Early-life solutions to the modern health crisis

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as allergies, asthma, cancer, diabetes and obesity are on the rise. Inflammation and immune dysregulation are common features of these conditions, often associated with environmental and lifestyle risk factors such as dietary patterns, environmental pollutants, microbial patterns and stress.

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Preventing future pandemics

There has been a significant increase in asthma and allergies in high-income countries over the past few decades. These diseases are also increasingly prevalent in developing countries, which can substantially increase mortality rates since proper medication is often expensive. The causes of asthma and allergies are not well understood, and there is currently neither a cure or effective prevention. At the same time, parasitic infections have decreased and have known immunological effects.

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Ensuring Environmental Livelihood Security

In communities where livelihoods are linked to the land and sea, environmental security is of utmost importance. This is particularly true in the developing nations of the Asia-Pacific, where many localities have a high dependency on fisheries, tourism and agriculture. Moreover, global changes are increasingly resulting in challenging localised impacts, such as increased frequency of extreme events. Thus, understanding the social-environment system is imperative to providing solutions for responding to climate change.

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‘Big Data’ generates need for ‘Data Diplomacy’

“Data Diplomacy” seeks to better understand the role that data sharing plays as an agent in social and political relationships around the world. Examples of data diplomacy can include: negotiations between two competing health systems to enable access to electronic medical records of shared patients; cross-national sharing of outbreak data, such as ownership of and access to information about people impacted by Ebola virus; or the impact on diplomatic relationships among nations due to systematic “leakages” of data, evidenced by the Edward Snowden case.

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New study on asthma provides strong argument for focusing on the environment of young men

"It has been very difficult to get these [results] published, because the concept of adolescent boys, having impact on their offspring born years later is new and editors could not believe our findings. I think that the WUN can inspire further research to support our findings and convey the new concepts to public health policy makers..."

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CUHK Launches New AoE Centre on Plant-Environment Interaction

The Chinese University of Hong Kong has been awarded some HK$8m from the Hong Kong University Grants Committee to lead the AoE Centre for Genomic Studies on Plant-Environment Interaction for Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security from 2017 to 2025. The new AoE Centre will develop new plant and agricultural technology with a view to striking a better balance between sustainable agriculture and food security. 

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