Health and Medicine

USA Court ruling on glyphosate— the role of IARC and Eugenie Sage’s call - Code for life

Grant Jacobs Aug 13, 2018

A lot has been said about a recent court case ruling about Monsanto’s Roundup. Let’s look just at the role of IARC and Eugenie Sage’s call for the New Zealand Environment Protection Agency (NZ EPA) review their stance on Roundup. The role IARC seems to be very little understood. Many media reports (worldwide) on this court case offer a throw-away … Read More

Closing New Zealand’s Borders to Mitigate a Severe Pandemic has Merit - Public Health Expert

Public Health Expert Aug 09, 2018

Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Osman Mansoor & Prof Michael Baker Should an island nation like New Zealand close its borders in the face of a severe pandemic threat? In a SciBlogs post last year we argued ‘yes’. We have just published additional modelling that also comes to this conclusion. In a severe pandemic tens to hundreds … Read More

Tobacco harm reduction - The Dismal Science

Eric Crampton Jul 24, 2018

It’s great that the Ministry of Health’s latest Health and Independence Report points to the benefits of vaping. But there’s still work to do here.  The report notes that smoking is most prevalent in poorer communities and that while smoking rates have been declining, there’s no way that current trends get the government to its preferred <5% smoking rates … Read More

Why Ryanair passengers were bleeding from the ears - Guest Work

Guest Author Jul 18, 2018

Adam Taylor, Lancaster University A Ryanair flight from Dublin to Croatia had to make an emergency landing in Frankfurt recently after the cabin lost pressure. Following the ordeal, 33 passengers were treated in hospital, with some bleeding from their ears. So why did the sudden descent cause ears to bleed? Aircraft usually fly at an altitude above … Read More

How safe is the MMR vaccine? - Diplomatic Immunity

Helen Petousis Harris Jul 13, 2018

In the tiny Pacific Nation of Samoa, on Friday 6 July 2018, two babies died shortly after receiving MMR vaccine. How could this happen? Lots of discussion is going around about this tragedy, and even more questions. Here are some responses to the things I have been asked this week summarised under the headings below. About MMR vaccines How … Read More

The ‘Impossible Burger’ is not genetically modified - Code for life

Grant Jacobs Jul 06, 2018

In the New Zealand media and social media people are talking about this genetically modified ‘Impossible Burger’. Except it’s not. Sorry everyone, but it really isn’t genetically modified. What was genetic engineered is a yeast that makes one of the ingredients used in the ‘Impossible Burger’. It’s just a different way of making that ingredient. The ingredient is the same … Read More

New gene transfer rules could help prevent spread of antibiotic resistance - Guest Work

Guest Author Jul 04, 2018

Heather Hendrickson, Massey University Unlike other organisms, bacteria can take up genetic material from their environment. This ability to exchange genes enables them to pick up new traits such as different metabolic pathways, virulence genes and antibiotic resistance. Better understanding of the complex mechanisms of gene transfer may be the key for holding the line against the global … Read More