Kidney Punch

Ponting’s last innings

John Pickering Nov 06, 2012

“Only as good as your last match” goes the cliché.  This is true for Ricky Ponting and here is why. I recently published an article1 (Open Access ) on some new techniques being used in medical research which determine if making an additional measurement improves what we call “risk stratification.”  In other words – does … Continue reading » … Read More

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Congratulations awardees – shame on the system

John Pickering Oct 25, 2012

At 1am this morning (has someone something to hide?) the recipients of Marsden grants were announced. Congratulations to them all. $54.6 million was distributed over 86 research projects.  Marsden funds “blue skies” research across a number of disciplines – humanities, science, technology etc. The list of topics reflect the diversity.  I think that they are … Continue reading » … Read More

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Helmetless bike riders – a dying breed

John Pickering Oct 24, 2012

A few weeks ago a member of Christchurch City Council and Canterbury District Health Board advocated the non-wearing of bike helmets.  I commented on the idiocy of this at the time. A source tells me that said person got a hard time from other CDHB board members-good. Perhaps this recent research will put the anti-establishmet … Continue reading » … Read More

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The Italian job

John Pickering Oct 23, 2012

The pressure to find a scapegoat A judge with the statistical acumen of a gnat Six rather bewildered scientists A travesty of justice. It’s too absurd to make a movie, yet its is very real to those scientists and their families. If you have not caught up with the news, six scientists and a government … Continue reading » … Read More

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Faith justified? – a vital tale

John Pickering Oct 19, 2012

Expensive pee or elixir of life?  The two extreme views of multivitamins.  I’ve been taking multivitamins for a number of years now.  I’ve taken them on faith backed by a little evidence.  This week, I think for the first time, a randomised controlled trial has provided high quality evidence that my faith is justified.  More … Continue reading » … Read More

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Note to self – eat more chocolate

John Pickering Oct 17, 2012

Apparently the pinnacle of one’s scientific career is to win a Nobel Prize.  Having not won a Nobel yet I will just need to accept by faith that it would indeed be the pinnacle of my career.  Thanks to a brilliant article in the New England Journal of Medicine this week I now have a … Continue reading » … Read More

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The Hunting of the SNARF

John Pickering Oct 01, 2012

Some of you may know Lewis Carroll’s classic nonsense poem “The hunting of the Snark”.  Eight men set off with a blank map to find the mythical Snark.  And the Banker, inspired with a courage so new           It was matter for general remark,      Rushed madly ahead and was lost to their view           … Continue reading » … Read More

Vitamin D: “Silver bullet or fool’s gold?”

John Pickering Sep 21, 2012

Vitamin D has had big raps lately.  We know that low levels of it correlate with higher levels of some diseases, but does taking a supplement help?  An article in the Herald this morning by Martin Johnson nicely outlines a study  being undertaken by Professor Robert Scragg of the University of Auckland.  His is the … Continue reading » … Read More

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