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Challenging Darwin: an ‘evolution machine’ for biomolecules
Challenging Darwin: an ‘evolution machine’ for biomolecules Darwin would be puzzled. He described natural selection as a slow process, selecting for the most suited organisms to a given environment.
Do microbes control our mood?
Do microbes control our mood? If aliens were to examine a human, they would think we were just slavish organisms designed to feed microbes and carry them around. Our bodies contain ten times more bacteria than cells , and there are an estimated 3.
Renewed hope for gene therapy in rare disease
Renewed hope for gene therapy in rare disease Between 30 and 40 million people in Europe suffer from rare diseases —many of them children. As most of these diseases have genetic origins, gene therapy is a major hope for their future cure .
Secrets of youth, based on prevention
Secrets of youth, based on prevention We age in two ways. There is the ageing we count by clock and calendar. And then there is biological ageing. The latter is written into our genes. But, it is also influenced by our lifestyle and history.
Mum’s diet mirrors child’s food allergies
Mum’s diet mirrors child’s food allergies About 20 million Europeans are subject to food allergies. Now scientists are looking at these allergies in new ways. It involves the food industry in its work and pays special attention to the link between early diets and allergy in later life .
Towards effective spatial mosquito repellent
Towards effective spatial mosquito repellent Global warming is leading to an increase in mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria . It is considered the plague of developing countries. According to the World Health Organisation , it is responsible for one child death every minute.
When your water is contaminated
When your water is contaminated Statistically, drinking water in Europe is the safest in the world. But according to the World Health Organisation every year more than 300.000 Europeans are falling ill due to contaminated tab water. ...
To save lives, raise tobacco taxes
To save lives, raise tobacco taxes Smoking is the largest single cause of preventable premature death and disease , accounting for some 650,000 premature deaths each year in the European Union, according to official EU statistics.
Schizophrenia enters the molecular diagnostics era
Schizophrenia enters the molecular diagnostics era With a drop of blood and some laboratory analyses, doctors have been able to tell patients whether they suffer from diabetes or some sort of cancer.
Nasal vaccine: towards an alternative to injection for infants
Nasal vaccine: towards an alternative to injection for infants Whooping cough and bronchiolitis are respiratory infections frequently affecting young children. In particular, infants under three months are very sensitive to these illnesses, which can lead to death in the most severe cases .
New Vaccine to Protect Babies from Whooping Cough
New Vaccine to Protect Babies from Whooping Cough In Europe, whooping cough ( Pertussis ) is in the increase, with more than 20.000 cases reported annually . Often infants fall victim to the disease, where it can be life-threatening.
Rapid detection of superbugs
Rapid detection of superbugs Patients affected by a bacterial infection can usually be treated with an antibiotic. But sometimes a resistant bacterial strain is causing the infection .
Quick ID for water pathogens
Quick ID for water pathogens Drinking water flowing from your tap can contain harmful bacteria, viruses and single-cell animals. And most countries do not routinely test for all these bugs.
Next generation cures born from the sea
Next generation cures born from the sea The life that inhabits the world’s oceans has almost infinite variety. It remains an untapped source of diversity.
How beneficial polyphenols truly are?
How beneficial polyphenols truly are? Eating fruit or having a glass of red wine is seen as offering health benefits. The benefits are often pinned on polyphenols, natural chemicals —found in foods—referred to as flavonoids and phenolic acids, but also fragments of food proteins called peptides.
Anti-allergy GM apples
Anti-allergy GM apples Peanut, egg and soy are more common food known to trigger an allergic reaction, a problem affecting around 8% of children in the EU. Intuitively, you might not list apples as causing allergic reactions.
A sticky solution against beef bacteria
A sticky solution against beef bacteria If you can't kill them, trap them. Such is the fate that scientists are reserving to pathogenic bacteria, such as the infamous E. coli .
Under the weather, literally
Under the weather, literally We can blame all sorts of things on the weather. But a stomach bug?  It seems unlikely. Yet, scientists say greater quantities of rainfall and bigger storms will lead to more stomach upsets in parts of Europe.