Riviste scientifiche

Will there be beer shortages as the world warms? Well, maybe

New Scientist - Lu, 15/10/2018 - 17:00
Predictions of beer shortages and rocketing prices as extreme weather hits barley production should not be taken too literally but do highlight a very real problem

Earliest ever animal fossil is a 660-million-year-old sponge

New Scientist - Lu, 15/10/2018 - 17:00
Chemical evidence locked in rocks and oil suggests that the first animals were alive 100 million years earlier than we thought from fossils

Rabbit-killing virus may have mutated to kill hares too

New Scientist - Lu, 15/10/2018 - 13:44
Brown hares are turning up dead across the UK, raising fears that myxomatosis – the rabbit infection in ‘Watership Down’ - may have mutated to target hares

Wheat flour to be fortified with folic acid in the UK

New Scientist - Lu, 15/10/2018 - 13:22
Folic acid helps prevent birth defects but is most effective taken around the time of conception. Adding it to wheat could benefit unplanned pregnancies

Mysterious cosmic radio signal spotted unusually close to Earth

New Scientist - Lu, 15/10/2018 - 13:13
The first fast radio burst to be detected in a nearby galaxy may provide clues about what – or who – is able to transmit these strange, powerful signals

[Editorial] Stemming the global caesarean section epidemic

The Lancet - Sa, 13/10/2018 - 00:00
The major rise in caesarean sections around the world is called unprecedented and unjustified in a new Lancet Series on optimising caesarean section use published today.

[Editorial] DR Congo: managing Ebola virus in war

The Lancet - Sa, 13/10/2018 - 00:00
The latest Ebola virus outbreak across DR Congo is testing international and local health responses under conditions of extreme stress. The country is deep in a protracted conflict, and efforts to control Ebola virus in the conflict zone are hampered by conditions of war, which have led to a fractured society, a weakened health system, and widespread poverty and hunger. Against this backdrop, WHO's Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, last week, in his speech at a UN Security Council meeting, raised the risk assessment of regional spread of Ebola virus disease from high to very high, and highlighted concern of spread into Uganda, Rwanda, South Sudan, and Burundi.

[Editorial] Are Brazilian elections healthy without a plan for UHC?

The Lancet - Sa, 13/10/2018 - 00:00
On Oct 7, Brazilians held the first round of voting to elect a new president. With the backdrop of economic and political crisis, the election has been closely contested with a particular focus on crime and corruption. That has left little airtime to debate health-care policy at a precipitous time for the Brazilian National Health System (Sistema Único de Saúde), which faces a number of challenges. Persistent underfunding and weakening exchange rates have led to shortages of basic medicines and hospital beds, as described in a Lancet World Report.

[Editorial] Serão as eleições no Brasil saudáveis, sem um plano para o direito universal à saúde?

The Lancet - Sa, 13/10/2018 - 00:00
No dia 7 de Outubro, os Brasileiros votaram no primeiro turno de eleição para um novo presidente. Num cenário de crise política e econômica, a eleição tem sido uma disputa apertada com um enfoque particular na violência e na corrupção. Assim, o tempo disponível para discussão de políticas de saúde esta muito reduzido, num momento crítico em que o Sistema Único de Saúde do Brasil enfrenta numerosos desafios. O subfinanciamento persistente, e a desvalorização da taxa de câmbio deram origem à falta de medicamentos básicos e falta de leitos nos hospitais, como relatado no World Report da Lancet.

[Comment] FIGO position paper: how to stop the caesarean section epidemic

The Lancet - Sa, 13/10/2018 - 00:00
Worldwide there is an alarming increase in caesarean section (CS) rates. The medical profession on its own cannot reverse this trend. Joint actions with governmental bodies, the health-care insurance industry, and women's groups are urgently needed to stop unnecessary CSs and enable women and families to be confident of receiving the most appropriate obstetric care for their individual circumstances.

[Comment] Appropriate use of caesarean section globally requires a different approach

The Lancet - Sa, 13/10/2018 - 00:00
Increasing global rates of caesarean section are debated because of evidence that medically unnecessary caesarean sections are associated with worse outcomes for mothers and their children.1 There is consensus that caesarean sections are overused in some countries and underused in others. As Ties Boerma and colleagues2 report in this Lancet Series on optimising caesarean section use,1–3 there are unacceptable disparities: caesarean section rates of 44% in Latin America and the Caribbean compared with 4·1% in western and central Africa.

