Health and Medicine

Debating science - Open Parachute

Ken Perrott Apr 25, 2017

This last week has certainly raised the profile of the “science debate” in New Zealand. Most importantly we saw big turnouts for the Science March in several major cities – a demonstration that lots of scientists and supporters of science feel that science could be threatened – or at least that it is unappreciated by the politicians and other decision-makers. Maybe … Read More

Mapping the link between biodiversity and wellbeing – NatureBuzz - The Psychology Report

Sarb Johal Apr 24, 2017

In this week’s Psychology Report I talked with Laurie Parma from the Department of Psychology at the University of Cambridge in England, about Nature Buzz (iTunes / Android)- the new research application they have developed to explore the links between nature and well-being.     Have a read of this conversation to understand more … Read More

Will liberalising nicotine availability increase quitting? - Public Health Expert

Public Health Expert Apr 24, 2017

Prof Janet Hoek, Mei-Ling Blank, Prof Nick Wilson, Lindsay Robertson, Dr Louise Marsh Do the New Zealand (NZ) Government’s proposed changes to liberalise the e-cigarette market set out a robust process for helping people who smoke to switch to e-cigarettes? In this blog, we discuss the proposed regulatory changes and explain some of the complex practices smokers must adopt … Read More

Superbug death may herald ‘start of the post-antibiotic era’ - News

John Kerr Apr 21, 2017

Infectious disease experts are “deeply alarmed” by the death of a US woman due to a bacterial infection resistant to all available antibiotics. Writing this week in a  Medical Journal of Australia editorial, researchers warn that the case may herald “the start of the post-antibiotic era.” Professor Cheryl Jones, President of the Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases (ASID), and … Read More

Book review: Antibiotic Resistance – the end of modern medicine? - Scibooks

Sarah-Jane O'Connor Apr 21, 2017

A new book summarising the risks of antibiotic resistance by prominent Kiwi scientist Dr Siouxsie Wiles is an excellent overview of the issue, and what you should be aware of. Antibiotic Resistance: The End of Modern Medicine?, published by Bridget Williams Books, draws on Siouxsie’s expertise as a microbiologist to discuss the threat facing modern medicine if we lose … Read More

A failure to regulate - Honest Universe

Mark Hanna Apr 19, 2017

New Zealand has several layers of regulation to protect us against misleading health claims. Sometimes they all fail. My struggle against quackery over the last few years has given me some familiarity with the ways we’re protected against it, and with their shortcomings. Misleading people about their healthcare options is something that is clearly unethical. To quote the alt text … Read More

Is it time to pilot a test and treat programme for reducing the stomach cancer burden and inequalities in NZ? - Public Health Expert

Public Health Expert Apr 18, 2017

Dr Andrea Teng, Dr Melissa McLeod, Professor Tony Blakely, Professor Nick Wilson  We have just published a modelling study on stomach cancer prevention in the international journal BMC Infectious Diseases (1). This blog briefly examines how a possible population screening programme, that tests and treats for infection by the bacteria Helicobacter pylori in the stomach, may be a cost-effective way to … Read More

An even quicker way to rule out heart attacks - Kidney Punch

John Pickering Apr 18, 2017

The majority of New Zealand emergency departments look for heart muscle damage by taking a sample of blood and looking for a particular molecule called a high-sensitivity troponin T (hsTnT).  We have now confirmed that rather than two measurements over several hours just one measurement on arrival in the ED could be used to rule out heart attacks in about 30% … Read More

An open letter on fluoride, science and kindness - Nano Girl

Michelle Dickinson Apr 17, 2017

Dear Lorraine, I see that last week you decided to send this message to Green Party MP Julie Anne Genter: After reading your e-mail I decided to create a flowchart for you to follow for the next time that you decide to interact with another human being.  This should especially be used when communicating with people that you … Read More

No, fluoridation is not associated with leading causes of death - Open Parachute

Ken Perrott Apr 16, 2017

We are all going to die but fluoridation isn’t killing us. Oh, dear – the local anti-fluoridation people are at it again. More cases of fiddling statistics  – and yet again the guilty party is the US anti-fluoridation activist Karen Favazza Spencer. She should really take some advice about statistics. Although I suspect she doesn’t care – she is just … Read More