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33,000 people die every year due to infections with antibiotic-resistant bacteria
An ECDC study estimates the burden of five types of infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria of public health concern in the European Union and in the European Economic Area (EU/EEA). The burden of disease is measured in number of cases, attributable deaths and disability-adjusted life years (DALYs). These estimates are based on data from the European Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance Network (EARS-Net) data from 2015. (2018-11-06)

Is there a risk to human health from microplastics?
The Austrian Federal Environment Agency and the Medical University of Vienna have presented the first preliminary results of a pilot study on microplastics (microplastic particles) in humans. They have detected microplastic particles in stool of eight volunteers. The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) summarizes its findings on possible health risks of microplastic particles for humans. (2018-10-31)

Oncologists demand more education on the use of biosimilars: ESMO takes action
Biological medicines are responsible for some of the most promising innovations in cancer treatment, including immunotherapy, targeted drugs and vaccines -- but they are also expensive. (2018-10-22)

Life on the floor of the Arctic Ocean, with rigor and in detail
In an extensive and rigorous study of animal life on the Central Arctic Ocean floor, researchers have shown that water depth and food availability influence the species composition, density, and biomass of benthic communities, according to a study published Oct. 17, 2018, in the open-access journal PLOS ONE. (2018-10-17)

Icy moon of Jupiter, Ganymede, shows evidence of past strike-slip faulting
A recently published study led by researchers at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology reveals Ganymede, an icy moon of Jupiter, appears to have undergone complex periods of geologic activity, specifically strike-slip tectonism, as is seen in Earth's San Andreas fault. (2018-10-09)

Research shows club drug GHB associated with brain and cognitive changes
Scientists have discovered that regular use of the party drug GHB, and especially unconsciousness following GHB use, is associated with brain changes including negative effects on long-term memory, working memory, IQ, and higher levels of stress and anxiety. This work is presented at the ECNP conference in Barcelona, following partial peer-review publication. (2018-10-08)

Icy warning for space missions to Jupiter's moon
A location often earmarked as a potential habitat for extra-terrestrial life could prove to be a tricky place for spacecraft to land, new research has revealed. (2018-10-08)

Women much less likely to ask questions in academic seminars than men
A new study reveals a stark disparity between male and female participation in departmental seminars which helps to explain the 'leaky pipeline' of female representation in academic careers. The observational study of 250 events at 35 institutions found that women are 2.5 times less likely to ask a question in seminars than men. The researchers argue this reflects significant differences in self-reported feelings towards speaking up and offers recommendations to ensure all voices are heard. (2018-09-27)

Drop in EU/EEA measles cases between March and July 2018
During the month of July, a total of 758 cases of measles were reported across seventeen countries in the EU/EEA, which is a decrease from the 1054 cases reported during the month of June. (2018-09-20)

Ceres takes life an ice volcano at a time
In new study by University of Arizona planetary scientists, observations prove that ice volcanoes on the dwarf planet Ceres generate enough material to fill one movie theater each year. (2018-09-17)

Ants surrender their venomous secrets
Venoms produced by snails, snakes, scorpions and spiders contain numerous bioactive compounds that could lead to therapeutic drugs or insect-specific pesticides. Yet little is known about venoms produced by insects, in part because each bug contains such a tiny amount. Researchers recently responded to this challenge by conducting one of the first intensive studies of ant venom. They have now published their findings in ACS' Journal of Proteome Research. (2018-09-12)

Lymph node structural cells rein in human immune responses
New research published in PLOS Biology by Anne Fletcher and Konstantin Knoblich and colleagues, from Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute (BDI), has veered away from traditional immunology by turning the spotlight on the structural cells that build and support the immune-rich environment of lymph nodes. Their research shows that the so-called Fibroblastic Reticular Cells (FRCs) that form the inner structure of human tonsils and lymph nodes exert control over T cells and their response to infection. (2018-09-05)

Drug-resistance of gonorrhoea in the EU: persistent but stable
Neisseria gonorrhoea continues to show high levels of resistance to azithromycin across the European Union and European Economic Area, according to the 2016 results of the European Gonococcal Antimicrobial Surveillance Programme (Euro-GASP). This threatens the effectiveness of the currently recommended dual therapy regimen for gonorrhoea. Overall, the rates of resistance to cefixime, ceftriaxone and azithromycin have remained stable when compared to recent years. (2018-08-30)

Biodegradable plastic blends offer new options for disposal
Imagine throwing your empty plastic water bottle into a household composting bin that breaks down the plastic and produces biogas to help power your home. Now, researchers have taken an early step toward this futuristic scenario by showing that certain blends of bioplastics can decompose under diverse conditions. They report their results in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology. (2018-08-29)

