Taking back control of opioid prescription drugs
North America is in the middle of an opioid overdose epidemic, and its moving into the over 50s as well. The opioids include heroin, synthetic opioids like fentanyl, and prescription painkillers like hydrocodone (Vicodin), codeine and morphine. 50% of opioid-related deaths are due to prescription painkillers, partly through co-prescribing with benzodiazepine, partly because they cause euphoria as well as pain relief and are used for non-medical reasons. Rural white middle aged men are typical addicts but women are catching up and Native Americans are severely affected. WE look into how we can take back control at state and personal levels.
Air pollution, can we reduce the impact of cars on urban air quality?
Air quality in Delhi, India, is so poor due to vehicular pollution that it caused the city to run a 2-week experiment in January 2016: private cars were allowed on the streets only on alternate days, depending on license plate numbers. Delhi's PM10 particle levels are nearly twice that of Beijing, and its PM 2.5 the worst of 1600 cities in the world (including Iran and Bangladesh). Similar experiments have been tried in major cities in France, Italy, UK, China, all suffering public health problems (cancer, heart attacks, asthma, premature death) due to their love affair with the motor car.
Accurate and timely communication is key to stopping transmission of Ebola
Global coverage of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa began with courageous foreign health care workers being flown home by their governments to save their lives, and rapidly moved onto the sheer panic amongst the local populations experiencing the outbreak: riots, health care workers and government officials abandoning their posts. Somewhere imbetween mention was made, usually by the foreign health care workers, of their local colleagues left behind who struggled on without resources and personal protection. We examine the need for timely accurate communication of health information to frightened communities to stop transmission and the death toll.
August babies lack self-esteem
Image:'popofatticus This week we heard that being born in August in England leads to lack of self-esteem and a lifelong tendency to underachieve (Does when you are born matter?, from Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS)). This appears to be a follow-up study to one focussed on primary school children in 2007, and it certainly got…
Epigenetics: epi what?
Pity the poor editor on BBC’s news programme “Breakfast” (11 jan 2011) subtitling, as Professor Robert Winston and others discussed the possibility of gender selection to "complete your family in the way you desire" i.e. to finally achieve that longed for girl or boy. Throughout the discussion the text editor had kept up admirably, coping…
Xmas camels, tobacco and kids
Copyright: W.Norris My daughter decided to make this camel for the annual school Xmas tree competition. To her, at age 11, camels are “cuddly” and linked to the Three Wise Men, part of the Christmas Story. To me, whilst overseeing her sewing efforts, I’d made the link to the 2 empty packets sitting on my…