Cuba, far from being the ogre that it is portrayed in the right wing Western media is a socially responsible country that wants to help every individual when it comes to health and medicine. Something that Fidel became personally involved in. Which other leader of a country would have done that for its citizens? Cuba’s biotechnological revolution
Category Archives: Science
More data from the Cassini probe. There probably aren’t any little green men but maybe the precursors of the life process. Cassini data from Saturn
How to get an image of a black hole
Interesting TED talk on how to get an image of a black hole and prove Einstein’s equations. TED talk on black holes
Expensive medicines don’t reach those who need them
Money making trumps getting the best medicines to the right people. It never seems to change. TB is advancing but these medicines could help
Royal Society lecture 21st April – Ice loss and sea level rise
This evening I went to a free lecture at the Royal Society in London. A lecture entitled Continental loss: the quest to determine Antarctica’s contribution to sea-level change, https://royalsociety.org/events/2015/04/continental-loss/ given by an excellent speaker, Professor Matt A King of Tasmania University. It was well presented and is on a subject of great importance. Despite that the hall was only about a third full and that is in a city of 7 to 8 million people. Perhaps they will only wake up when the water is up to their ankles because the Thames Barrier has been overrun by the actual change. We should be afraid not of the uncertainty in the measurements but in the lack of measurements and what we are missing by not having said measurements. It’s coming, it’s just a question of when and with it will come exodus and migration as our ever growing human population tries to move away from the problems of our own making.
WHO calls on all clinical trials results to be reported – This affects us all
Dear AllTrials supporters
For the first time ever, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has taken a position on clinical trial results reporting, and it’s a very strong position! The WHO now says that researchers have a clear ethical duty to publicly report the results of all clinical trials. Significantly, the WHO has stressed the need to make results from previously hidden trials available. Ben Goldacre said, “This is a very positive, clear statement from WHO, and it is very welcome.” Ilaria Passarani from the European Consumer Organisation BEUC called it “a landmark move for consumers.” It is the position we and hundreds of you wrote to the WHO last autumn urging them to adopt. Well done everyone!
You can read more about the WHO’s statement and responses to it on the AllTrials website, in Science and The Verge and from Reuters.
The WHO has called on organisations and governments to now ensure that all trials get reported. Ben Goldacre has set out some practical suggestions on how to make this happen.
Please help share this exciting news. Can you write about it for a newspaper, journal, newsletter or blog? Make sure to share it on Twitter and Facebook. Here’s a tweet you can use: Great news: The @WHO has said that researchers should publicly report results from all clinical trials. http://bit.ly/1CUd1v6 #AllTrials
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Steve Jones Lecture Museum of London – Nature, Nurture or Neither
I was very fortunate to arrive early enough to get a seat at the Gresham College lecture held at the Museum of London on the 25th of March. It was the second time that I have been able to listen to Steve Jones give a lecture and what an amazing speaker this man is. If you get a chance to hear him speak take it. If you are lucky to be at University and he is giving a lecture then you are a very lucky person.
Question everything, accept nothing, what became of these butterflies
I like to try and keep an open mind and therefore for me I try to ask Why, How, Where, When, What and Who to any bit of information that I receive. I think, and that is a dangerous concept in some circumstances, that we don’t teach children these fundamental questions. Our global education systems or alternative dogmas teach us at an early age to accept what we are told and fill us fall of facts that suit that nation or part of the world. We will only be free as individuals, and there are many who don’t want us to be, when every child can grow up and make a critical analysis of the information being presented to them. So for all you adults that read blogs here is a photo and a question to stir your grey cells. I took this photo on a sunny Saturday morning in October 2013 in Switzerland with autumn on its way and winter already pushing the temperature down. On a bush that had long since flowered there were many Red Admiral butterflies. On the Friday night it had rained and on the Saturday morning the sun came out and all the butterflies arrived to presumably feed and create 2014’s generation. So the question is “What” became of the butterflies and all those carbon, nitrogen and oxygen atoms and the water molecules amongst the other elements that make up these delicate but complex and beautiful creatures? What happens to the electrical energy that drives their tiny movements? Perhaps your explanation or belief is one of science or a more simplistic religious one in that God just puts the butterflies away for winter. For me the components of the butterflies were recycled and are now something else. They were something else before and will be something else again as we are ourselves will be. Some philosophical questions, some food for your thoughts. Copyright Paul Andrews and Caroline Schmutz, Junagarh Media, http://www.junagarhmedia.co.uk .
Bad Pharma – Ben Goldacre finished reading chapter 3
I’m now half way through the excellent Bad Pharma written by Ben Goldacre. A look at the dastardly corporations, institutions, regulators and people that leave doctors as much as patients in the dark about how good certain drugs are. Everyone remembers the terrible effects of thalidomide but does anybody remember about or know the name of the heart drug that instead of helping people probably killed 100,000. This book should be compulsive reading for GPs and anybody who ever has to take any medicine. Ben writes about how medicine and science should work and shows how it doesn’t. Buy it, be horrified and then ask questions. Pharmaceutical
The Pantanal Brazil – Still Pink, The setting sun over the Pantanal
My partner and I have been very lucky to have traveled a bit and one of the places we went to was the Pantanal in Brazil. This area is the world’s largest tropical wetland area. As such it is a very diverse place for fauna and flora. We took this beautiful photo on one of the days we were there. You can buy a copy of it from our website http://www.junagarhmedia.co.uk. Unfortunately, 99% of the Pantanal is privately owned for ranching and agriculture with perhaps 8 million or more cattle now eating it. Such heavy farming is bound to degrade this very special area and we hear so many verbal alarm bells from conservationists and scientists that most humans become immune, feel powerless or simply don’t care. There are some very simple numbers regarding us, humanity, and we can’t face them. So at the risk of repeating myself one more time. When we entered this inter-glacial (and exited what was probably NOT the last ice age) period some 15,000 years ago there were supposedly 5,000,000 of us. In terms of our “clean” water all of them would have been without it. Now there are more than 7,000,000,000 of us and still increasing and 780,000,000 of that very large number do not have access to “clean” water. As our politicians and nations kick the ball of climate change around while corporations and big business stop them aiming for a goal of living within the planet’s means there seems little hope of survival for beautiful places like the Pantanal. Think about the numbers, those 780,000,000 have every right to a decent life so how much concrete are we going to have to pour and steel are we going to have to make to give these people water, housing, roads, schools, hospitals and everything else that goes with our modern life. And it is not as if we have levelled off in our numbers for our global population is still increasing. I personally think it is time for a one child policy for the entire planet until we can get ourselves down to a reasonable number where we aren’t fouling our own nest. If we don’t then in a couple of generations those children will have as much chance of seeing some of the species of the Pantanal as they will of seeing a dinosaur.