Discovery of hybrid cancer cells reveals how disease spreads

Studies show that hybrid cancer cells (in yellow) combine properties of different cells which can make them more invasive.

Scientists studying skin and breast cancer in genetically modified mice have spotted hybrid cancer cells that combine the properties of different cell types, a discovery that could help understand how cancer spreads in the body and provide a new target for treatment. It is the latest insight in a fast-moving research area that is revealing … Read more

Cleaned-up data shows bigger-than-thought reduction in Europe’s NO2 pollution – Dr Folkert Boersma

New, improved algorithms show that nitrogen dioxide pollution is declining faster than thought in Europe.

An analysis of a newly cleaned-up dataset tracking Europe’s air pollution has revealed that nitrogen dioxide levels are on a steeper downward trend than previously thought, according to Dr Folkert Boersma from the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, who says that ensuring the quality of Earth observation data can reveal new insights into climate change. He … Read more

War can destroy cultural heritage twice – in conflict and in clean-up

Proper documentation of cultural heritage is the key to restoration projects, says Dr Margarete van Ess.

People can inadvertently destroy cultural heritage for a second time when cleaning up conflict sites after a war ends, according to archaeologist Dr Margarete van Ess, who says that databases and education are the best basis for safeguarding sites for the future. She is director of the Orient Department at the German Archaeological Institute and … Read more

Ultrafine pollution particles create air of menace

As many as 6.5 million premature deaths every year are attributed to air pollution, according to the World Health Organization.

An air quality study has for the first time detected nano-sized particles of air pollution in children’s urine. With a diameter of just 100 nanometers – a thousandth of the width of a human hair – these ultrafine particles are the smallest particles found in air pollution and have been linked to heart disease and respiratory conditions … Read more

Omics, sweet omics – curing the incurable, one disease at a time

In recent years, the genetic defects behind about 5,000 of the estimated 7,000-8,000 rare diseases have been discovered, largely thanks to omics.

There are many rare genetic diseases that strike perhaps only one in a million people. Often incurable, they can be profoundly debilitating and frequently life-threatening. Though each particular disease is rare, they number in the thousands – which means that together they affect about 30 million Europeans or around 7% of us. Treating these diseases is challenging … Read more