Health and Medicine

Lessons from Canada for NZ: Carbon, Cycling, Tobacco, Nutrition and Cannabis - Public Health Expert

Public Health Expert Apr 08, 2019

Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Amanda Jones, A/Prof George Thomson Canada has a number of progressive public policies which can influence health. In this blog we briefly look at 6 potential lessons for NZ in the domains of: (i) responding to climate change; (ii) supporting cycling; (iii) tobacco control; (iv) controls on food marketing directed at children; (v) healthy food … Read More

Limiting the size of single serve sugary drinks: New NZ study on health and cost impacts - Public Health Expert

Public Health Expert Apr 01, 2019

Dr Cristina Cleghorn, Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Helen Eyles There is a lot of focus on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) internationally, due to their role in tooth decay, obesity and diabetes [1-3], their lack of beneficial nutrients, and potential acceptability as an intervention target [4]. Our just-published study has shown that an intervention to reduce the size of all single-serve SSBs … Read More

Vaping very likely to improve health in NZ – but how does this compare with other options? - Public Health Expert

Public Health Expert Mar 27, 2019

Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Frederieke Petrović-van der Deen, Dr Cristina Cleghorn, A/Prof Coral Gartner, Prof Tony Blakely Our just-published modelling study suggests that easier access to nicotine via vaping as a replacement for tobacco smoking, will improve the health of the NZ population. The estimated health gain is about the same as 10% per annum tobacco tax increases … Read More

Extremism is not a mental illness - Guest Work

Guest Author Mar 20, 2019

Shaun Robinson, Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand Following Friday’s appalling terrorist attack, the Mental Health Foundation has been disappointed but unsurprised to see some people speculating the terrorist must have been mentally ill. We understand why it’s comforting to think this. We all want to think the terrorist is an outlier, an outsider, different to us. We … Read More

Open by design, not default. - Infectious Thoughts

Siouxsie Wiles Mar 14, 2019

I’m currently taking part in the Culture Track of the Mozilla Open Leaders programme, 14 weeks of mentoring and training by the Mozilla Foundation. I’m hoping to learn how to build an open culture for my lab and other projects I’m involved in. I’ve been interested in the concept of open science/research for a while now. If you … Read More

Film trailer towards gene editing in humans - Code for life

Grant Jacobs Mar 11, 2019

Here’s a film trailer of the documentary Human Nature that looks at a future of gene editing[1] – The film is to be released soon in Australia and elsewhere. Here’s their blurb, The biggest tech revolution of the 21st century isn’t digital, it’s biological. A breakthrough called CRISPR gives us unprecedented control over the basic building blocks of … Read More

The Open Source Period project: my open leadership journey begins! - Infectious Thoughts

Siouxsie Wiles Mar 08, 2019

If you’ve not heard of Mozilla, you’ve likely heard of their web browser Firefox. The Mozilla Foundation is a global non-profit that wants to shape the future of the web for the public good. So, what’s Mozilla got to do with the Open Source Period project? For the last seven years, the Mozilla Foundation has run a programme … Read More

Open Source Period - Infectious Thoughts

Siouxsie Wiles Mar 07, 2019

For nearly a year, I’ve been raving about menstrual cups to anyone who would listen, trying to explain how they could disrupt the way many of us do scientific research. Sounds unlikely? Then read on! I had the idea for the Open Source Period project when a story about menstrual cups hit the news in April 2018. To cut a … Read More

Published review of Wilyman’s anti-vaccine thesis says fail - Code for life

Grant Jacobs Mar 06, 2019

A few years ago several of us at Sciblogs took objection to one of the trashiest theses we’ve seen. (Which we, naturally enough, trashed.) Now there’s a review of the thesis published in the scientific journal, Vaccine. The review looks a thorough job… and the conclusions don’t look good. Essentially the author’s review of Wilyman’s anti-vaccine thesis review says … Read More

Autism revisited: genetics, environment, not vaccines - Code for life

Grant Jacobs Mar 05, 2019

Researchers are pounding the trail of the genetics of autism. There is also more evidence that vaccines don’t cause autism. More interesting is what does cause autism. (Those looking for the vaccine bit should track down to the section, Another nail on the coffin.) Not the Rain Man People with autism or autism spectrum disorder find social communication and … Read More