Journalists

Journalists

Covering current events in science, the environment, technology and health requires a context and reliable sources that respond quickly.

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When science hits the headlines, we publish reactions, explanations, and in-depth analysis from reliable sources, capturing both the evidence and the debates. Our library of science journalism resources and the briefings may be of use to you. Consult our directory of research centres.

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We are on the lookout for any controversial information about science (embargoed or not), in order to react with the agility the media needs. Sign up to receive our embargoed contents, all under the Creative Commons licence. Find out more about how we work here.

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Reactions to study finding a neuron migration pathway active up to two years of age

A study published in Nature in which researchers from the University of Valencia have participated has identified a neuron migration route that begins in the foetus around mid-gestation and continues until between two and three years of age. The route extends from the lateral ventricle, where these cells are born, to the entorhinal cortex, an area related to the regions where memory and learning are consolidated. There, neurons await signals that induce them to mature, providing plasticity to the brain after birth.

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Reactions to study linking ultra-processed food to 32 health effects, with varying degrees of evidence

Eating more ultra-processed foods is linked to a higher risk of health problems, according to an umbrella review of 45 previous meta-analyses, involving almost 10 million people in total. The research, published in The BMJ, finds direct associations between exposure to ultra-processed foods and 32 health parameters. The strongest evidence links this exposure to cardiometabolic health problems, mental disorders and overall mortality.

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Reaction: sexual harassment on public transport harms women's health and forces them to change their behaviour

Sexual harassment on public transport affects the health and well-being of women around the world, according to a study by the University of Valencia. These events cause them to change their behaviour - for example, they travel accompanied, avoid certain places and stations or certain times of the day - as explained by the research, which analyses almost 30 previous studies carried out on several continents. The authors, whose study is published in PLoS ONE, highlight the contrast between "high government awareness of the problem and the paucity of measures to improve women's safety on transport". In addition, they propose including women in transport decision-making.

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Reactions: epigenetic editing technique lowers cholesterol in mice without altering DNA

Epigenetic editing is a technique that aims to alter gene expression without the need to modify the DNA sequence, as gene editing techniques do. In this way, Italian researchers have succeeded in silencing the PCSK9 gene in mice, thereby reducing cholesterol levels by half for at least a year. According to the authors, and assuming further evaluation is needed, their platform "could lay the foundations for the development of this type of therapy". The results are published in the journal Nature.

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Reaction: new evidence on the link between father's age and genetic disorders in offspring

Sperm from older fathers are more likely to pass on new mutations that would cause congenital disorders to their babies, while other mutations are independent of paternal age, says a study published in Genome Biology and Evolution. The team analysed the frequency of ten FGFR3 gene variants in semen samples from anonymous donors aged 23-59 years in Austria. Two pathogenic mutations of this gene do occur more frequently in older fathers: those associated with achondroplasia and with thanatophoric dysplasia, a rare and very fatal disease. Other mutations have no correlation with paternal age and may occur in the testes before sexual maturation, according to the study.

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Reaction: obscure genome region linked to memory and learning problems in people with Down syndrome

A team of researchers at the Centre for Genomic Regulation in Barcelona (CRG) has found that a region of the genome is less active in model mice and people with Down's syndrome. This region is found in the so-called dark genome and does not code for a protein. According to the authors of the study, this "leads to reduced neurogenesis and impaired plasticity, which play a direct role in learning and memory". The results are published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.

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Reactions: the Prime Minister announces the design of a foundational model of an artificial intelligence language trained in Spanish

The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, announced last night at the welcome dinner of the GSMA Mobile World Congress (MWC) Barcelona 2024, the construction of a foundational model of artificial intelligence language, trained in Spanish and co-official languages, in open and transparent code, and with the intention of incorporating Latin American countries. For its development, the Government will work with the Barcelona Supercomputing Center and the Spanish Supercomputing Network, together with the Spanish Academy of Language and the Association of Spanish Language Academies.

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Reaction: EMA recommends approval for new ALS drug

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has recommended granting marketing authorisation in the European Union for a new therapy for the treatment of adult patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a rare and frequently fatal disease that causes muscle weakness and leads to paralysis. Qalsody (tofersen) is indicated for the treatment of adults with ALS who have a mutation in the SOD1 gene. There is currently only one treatment for ALS authorised in the EU (riluzole).

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Reaction to study finding increased cancer risk in men with fertility problems and their family members

US research has analysed data from more than 300,000 people and found that both men with fertility problems and their family members have an increased risk of developing various types of cancer and at an earlier age. The results are published in the journal Human Reproduction.

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