Extensive research has recently been conducted on plant factory with artificial light, which is one type of closed plant production system (CPPS) consisting of a thermally insulated and airtight structure, a multi-tier system with lighting devices, air conditioners and fans, a CO2 supply unit, a nutrient solution supply unit, and an environment control unit. One of the research outcomes is the concept of resource use efficiency (RUE) of CPPS. This paper reviews the characteristics of the CPPS compared with those of the greenhouse, mainly from the viewpoint of RUE, which is defined as the ratio of the amount of the resource fixed or held in plants to the amount of the resource supplied to the CPPS. It is shown that the use efficiencies of water, CO2 and light energy are considerably higher in the CPPS than those in the greenhouse. On the other hand, there is much more room for improving the light and electric energy use efficiencies of CPPS. Challenging issues for CPPS and RUE are also discussed.
Non-communicable diseases (NCDs), such as diabetes mellitus and coronary heart disease, are chronic, non-infectious diseases of long duration. NCDs are increasingly widespread worldwide and are becoming a serious health and economic burden. NCDs arise from complex interactions between the genetic make-up of an individual and environmental factors. Several epidemiological studies have revealed that the perinatal environment influences health later in life, and have proposed the concept of developmental programming or developmental origin of health and disease (DOHaD). These studies suggest the importance of life course health care from fetal life, early childhood, adulthood, and through to old age. Recent progress in genomics, proteomics and diagnostic modalities holds promise for identifying high risk groups, predicting latent diseases, and allowing early intervention. Preemptive medicine is the ultimate goal of medicine, but to achieve it, the full participation of the public and all sectors of society is imperative.