The Daily Dose: There’s a global child cancer crisis that needs addressing; Pollution is killing people

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A global cancer crisis: A team of researchers has sounded a dire alarm. According to their estimation, half of the world’s cases of child cancer go undetected. Using World Health Organization statistics, they estimate that “in 2015, 397,000 children under 15 developed cancer globally — and that 43% of those cases went undiagnosed.” Most of the untreated cases are in developing countries with poor access to healthcare.

Hitting the pause button: Geneticists around the world are calling for a moratorium on the use of genetic tools to produce genetically modified children. Recent technologies like CRISPR-Cas9 have revolutionized genetics and have greatly increased scientists’ ability to manipulate DNA. Experts contend that future research should be registered with government agencies and also more research into the effects of heritable modifications. Not everyone is on board. Other scientists are calling for stricter rules governing gene modification, more research on effects, and a timeline and guidance moving forward.

Preparing for influenza: The World Health Organization has announced a new strategy to combat global influenza. “The threat of pandemic influenza is ever-present.” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “The on-going risk of a new influenza virus transmitting from animals to humans and potentially causing a pandemic is real. The question is not if we will have another pandemic, but when. We must be vigilant and prepared – the cost of a major influenza outbreak will far outweigh the price of prevention.”

Pollution is killing people…: According to to a landmark study sponsored by the United Nations, a quarter of all premature deaths and diseases worldwide are due to manmade pollution and environmental damage. The Global Environmental Outlook involved 250 scientists from 70 nations. They cited lack of access to clean water, air pollution, overuse of antibiotics, and chemicals pumped into the oceans as just a few factors involved in worldwide deaths.

… and linked with diabetes: According to a Chinese study, long-term exposure to air pollution in the form of smog particles has been linked to the onset of diabetes. China is facing the largest diabetes problem in the world with around 11 percent of its population suffering from the metabolic illness.

IMAGE SOURCE: Creative Commons

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