BioBlog

Anti-vaccination activists – deluded and dangerous

Alison Campbell Sep 14, 2017

The latest news reports indicate that the mumps outbreak in Auckland is spreading. As you might expect, the very first commenter on the FB page for that story is someone claiming that vaccines don’t cure mumps and offer a significant risk to health. (I wish Moveable Type allowed the Comic Sans font…) The only reason I bother dipping … Read More

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Wellness and ‘access bars’ – I can’t even…

Alison Campbell Sep 11, 2017

There’s a ‘Waikato Wellness Fair” just out of Hamilton next weekend. Along with the usual woo (homeopathy, reiki, & so on) comes something called ‘Access Bars’. However, these are not accessible places to have a drink – oh no! they are something far more mystical than that.  Apparently ‘Access Bars’ consist of 32 Bars of energy that run through … Read More

Supermarkets and nutritional advice

Alison Campbell Aug 17, 2017

I rather like our local supermarket. Lovely staff, generally excellent products, and close to home as well.  But I really wish the organisation would stay out of giving nutritional advice – or at least, that they do the right sort of consultation about their claims. For example, under ‘recipes’ there’s a post about ‘hyper-functional’ beverages A. These, it’s stated, … Read More

Leech ‘therapy’ redux

Alison Campbell Aug 14, 2017

Back in 2012 the Herald ran a series on alternative ‘therapies’ that included a somewhat uncritical piece on the use of leeches – the practitioner concerned claimed, for example, that they could be used to ‘treat’ diabetes. I blogged on this back then, as did fellow Sciblogger Siouxsie Wiles, &  the criticisms we made then still stand. However – colour … Read More

Human evolution – how do we accommodate new discoveries in our teaching?

Alison Campbell Jul 31, 2017

What follows is loosely based on a workshop I ran at this year’s Biolive/ChemEd secondary science teachers’ conference. (A most excellent conference, by the way – kudos to those organising & presenting.) I’ve added a bunch of hotlinked references. Back when I was in 7th form (or year 13 – i.e. a rather long time ago), the description of … Read More

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A close encounter of the antivaccine kind

Alison Campbell Jul 12, 2017

It’s a bit concerning to hear of outbreaks of mumps in Auckland & the Waikato, as this suggests that in some areas the number of vaccinated individuals in the population has fallen below what’s needed to maintain herd immunity: see Siouxsie Wiles’ excellent post on this. One of the admins on my local suburb’s Facebook page … Read More

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