Air Pollution Contributes Significantly to Diabetes Worldwide

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

 

Study: Air Pollution Contributes Significantly to Diabetes Worldwide

Saturday, 30 June, 2018 – 07:15
via GETTY IMAGES
Asharq Al-Awsat
A study from the Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis suggested that there are strong links between outdoor air pollution and an increased risk of diabetes worldwide.

According to the study, air pollution caused one in seven new cases of diabetes in 2016, adding that even low levels raised the chances of developing the chronic disease.

The study estimated that pollution contributed to 3.2 million new diabetes cases globally in 2016 — or around 14 percent of all new diabetes cases globally that year, AFP reported.

“Our research shows a significant link between air pollution and diabetes globally,” said Ziyad Al-Aly, the study’s senior author.

Pollution is believed to affect the production of insulin in the body, “preventing the body from converting blood glucose into energy that the body needs to maintain health,” the research elaborated.

Al-Aly said the research, published in the Lancet Planetary Health, proved a higher risk even with levels of air pollution currently considered safe by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

“This is important because many industry lobbying groups argue that current levels are too stringent and should be relaxed. Evidence shows that current levels are still not sufficiently safe and need to be tightened,” he added.

According to AFP, diabetes affects more than 420 million people globally and is one of the world’s fastest growing diseases.

India Supreme Court Tells Government To Clean Up New Delhi’s Air: If People Can’t Breathe All Industry Will Stop

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES)

SC okays Centre’s action plan to tackle air pollution in Delhi-NCR

INDIA Updated: Dec 03, 2016 01:02 IST

Bhadra Sinha
Bhadra Sinha
Hindustan Times
The grading system will ensure that certain steps can be automatically introduced. When air quality dips, the odd-even car rationing formula will kick in, along with closure of schools, a four-fold hike in parking fee, ban on entry of trucks, and halt in construction activities.The order came after the top court approved the Central Pollution Control Board’s (CPCB) “graded response action plan” that outlines measures based on air quality — moderate to poor, very poor, severe, and severe-plus or emergency. A separate set of action plan has been suggested for each category.

A bench headed by Chief Justice TS Thakur asked the board to install real-time and manual pollution monitoring stations in Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan to check air quality for the graded response.

Smoke from farm fires, construction dusts, exhaust fumes from vehicles and factories, and firecrackers combined to shroud New Delhi and its satellite cities in their worst smog for 17 years after Diwali in November. The government was forced to take emergency steps such as closing schools and halting construction, while the judiciary too chipped in with stinging remarks against administrative inaction to clean up the Capital’s foul air.

“Do you want to wait till people start dying? People are gasping for breath,” a bench headed by Chief Justice Thakur said then.

The board, which the top court had pulled up for failing to make a roadmap to reduce air pollution, said severe and very poor air quality are common during winter: November to February.

The air quality index is measured on the basis of PM2.5 and PM10 in the atmosphere, which are tiny particles of dust that can cause grave respiratory disorder and damage the lungs.

The situation becomes severe or emergency when PM2.5 level is above 300 microgram per cubic meter or PM10 crosses the 500-mark. In such a scenario, authorities will close schools, stop the entry of diesel trucks into the Capital, halt construction activities, introduce the odd-even scheme for private vehicles, and hike parking fees.

The graded response fixes responsibility on the agency that has to enforce the measure.

Ban on diesel generators, construction and burning of garbage on landfill sites will kick in if the air index is very poor, with PM2.5 between 121 and 250.

When air quality is moderate or poor, the steps to be taken are ban on garbage burning, watering of fly ash ponds, closure of brick kilns and polluting industries, and mechanised sweeping of roads.

China And UK Are Going To Work Together In Humanity Science Projects For All Mankind

(This article is courtesy of the Shanghai Daily News)

Research collaboration a key to global partnership between China and UK

RACING against time to find a new antibiotic that will prevent 10 million people every year dying from common infections. Creating new strains of rice that can feed more people while cutting down on polluting fertilizers.  Finding commercial, scale-able applications for a new material a single atom in thickness.  Pinning down exactly how and how badly air pollution harms human health so we can take the best measures to protect ourselves.  Crunching huge amounts of data to predict in much more detail what climate change will mean for specific communities and how they can best adapt.

What do all these have in common?  They are just a few of the many areas where UK and Chinese scientists, innovators and businesses are working together.  It is why research collaboration is one of the most important parts of the global partnership with the UK that President Xi Jinping announced during his state visit last year.

The global challenges we face are huge.  And there is an obvious and natural reason why the UK and China are such strategic scientific partners.

The UK has four of the top 25 research universities in the world – the rest of the world outside the US contributes just two. In the past 15 years, we’ve won 14 Nobel prizes for science, again more than any other country than the US. Although we only make up less than one percent of the world’s population, we contribute one in every seven of the most highly cited scientific papers. From television to the internet, from DNA fingerprinting to Maglev trains, UK innovation has shaped the modern world.

This won’t change. Earlier this month the first scientists moved into the biggest biomedical research institute in Europe – the Francis Crick Institute in London. The UK government has also confirmed that we will guarantee funding for collaborative research with other EU countries as part of Horizon 2020, if it is successfully applied for before we leave the EU. So the hugely valuable work we are doing under Horizon 2020 will continue. Internationally, the UK will be the global headquarters for the world’s largest radio telescope, the Square Kilometre Array, and we’ve just signed up as full members of the major new particle accelerator – European Spallation Source – which will be bigger than CERN.

And the story in China is equally impressive. In the past 20 years, China’s R&D budgets have grown by a massive 40 times, making it today the second biggest scientific funder in the world. And Innovation runs through the core of the 13th Five Year Plan, with ambitious targets in 13 major areas.

It is no wonder then that the UK has overtaken Japan to become China’s second largest scientific collaboration partner as measured by joint papers. Nor is it a surprise that such collaboration is bearing fruit. Independent citation data shows that when UK and Chinese scientists work together their results are more widely read and have more impact than when either works alone.

The Pujiang Innovation Forum later this week – where the UK is country of honor – is an opportunity both to celebrate that success and to plan for the future. We are bringing out 150 top scientists – including the Nobel Prize winner Kostya Novoselov who invented that one atom thick material, grapheme – led by me and by our government Chief Scientific Adviser, Mark Walport. We’ll be making some exciting announcements including the opening up in Shanghai of a new joint UK-China center for plant and microbial science.

In my job as Minister for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation I get to see many examples of British scientific excellence and collaboration around the world. But none is more exciting and more significant than the work that the UK and China are doing, together, to push forward human understanding and through scientific endeavor build a better world.