Health and Medicine

Tobacco product innovation in a smokefree world. Oxymoron or commercial cynicism? - Public Health Expert

Public Health Expert Oct 23, 2018

Janet Hoek and Philip Gendall Major tobacco companies have presented a vision of a smokefree world, where smoking prevalence has fallen to minimal levels.  This goal has much in common with national tobacco endgame goals and appears to create opportunities for health researchers and smokefree advocates to work collaboratively with a well-resourced industry to achieve a common goal.  Yet, … Read More

Cheesecake files: A new test to rule out heart attacks in just a few minutes - Kidney Punch

John Pickering Oct 18, 2018

Your chest hurts, you go to the hospital (good move), you get rushed through and a nurse takes some blood and measures the electrical activity of your heart.  A doctor asks you some questions.  While she does so, the blood is being tested – the results are back already! Yeah, they are negative and everything else is OK, it’s not a … Read More

NZ EPA is to review 40 chemicals, not glyphosate - Code for life

Grant Jacobs Oct 18, 2018

The NZ EPA is to review 40 chemicals it has selected as of highest concern. This list doesn’t include glyphosate. We all like to know what we’re up against when using chemicals, so that we can avoid unnecessary risk. That’s one of the aims of the EPA:[1] to offer rulings and information to help us. I’m interested in genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) … Read More

Healthcare in the future - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Oct 14, 2018

When thinking about the future of healthcare, images of robot surgeons, predictive algorithms, nanoparticles and nanobots in your bloodstream, CRISPR, and wearable or ingestible sensors may come to mind. A future of big technological advances that help get rid of once acute conditions (like cancers, infectious diseases), and improve the monitoring and treatment of chronic ones (like heart … Read More

Glyphosate is to go back to trial - Code for life

Grant Jacobs Oct 13, 2018

Superior Court Judge Suzanne Bolanos[1] has written a Tentative Ruling that glyphosate is to go back to trial. I’m not a lawyer, but her ruling looks pretty damning. Let’s have a look at what it says. What’s a Tentative Ruling? Tentative rulings are preliminary indications of rulings ahead of the final ruling. (Lawyers indicate these tentative rulings rarely differ substantially … Read More

Making tobacco less available is both necessary and feasible – New NZ study - Public Health Expert

Public Health Expert Sep 24, 2018

Dr Lindsay Robertson* In our recently published work, we studied the impact of the NZ Government preventing new retail outlets from selling tobacco from 2020, while allowing existing retail outlets to continue selling it until they closed or relocated. The estimated outcome would be a 50% decrease in the total number of tobacco retail outlets by 2032. This blog puts … Read More

A more convincing take on prenatal maternal dietary effects on child IQ - Open Parachute

Ken Perrott Sep 17, 2018

Prenatal maternal nutrition is more likely to influence child cognitive abilities than fluoride. A new paper shows this by considering the effects of good or bad prenatal nutrition for the women in the Basash et al., (2016)  study that anti-fluoride campaigners promote. The new data shows that nutrition is more important than fluoride. The Bashash et al. (2016) reported a … Read More

Not-so-sweet advice - The Dismal Science

Eric Crampton Sep 14, 2018

Imagine that you were the Chief Science Adviser for a Ministry. You need to produce a short briefing note to the new government for some issue in your Ministry’s remit. Your Ministry had, just a couple weeks earlier, released a comprehensive report on the topic that your Ministry had commissioned from a top economics consultancy. Your Ministry had had the … Read More