August 22nd 2007, 10:46
Governments are good at wasting our money. After all, that's their job.
But the enormous amount of money that is being spent on avian flu vaccines for key public workers has to be up there as one of the most wasteful around.
The UK government last week committed a further lb155m of public money on a new vaccine that doesn't yet exist.
August 14th 2007, 17:38
Richard Dawkins, Darwin's self-proclaimed rottweiler, has been turning his laser on what he calls the 'enemies of reason'. These enemies are growing in number, and they are people - no doubt a little like us - who believe in 'unscientific' things such as alternative medicine. As a result, we're slipping back into the Dark Ages and to a pre-rationalistic time when superstition, myth and folklore ruled.
Our one constant should be evidence and proof, and our guardian should be science, Dawkins believes. Sadly, science is rarely pure, and evidence can come a poor second to belief, prejudice and, indeed, finance. But scientists don't call it any of these things: instead, they call it a 'paradigm'.
August 10th 2007, 12:07
We've become obsessed in the West with drug solutions to all our health problems. The obsession may help boost the bottom line of the plump pharmaceutical industry, but it isn't always the right response.
Indeed, GlaxoSmithKline went on record to admit that, at best, its drugs help just 30 per cent of people for whom they're intended. Not so surprising, perhaps, as we're all different bio-chemically, and even the disease will have its own peculiarities, despite being given a globally-agreed name and definition.
August 3rd 2007, 12:29
Take a statin a day if you're male and over 50, a health expert has told us this week. Prof Robert Boyle, the UK's adviser on heart and stroke health, reckons the drug should be taken along with the morning Corn Flakes in order to keep in check high cholesterol levels.
He's right to be concerned: heart disease and stroke is the major killer in the West. But he's wrong about the remedy.