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 Hunting of the SNARF - Kidney Punch

Oct 01, 2012

Some of you may know Lewis Carroll’s classic nonsense poem “The hunting of the Snark”.  Eight men set off with a blank map to find the mythical Snark.  And the Banker, inspired with a courage so new           It was matter for general remark,      Rushed madly ahead and was lost to their view           … Continue reading »

Vitamin D: “Silver bullet or fool’s gold?” - Kidney Punch

Sep 21, 2012

Vitamin D has had big raps lately.  We know that low levels of it correlate with higher levels of some diseases, but does taking a supplement help?  An article in the Herald this morning by Martin Johnson nicely outlines a study  being undertaken by Professor Robert Scragg of the University of Auckland.  His is the … Continue reading »

One third of New Zealanders addicted to food: fact or fiction? - Kidney Punch

Sep 20, 2012

Today’s Press Headlines read “Third of Kiwis ‘need to kick food addiction’” The quote is attributed to Professor Doug Sellman, Director of the National Addiction Centre and is a call for more funding to support this group. My first reaction was “Give someone a hammer and everything looks like a nail.” Alas, I can’t leave … Continue reading »

How can donor rates be increased? : guest post - Kidney Punch

Sep 17, 2012

I read the following in Kidney Health New Zealand’s annual report and with KHNZ and Paula Martin’s permission I have reproduced her great report.  I am thrilled to see such important research being undertaken and as you’ll read, Paula has great motivation.  Paula is a PhD Candidate in the Health Services Research Centre, School of Government, Victoria … Continue reading »

The critical 1st 6 months post dialysis - Kidney Punch

Aug 27, 2012

Know someone about to start dialysis?  I am sitting in a conference hall and have just heard a fascinating talk by Prof Chris MacIntyre about the danger to other organs for those undertaking dialysis.  The stress dialysis puts on the vasculature is the culprit.  Myocardial stunning can occur in nearly 2 out of 3 paients … Continue reading »

Medals per capita is biased - Kidney Punch

Aug 14, 2012

The Games are over, let the analysis begin. We’ve had some fun with ranking countries’ performance at the London Olympics according to medals per million (medals per capita) or medals per 100 billion of Gross Domestic Product (see my tables below).  As I predicted a few posts back, the medals per capita will be one … Continue reading »