Riviste scientifiche

James Lovelock at 100: Ecclectic conference considers Gaia's future

New Scientist - Sa, 03/08/2019 - 13:00
A conference celebrating James Lovelock, the scientist who formulated the Gaia hypothesis, saw researchers questioning the future of our living planet

Earth is a living system and humans will decide whether it thrives

New Scientist - Sa, 03/08/2019 - 13:00
A conference celebrating James Lovelock, the scientist who formulated the Gaia hypothesis, saw researchers questioning the future of our living planet

Bees' very hairy tongues help them mop up different types of nectar

New Scientist - Sa, 03/08/2019 - 09:00
Bumblebees mop up nectar as easily whether it’s thick or runny, because of the way hairs on their tongue can trap the liquid

[Editorial] Saving the Pacific islands from extinction

The Lancet - Sa, 03/08/2019 - 00:00
Small island developing states are a distinct group of 58 low-lying island nations and territories across three geographical areas—Caribbean, Pacific, and Indian Ocean and African regions. For many, thoughts of the Pacific island countries conjure images of tropical beaches and pristine blue waters. But like all small island developing states, those in the Pacific region face threats to viability and survival due to their small landmass, geographical remoteness, and vulnerability to climate change and natural disasters.

[Editorial] Therapeutics in The Lancet

The Lancet - Sa, 03/08/2019 - 00:00
This week we launch a new section in The Lancet, which aims to provide up-to-date evidence-based reviews for clinicians on new and up-and-coming therapeutic options for diseases. The primary focus will be on new drugs in a specific disease, but broad-based reviews on a drug class or on new non-pharmacological options will also be included. The first Therapeutics paper on faecal microbiota transplantation is an excellent example of emerging therapeutic indications for restoration of the gut microbiota and reviews the treatment of recurrent Clostridioides difficile infection and potential other clinical uses.

[Editorial] Building capacity in Africa's national science academies

The Lancet - Sa, 03/08/2019 - 00:00
On July 23, the InterAcademy Partnership released Harnessing Science, Engineering and Medicine to Address Africa's Challenges, a call for greater collaboration and investment in Africa's national science academies from policymakers and international organisations such as the UN. Countries in Africa face enormous challenges that require scientific and technical solutions: climate change, infectious diseases such as HIV and Ebola virus disease, as well as non-communicable conditions. Across the continent, headway in achieving global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is in places stagnant.

[Comment] JUUL Labs' sponsorship and the scientific integrity of vaping research

The Lancet - Sa, 03/08/2019 - 00:00
As of 2018, 98 countries regulate e-cigarettes, including their sale, marketing, packaging, manufacturing, taxation, reporting, and clean air laws.1 Some countries have banned e-cigarettes completely, such as Argentina, Saudi Arabia, and Singapore,1 whereas other countries, such as the UK, consider e-cigarettes as part of a public health harm reduction strategy.2 The USA has regulated e-cigarettes as a tobacco product since 2016. Launched in 2015, JUUL Labs Inc (hereafter JUUL Labs) is the current market leader in the USA for e-cigarettes and accounts for almost 80% of retail sales of e-cigarettes in the USA.

[World Report] Honduras's worst dengue outbreak in 50 years

The Lancet - Sa, 03/08/2019 - 00:00
Honduras is contending with more than 28 000 cases and at least 54 deaths, while the country battles other mosquito-spread diseases. Lise Alves reports.

[World Report] North Korea “on the verge of a food crisis”

The Lancet - Sa, 03/08/2019 - 00:00
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies warn against drought-driven food crisis. Sharmila Devi reports.

[World Report] Africa's poorly kept science gender gap secrets

The Lancet - Sa, 03/08/2019 - 00:00
Progress towards getting girls interested in science in African countries has been good, but women scientist argue that more should be done to support their role in society. Paul Adepoju reports.

[Perspectives] Clarity in chaos

The Lancet - Sa, 03/08/2019 - 00:00
It feels inadequate to describe Esmé Weijun Wang's The Collected Schizophrenias as a beautiful little book, even though this is my initial response and I cannot ignore it. How could one person's experience with severe and enduring mental illness, containing so much struggle and confusion, be “beautiful”, and worse, “little”? On reflection, I'm responding to the tremendous care that Wang takes with her work, and her life—her conciseness, her refusal to waste words, and her overall curation of how she, and her mental illness, is seen.

