• Warmer climate contributes to spread of the Zika virus

    The Aedes mosquitos that carry the Zika virus and dengue fever are not just perfectly adapted to life in cities, writes Nadia Pontes. They are also being helped along by warming climates which increase their range. It's time to get serious about the health implications of a hotter planet.

    Global warming affects the abundance and distribution of disease vectors. As regions that used to be drier and colder start to register higher temperatures and more rain, mosquitoes expand their breeding areas, which increases the number of populations at

    The explosion in the number of Latin American cases of microcephaly - a congenital condition associated with maldevelopment of the brain - has become an international emergency due its "strongly suspected"link with the rapidly spreading Zika virus, according to the World Health Organisation(WHO).

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  • Over 50 Percent of the World Breathes in Toxic Air

    Everyone needs clean air to survive, yet somehow it is not an internationally recognized human right. That probably has something to do with the fact that over half of the world’s population live in areas where they breathe in toxic air. Altogether, that means there are more than 3.5 billion people inhaling dangerous air into their lungs on a daily basis.

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  • Who would have guessed this? Study finds vacations can lead to weight gains!

    A week's vacation may leave many adults with a heavier midsection--extra weight that can hang around even six weeks post-vacation.

    A faculty member in the University of Georgia's College of Family and Consumer Sciences found that adults going on a one- to three-week vacation gained an average of nearly 1 pound during their trips. With the average American reportedly gaining 1-2 pounds a year, the study's findings suggest an alarming trend.

    "If you're only gaining a pound or two a year and you gained three-quarters of that on a one- to three-week vacation, that's a pretty substantial weight gain during a short period of time," said Jamie Cooper, an associate professor in the college's department of foods and nutrition.

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  • Seafood Consumption May Play a Role in Reducing Risk for Alzheimer's

    New research published Feb. 2 in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that older adults with a major risk gene for Alzheimer’s disease known as APOEÉ›4 who ate at least one seafood serving per week showed fewer signs of Alzheimer’s-related brain changes.  In contrast, this association was not found in the brains of volunteers who ate fish weekly but did not carry the risk gene.   

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  • Air pollution in Europe and the EU lack of action

    Air pollution from vehicles is killing tens of thousands of people every year in the UK alone, write Jean Lambert, Molly Scott Cato & Keith Taylor, an outrage set into stark focus by VW's 'test cheating'. The EU's response? To relax tests and allow cars to be more polluting - with the full support of the UK government.

    Rather than clamping down on the car industry's irresponsible approach to pollution, EU governments and the Commission instead want to rewrite existing law, providing loopholes which will allow cars to legally pollute more.

    Faced with a public health crisis, responsible for nearly half a million premature deaths in Europe each year, we would expect an emergency response.

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  • Olfactory receptors found in Human blood

    Human blood cells have olfactory receptors that respond to Sandalore. This could provide a starting point for new leukaemia therapies, as researchers from Bochum report in a current study.

    Olfactory receptors exist not only in the nose, but also in many other parts of the body, including the liver, the prostate and the intestines. Researchers headed by Prof Dr Dr Dr Hanns Hatt from the Ruhr-Universität Bochum have now demonstrated them in white blood cells in humans.

    Together with colleagues from the Essen University Hospital, the Bochum-based group identified the receptor OR2AT4 in a cultivated cell line, taken from patients suffering from chronic myelogenous leukaemia. The researchers identified the same receptor in white blood cells isolated from blood freshly obtained from patients suffering from acute myeloid leukaemia. It is activated by Sandalore, a synthetic odorant with a sandalwood note.

     

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  • What do we know about the Zika virus?

    The mosquito-borne Zika virus has been linked to a surge in cases of birth defects in Brazil, and is spreading in other countries in the southern hemisphere. Flaminia Catteruccia, associate professor of immunology and infectious diseases at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, says the virus may have adapted to the human environment and mutated.

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  • Meat consumption and climate change linked by EU study

    The overconsumption of meat will inevitably push global temperatures to dangerous levels, a recent study has warned, urging reluctant governments to take action.

    The world's rapidly expanding population is posing a huge challenge to farmers. A reportpublished in November 2015 by Chatham House, and the Glasgow University Media Group, examined the interconnection between meat and dairy consumption with climate change.

    Nearly one-third of the world's cultivated land is being used to grow animal feed. In the EU alone, 45% of wheat production is used for this purpose, with 30% of overall use met by imports.

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  • Study finds toxic pollutants in fish across the world's oceans

    A new global analysis of seafood found that fish populations throughout the world's oceans are contaminated with industrial and agricultural pollutants, collectively known as persistent organic pollutants (POPs). The study from researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego also uncovered some good news?concentrations of these pollutants have been consistently dropping over the last 30 years.

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  • Flint's Water Crisis 'infuriating' given knowledge about lead poisoning

    Flint, Michigan temporarily switched its water supply from Lake Huron to the Flint River in April 2014 to cut costs. Should officials have known that lead contamination would result?

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