Bad times, slimmer children?

On January 21, Judit Vall Castelló from the Centre for Research in Health and Economics (Pompeu Fabra University) gave a conference at the PRBB invited by the CREAL. She talked about her last study on the effect of business cycle conditions on children’s weight. She explained that the majority of the research connecting recessions with body-weight has so far focused on adults or babies. In adults, most of the literature finds a link between better economy and weight increase, which would suggest that recessions are “good” for adult’s health. But, is it the same for children? Spain is one of the … Continue reading Bad times, slimmer children?

Europeans are becoming more aware of the city air around them

Guest post written by Tom Cole-Hunter, researcher at the CREAL. Photos by Raül Torán. In the months of September and October, the Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL, an ISGlobal centre) collaborated with the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO) as partners in the iSPEX-EU project. The essence of this project is to capitalize on large-scale, citizen contributions to science (‘citizen science’) such as observations of their environment with simple tools that compliment their existing way-of-life. CREAL, identified by ICFO as now prominent in local citizen science activities due to leading roles in projects such as CITI-SENSE, was approached to assist in the … Continue reading Europeans are becoming more aware of the city air around them

“Cancer prevention requires the vision, courage, and political leadership to make long term decisions”

Christopher Wild has been the Director of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the cancer agency of the World Health Organization (WHO), since 2009. Married to a neuroscientist and father of three, this epidemiologist and Man United fan came to the PRBB in March to give the 3rd Global Health session co-organised by ISGlobal, CRESIB, and CREAL. How has the burden of cancer changed over recent years? The incidence of cancer globally has increased: there were 14 million new cases in 2012 and it is expected we will reach 24 million new cases by 2035. Also, about 70% … Continue reading “Cancer prevention requires the vision, courage, and political leadership to make long term decisions”

Science at PRBB: Roberto Elosua’s group on cardiovascular epidemiology and genetics

The Cardiovascular epidemiology and genetics research group, led by Roberto Elosua and Jaume Marrugat at the IMIM, tries to identify the incidence of cardiovascular diseases, their determinants and evaluate prevention strategies. In this short video, Dr Elosua explains their research … Continue reading Science at PRBB: Roberto Elosua’s group on cardiovascular epidemiology and genetics

Science at PRBB video: Mark Nieuwenhuijsen’s lab (CREAL) in one minute

How is our health affected by pollution, green spaces, urban design and active transport? This is what Mark Nieuwenhuijsen is studying at the Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL), located at the Barcelona Biomedical Research Park (PRBB). In this … Continue reading Science at PRBB video: Mark Nieuwenhuijsen’s lab (CREAL) in one minute

DNA isolation method may affect methylation results

Researchers from the neurovascular research group at the IMIM have recently published a paper showing that, when studying DNA methylation, the protocol used for DNA isolation can affect the results. In the paper published in the Open Access journal PLoS One, Jaume Roquer and the rest of the authors – all part of the Spanish Stroke Genetics Consortium – used three different commercial kits for DNA extraction for each sample, and then quantified the global DNA methylation (GDM) by a luminometric methylation assay (LUMA). In the 580 samples analysed, they found significant differences in GDM in the same samples between the three … Continue reading DNA isolation method may affect methylation results

Environmental exposures and child health – a new European study

The official kick-off of the HELIX project (The Human Early-LIfe Exposome) will be taking place on March 11-13 at the PRBB, with public conferences in the Auditorium on the first day. Coordinated by Martine Vrijheid from CREAL, HELIX has received €8.6M from the European Commission’s 7th Framework Programme. It aims to build an early life “Exposome”, a collection of all early-life environmental exposures affecting children, and it has 4 years and a half, from January 2013 to July 2017, to do so. HELIX will develop tools to measure the exposome, including the use of smartphones and biological markers. The project involves 13 partners from eight … Continue reading Environmental exposures and child health – a new European study

How much pollution are you exposed to? Ask your smartphone!

Exposure assessment in epidemiological studies is a tricky issue, because of the difficulty of constantly tracking people’s activity and location, both of which can affect the exposure to pollution. Researchers at CREAL have shown how using smartphone technology can help to reduce this bias in health effects estimates. Audrey de Nazelle, a postdoc at Mark Nieuwenhuijsen’s lab who has currently started her own group at the Centre for Environmental Policy, Imperial College in London, used the CalFit smartphone technology to track person-level time, geographic location, and physical activity patterns for improved air pollution exposure assessment. CalFit is a ubiquitous sensing … Continue reading How much pollution are you exposed to? Ask your smartphone!