Hardev Panda, Professor of Medical Oncology, comments: "The report highlights the enormous scale of the burden of cancer will have to human health, proportionate to an increased life expectancy. The huge investment and international collaboration in landmark projects such as the TCGA (The Cancer Genome Atlas) is at least giving us molecular 'encyclopaedias' as to the genetic makeup of cancers. In this way, cancer drug development will continue, evolve and become increasingly personalised. In contrast, we know very small changes in lifestyle and diet has the potential to significantly reduce the impact of cancer as we age, but these changes have to be ensured through education and information from early school years."
The Government has announced an independent review of cigarette packaging in England, amid calls for action to discourage young smokers.
Jane Ogden, Professor in Health Psychology, comments: "At last the Government has decided to bring in plain packaging for cigarettes. The tobacco industry won't like this but it is yet another step towards reducing smoking-related morbidity. It might help current smokers stop but more likely it will reduce the numbers of young people starting which is great news for our future generation."
The Scottish Government has published its white paper on independence, calling it a 'mission statement' for Scotland's future.
Dr Simon Usherwood, Senior Lecturer, comments: "Today’s launch of the White Paper on Scottish independence marks an important development of the referendum campaign. For the nationalists, it represents a blueprint for how they see an independent Scotland working, allowing them to rebuff those who simply saw that they don’t have a grasp of the complexities involved. However, it also matters for the ‘no’ campaign, since it lets them start to hold the other side to the commitments they are making. This document moves the debate out of the abstract and into the realm of the practicalities of independence: how well each side manages that change will have a direct impact on next September’s vote."
An EU summit is due to begin in Brussels with fresh allegations of US spying threatening to overshadow talks.
Dr Jack Holland, Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Surrey, and author of Selling the War on Terror and co-editor of Obama’s Foreign Policy (published this month), commented: “President Obama was elected on an apparent platform of change, yet his foreign policy has been notable for its high degree of continuity. There are echoes of the War on Terror and Cold War in the latest accusations leveled against the United States and its surveillance activities."
Children who are overweight or obese should be encouraged to keep a food-and-activity diary, say new public health guidelines for England
Professor Jane Ogden, Lecturer in Psychology, comments: "We want children to be a healthy weight and active. We do not want them to become obsessed with their body size or shape, food or exercise. Getting children to keep diaries and monitor everything they do could well tip the vulnerable into a world of dieting and body dissatisfaction or even eating disorders or exercise addiction. Parents should monitor what food they buy and cook, how the family spends their free time, and how they talk and behave around food and exercise. But children should be kept blissfully unaware that this is going on."
Dr Alf Crossman, Senior Lecturer in Industrial Relations and HRM, comments: “News that Royal Mail workers are to go on strike on 4 November is unlikely to be received well by the general public. Earlier this week the Royal Mail confirmed that full-time Royal Mail employees received 725 shares which were valued at £3,545 and close of trading yesterday - that’s quite a windfall. Add to that the prospect of a 3-year pay deal of 8.6 per cent, some might argue the Posties are not doing too badly compared to other workers.
Dr Ann Gallagher, Reader in Nursing Ethics, comments: “‘Today’s proposals from the Care Quality Commission to have hidden cameras and mystery-shopper exercises in care homes and domiciliary care sound plausible but are rather missing the point. We hear repeated pleas that ‘something has to be done’ when there is yet another report of the abuse and neglect of the most vulnerable people in our communities. One episode of bad care is one too many. However, the idea that to promote and sustain ethical practice we need to introduce more surveillance and spot-checking is seriously misguided. The end of the appalling violations of human rights that took place at Winterbourne View was attributed to the Panorama secret filming. What we should take from this is not the success of covert filming but rather the failure of other processes to protect service users and ensure that staff are well-prepared and rewarded for the roles they assume.
Speaking about the award, Professor Norman Kirkby, Director of Research for Chemical and Process Engineering at the University of Surrey said: “We are absolutely delighted that the OPCW has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The work that it undertakes is complex, challenging and has gone largely unrecognised until now. The Chemical Weapons Convention that they oversee has been extremely successful in ensuring the destruction of chemical weapons in the signatory nations.