The genetics of side-effects

Henk-Jan Guchelaar knows all too well the serious problems that the side–effects of medication can cause. As a professor of clinical pharmacy at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands, he has spent the last two decades trying to get the link between medicine and our genes recognised more widely.  The stories he hears from patients and their families bring home … Read more

Q&A: How vaccines can strengthen immune response beyond a specific disease

Live vaccines can give health effects beyond just protecting us from a specific disease and may even help us combat other infections such as Covid-19, according to Christine Stabell Benn, a professor in global health at the University of Southern Denmark. We often think about vaccines protecting us against a specific disease – training the … Read more

Q&A: Talking about the ‘race’ for a coronavirus vaccine could reduce public confidence

People’s willingness to have a vaccine changes depending on how at risk they feel, says anthropologist Heidi Larson. Image credit - RF._.studio/Pexels, licensed under the Pexels licence

Efforts to achieve herd immunity against Covid-19 with a vaccine could be hampered by low levels of confidence in immunisation programs in some European countries, warns Professor Heidi Larson, director of the Vaccine Confidence Project and an anthropologist at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, in the UK. Surveys conducted by the project during the … Read more

Lack of solidarity hampered Europe’s coronavirus response, research finds

Competition between European countries for equipment, test kits and medicines needed to tackle Covid-19 may have hampered the region’s ability to respond to the pandemic. Greater sharing of resources, hospital capacity and even healthcare staff are needed to cope with pandemics in the future, according to researchers examining the public health response to coronavirus across … Read more

Electronic skin patches could restore lost sensation and detect disease

Researchers in Europe are working on elastic membrane patches that mimic how the skin looks and feels and can collect information related to the wearer. Image credit - Aaron Lee/Unsplash

by Vittoria D’Alessio Picture this: You’ve experienced no physical sensation beyond your wrists for years, then a doctor drapes a thin, flexible membrane over your hand and, like magic, you can feel the trickle of water through your fingers again. This may sound like an outlandish scenario, but it’s not. Researchers across Europe are making rapid … Read more