This feature story was first published in print and online by Australian Doctor on the 20th May 2016. *** “We revile this notion of a nanny state, but we accept this ‘big business’ state that actually does incredible harm,” says Professor Bruce Neal “Everyone thinks they’re free-moving individuals making these highly informed […]
This news story was first published in print and online by Australian Doctor on the 27th April 2016. *** The Royal Australian College of GPs is telling its members to “seriously reconsider any support for chiropractic involvement in patient care”. In a hardline stance, the college is also urging the Federal Government to scrap […]
This news story was first published in print and online by Australian Doctor on the 24th May 2016. *** The NSW Government has been criticised for abandoning rules that require registered nurses to staff high-need residential aged care centres around the clock. Here, NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner responds to claims that […]
The Human Genome Project was supposed to unravel all the mysteries of human development and disease. But researchers but only found around 23,000 genes rather than the 100,000 they expected. Only in the last ten years has it become apparent how influential epigenetic modifications are on the specialisation of the human body and particularly the brain. And diseases such as cancer might be turned on and off with an epigenetic switch.
“Yeast vats, fungal mats and algae ponds” was Isaac Asimov’s prediction for addressing food insecurity in the future. Is this what we have to look forward to, or can improve our efficiency of food production and consumption in our fields and supermarkets?
Sensational reporting of medical news poses a danger to public health literacy and behaviour. But the research journals and institutions are just as much to blame as the lay media.
Gut microbes may well know us better than we know ourselves, but it’s best to keep them onside. Some experts liken them an unknown organ of the human body , that can influence our metabolic, immune and mental health.
“Overdiagnosis is the biggest threat to the sustainability of the healthcare system,” says Professor Paul Glasziou. But are doctors needlessly wasting resources or are they doing the best for their patients?
Why are millions of Australians adopting a gluten-free diet when only a fraction have bona fide coeliac disease?
Sometimes it’s tempting to take a little bit extra from the buffet, or cheat your taxes, especially if the victim is a faceless and victimless society. But Professor Simon Gaechter has been studying what makes people cooperate with and how these motivations differ around the world.
Body odour might not be such a turn off after all. Pheromones can control our behaviour and our bodies even without being aware of it.
Cartoon cavemen typically don’t say much more than “ugga ugga”, but the conversation around a Paleolithic campfire could have been much more subtle and sophisticated.
Biofuel can now be generated from industrial greenhouse gas emissions. This is great news not just for the atmosphere but also for global food security. While bioethanol is currently the most common renewable liquid fuel alternative to oil, its production uses up vast quantities of cereal crops because the starch […]
Despite great promise and branding and funding, the headspace youth mental health program has failed to deliver.
The first of a new class of heart failure drugs has been approved by the TGA, that is being heralded by some experts as a new first-line alternative to ACE inhibitors.
Neural prostheses are now able to restore some independence to people paralyzed as a result of stroke, spinal cord injury or neurodegenerative disease.
Flu antivirals now have the blessing of a report supporting prophylaxis and treatment of serious influenza. But this hasn’t changed view of one of the author of a damning Cochrane review in 2014, Professor Chris Del Mar.
Despite threats from the NSW Premier’s office, staff employed to test drugs at music festivals could not be prosecuted for possession or supply of illicit drugs. And they would be in a unique position to save lives for a fraction of the cost of the controversial drug-sniffer dog program, says a Canberra emergency doctor.
Better GP training and resources for could save 160 of the 2500 lives lost to suicide per year in Australia, according to a study in the ANZJP. But suicide rates are on the rise despite targets.
Doctors at Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital recently refused to discharge an asylum seeker in her 30s and her child because they would have been returned to detention on Nauru. Leading lawyers and and academics of ethics say that clinical staff would be immune from prosecution by the government since their professional obligations are to their patients.
Direct-action oral anticoagulants are easier to manage than the standard Warfarin in many patients at risk of thromboembolism. But until now, their use has been complicated but lack of an antidote- leaving users vulnerable to uncontrolled bleeding in emergency scenarios.
Scabies remains a scourge of remote Aboriginal communities although newly published findings give hope for community treatment strategies.
Should codeine-paracetemol formulations be available over the counter or only by prescription? Some experts worry about the associated addiction rates and accidental deaths, while others think its a safe alternative the public can be trusted with.