Infectious Thoughts

Why I refuse to be a spectator

Siouxsie Wiles Jan 19, 2012

Last weeks series in the NZ Herald on ‘alternative relaxation and remedies’ got quite of few of us peeved here at Sciblogs. I can’t speak for everyone but I’ll tell you why I objected. Because I strongly feel that articles like that do readers a potentially life-threatening disservice. Let me explain. Over five days we were introduced to a … Read More


NZ Herald’s Alternative Therapies week: Letter to the Editor

Siouxsie Wiles Jan 11, 2012

This week the NZ Herald is running a series on “alternative relaxation and therapies”. They promise: Tuesday: Greek leech therapy Wednesday: Korean jimjjilbang Thursday: Indian ayurveda Friday: Thai yoga massage Saturday: Japanese ganbanyoku So starting with the little suckers… Lincoln Tan tells us all about leech therapy and introduces ‘Dr’ Medhi Jaffari who … Read More


Suppressing superflu recipe: nanny state or drawing a sensible line in the sand?

Siouxsie Wiles Nov 29, 2011

Reading New Scientist gives me my weekly reality check regarding how little I know about anything. This week I found out about a committee in the USA called the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity which is charged with providing advise and guidance on the potential of research to be misused to pose a biological threat to public health … Read More


Holistic (aka hocum) technology: YCTinside®

Siouxsie Wiles Nov 19, 2011

Reading through the November edition of the Ponsonby News I came across an advert for the Pawtect Pendant, an “…innovative, natural solution designed to control fleas and ticks…” Not only that, this chemical-free pendant which just clips onto a pet’s collar, comes in two convenient sizes (Petite for cats and dogs 800g to 25kg [RRP 87 NZD)] and … Read More


Discovery of a new Ebola-like virus in Europe

Siouxsie Wiles Oct 28, 2011

Researchers from Spain and the USA have reported finding an Ebola-like Filovirus in dead bats in Spain. For those who don’t know anything about Ebola, it a highly contagious virus which causes haemorrhagic fever (described in Richard Preston’s fantastic book The Hot Zone as something like bleeding from every orifice). It probably comes as no surprise that … Read More