23 – 29 April 2018

New research co-authored by LSHTM finds that taxing sweet snacks could lead to broader reductions in the amount of sugar purchased than similar increases in the price of sugar-sweetened beverages. Richard Smith said: “We know that increasing the price of sugar-sweetened beverages is likely to generate a small, but significant, reduction in their purchase. However, there has been little research on the impact that a similar price increase on other sweet foods such as chocolate, confectionery, cakes and biscuits could have on the purchase of sugar.” The research is reported in The Telegraph, The Times, The Sun, European Scientist, Medical Xpress and Talking Retail. The story was also covered in more than 250 outlets via Press Association, including ITV.

Ailie Robinson talks to the Naked Scientists podcast about her recent study showing that children infected with malaria parasites produce a distinctive odour making them more attractive to mosquitoes than uninfected children.

Heidi Larson is interviewed by Horizon Magazine about vaccine hesitancy and how it can be linked to a movement towards alternative health practices. Heidi says: “Sometimes there are concerns about vaccine ingredients, usually based on a misinterpretation of the science. There is misinformation circulating online about, for example, some compounds that contain metals. But there are also strong underlying beliefs linked to religion, philosophy and politics.”

To mark World Immunisation Week, Ngozi Erondu writes for Scientific American about how mass immunisation has greatly reduced the incidence of many illnesses, but there is still more work to be done. Ngozi says: “While vaccination campaigns are underway to combat outbreaks in Yemen and Bangladesh, the more than 100 combined deaths from a disease with one of the oldest and most effective vaccines reminds us that we must be proactive in crises and work across humanitarian and development divides to avert vaccine-preventable diseases from resurging among refugee and migrant communities.”

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