Latest POSTnotes from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology

The Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology has recently published the following POSTnotes:

Stroke

Stroke is the third largest cause of mortality in the UK, and the largest cause of adult disability. It has a high clinical and societal burden, and can have a profound effect on people’s lives. This POSTnote summarises the different types of stroke, and examines treatment, prevention strategies and recent service re-organisation.

Ambient Air Quality

National and European regulations have improved UK ambient air quality. However, current air pollution levels continue to harm human health and the environment. This POSTnote summarises the evidence for effects of air pollutants and policies to address them.

New Nuclear Power Technologies

Nuclear power stations provide a low carbon source of electricity, which could help the UK achieve its policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050. This POSTnote reviews new and potential future nuclear power technologies. It also outlines the regulatory approach toward new nuclear build and summarises some of the related challenges.

Telehealth and Telecare

The UK’s elderly population is growing and with it the number of people with long-term health problems. This is putting pressure on the health and social care systems. Increased use of technology such as telehealth and telecare may help to improve quality of care and reduce costs. This note describes current UK telehealth and telecare initiatives and the role they may play in delivering future care.

Electronic Cigarettes

Electronic cigarettes produce a vapour typically containing nicotine, which users inhale. There is debate about their potential role in tobacco smoking reduction and cessation. This POSTnote summarises the evidence on the safety and quality of electronic cigarettes, explores some of the social issues raised and reviews current UK and EU regulation.

Risks from Climate Feedback

The Fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC concluded that human activities are causing the climate to warm, but there is uncertainty in how the climate will continue to change. Climate feedbacks could both increase and decrease global warming. This POSTnote discusses what climate feedbacks are, as well as the challenges they present for climate change mitigation policies.

Livestock Emissions

Livestock farming results in the emission of the greenhouse gases (GHG) methane and nitrous oxide. Such emissions are difficult to accurately quantify and control. This POSTnote examines current policy and prospects for further reductions in emissions.

See the POST website here.

If you would like further information on these briefings, please contact post@parliament.uk or call 020 7219 8377.