Bacteria passed from mother to baby may play a role in later health

It is believed that the composition of gut bacteria in newborn babies is a strong indicator of future health. Image credit - Pixabay/ blankita_ua, image under Pixabay license

by Vittoria d’Alessio The bacteria and viruses a baby inherit from its mother play a crucial role in determining the child’s health in later life, according to research that could lead to new interventions to tackle conditions like obesity, allergies and colic. If your mother was obese, there is a good chance you will be … Read more

Shoe-mounted laser to ‘unfreeze’ people with Parkinson’s scoops €1 million prize

Having an external visual cue such as a line has been shown to reduce the number of freezing episodes in Parkinson's patients. Image credit - Walk With Path

A shoe-mounted laser beam that helps people with Parkinson’s disease ‘unfreeze’ by shining a green line in front of their feet has been awarded the EU’s €1 million Horizon Prize for Social Innovation. The Path Finder device was invented in 2014 by Danish entrepreneur Lise Pape, whose father suffers from Parkinson’s disease. It aims to help people overcome … Read more

Will we ever cure cancer?

Many of the risk factors to do with cancer are related to lifestyle, so there is concrete action people can take to avoid getting the disease. Image credit - Pixabay/ MabelAmber, licensed under pixabay license

Cancer is a group of diseases that we may never be able to cure completely, but scientists are optimistic that vaccines, personalised medicine and smart lifestyle choices will help prevent and treat a much greater proportion of cases than currently happens. We asked three cancer experts – Nobel laureate Professor Harald zur Hausen, Professor Walter … Read more

Transplant recipients may soon have a test to protect against organ rejection

In 2017, 34,000 transplants were carried out in the EU, while 60,000 people were on a waiting list for a transplant by the end of the year. Image credit - Flickr/Lars Plougmann, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

To help prevent organ rejection, transplant recipients could receive drug cocktails personalised to their own immune systems if a new test, which has passed early trials, is successful. And new methods for scrubbing animal tissue could enable humans to benefit from other species’ organs in the future. In the EU alone, there were 60,000 people on … Read more

How quantum technology could revolutionise the detection and treatment of diseases

Quantum sensors could transform a range of areas from atomic clocks and the way we measure electromagnetic radiation. Image credit - Heiko Grandel for the institute of quantum optics from Ulm.

When you hear the word ‘quantum’, you may imagine physicists working on a new ground breaking theory. Or perhaps you’ve read about quantum computers and how they might change the world. But one lesser-known field is also starting to reap the benefits of the quantum realm – medicine. As part of the EU’s Quantum Technologies Flagship … Read more

Can gut microbes and genes do the job of weight loss surgery?

Scientists have linked post-operative changes in gut bacteria to improvements in metabolic diseases. Image Credit - Sue Sapp (CC BY 2.0)

by Emanuela Barbiroglio Mice that have undergone weight loss surgery experience a change in the composition of their gut bacteria and the functioning of their genes, leading scientists to explore the possibility of mimicking these changes to develop a non-surgical treatment for obesity and liver disease in humans.  Obesity and associated metabolic diseases such as lifestyle-related … Read more