On October 26th a short symposium was held by Science's office in Cambridge UK, on the theme of disease prevention. The symposium featured some of the speakers who had contributed to Science special feature on this topic on September 21st. Abstracts of the talks are featured below.
Richard Smith (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)
Effective prevention of noncommunicable diseases will require changes in how we live, and thereby effect important economic changes across populations, sectors, and countries. What we do not know is which populations, sectors, or countries will be positively or negatively affected by such changes, nor by how much. Without this information we cannot know which policies will produce effects that are beneficial both for economies and for health.
Toxicologists have long held that the dose makes the poison: A substance can cause harm only in amounts high enough to overwhelm the body’s defenses. But a major conceptual shift is underway, a leading expert said recently at AAAS, with much more attention being paid to low-dose chemical exposures and the impact they can have even many years later.