From womb to tomb: tackling diseases by knowing the surrounding influences

Researchers are examining the range of environmental effects on people’s health over their whole lives. By  Jack McGovan Three decades ago, Professor Martine Vrijheid was investigating the prevalence of birth defects near hazardous waste sites across Europe as part of her PhD work. She found that there was indeed an increased risk close to dumps. … Read more

Rainwater in cities causes more troubles than wet feet

Researchers are looking at how to tackle pollutants in urban runoff and overflowing sewers. By  Jessica Berthereau Near the medieval Belgian city of Ghent, in the municipality of Wetteren, researchers are trying to reduce pollutants in rainwater using seashells. Millions of shells from the nearby North Sea collect and filter water that flows during rainfall … Read more

New foods can go from yucky to yummy as people’s perceptions evolve

Bugs, microalgae and bacteria are emerging as healthy and sustainable alternatives to traditional proteins. By Pieter Devuyst Dr Janina Seubert believes the path to healthier human diets is through the nose. Seubert, a cognitive neuroscientist at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, is researching the role of smell in shaping public preferences towards foods. She’s curious … Read more

Plant-based foods improve health and environment, says top EU scientific advisor

A shift in diets is central to tackling obesity and climate change, according to Eric Lambin, a member of the European Commission’s Group of Chief Scientific Advisors. By  HORIZON STAFF Human health is inextricably linked to food and the environment. The world, including Europe, faces emergencies on all three fronts. The current food system is damaging … Read more

Young cancer survivors in Europe get increased post-cure help

As medical advances in oncology enable more patients to beat tumours, greater attention is being paid to secondary effects from treatment. By  ANTHONY KING Leontien Kremer shifted the entire focus of her work as a young doctor in 1997 after an encounter she had with a cured cancer patient. ‘We had treated a boy of … Read more