Health and Medicine

Fluoride, pregnancy and the IQ of offspring - Open Parachute

Ken Perrott Sep 22, 2017

What’s the story about this new IQ-fluoride study? The one that claims fluoride intake by pregnant women could endanger their children’s IQ? Whatever the truth, it has certainly got the anti-fluoride activists going. Mary O’Brien Byrne, leader of the local anti-fluoride group is even suggesting people check if their mothers lived in fluoridated areas. And they are busy promoting the newspaper articles … Read More

New Zealand’s health service performs well, but inequities remain high - Guest Work

Guest Work Sep 21, 2017

By Jackie Cumming, Victoria University of Wellington This article is part of The Conversation global series about health systems, examining different health care systems all over the world. New Zealand’s health care system is comprehensive and largely publicly funded. It generally performs well, but there are significant inequities in access and outcomes. As international comparisons show, New … Read More

The animalcules* within - Guest Work

Guest Work Sep 20, 2017

Last week, Centre of Research Excellence Te Pūnaha Matatini hosted #WaiNZ, a national conversation providing New Zealanders with an opportunity to read blog posts and other media from key influencers talking about their relationships with water. With permission, Sciblogs is re-publishing some of the blog posts here, including Siouxsie Wiles‘ reflections water bacteria and health.  *Animalcules is the name … Read More

Facts about fluorosis – not a worry in New Zealand - Open Parachute

Ken Perrott Sep 20, 2017

A recent issue of the Fluoride Exposed Newsletter gives us the facts about dental fluorosis – a subject very often misrepresented by opponents of community water fluoridation. Ever notice how words ending with “-osis” sound a bit scary?  That’s because “-osis” is a suffix (from the Greek) commonly used to describe disorders or abnormal states. Tuberculosis, multiple sclerosis…no fun. Those … Read More

Aluminium adjuvants, immune dysfunction, and the AV syndrome scammers - Diplomatic Immunity

Helen Petousis Harris Sep 15, 2017

Vaccine scammers I call them. They prey on people with a sick kid. Perhaps they want to flog dietary supplements or bleach enemas but today I refer to the proponents of a variety of fake syndromes, which they claim have been induced by vaccines and/or vaccine adjuvants*. The most infamous vaccine scammer in this case is Andrew Wakefield, but this … Read More

Climate change and recent actions of NZ political parties - Public Health Expert

Public Health Expert Sep 15, 2017

Prof Nick Wilson, Prof Richard Edwards, Dr Cristina Cleghorn, Prof Michael Baker, Dr Caroline Shaw, A/Prof Ralph Chapman, Prof Philippa Howden-Chapman The health organisation OraTaiao convened a group of experts to analyse the climate change policies of NZ political party policies. It gave the highest grade to the Green Party, then the Labour Party, and then The Opportunities Party … Read More

Science or snake oil: is manuka honey really a ‘superfood’ for treating colds, allergies and infections? - Guest Work

Guest Work Sep 15, 2017

By Nural Cokcetin, University of Technology Sydney and Shona Blair Manuka honey is often touted as a “superfood” that treats many ailments, including allergies, colds and flus, gingivitis, sore throats, staph infections, and numerous types of wounds. Manuka can apparently also boost energy, “detox” your system, lower cholesterol, stave off diabetes, improve sleep, increase skin … Read More

Anti-vaccination activists – deluded and dangerous - BioBlog

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

Future Medicine: Organising Human Brain Cells on a Silicon Chip - Infrequently Asked Questions

Lynley Hargreaves Sep 13, 2017

Forget petri dishes: a team from the University of Auckland is using a Royal Society Te Apārangi Marsden Fund grant to organise human neural cells into grids. The group then stimulate the cells with electrodes, to better understand real communication in the brain and to mimic the effects of common neurological conditions such as epilepsy and stroke. Associate Professor Charles … Read More

A Statue of Merit: Dr Margaret Cruickshank and the 1918 influenza pandemic - Public Health Expert

Public Health Expert Sep 12, 2017

Nick Wilson, Ben Schrader, Geoff Rice, Christine Clement, George Thomson, Catharine Ferguson, Michael Baker Some statues are getting bad press at present – and rightly so for the Confederate military statues which represent the racist history of the Southern United States. But in this blog we briefly look at a particular New Zealand statue that we think characterises some of … Read More