Research in the field of particle and fiber toxicology doesn’t often hit in the headlines, but these researchers have been vital in uncovering human health ‘black holes’ – illness-causing issues on a grand scale. We take a look into the field, some of its history and what’s still left to uncover.
There’s a material that humans have been using for perhaps as long as 5,000 years. It absorbs sound effectively, is resistant to heat and fire, as well as electrical and chemical damage, and it’s affordable too. By the mid-20th century we were using it in everything from concrete, bricks and pipe insulation, to lawn furniture and flooring. In Japan it was even used in the process of rice …
As the HepHIV 2014 Conference in Barcelona continues, guest blogger Professor Jeffrey Lazarus, Secretariat Director of Health Systems Global, and a Senior Researcher at the Centre for Health and Infectious Diseases Research, tells us about the challenges we face to combat hepatitis in Europe.
When is it important to gather more evidence to inform the response to a major public health problem, and when must we act on the limited available evidence in order to save as many lives as possible? As I worked with my colleague Kevin Fenton to prepare a supplement published by BMC Infectious Diseases on viral hepatitis and drug use in Europe, I found myself reflecting often on this question.
It weighed on my …
Today is World Car-free Day. As the planet heats up and our sedentary behavior increases, it may be time to face up to the facts: we really ought to walk more often. That’s easier said than done. Sometimes it’s difficult for us to find the encouragement to ditch our vehicles.
You may have seen in the news last week that commuters who choose public transport, ride a bike or walk to their offices will often feel better, both mentally and physically, compared to those that go by car. Yet despite that, people still decline the healthier option. Why is this? Sometimes it requires the right dose of motivation – but we all know motivation can be hard to come across. Thankfully …
Our guest author, Ali. A. Mokdad is based at University of Texas and affiliated with the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IMHE). He is the lead author of a recent study published in BMC Medicine, focusing on deaths caused by liver cirrhosis.
Liver cirrhosis is a costly disease that is devastating to families and their finances. Most of these deaths are preventable, however. Countries can reverse the tide of liver cirrhosis by implementing a variety of cost-effective solutions.
When my colleagues and I saw just how many deaths occurred each year as a result of liver cirrhosis, we decided to write a paper to raise awareness about these disease trends and the steps that could be taken …
A guest blog from Dr. Ethan Mann, a research scientist at Sharklet Technologies, Inc, in which he discusses how different materials can prevent the spread of human disease bacteria.
Microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses are contacted during interaction with everyday surfaces. Picking up germs from surfaces contributes to transmission of infectious diseases. Bacteria are able to survive on hard surfaces for days to weeks before they are reintroduced to a host. Once in a host, the bacteria are able to cause an illness often resulting in further propagation of the microorganism and potentially the need for treatment.
High touch public surfaces such as door handles and railings would benefit from a self-cleaning surface technology to reduce the amount of microorganisms …
Katharine Jenner is a Registered Public Health Nutritionist and the Campaign Director of Action on Sugar, a new campaign group concerned with the effects of sugar on our diet, and of Consensus Action on Salt and Health; who have already been successful in reducing the UK’s salt intake and are expanding worldwide. Katharine is also Chief Executive of Blood Pressure UK, Chair of the Better Hospital Food campaign, and a lecturer in nutrition and public health at Queen Mary University of London.
A gold standard of evidence in nutritional science is notoriously hard to achieve. Calls for double blind trials of free sugars, or systematic reviews on intakes are often used as delaying tactics favoured by organisations that are …
Our environment has changed dramatically since our hunter-gatherer days, but how is this having an impact on our health? Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Physiological Anthropology, Akira Yasukouchi, explains how the study of physiological anthropology will help us understand our relationship with this new world in his latest guest blog.
What is physiological anthropology?
Research in physiological anthropology focuses on the capacity for environmental adaptation seen in the physiological function of present-day humans. Areas of study include physical and cultural aspects related to living environments as factors that affect the capacity for environmental adaptation.
At the same time, researchers investigate the interactions of these factors with the genetic triggers that are the basis of human physical and functional resources. All humankind …
A study published at the end of July in International Journal of Health Geographics suggests that changes in the built environment can increase how far a person will walk to get somewhere. So why should we be bothered about getting people walking?
Walking is a big part of my life. Not only do I love getting out to the countryside for a good old ramble, I walk as much as I can in the city (which, for me, is usually London). This wasn’t always the case. A few years ago, it wouldn’t have occurred to me to walk to work, for example. I just opted for the quickest journey time – bus, tube, whichever was faster.
That all changed when I …
Earlier this week, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) released a draft policy update on access to the data from the EudraVigilance database, which seems to imply they want the right to censor scientific work that uses the data.
Managed by the EMA, EudraVigilance is the European database that holds all information on suspected side effects that have been reported for medicines authorized in Europe. It is one of the greatest resources for adverse drug reaction data, receiving over one million reports of suspected side effects a year, and used in the continuous safety monitoring of medicines in Europe.
Within medical evidence, the importance of analyzing adverse drug reactions cannot be underestimated. New medicines see their way to the public through …
An unprecedented economic crisis is affecting Europe, focusing mainly on the southern countries. Improving health and reducing health inequalities in this macro-economic environment is going to be a great challenge, which the new thematic series in International Journal for Equity in Health discusses. In this guest blog, Dr Miguel San Sebastián, one of the series editors, looks at what the first papers can tell us about the challenges faced.
The economic and social crisis that the European population has experienced since 2008 has fuelled interest in the study of its potential health impacts.
With regard to public health, and particularly social epidemiology, the need to deal with the problem of the economic crisis encourages natural experiments. From these it is possible to …