[Comment] Strategic measures to reduce the caesarean section rate in Brazil

The Lancet - Sa, 13/10/2018 - 00:00
Quality health care during deliveries and births is essential for reducing maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality. Birth should not be treated as a set of medical procedures, but as a physiological act, an important family and cultural event, and a unique time between mother and child. In Brazil, 98% of women have their babies in hospitals.1,2 Such progress has not, however, ensured more favourable perinatal outcomes and public policies need to be adopted to ensure quality maternal health care.

[Comment] Lancet Commission on the Value of Death

The Lancet - Sa, 13/10/2018 - 00:00
Without death every birth would be a tragedy. “We die so that others may live, we grow old so that others may be young”, writes the poet Kate Tempest.1 Yet medicine continues to strive to keep patients with life-limiting illnesses alive, often beyond the point of benefit. Many people in high-income countries, and those in poorer countries who are able to access quality health care, have an uneasy relationship with death, unlike some traditional societies.2 Serious people hold out the prospect of immortality,3 while dying baby boomers want as long a life as possible, symptom control, and a personalised death—a combination that may be unachievable.

[Comment] Offline: The media—“from utopia to dystopia”

The Lancet - Sa, 13/10/2018 - 00:00
Doctors and scientists love to slam the “media”—newspaper and broadcast journalists who, they allege, twist, spin, and distort science into mortal scares or exaggerated breakthroughs. Journalists and especially their editors, so scientists often say, trade in sensationalism to drive sales. It's a common claim. But eavesdrop on some of those same journalists and editors and you will hear a different story. Last week, at the Independent Television (ITV) studios in London, the Responsible Media Forum (not an oxymoron) convened 150 media professionals to discuss whether they were “mirrors or movers”.

[World Report] Fighting Ebola in conflict in the DR Congo

The Lancet - Sa, 13/10/2018 - 00:00
Armed conflict and mistrust risk spreading the “long tail” of the Ebola virus outbreak in the DR Congo. Benedict Moran reports from North Kivu.

[World Report] Nobel Prizes: cancer, phages, and fighting sexual violence

The Lancet - Sa, 13/10/2018 - 00:00
This year's Nobel Prizes rewarded work done towards developing new treatments, to combat the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war, and in medical research. Talha Burki reports.

[World Report] 2018 World Food Prize recognises advances in nutrition

The Lancet - Sa, 13/10/2018 - 00:00
Lawrence Haddad and David Nabarro will be presented with the World Food Prize for work significantly improving nutrition. Talha Burki reports.

[Perspectives] Yvonne Sylvain: women's health pioneer in Haiti

The Lancet - Sa, 13/10/2018 - 00:00
In the mid-20th century, a remarkable woman used her medical prowess and social prestige to address inequalities in Haitian society and raise the profile of public health. Born in Port-au-Prince in 1907, Yvonne Sylvain was the sixth of seven children of the poet, diplomat, and lawyer Georges Sylvain and his wife Eugénie. Both parents were part of a progressive intellectual elite that campaigned against the US occupation of Haiti, which lasted from 1915 to 1934. With a staunch feminist for a mother, the four Sylvain sisters all pursued either PhDs or medical training and furthered the cause of women's rights.

[Perspectives] Gothic revival

The Lancet - Sa, 13/10/2018 - 00:00
When Sarah Perry introduces the main character of her new novel Melmoth, walking through the streets of modern-day Prague, it is as an avatar of ordinariness: “Helen Franklin, forty-two, neither short nor tall… What might commend so drab a creature to your sight, when overhead the low clouds split and the upturned bowl of a silver moon pours milk out on the river?” But there is something about Helen that compels our attention, something that has driven her from an English home to isolation overseas.

[Perspectives] Ana Pilar Betrán: seeking the optimum use of caesarean section

The Lancet - Sa, 13/10/2018 - 00:00
What is the “correct” rate of deliveries in which birth should be by caesarean section? There is no clear-cut answer to the question, and the success of recommendations intended to raise or lower an existing caesarean section rate is not easily judged by reference to a predetermined numerical goal. As one of the key contributors to this issue's Lancet Series on optimising the use of caesarean section, Ana Pilar Betrán of WHO's Department of Reproductive Health and Research finds herself in territory characterised by uncertainty.
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