Chronic disease prevention using wearable technology: not that simple

Since the last decade, wearable technology moved from developers’ drawing boards to stores, with barely a whisper of disquiet about data privacy. Yet, the implications for data privacy should not be underestimated. There is growing interest in the potential of wearables to mitigate, treat or prevent chronic conditions which put a strain on health economies–ranging from chronic back pain or physical stress injuries to mental health issues like work-related stress. EuroScientist investigates how the latest regulatory framework could secure people’s privacy as they strive to prevent chronic conditions through wearable technology.

Suspicion-laden paralysis over new nanotechnology labelling and register

Nanotechologies are the perfect case study to identify lobbying forces at work in the regulatory process in Brussels. Compulsory labelling or the implementation of a register for products containing nanotech components have been at the centre of the debate spreading over an inordinately long time. But such decisions will only come at the end of a protracted debate between the European Commission, industry, consumer representatives and environment protection organisations. In the end, evidence-base and the precautionary principle may not be the base for political decisions at the EU level.

William Gunn: When technology shifts the academic balance

William Gunn is head of academic outreach for Mendeley. He views social networks as the skeleton which supports the flesh and muscle of more substantial online and offline interactions. In this exclusive interview to EuroScientist, he shares his views on how technology is influencing the research pace. I also talks about how social networks have facilitated increased collaborations in research, thus responding to the funders’ requirements to produce research with the highest impact.

EC appoints Science and Technology Advisory Council

The European Commission has set up a science advisory body that will report directly to its president, José Manuel Barroso. The Science and Technology Advisory Council will identify areas where research and innovation can contribute to Europe’s growth—with a particular focus on benefits and risks of science and technology advances and how to communicate these.

How AI can enhance science’s most powerful tools

Artificial intelligence is a rapidly growing field of science and technology, yet the potential it holds for enhancing some of the world’s most powerful experimental tools such as neutron and x-ray probes is yet to be fully explored. Applying machine learning methods to processes within these international experimental facilities could help to overcome some of the biggest challenges faced by scientists today. This includes automating some of the handling, processing, and linking together of large datasets. At Institut Laue-Langevin, exploratory projects are already underway to ensure scattering science also reaps the benefits of artificial intelligence research.