Better assessments for early AMD
The European MACUSTAR consortium is conducting a multi-country clinical study on age-related macular degeneration (AMD) coordinated by the University of Bonn. The clinical study focuses on the intermediate stage of the disease, in which a person's vision under low-light and low-contrast conditions is impaired. Throughout Europe, a total of 20 study centers will recruit and follow-up with 750 patients. The study rationale and protocol has recently been published in the journal Opthalmologica. (2018-08-29)

Listeria surveillance: New EU-wide study reveals that most outbreaks remain undetected
More than half of the severe listeriosis cases in the European Union belong to clusters, many of which are not being picked up fast enough by the current surveillance system, suggests a new article published in Eurosurveillance. The large-scale study looked into listeriosis epidemiology through whole genome sequencing and found that this method, when implemented at EU-level, could lead to faster detection of multi-country outbreaks, saving up to 5 months of the investigations. (2018-08-20)

Million fold increase in the power of waves near Jupiter's moon Ganymede
Chorus waves are electromagnetic waves. Converted to sound they sound like singing and chirping birds at dawn. They can cause polar lights above the Earth as well as damage to satellites. Now, a team of researchers led by Yuri Shprits of GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences found that such waves are intensified millionfold around Jupiter's moon Ganymede. This study provides important observational constraints for theoretical studies. (2018-08-07)

IIASA researchers help EU states assess forestry's role in achieving climate commitments
IIASA researchers have led the development of new guidance for EU member states estimating greenhouse gas emissions and removals from their forests and developing plans to show how they will account for these emissions and removals in the future. (2018-07-26)

Listeria monocytogenes multi-country outbreak: 47 cases including 9 deaths
Frozen corn and possibly other frozen vegetables produced in a company in Hungary are the likely source of an outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes that has been affecting Austria, Denmark, Finland, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Despite the product recall ordered by the Hungarian Food Chain Safety Office, new cases may still emerge, says the updated risk assessment published by ECDC and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). (2018-07-06)

Trade challenges from wealthy countries may impede noncommunicable disease prevention in LMICs
National regulations aimed at preventing noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in smaller, low- or middle-income countries may be influenced by challenges made through the World Trade Organization (WTO) by wealthier countries, according to a study publishing this week in PLOS Medicine. (2018-06-26)

New World Atlas of Desertification shows unprecedented pressure on planet's resources
The World Desertification Atlas by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre provides the first comprehensive, evidence-based assessment of land degradation at a global level and highlights the urgency to adopt corrective measures. (2018-06-21)

Rise of carbapenem-resistant Enterobactericaeae
Infections with bacteria resistant to carbapenems, a group of highly effective antibiotics, pose a significant threat to patients and healthcare systems in all EU/EEA countries, warns ECDC in a Rapid Risk Assessment. (2018-06-14)

New computational tool predicts progression of metabolic syndrome in mice
Scientists have developed a new computational model that accurately predicts the gradual, long-term progression of metabolic syndrome in mice. The model, created by Yvonne Rozendaal of Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands and colleagues, is presented in PLOS Computational Biology. (2018-06-07)

Preserving a painter's legacy with nanomaterials
Paintings by Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso and Johannes Vermeer have been delighting art lovers for years. But it turns out that these works of art might be their own worst enemy -- the canvases they were painted on can deteriorate over time. In an effort to combat this aging process, one group is reporting in ACS Applied Nano Materials that nanomaterials can provide multiple layers of reinforcement.  (2018-05-23)

ECDC and EMCDDA make the case for active case finding of communicable diseases in prison
What are the most (cost-) effective ways to prevent and control communicable diseases in prison settings? In their Guidance ECDC and the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, present the evidence on active case finding as key measure to diagnose communicable diseases early. The two agencies advise to actively offer testing for hepatitis B and C and HIV to all people in prison and to conduct universal testing for tuberculosis at prison entry. (2018-05-23)

Study co-authored by UCLA scientists shows evidence of water vapor plumes on Jupiter moon
A combination of new modeling techniques and data from the Galileo spacecraft's flyby of Jupiter's icy moon Europa back in 1997 have revealed additional evidence of eruptions of water vapor, or plumes, venting from the moon. (2018-05-17)

Understanding drug-resistant gonorrhoea
Can whole genome sequencing illustrate changes in drug susceptibility of gonorrhoea to antimicrobials used for treatment and so help to define more effective treatment regimens? The first study of this kind within an international surveillance programme for sexually transmitted infections shows distribution of drug-resistant gonorrhoea strains across Europe. The study results are published in an ECDC report and summarised in The Lancet Infectious Diseases. (2018-05-16)

