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

Does being unconscious mean you should miss out? - Kidney Punch

May 14, 2014

The front page of the Herald this morning questions the participation of unconscious patients in clinical trials. While I understand Auckland Women’s Health Council co-ordinator Lynda Williams unease, I also detected a failure to understand the process of how progress in medicine is made. First, all research in such cases is approved by ethics committees which include … Continue reading

Oh hell - Kidney Punch

Apr 16, 2014

Oh Hell, that hurts!  I sat down in a hurry. My first thought was “I’m having a heart attack.”  My second was “Don’t be silly you’re only 49 and probably just gobbled lunch too quickly, again.”  Jess came up to me and said “Gosh, you look pale.”  I mumbled something about a bit of pain.  … Continue reading

A day to celebrate - Kidney Punch

Mar 13, 2014

If it weren’t for your kidneys where would you be? You’d be in the hospital or infirmary, If you didn’t have two functioning kidneys. (with apologies to John Clarke aka Fred Dagg) Happy World Kidney Day everyone. This blog started off life as $100 Dialysis because I believe that if we can make a computer … Continue reading

How Academia Resembles a Drug Gang - Kidney Punch

Dec 02, 2013

Originally posted on Alexandre Afonso:
In 2000, economist Steven Levitt and sociologist Sudhir Venkatesh published an article in the Quarterly Journal of Economics about the internal wage structure of a Chicago drug gang. This piece would later serve as a basis for a chapter in Levitt’s (and Dubner’s) best seller Freakonomics. [1] The title of the…

A taste of success - Kidney Punch

Nov 18, 2013

Some recent successes of University of Otago Christchurch researchers: Chlorine bleach key in disease? Professor Tony Kettle from the Centre for Free Radical Research has won a prestigious Marsden Fund grant to better understand a ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ chemical with a role in heart disease, cancer, cystic fibrosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Professor Kettle will investigate … Continue reading

Medical professionals act up - Kidney Punch

Nov 13, 2013

Actors are helping Christchurch medical students practise the skills necessary to relate to patients. Dr Lynette Murdoch organises the General Practice component for 4th year medical students at the University of Otago, Christchurch.  She says the General Practice Department has long employed professional actors to play the role of simulated patients. “The consultations our students … Continue reading

Legionnaires’ disease more common than once thought - Kidney Punch

Nov 11, 2013

Infectious diseases expert Professor David Murdoch is passionate about his work in better understanding legionnaires’ disease and its causes. “If I ever have the opportunity in my career to help eradicate a disease it would likely be legionnaires’ disease. It’s the most common cause of pneumonia for much of the year in Christchurch and it … Continue reading

More women injured in quakes - Kidney Punch

Nov 06, 2013

A Christchurch researcher is trying to understand why so many more women than men were injured in the Canterbury earthquakes. Professor Mike Ardagh is Chair of the RHISE (Researching the Health Implications of Seismic Events) group. Professor Ardagh leads a team investigating the health system response to the quakes. His team found the health system … Continue reading