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

Large surface area lends superpowers to ultra-porous materials

Metal-organic frameworks as seen under an electron microscope are made up of crystals that together shape multi-dimensional structures with vast surface areas. Image credit - CSIRO/ Dr Paolo Falcaro, Dr Dario Buso, licensed under CC BY 3.0 (color changed)

Some materials are special not for what they contain, but for what they don’t contain. Such is the case with metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) – ultra-porous structures that are being developed for a variety of future applications from fire-proofing to drug-delivery. MOFs are, in fact, the most porous materials known to humankind. One metal-organic framework, so-called NU-110, has … Read more

Europe’s silent opioid epidemic

Codeine addiction is a widespread problem which can be hard to diagnose, study says.

As opiate addiction continues to grip the United States – killing more than 100 people per day in 2016 – researchers are trying to get a handle on the scale of the problem in Europe. The US is grappling with a major crisis driven by dependency on opioid painkillers such as fentanyl. These highly addictive prescription drugs are … Read more