BioBlog

TL;DR: Antiperspirants don’t cause breast cancer

Alison Campbell Oct 07, 2017

Facebook certainly leads me to read papers that I normally wouldn’t.  For whatever reason, a post about deodorants popped up on my feed, from the Wendyl’s Green Goddess page. In the blurb for a sale of products was the following: Conventional products contain aluminium ingredients which have been linked to cancer. Do your skin and body a favour and … Read More

‘Pregnancy isn’t a death event’ – social media’s window to the dark side

Alison Campbell Oct 03, 2017

Today I was on leave and, the weather being bad, thought I’d do a bit of catching up on the news. And so it was that I found, on the Stuff FB page, an item about the (lack of) funding for cutting-edge cancer drugs. So far, so innocuous (although also somewhat sad) – until I read the comments.  For there, I … Read More

4

Laptops in lectures

Alison Campbell Oct 02, 2017

I type much more quickly than I write (some would argue, also more legibly). But when I’m taking notes in meetings, I do it with a (very old-fashioned) fountain pen & notebook. The reason is that this makes me filter what I’m writing, so that only the relevant points make it onto paper.  And this is why I’m actually somewhat … Read More

3

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

1

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

7