Health and Medicine

Junk food packaging hijacks the same brain processes as drug and alcohol addiction - Guest Work

Guest Work May 10, 2017

By Bernd Weber, University of Bonn Food is important for our survival, which is why all living beings have developed an urge for high energy foods, like those high in sugar and fat. Historically, this hadn’t been an issue, as energy dense foods weren’t always as available as they are today. But in modern societies, we not only … Read More

A vision of kiwi kidneys - Kidney Punch

John Pickering May 05, 2017

Sick of writing boring text reports?  Take a leaf out of Christchurch nephrologist Dr Suetonia Palmer’s (@SuetoniaPalmer) book and make a visual abstract report. Here are two she has created recently based on data collected about organ donation and end stage renal failure by ANZDATA (@ANZDATARegistry). Enjoy.     ps. The featured … Read More

Bottle fed infants: fluoridated water not a problem - Open Parachute

Ken Perrott May 04, 2017

New recommended fluoride dietary intakes by infants and young children in Australia and New Zealand were recently published. The updated values are available online at Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand. This is a regular update – the Australian National Health and Medical research council advises these recommendations be reviewed every 5 years. But the new recommendations are interesting because … Read More

A 100 years ago: The worst year of the First World War for New Zealand - Public Health Expert

Public Health Expert May 01, 2017

Professor Nick Wilson, University of Otago; Professor Glyn Harper, Massey University The year 1917 was the worst year of the First World War for New Zealand from a premature mortality perspective, with 5547 deaths. We have just presented on this topic at a Symposium at Te Papa (Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa) and in this blog we summarise … Read More

Depression among Māori, Pacific and Asian Kiwis flying under the radar - News

John Kerr Apr 28, 2017

Māori, Pacific and Asian New Zealanders are more at risk of depression and anxiety disorders and yet are likely to be under-diagnosed, say the authors of a new study.  Around one in six  New Zealand adults are diagnosed with an anxiety or mood disorder in their lifetime. However some minorities are less likely to be diagnosed, despite appearing to have higher rates of … Read More

Citing scientific studies and the arrogance of ignorance - Open Parachute

Ken Perrott Apr 27, 2017

One thing that gets me going (as readers here probably know) is the way scientific citations are cherry-picked and dragged in to support biased positions. It’s a common form of confirmation bias in the fluoridation debate. And I get even angrier when the perpetrators cherry-picking citations will then claim they “have science on their side.” Parroting citations and (often unconnected) claims … Read More

How virtual reality spiders are helping people face their arachnophobia - Guest Work

Guest Work Apr 27, 2017

By Rebekah Boynton, James Cook University and Anne Swinbourne, James Cook University. Gradually exposing people to the thing they fear, say a spider, in a controlled environment has long been the mainstay of treating phobias. But with exposure therapy you don’t have to have a spider physically present in the room for you to feel … Read More

Debating science - Open Parachute

Ken Perrott Apr 25, 2017

This last week has certainly raised the profile of the “science debate” in New Zealand. Most importantly we saw big turnouts for the Science March in several major cities – a demonstration that lots of scientists and supporters of science feel that science could be threatened – or at least that it is unappreciated by the politicians and other decision-makers. Maybe … Read More

Mapping the link between biodiversity and wellbeing – NatureBuzz - The Psychology Report

Sarb Johal Apr 24, 2017

In this week’s Psychology Report I talked with Laurie Parma from the Department of Psychology at the University of Cambridge in England, about Nature Buzz (iTunes / Android)- the new research application they have developed to explore the links between nature and well-being.     Have a read of this conversation to understand more … Read More