Making the most of medicine

While most medical research focuses on the quest for new treatments, much less attention is paid to how we can make better use of medicines that already exist. Yet up to half of patients don’t take long-term medicines as prescribed, which can result in serious harm or even death.

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Autism: resources and challenges

Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASCs) are one of the most important emerging health concerns. Approximately one in every 100 children is diagnosed with an ASC, which includes autism, Asperger syndrome and atypical autism. 

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Building better health systems

Caring for the growing number of patients with non-communicable disease is a challenge faced by policy-makers and healthcare providers across the world. To tackle the issue, a team of WUN experts in healthcare system planning have come together to share their unique insights from across Canada, the UK and Australia.

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Understanding the impacts of Chinese foreign direct investment

Since the adoption of the “go global” strategy in the early 2000s, China’s total outward foreign direct investment (FDI) stock has increased from US$30 billion to US$610 billion in 2014. The Economist estimates that the flow of Chinese outward investment will be US$264 billion in 2017 alone. Although China remains a relatively new player in outward FDI, this rapidly expanding flow of capital represents a host of opportunities and challenges for policy-makers, businesses and researchers.

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Improving global water services

One of the world’s most vital resources—water—is increasingly at the centre of debate. Its scarcity has intensified the movement toward water as a human right, yet private control over water utilities is simultaneously increasing. Although this tension is only just emerging, experts believe it will rapidly intensify as more investors seek access to fresh water in new countries.

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Creating the world’s first health literacy network

Health literacy is a relatively young field of research which focuses on people’s ability to understand health information and make decisions about their own health care. By helping patients to become more health literate, researchers hope to find ways to improve public health outcomes across low, middle and high-income countries.

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Indigenous research goes global

From climate change to improving public health, the world’s 350 million Indigenous people share a number of urgent challenges in common. Yet while many Indigenous groups are actively involved in forging solutions to the issues they face, there are surprisingly few organisations dedicated to disseminating and sharing their insights.

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The mathematics of disease

Medical research and advanced mathematics are usually considered separate disciplines. But for one WUN collaboration, bringing maths and biology together could hold the key to understanding how cells in the human body signal to each other, and might potentially unlock the secrets of a range of non-communicable diseases.

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Steps to sustainable livestock

Global food security has become an increasingly important issue as climate change further reduces the amount of land available for farming. Coupled to this is the higher demand for animal protein as developing nations become wealthier, and a higher demand for cereals, making them less attractive as animal feed at both an economic and social level. This has resulted on a greater emphasis on ruminant farming (e.g. cattle and goats) because these animals are capable of converting feed unsuitable for human consumption into high-value protein.

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Uncovering 2,000 years of trade

As the world’s two most populous countries, India and China, battle it out for superpower status, the Indian Ocean is growing in prominence as a key geopolitical region. But human memory is short when compared with the history of humankind. Archaeological evidence has unearthed a number of insights indicating that this Indian Ocean connection has been a key region of cultural interaction and trade for approximately 2,000 years.

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