• SuperbugsA quarter of migrants to Europe infected with drug-resistant bacteria

    A new review of research on migrant populations in Europe has found that more than a quarter are infected or colonized with antibiotic-resistant bacteria, with evidence suggesting that the pathogens are being acquired along the migration route or in host countries. The findings come amid a recent wave of immigration that has brought more than two million migrants to Europe since 2015, an influx that’s been driven in part by conflicts and instability in the Middle East and Africa.

  • EbolaEbola hits urban centers in Congo

    Signaling what one World Health Organization (WHO) official calls a “game changer” in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Ebola outbreak, tests have confirmed an infection in a patient from Mbandaka, a metropolitan area that’s home to nearly 1.2 million people.

  • Climate threatsGlobal warming of 2°C doubles the population exposed to climate risks compared to 1.5°C rise

    New research identifying climate vulnerability hotspots has found that the number of people affected by multiple climate change risks could double if the global temperature rises by 2°C, compared to a rise of 1.5°C. The researchers investigated the overlap between multiple climate change risks and socioeconomic development to identify the vulnerability hotspots if the global mean temperature should rise by 1.5°C, 2°C and 3°C by 2050, compared to the pre-industrial baseline.

  • GunsActive shooters caused nearly 750 casualties in 2017

    By Daniel Nass and Sean Campbell

    More Americans were killed or wounded by active shooters in 2017 than in any year since the Federal Bureau of Investigation began keeping track. All told, nearly 750 people were shot in 30 incidents, according to a newly released FBI report. The shooters were of different ages, from different places, and motivated by different grievances. But all were men, and all acted alone.

  • Global health securityWhite House disbands NSC’s global health security unit

    Just as Ebola hits the DRC, the National Security Council team responsible for global health security has been disbanded. “Global health security threats, whether it be outbreaks, bioterrorism, or laboratory incidents, are only growing in complexity, which makes this particular shake-up deeply concerning for many in the biodefense world,” biosecurity expert comments.

  • 1918 flu pandemic: 100 years onOn the 100th anniversary of the 1918 pandemic, experts warn flu is global threat

    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) partnered with Emory University to mark the 100th anniversary of the 1918 flu with a symposium about influenza pandemics: when and if they will strike, how ready the United States is to confront a pandemic, and how to do so. “I don’t know what the virus will do,” said one expert. “But history tells us that influenza comes back and comes back and comes back.”

  • Big Data & privacyKeeping Big Data safe

    NIST has announced the Unlinkable Data Challenge, created to help the public safety community conduct research using data gathered with personal digital devices and taken from large databases such as driver’s license and health care records. Much of this data includes personal information that can be used to identify its source. Exposing this data risks those individuals’ privacy, but the inability to share it impedes research in many fields, including thwarting crime, fighting fires and slowing the spread of epidemics.

  • Climate & healthThe role of health in climate lawsuits

    A new analysis investigates the role of health concerns in climate litigation since 1990 and finds that although health is cited in a minority of cases, it may have critical potential for protecting communities from the effects of climate change and coal fired power plants.

  • DronesAmbulance drones a reality in five years

    Would you hop into a driverless drone and let it fly off with you? In a few years you may have the chance to do just that. Autonomous drones with room for passengers could become a reality within five years. They have many potential uses. Taxi drones are now being tested in Dubai. In Norway, researchers are working on developing ambulance drones.

  • GunsStricter gun control could prevent violent men from killing their partners and themselves

    Researchers draw on ten years of data on intimate partner homicide to determine the role guns play in murder-suicides. The researchers say that men who use guns to kill their partner are also likely to commit suicide. Those planning to commit suicide are not deterred by severe penalties, and therefore the most successful way of preventing such homicides is to restrict gun access to batterers.

  • Climate & conflictClimate change not the key driver of conflict, displacement in East Africa

    Over the last fifty years, climate change has not been the key driver of the human displacement or conflict in East Africa, rather it is politics and poverty, according to new research. “Terms such as climate migrants and climate wars have increasingly been used to describe displacement and conflict, however these terms imply that climate change is the main cause. Our research suggests that socio-political factors are the primary cause while climate change is a threat multiplier,” said one researcher.

  • SyriaAttacks on healthcare in Syria are likely undercounted

    Attacks on health facilities and health workers in Syria are likely more common than previously reported, and local data collectors can help researchers more accurately to measure the extent and frequency of these attacks, according to a new study. The researchers found that in 2016 alone, there were more than 200 attacks on healthcare-related targets in four northern governorates of Syria, with 176 of the attacks targeting hospitals and other healthcare facilities.

  • SuperbugsLow-levels of antibiotics can produce high-levels of resistance

    A new study indicates that bacteria exposed to small concentrations of antibiotics over time can become highly resistant, a finding that provides an example of how low levels of antibiotics present in many environments may potentially contribute to antibiotic resistance.

  • Water securityGaza now has a toxic ‘biosphere of war’ that no one can escape

    By Mark Zeitoun and Ghassan Abu Sitta

    The water of Gaza highlights a toxic situation that is spiraling out of control. A combination of repeated Israeli attacks and the sealing of its borders by Israel and Egypt, have left the territory unable to process its water or waste. Every drop of water swallowed in Gaza, like every toilet flushed or antibiotic imbibed, returns to the environment in a degraded state. The result is what has been termed a toxic ecology or “biosphere of war,” of which the noxious water cycle is just one part. People may evade bombs or sniper fire, but there is no escape from the biosphere.

  • Chemical weaponsFuture of testing and treating chlorine gas attacks

    As experts sort through questions around recent chemical attacks in Syria, future answers to quickly testing and treating those who may have been exposed to chlorine gas may lie in chlorinated lipids, says a scientist.