reported that which animals were successfully trained to detect COVID-19 infections via samples?

  • Bees 
  • Otters
  • Zebra fish

6 .July – Scientists reported in a preprint that the viral load in the first positive test of infections with the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant was on average approximately  how much higher compared with infections during 2020?

  • 1000 times 
  • 100 times 
  • 10 times

7. September – Bioengineers announced the development of a viable gene-editing system that is about twice as compact as those commonly used at present. What is it called?

  • CassMark2 
  • CasMINI 
  • MaMa Cass

8. September – A drug already approved for human use was shown to reverse atherosclerosis, the process responsible for heart attacks, in mice. What is the drug?

  • Fentanyl 
  • Cysteamine 
  • Ketamine

9. October – David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2021 for what?

  • Pioneering work on the gene editing tool CRISPR–Cas9 
  • The discovery of receptors for temperature and touch 
  • Work on coronavirus vaccine development

10. November – A report from Genomics England and NHS England stated genome sequencing could save the NHS millions of pounds through helping to detect rare diseases. What percentage of the UK population is affected by rare, inherited diseases?

  • 0.2% 
  • 3% 
  • 6%

Click here to see the answers (correct answers highlighted pink).

Image credit |Shutterstock

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