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From Sea Turtles to the COVID-19 Pandemic: A new Xjenza Online issue

Travelling about 13,000 kilometres in a year, sea turtles are real migrants of the Mediterranean. With such great distances, one would expect that injuries at the limbs pose a grave threat to the animals. To find out the movement patterns of Maltese sea turtles, researchers from the Aquaculture Directorate at Fort San Luċjan attached GPS trackers to five turtles, three of which were injured, to track where they were going. Astonishingly, there
wasn’t much difference in the distance they travelled. This finding, published in the peer-reviewed science journal Xjenza Online, suggests that sea turtles, at least when they are given time to rehabilitate from the injury, are able to migrate normally.

Map of the route taken by the five turtles, Carmine, Doris, Alison, Janis, and Tama, released from Malta and tracked with transmitters for 92 to 292 days. 

In Xjenza Online, other Maltese research publications included economics, medicine, mathematics and other topics. Researchers used mathematical methods to understand price multiplier effects in Malta. In medicine, others looked into how elastomers, a rubber-like material, can be used in orthopaedic (bone) implants. They concluded that although the use of elastomers is still in its infancy, it has a huge potential to replace joints or rebalance weight distribution. In another article, mathematicians used a statistical method, frailty models, to identify the risks of aortic (heart) valve
replacement. Dr Sheriseane Diacono and her colleagues studied the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. They found that 88% of the healthcare workers in Malta have experienced an increased level of stress during the pandemic. Another study by Dr Anne-Marie Agius and her colleagues looked into the impact of the pandemic on dental academics. They found that although online teaching was widely adopted, students had a decreased level of hands-on skills which are essential for dentists.

Health Care Workers Participants who reported the same amount or an increase in stress levels during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Xjenza Online, the Malta Chamber of Scientist’s science journal, publishes articles about different areas of research, from mathematics and medicine to economics and social sciences. Xjenza Online is a free open access journal, striving to make science research in Malta all the more accessible to fellow researchers and citizens. Contributions in any fields of science, technology and social sciences and humanities are welcomed and researchers are invited to submit their articles through our website.

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