Health and Medicine

Public opinion of gene editing and enhancement - Code for life

Grant Jacobs Nov 21, 2017

What if we could fix a kid’s genetic disease, cure them for their lifetime? What if we make that for all of their children, forever? Or enhance humans to be genetically better? What’s your opinion of gene editing and enhancement? A survey asked what people thought. Participants gave a green light for adult gene therapy. They were cautious … Read More

NZ Health Survey drinking statistics - The Dismal Science

Eric Crampton Nov 20, 2017

The Press reports that the new NZ Health Survey data is up. Smoking rates are down; obesity’s up. Here’s how they describe the drinking stats: Meanwhile, 748,000 people, or 19.5 per cent of the adult population are considered “hazardous drinkers”, according to a World Health Organisation definition, which takes into account a combination of factors including binge drinking, dependency, … Read More

Attitudes and antibiotics - BioBlog

Alison Campbell Nov 20, 2017

A recent FB post from Stuff discussed the rising concerns about the evolution of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. (This is something that Siouxsie Wiles has often written about: here and here, for example; her excellent book on the subject is reviewed here.) Fairly predictably, it didn’t take long for the proponents of essential oils to turn up, soon to be joined by the … Read More

The scientific effort to take out our biggest pests - Griffin's Gadgets

Peter Griffin Nov 16, 2017

Nearly 18 months on from the previous government announcing Predator Free 2050, an ambitious goal to eradicate our most destructive invasive pests, the research that will underpin the strategy has been unveiled. Predator Free 2050 Ltd is the company that was set up to invest in predator eradication and steer the major scientific effort that will be required to achieve … Read More

Natural Health Products bill gets quietly dropped - Code for life

Grant Jacobs Nov 16, 2017

Today Newsroom reported that the Natural Health Products bill has been quietly dropped. Fellow Sciblogger Mark Hanna offered thoughts on this in an interview. There is a need to address an unregulated market that has problems. In an earlier piece, I offered some thoughts on the draft bill. I felt quite a bit could be added. Claims about … Read More

Anti-fluoride “expert” finds the real reason oral health has improved – and it’s not fluoride - Open Parachute

Ken Perrott Nov 15, 2017

 Anti-fluoride campaigners always promote people like Geoff Pain as “renowned” or “world experts.” They aren’t. Pain has no credible scientific publications on fluoride. No, in fact, he claims lead is responsible for tooth decay and the improvement in oral health is a result of removing airborne lead contamination. And the “proof” is even in the title of his report – … Read More

Cheesecake Files: The ICare-Acute Coronary Syndrome (heart attack) study - Kidney Punch

John Pickering Nov 15, 2017

Hundreds of nurses, Emergency Department doctors, Cardiologists and other specialists, laboratory staff, administrators and managers from every hospital in New Zealand with an emergency department have come together to implement new, effective, and safe pathways for patients who think they may be having a heart attack. Today, Dr Martin Than (CDHB, Emergency Department) presented to the American … Read More

Half a million Kiwis suddenly have high blood pressure - Kidney Punch

John Pickering Nov 14, 2017

At 10am 14 November 2017 NZST, millions of people around the world suddenly had high blood pressure. This will come as a shock to many and may precipitate a crisis in hand-wringing and other odd behaviours, like overmedication and jogging. The American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology have just announced a redefinition of High blood pressure. High blood pressure … Read More

The long, strange history of dieting fads - Guest Work

Guest Work Nov 12, 2017

By Melissa Wdowik, Colorado State University.  “Of all the parasites that affect humanity I do not know of, nor can I imagine, any more distressing than that of Obesity.” So started William Banting‘s “Letter on Corpulence,” likely the first diet book ever published. Banting, an overweight undertaker, published the book in 1864 to espouse his success after … Read More