• Health and Medicine

    Does your doctor always know best?

    In the 18th century scurvy was a big problem for the navy. Nobody knew what caused it but it was a condition that made sailors too ill to work. Various cures were suggested: The Admiralty believed that vinegar was the answer. The Royal College of Physicians disagreed and recommended…

  • Biology

    You are not alone

    Here is an interesting fact: your body contains more microbes than human cells. You are not just a single genetic individual you are a living colony, sharing your life and space with millions of other life forms. If you watch crime programmes on TV you will know how often…

  • Back Pain

    Aquarium fungicide might help low back pain

    Tropical fish fanciers will be familiar with methylene blue as an anti-fungal and anti-bacterial chemical used to keep fish healthy. Today the Daily Mail report on a trial carried out in China by orthopedic surgeons and reviewed by Professor Bogduk for the medical journal Pain. The Chinese surgeons suggest…

  • Health

    Sharpen your mind with a Siesta

    I was talking to a medical colleague who had recently been to China. While there she had a conversation with some Chinese doctors about the types of complaints they encountered most often. When she asked how many patients complained of TATT (tired all the time) they looked blank. So…

  • Exercise

    Exercise can damage your health

    I’m not exactly anti-exercise but I sometimes wonder what damage people are doing by being over enthusiastic. When I was a student I was struck by the number of people I saw at the gym who were nursing injuries, it often seemed that there were more people with joint…