[Perspectives] Punitive social policy: an upstream determinant of health

The Lancet - Sa, 03/08/2019 - 00:00
“I will be sending a man to prison for asking for food when he was hungry”, a UK judge professed before sentencing a homeless person to 4 months of jail for persistent begging. This is not an isolated incident. Across Europe, growing numbers of vulnerable people are targeted by public authorities for so-called anti-social behaviour, including a seemingly irrepressible yet inexplicable urge to sleep on pavements rather than beds, or to engage in open displays of material hardship.

[Obituary] Lewis E Braverman

The Lancet - Sa, 03/08/2019 - 00:00
Endocrinologist who helped define thyroid function. Born in 1929 in Boston, MA, USA, he died from Waldenström macroglobulinemia on June 10, 2019, in Boston aged 90 years.

[Correspondence] Is intima-media thickness a predictor for cardiovascular risk?

The Lancet - Sa, 03/08/2019 - 00:00
Ulf Näslund and colleagues1 suggest that the pictorial representation of silent atherosclerosis might contribute to the prevention of cardiovascular disease. However, several caveats need to be considered. The authors assume that increased intima-media thickness is still an established biomarker of subclinical atherosclerosis, but it is now known to be a very weak predictor of cardiovascular disease that does not add significant predictive capacity to traditional risk scores.2 Intima-media thickness measurement is no longer recommended in the 2013 American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association guidelines for cardiovascular disease risk prediction or in the 2016 European Guidelines on cardiovascular disease prevention in clinical practice.

[Correspondence] Is intima-media thickness a predictor for cardiovascular risk? – Authors' reply

The Lancet - Sa, 03/08/2019 - 00:00
We thank Alvaro Gonzalez-Cantero and colleagues for raising interesting questions regarding intima-media thickness as a predictor of cardiovascular disease.

[Correspondence] Early career investigators and precision public health

The Lancet - Sa, 03/08/2019 - 00:00
The priority schema for strategies that will be most consequential for improving the public's health is in hot debate.1–3 Vocal sceptics of precision public health caution against precision-based approaches, suggesting that focusing on these advances is not worth the effort and could overshadow the true mission of public health. Indeed, some leaders are putting substantial energy into advancing a negative narrative on this topic. The nihilistic tone of these critiques is concerning for the field, but particularly for early career investigators, like us, who are engaged in precision-based research.

[Correspondence] Can #MeToo abolish sexual harassment and discrimination in medicine?

The Lancet - Sa, 03/08/2019 - 00:00
“Discrimination is a disease, we must attack it wherever it appears. This applies to the opportunity to vote, to hold and retain a job, and to secure adequate shelter and medical care no less than to gain an education compatible with the needs and ability of the individual.”Harry S Truman

[Clinical Picture] A quest for Q fever

The Lancet - Sa, 03/08/2019 - 00:00
A 9-year-old girl was admitted to our hospital with status epilepticus. Earlier in the day, she had complained of a headache and started vomiting. She then lost consciousness and began having a fit; the status epilepticus lasted 30 min and was stopped by phenobarbital. She had a congenital heart defect—truncus arteriosus with interventricular communication—which was surgically corrected a few days after birth. The girl was on long-term treatment with low-dose aspirin as the antiaggregant. She had no features of Marfan's or Ehlers–Danlos syndromes.

[Therapeutics] The evolution of the use of faecal microbiota transplantation and emerging therapeutic indications

The Lancet - Sa, 03/08/2019 - 00:00
Developments in high-throughput microbial genomic sequencing and other systems biology techniques have given novel insight into the potential contribution of the gut microbiota to health and disease. As a result, an increasing number of diseases have been characterised by distinctive changes in the composition and functionality of the gut microbiota; however, whether such changes are cause, consequence, or incidental to the disease in question remains largely uncertain. Restoration of the gut microbiota to a premorbid state is a key novel therapeutic approach of interest, and faecal microbiota transplantation—the transfer of prescreened stool from healthy donors into the gastrointestinal tract of patients—is gaining increasing importance in both the clinical and research settings.

[Review] New Zealand health system: universalism struggles with persisting inequities

The Lancet - Sa, 03/08/2019 - 00:00
New Zealand was one of the first countries to establish a universal, tax-funded national health service. Unique features include innovative Māori services, the no-fault accident compensation scheme, and the Pharmaceutical Management Agency, which negotiates with pharmaceutical companies to get the best value for medicines purchased by public money. The so-called universal orientation of the health system, along with a strong commitment to social service provision, have contributed to New Zealand's favourable health statistics.
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