April 25th 2008, 14:50
My father was fond of the expression 'A fate worse than death'. I think it was something to do with the way we Brits would have been treated had the Nazi hordes invaded in the Second World War.
I was wondering if similar thoughts have been going through the minds of devout parents in the UK who have refused to have their teenage daughters vaccinated against cervical cancer. Like their counterparts in the States, these parents apparently see the new HPV vaccine as a licence for licentious behaviour, although it presumably doesn't also protect against an unwanted pregnancy.
April 18th 2008, 13:04
You can prove the darnedest things with science. You can demonstrate that dangerous drugs are safe; you can even establish that vitamins and nutritional supplements can shorten your life, a sleight of hand that was performed this week. And the great thing is that, because it's done in the name of science, everyone believes you!
As you may have read (and because every newspaper in the western spiral arm of the Milky Way had it on their front page, you probably did), the highly-regarded Cochrane Collaboration concluded that not only would the antioxidants A, C and E do next to nothing to improve your health, they might also shorten it.
April 11th 2008, 13:13
Is anybody noticing a pattern here?
In 1977, children started receiving a one-dose mumps vaccine. Initially, rates of mumps fell dramatically, and health officials were congratulating themselves that they were on the road to eradicating another disease.
April 4th 2008, 13:26
Do you think that the science that determines the safety of the drugs we take is the same as the science that determines the safety of aircraft technology?
It's a question that lies at the heart of a fascinating paper from Herman Jeggels, a medically-qualified doctor who now practises in his native South Africa. In it, he compares the science employed by NASA, the American Department of Defense and the UK's Ministry of Defence, with that of medicine.