Gonorrhea surveillance study maps antibiotic resistance across Europe
The first European-wide genomic survey of gonorrhea has mapped antibiotic resistance in this sexually transmitted disease throughout the continent. Researchers at the Wellcome Sanger Institute and their collaborators showed that using DNA sequencing data they could accurately determine antibiotic resistance and identify incorrect laboratory test results. Reported in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, this genomic approach could one day help doctors prescribe the most effective antibiotics and monitor emerging antibiotic resistance globally. (2018-05-15)

Red Sea fungus yields leads for new epilepsy drugs
New treatments for epilepsy are sorely needed because current medications don't work for many people with the disease. To find new leads, researchers have now turned to the sea -- a source of unique natural products that have been largely untapped for prospective drugs. The scientists report in the journal ACS Chemical Neuroscience that two metabolites produced by a fungus from the Red Sea look promising. (2018-05-09)

Hawking's last paper co-authored with ERC grantee posits new cosmology
Professor Stephen Hawking's final theory on the origin of the universe, which he worked on in collaboration with Professor Thomas Hertog from KU Leuven, has been published this week in the Journal of High-Energy Physics. (2018-05-02)

Portable device to sniff out trapped humans
The first step after buildings collapse from an earthquake, bombing or other disaster is to rescue people who could be trapped in the rubble. But finding entrapped humans among the ruins can be challenging. Scientists now report in the ACS journal Analytical Chemistry the development of an inexpensive, selective sensor that is light and portable enough for first responders to hold in their hands or for drones to carry on a search for survivors. (2018-04-18)

Data shows migration more strongly linked to aspiration than desperation
The Joint Research Centre, the European Commission's science and knowledge service, analyze global survey data which sheds light on the motivations of people who decide to migrate. (2018-04-17)

First real-world studies report glecaprevir/pibrentasvir to be effective and well tolerated in chronic HCV infection
Studies conducted in Italy and Germany confirm the effectiveness and safety of glecaprevir/pibrentasvir in patients with chronic hepatitis C virus infection, with viral suppression rates similar to those observed in clinical trials. (2018-04-12)

Hepatitis E virus infections can be life threatening and transmitted through blood products
ILC 2018: Hepatitis E virus infections are associated with significant morbidity and mortality in both immunocompromised and immune-competent individuals - blood products are confirmed as an important source of infection. (2018-04-12)

Newly discovered salty subglacial lakes could help search for life in solar system
Researchers from the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics (UTIG) have helped discover the first subglacial lakes ever found in the Canadian High Arctic. (2018-04-11)

Model based on hydrothermal sources evaluate possibility of life Jupiter's icy moon
Brazilian scientists compare primitive Earth scenario with satellite Europa's conditions; the jupiterian moon could host microorganisms at the bottom of a huge warm ocean located underneath its frozen crust. (2018-02-23)

Nanotechnology could redefine oral surgery
A trip to the dentist or orthodontist usually instills a sense of dread in most patients, and that's before the exam even begins. Add to that the fear of oral surgery with a painful recovery, and many people will avoid these visits at all costs. Now, one group reports a pre-clinical study in ACS Nano showing that they could potentially reduce pain and recovery time with the aid of specialized nanotechnology. (2018-02-14)

No definitive causal link between sunbed use and malignant melanoma
A careful review of the currently available medical data shows that there is no proven causal relationship between moderate solarium use and increased melanoma risk. This is the conclusion reached by an international group of researchers headed by Professor Dr. Jörg Reichrath, Deputy Director of the Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Allergology at Saarland University Hospital in Homburg/Saar. (2018-01-30)

Historical migrations left genetic footprints on the Irish genome
A genome-wide study of the people of Ireland reveals a previously hidden genetic landscape, shaped through geography and historical migrations. Ross Byrne and Russell McLaughlin of Trinity College Dublin in Ireland report their findings Jan. 25, 2018, in PLOS Genetics. (2018-01-25)

A new ecosystem approach to fight antibiotic resistance
The World Health Organization has deemed antibiotic resistance to be one of the greatest threats to human health, as bacteria become increasingly resistant and too few treatments are being developed to combat them. The research project DRIVE-AB, a consortium managed by the University of Geneva and AstraZeneca, has determined that a market entry reward of $1 billion per antibiotic globally could significantly increase the number of new antibiotics coming to the market. (2018-01-24)

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