Pan European Networks: Science & Technology
THE BIGGEST STORIES IN SCIENCE
With science considered such a major facet of the European Union’s hopes to develop the world’s
leading knowledge economy, it is no surprise that new developments and discoveries are being
delivered on an almost daily basis.
Some of the more noteworthy events of the last few months include: Slovenia’s capital Ljubljana
being formally handed the prestigious title of European Green Capital 2016; the launch of
GenPORT, an FP7 project for quality gender and science resources; and criticism of Horizon 2020
for its focus on innovation rather than blue sky research.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization has reported that over 80% of the global city
population breathe poor quality air, and €3m in humanitarian aid to provide polio vaccinations in
Syria has been announced by the European Commission.
The following stories all appeared on our website:www.paneuropeannetworks.com
AMR COULD CAUSE 10M
ANNUAL DEATHS BY 2050
new global review of the dangers of
antimicrobial resistance (AMR) says that
infections will kill someone every three
seconds by 2050 without billions in investment.
According to the review, ten million people will die every year due to
resistant infections by 2050, more than any other major cause of death;
financially, this is expected to cost more than €89 trillion. The report
urges the establishment of a global innovation fund with USD 2bn
(~€1.78bn) investment, in order to develop new treatments, and
recommends a global public awareness campaign to ensure that the
potential dangers are recognised.
The review was led by UK economist Lord Jim O’Neill, who warned
that, as large as the report’s estimates are, they may actually be too
80% ‘BREATHE POOR AIR’
ore than 80% of the global city population
breathe poor quality air and are thereby at an
increased risk of life-threatening diseases,
according to the World Health Organization.
Urban residents are worst affected in poorer nations, where nearly
every city (98%) has air which fails to meet WHO standards. The
percentage of cities in wealthier nations with air that likewise fails to
meet these standards is 56%.
Dr Maria Neira, director of public health at the WHO in Geneva, said:
“We have a public health emergency in many countries. Urban air
pollution continues to rise at an alarming rate, wreaking havoc on
human health. It’s dramatic, one of the biggest problems we are facing
globally, with terrible future costs to society. The cost for countries is
enormous. Air pollution affects economies and people’s quality of life. It
leads to major chronic diseases and to people ultimately dying.”
small, because the report does not
take into account a number of
secondary problems caused by
AMR: “We did not even consider
the secondary effects of antibiotics
losing their effectiveness, such as
the risks in carrying out caesarean
sections, hip replacements, or gut surgery. And in the short 19 months
since we started, new forms of resistance have emerged that we did
not contemplate occurring so soon, such as the highly disturbing
discovery of transferable colistin resistance.”
The report argues that co-ordinated international efforts towards
quicker and more effective diagnosis, global monitoring of antibiotic
use and promotion of vaccines and other alternative treatments are
also necessary to prevent the growing threat of AMR.
19 May 2016
Contaminants in outdoor air are the
cause of over three million premature
deaths each year, the report says.
More and more cities are measuring
air pollution levels and recognising
the impacts poor air has on both
human and environmental health.
Assistant director general of the WHO Dr Flavia Bustreo said: “Air
pollution is a major cause of disease and death. It is good news that
more cities are stepping up to monitor air quality, so when they take
actions to improve it they have a benchmark. When dirty air blankets
our cities, the most vulnerable urban populations – the youngest, oldest
and poorest – are the most impacted.”
The WHO urban air quality database builds on well-established, public
air quality monitoring systems as a source of reliable data in different
parts of the world.
12 May 2016
© Damián Bakarcic
© samantha celera