Want to cure disease? Repurpose the body’s cells

Implanting stem cells from elsewhere in the body can help reverse organ damage.

If one part of the body breaks, can you just replace it with cells from another organ? That’s the hope of stem cell scientists who are reprogramming cells to treat major conditions such as incontinence and heart failure. Millions of Europeans are affected by stress urinary incontinence (SUI) which can have a devastating effect on … Read more

Complex diseases get the big data treatment

Large databases can help shine a light on the complexities behind many cardiovascular diseases.

The big data explosion, which allows scientists to analyse factors such as people’s lifestyles, genes and medical records to develop personalised treatments for conditions, has so far mostly benefitted rare diseases with simple causes. But now, complex problems such as cardiovascular disease and dementia are getting the big data treatment. The big data explosion, which … Read more

Noise pollution is one of the biggest health risks in city life

Traffic noise increases people's blood pressure which is related to heart attacks and strokes.

Noise is one of the biggest pollutants in modern cities but the risk is often overlooked despite being linked to an increased risk of early death, according to research conducted by scientists. ‘Noise produces a stimulus to the central nervous system and this stimulus releases some hormones,’ said Dr David Rojas from the Barcelona Institute … Read more

Healthy competition intensifies 30-year quest for HIV vaccine

If the research teams manage to reproduce a response that produces antibodies against all strains of HIV, they could create a universal vaccine.

by Frieda Klotz In 1984, after HIV was identified as the cause of AIDS, the US secretary of health, Margaret Heckler, declared a vaccine would be found within two years. Reports of a mysterious virus predominantly affecting gay men had been growing across the US and, with awareness rising, the World Health Organization had held … Read more

Forensic accounting can predict future food fraud

Researchers are working on methods that are faster than laboratory tests to determine if food has been tampered with.

Food fraud, where different or low-quality food is deliberately mislabelled and sold as high-quality goods, risks the health of consumers as well as the economic viability of producers and manufacturers. To combat this, researchers have figured out that analysing the past and present behaviour of criminal activity could predict what they might target in the … Read more

Rise in vaccine hesitancy related to pursuit of purity – Prof. Heidi Larson

Europe is the most sceptical region in the world when it comes to vaccines, according to the vaccine confidence index.

The rise of alternative health practices and a quest for purity can partly explain the falling confidence in vaccines which is driving outbreaks of preventable diseases such as measles, according to Heidi Larson, professor of anthropology, risk and decision medicine at the UK’s London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. She is working to understand … Read more