Virologist Luis Enjuanes, Spain's foremost expert on coronaviruses, , is working non-stop. From his laboratory at the CSIC's National Centre for Biotechnology, he is engaged in trying to find, in the shortest time possible, a vaccine to stop the COVID-19 epidemic.
Spanish epidemiologists and geologists have found associations between esophageal cancer and soils where lead is abundant, lung cancer and terrains with increased copper content, brain tumor with areas rich in arsenic, and bladder cancer with high cadmium levels. These statistical links do not indicate that there is a cause-effect relationship between soil type and cancer, but they suggest that the influence of metals from the earth's surface on the geographical distribution of tumors should be analyzed.
Measles infections have rebounded. After reaching historical lows in Europe in 2016, last year cases quadrupled with more than 20,000 people affected and 35 deaths. The loss of respect for the disease has propagated unscientific theories that question the importance of vaccination. But the virus does not rest.
Researchers from Spain have analysed the prevalence of leishmaniasis among the population of organ transplant recipients. The findings of this study, published in the journal ‘PLoS Neglected Tropical Disease’, confirm that the risk of developing visceral leishmaniasis ‑the most severe form of the disease which can pose life-threatening complications‑ is more than one hundred times greater in transplant patients living in areas of disease outbreak.
A study on European children concludes that spending more than two hours a day in front of a screen increases the probability of high blood pressure by 30%. The article also points out that doing no daily physical activity or doing less than an hour a day increases this risk by 50%.
Researchers from the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona (Spain) have reviewed ten years’ worth of scientific studies on mitochondrial toxicity in pregnant women. Exposure to toxic agents such as viruses, certain drugs, pesticides, alcohol and tobacco cause mitochondrial diseases about which very little is known, and which are transmitted from the mother to the foetus.
A Spanish researcher has collaborated on a mathematical analysis, recently published in the journal ‘Science Translational Medicine’, which concludes that joint therapy to counter HIV in patients who also have hepatitis C increases the chance of success in the fight against both infections. Between eight and nine million people worldwide simultaneously suffer from AIDS and hepatitis C.
Scientists in Barcelona have found a high presence of papillomavirus infection in oral, anal and penile cavities in HIV-positive men, particularly in the anal cavities of men who have homosexual sex. The researchers recommend routine examination of the three areas in all men, independently of their sexual behaviour.