John Pickering

Dr John Pickering is an Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Otago, Christchurch and a Senior Research Fellow in Acute Care in the Emergency Department of Christchurch hospital. John aims to blog on science, health, and occasionally political issues. He believes publicly funded science should be made public - so publishes regular "cheesecake files" about his own research. John is on Twitter @kiwiskinz

The minister missed the point - Kidney Punch

Dec 10, 2012

Last week Radio NZ put together a piece on grant funding.  The audio can be downloaded from here http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/2540317/scientists,-minister-at-odds-over-research-funding Prof Juliet Gerrard, Dr Mark Green, Dr Robin Olds, Dr David Baddeley and myself all pointed out that the government grant funding system is in crisis because only 7-8% of applications are funded.  We also noted … Continue reading »

Hope for Type I diabetics - Kidney Punch

Nov 23, 2012

Living Cells Technology have announced the beginning of phase II trials of their product for helping Type I diabetics (they call it DIABECELL).  The idea behind the technology is to inject cells (called islet cells – normally present in the pancreas) that can sense glucose levels and release insulin.  LCT has managed to isolate these … Continue reading »

Ponting’s last innings - Kidney Punch

Nov 06, 2012

“Only as good as your last match” goes the cliché.  This is true for Ricky Ponting and here is why. I recently published an article1 (Open Access ) on some new techniques being used in medical research which determine if making an additional measurement improves what we call “risk stratification.”  In other words – does … Continue reading »

Congratulations awardees – shame on the system - Kidney Punch

Oct 25, 2012

At 1am this morning (has someone something to hide?) the recipients of Marsden grants were announced. Congratulations to them all. $54.6 million was distributed over 86 research projects.  Marsden funds “blue skies” research across a number of disciplines – humanities, science, technology etc. The list of topics reflect the diversity.  I think that they are … Continue reading »

Faith justified? – a vital tale - Kidney Punch

Oct 19, 2012

Expensive pee or elixir of life?  The two extreme views of multivitamins.  I’ve been taking multivitamins for a number of years now.  I’ve taken them on faith backed by a little evidence.  This week, I think for the first time, a randomised controlled trial has provided high quality evidence that my faith is justified.  More … Continue reading »

Note to self – eat more chocolate - Kidney Punch

Oct 17, 2012

Apparently the pinnacle of one’s scientific career is to win a Nobel Prize.  Having not won a Nobel yet I will just need to accept by faith that it would indeed be the pinnacle of my career.  Thanks to a brilliant article in the New England Journal of Medicine this week I now have a … Continue reading »