Science & Health Round-Up: Ministry warns climate solution companies to protect their intellectual property rights - The Post

Science & Health Round-Up: Ministry warns climate solution companies to protect their intellectual property rights

In other news, antibiotic consumption is falling among both patients and livestock

Ministry warns that if you’re not copyright protected, you’re juggling (photo:
September 26th, 2019 2:14 pm| by Ben Hamilton

A new European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) report, which illustrates how important climate solutions have become to the union’s economic output, has prompted the Business Ministry to warn Danish companies in the sector that they must ensure their technology is effectively patented.

Nearly 5 percent of continent’s GDP
“If Denmark is to remain among the leading nations in the field of green change, it is important that companies protect their intellectual property rights,” the ministry reasons.

Today, climate solutions companies, which tend to pay their employees significantly better than other industries, account for 4.7 percent of the EU’s total GDP, employ 2.5 percent of its workforce, and account for almost 10 percent of all patent applications.

Born out of the green transition
“Many of the export adventures that today make Denmark a prosperous society have been born out of the green transition,” enthused Simon Kollerup, the business minister.

“We must protect this so that our talented and innovative companies do not risk foreign competitors running off with their good ideas – and thus also with their exports and growth potential. In this context, the protection of intellectual property is essential.”

Read the full report here.

Blood poisoning alert as VRE infections continue to increase
The number of infections involving the multi-resistant bacteria vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) continues to increase. In 2017, it was reported by Danmap that the number of Danes infected by VRE had shot up seven-fold since 2012, and now Danmap claims there were 97 infections in 2018 –  the highest ever number. The bacteria, which is usually ingested, can lead to bloodstream, bladder and urinal tract infections. In worst-case scenarios they can be deadly. The antibiotics used to partially treat VRE tend to have serious side effects.

GPs prescribing fewer antibiotics
Antibiotic consumption in Denmark continues to decline, as GPs choose to prescribe fewer to their patients, reports the Statens Serum Institut. A Danmap report on antibiotic consumption in 2018 confirms the decline, revealing that consumption has fallen by 18 percent since 2011, when consumption peaked: from 17.06 daily doses per 1,000 inhabitants to 13.98 doses. The number of annual prescriptions, meanwhile, fell by 28 percent from 638 per 1,000 inhabitants to 459.

It’s official: this is a whooping cough epidemic
The Statens Serum Institut has declared a whooping cough epidemic, as there are now more than three times the normal number of cases expected in Denmark. Some 351 people were diagnosed with whooping cough in August, continuing the upward trend of 2019. Overall, there were 1,323 cases in the first eight months of the year, of which 137 were reported among infants under the age of two, the most at-risk group.

READ MORE: Denmark on the verge of a whooping cough epidemic

Flu vaccinations effective at protecting mothers and new-borns
A new efficacy study conducted by the Statens Serum Institut confirms that flu vaccinations really do improve the chances of pregnant women and their new-borns of avoiding the virus. The study revealed that the women had a 64 percent lower risk of getting ill than somebody unvaccinated, and that their babies had a 57 percent lower risk. Since 2010, in adherence with World Health Organization guidelines, all pregnant women are offered free flu vaccines.

Livestock antibiotic consumption in freefall
Antibiotic consumption by Danish livestock has fallen for the fifth consecutive year, according to Danmap figures. Overall consumption has fallen by 14 percent since 2013, but not all farmers have registered steady decreases. Usage amongst mink farmers, for example, had been rising of late, but in 2018 antibiotic treatments fell by 40 percent compared to 2017 – its lowest rate since 2009. Usage amongst pig farmers, who account for 75 percent of the total volume, fell by 5 percent last year.