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Stories from May, 2021


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Out now – our May 2021 Newsletter

May 2021 Newsletter – Top 10 Quiz Answers

Top 10 selling [physical] singles of all time:

  1. White Christmas – Bing Crosby, 1942
  2. Candle in the Wind – Elton John, 1997
  3. In the Summertime – Mungo Jerry, 1970
  4. I Will Always Love You – Whitney Houston, 1992
  5. Rock Around the Clock – Bill Haley & His Comets, 1954
  6. It’s Now or Never – Elvis Presley, 1960
  7. We Are the World – USA for Africa, 1985
  8. If I Didn’t Care – The Ink Spots, 1939
  9. Yes Sir, I Can Boogie – Baccara, 1977
  10. My Heart Will Go On – Celine Dion, 1997

Top 10 selling [digital] singles of all time:

  1. Shape of You – Ed Sheeran, 2017
  2. Despacito – Luis Fonsi featuring Daddy Yankee, 2017
  3. Spotlight – Xiao Zhan, 2020
  4. Work – Rihanna featuring Drake, 2016
  5. Something Just like This – The Chainsmokers and Coldplay, 2017
  6. Perfect – Ed Sheeran, 2017
  7. See You Again – Wiz Khalifa featuring Charlie Puth, 2015
  8. Closer – The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey, 2016
  9. Rolling in the Deep – Adele, 2011
  10. Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars, 2014

Highest grossing films of all time

  1. Avatar – 2009
  2. Avengers: Endgame – 2019
  3. Titanic – 1997
  4. Star Wars: The Force Awakens – 2015
  5. Avengers: Infinity War –  2018
  6. Jurassic World – 2015
  7. The Lion King – 2019
  8. The Avengers – 2012
  9. Furious 7 – 2015
  10. Frozen II – 2019

Top 10 bestselling fiction books of all time:

  1. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, JK Rowling – 1997
  2. The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry – 1943
  3. Dream of the Red Chamber, Cao Xueqin – 18th century
  4. The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien – 1937
  5. And Then There Were None, Agatha Christie – 1939
  6. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis – 1950
  7. She: A History of Adventure, H Rider Haggard – 1887
  8. The Adventures of Pinocchio (Le avventure di Pinocchio), Carlo Collodi, Italy – 1881
  9. The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown – 2003
  10. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, JK Rowling – 1998

Top 10 bestselling author of all time:

  1. William Shakespeare
  2. Agatha Christie
  3. Barbara Cartland
  4. Danielle Steel
  5. Harold Robbins
  6. Georges Simenon
  7. Enid Blyton
  8. Sidney Sheldon
  9. JK Rowling
  10. Gilbert Patten

[Answers taken from Wikipedia]



Virtual London Marathon – Places Available!

The VIRTUAL Virgin Money London Marathon returns this October 2021, giving you the chance to take part in this year’s Guinness World Record-breaking attempt!

General entry is now sold out.  The only way to be a part of the world’s biggest-ever marathon is to secure a charity place, and Breathing Matters is lucky to have a few coveted places.

Whilst 50,000 runners are running the traditional London Marathon from Blackheath to The Mall, a further 50,000 runners in the virtual event will be running the same distance, just in a place of their choosing!  Last year’s Virtual Virgin Money London Marathon, which was held for the first time in 2020, was awarded an official Guinness World Records title for the Most users to run a remote marathon in 24 hours’ at 37,966 runners.  The organisers want to smash this record in the 2021 race – and if they do, every runner will have the opportunity to claim their official world record certificate.

Run 26.2 miles on your own course over 24 hours – Your Run Your Way!

  • Date:            Sunday 3rd October 2021, 00:00:00 to 23:59:59
  • Where:         Anywhere
  • Register by: 16th July 2021
  • Entry:            £20 plus £200 sponsorship

Email to sign up now.

Don’t miss your chance to become a world record holder!


Check out the London Marathon Training Hub

Be proud to run for Breathing Matters and wear one of our running vests or T-shirts, available from our online shop

Are NETS the link between COVID-19 and ILD?

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers are investigating how the virus causes lung damage, in order to help identify treatment strategies. There is some overlap between the mechanisms being studied in COVID-19 and Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD).  One of these is the production of structures known as ‘NETs’ in the lungs. A clinical trial currently led by Professor Porter at UCL aims to understand whether targeting these NETs improves outcomes for COVID-19 patients. This continues a line of work investigating the role of NETs in ILD.

NETs is short for Neutrophil Extracellular Traps. They contain DNA, enzymes, and proteins, and are produced by the neutrophil (a white blood cell) to fight infection.  The role of NETs in COVID-19 pneumonia is also under investigation. A study published last year showed that some of the markers of NETs used in Professor Porter’s ILD study were found in blood samples from COVID-19 patients (2). The levels of these markers correlated with other blood tests known to signify inflammation. Furthermore, adding blood samples from patients with COVID-19 to healthy neutrophils in the lab caused them to produce NETs. This could mean that NET production is related to lung damage in patients with COVID-19 pneumonia.

Further research is needed to determine whether NETs are a cause or by-product of lung damage in these diseases. However, knowing that NETs are associated with severe COVID-19, and that they are present in the lungs of patients with ILD, means that they could be used as a ‘biomarker’ – a molecular signal of lung damage. Promisingly, it could mean that reducing the activity of NETs in the lungs is a potential treatment strategy in the future.

The crossover between NETs in COVID-19 and ILD demonstrates the importance of ongoing research in this field. The team at UCL Respiratory are incredibly grateful for the support of Breathing Matters in helping to facilitate this research.

If you would like to help us continue our important work, please support us at:



  1. Khawaja AA, Chong DLW, Sahota J, Mikolasch TA, Pericleous C, Ripoll VM, Booth HL, Khan S, Rodriguez-Justo M, Giles IP, Porter JC. Identification of a Novel HIF-1α-αMβ2 Integrin-NET Axis in Fibrotic Interstitial Lung Disease. Front Immunol. 2020 Oct 15;11:2190. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2020.02190. PMID: 33178179; PMCID: PMC7594517.
  2. Zuo Y, Yalavarthi S, Shi H, Gockman K, Zuo M, Madison JA, Blair C, Weber A, Barnes BJ, Egeblad M, Woods RJ, Kanthi Y, Knight JS. Neutrophil extracellular traps in COVID-19. JCI Insight. 2020 Jun 4;5(11):e138999. doi: 10.1172/jci.insight.138999. PMID: 32329756; PMCID: PMC7308057.