Health and Medicine

Capitalising on NZ’s linked data by increasing IT and researcher capacity: Opportunity is knocking - Public Health Expert

Public Health Expert Jun 19, 2018

Tony Blakely, Andrea Teng, Sheree Gibb, Nhung Nghiem, Barry Milne, Andrew Sporle, Gabrielle Davies, Nevil Pierce, Ruth Cunningham, and on behalf of the Virtual Health Information Network A key strategic advantage for NZ and research is our national routinely-collected datasets.  This can generate new knowledge in academia, service delivery and policy.  Conversely, NZ has some key barriers to … Read More

How much of Māori:European mortality inequalities are due to socioeconomic position and tobacco? - Public Health Expert

Public Health Expert Jun 15, 2018

Prof Tony Blakely, Dr Andrea Teng, Prof Nick Wilson Policy-makers need to know how much of ethnic inequalities in health are due to socioeconomic position and tobacco smoking, but quantifying this is surprisingly difficult. In this Blog, and accompanying video, we summarize new research using NZ’s linked census-mortality data, blended with innovative new ‘counterfactual’ methods to determine causal relationships … Read More

Alcohol harms and the NZ reforms - The Dismal Science

Eric Crampton Jun 12, 2018

Man, I shouldn’t have gotten my hopes up. The Science Media Centre pointed me to reporting on some new work look at what’s happened consequent to National’s Sale & Supply of Alcohol Act 2012. It always felt like a spot where some really good work could be done. Different locales implemented different district licensing plans at different times, so … Read More

Smoke, heat or vapour? Ideas for risk-proportionate regulation to make World Smokefree Day irrelevant by 2025 - Unsorted

Public Health Expert May 31, 2018

Richard Edwards, Anaru Waa, Janet Hoek, Louise Thornley, Nick Wilson. ASPIRE 2025, Department of Public Health, University of Otago, Wellington World Smokefree Day is an apt day on which to propose some ideas that may greatly increase momentum for the achieving Smokefree Aotearoa 2025. Tobacco and vaping products such as e-cigarettes vary greatly in their likely adverse health effects … Read More

History & ‘right to try’ - BioBlog

Alison Campbell May 30, 2018

Over the last few years, OracA has written quite a bit about the so-called ‘right to try’ legislation that has been enacted in many US states – and, as this post of his describes, will now most likely become a thing at the federal level. (I say “most likely”, given President Trump’s history of wanting to significantly reduce … Read More

Anti-fluoridation activists buy scientific credibility using a predatory publisher - Open Parachute

Ken Perrott May 30, 2018

A group of well-known anti-fluoride activists have just published some new research. Well, this is what their social media publicity will tell us. In fact, this is not new research. It is simply the republication of a shonky paper from two years ago as a  chapter in a book produced by a predatory open access publisher. It is a clear example … Read More

Science or Snake Oil: what is black salve and why do people think it can cure cancer? - Guest Work

Guest Work May 29, 2018

Cliff Rosendahl, The University of Queensland You might’ve heard the name black salve floating around in the media lately, accompanied by horror tales and even worse photos. But a quick google of the term will find just as many glowing reviews of miracle cancer cures. Black salve is a product derived from the plant Sanguinaria canadensis, … Read More

‘Fake author’ papers opposing HPV vaccine retracted, editor’s defence - Code for life

Grant Jacobs May 28, 2018

‘Fake author’ papers opposing HPV vaccine by ‘Lars Andersson’ are being retracted. The editor of one of the papers has offered an extraordinary defence, railing at the Karolinska Institute. Earlier this month I wrote about a research opinion piece claiming that the HPV vaccine increases cervical cancer in some patients. Among the faults of the comment article were that the … Read More

Gene Therapy and The Breakthrough Myth - Guest Work

Guest Work May 25, 2018

Becky Turner When we think of scientific advancement, Hollywood has taught us to envisage the obsessed scientist working alone in the lab late at night, hunched over a microscope or painstakingly pipetting chemicals into test tubes. Suddenly, one of the tubes turns green and starts fizzing and he’s got his breakthrough formula made. Scientists lovingly call … Read More

Regulatory Catch-22? - The Dismal Science

Eric Crampton May 25, 2018

Last month’s court decision, and subsequent MoH position statement, mean that heat-not-burn tobacco products are legal to sell in New Zealand.  But the MoH position statement said that other tobacco control regulations will apply to reduced-risk tobacco and tobacco-derived products, barring the ban on indoor use in workplaces. Therefore, the same SFEA regulatory controls apply to smoked tobacco, heated … Read More