Lessons for Australia’s monkeypox response

From The Saturday Paper, 20 August 2022: When infectious diseases physician Dr Jonathan Volk learnt about monkeypox at medical school in the United States more than a decade ago, he was taught it was a mild, self-limiting illness. In the past few months, he’s diagnosed nearly 160 cases at the Kaiser Permanente San Francisco medical Continue reading Lessons for Australia’s monkeypox response

How gut reactions are shaping cancer treatment

From Nature, 6 April 2022: When Melody Smith began her fellowship in haematology and oncology at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, she had no idea that she would soon be writing her own code, working with computational biologists and analysing faecal samples to understand the microbial composition — or microbiome — Continue reading How gut reactions are shaping cancer treatment

Long Covid: After-effect hits up to 400,000 Australians

From The Saturday Paper, 9 July 2022: Today, James is feeling about a two out of five. The young lawyer is reasonably articulate on the phone. He might be able to read a single news article today, maybe even go for a short walk. On a “five out of five” day, he can do four Continue reading Long Covid: After-effect hits up to 400,000 Australians

Teens and vaping: ‘We would have had a nicotine-free generation’

From the Guardian, 25 June 2022: Ben wants to quit vaping. He has a few times already. It’s easy, he says, despite the tremors and headaches, feeling hot then cold, the irritability. But then he says vapes – also known as e-cigarettes – containing nicotine are so easy to get despite being illegal to sell Continue reading Teens and vaping: ‘We would have had a nicotine-free generation’

What do we mean by Covid immunity?

From The Medical Republic, 21 March 2022: There was a time before covid, which seems a distant memory now, when the concepts of “immune” and “immunised” seemed relatively straightforward to anyone outside the field of immunology. Either by virtue of childhood infection or vaccination, a person believed that they were now protected from further assault Continue reading What do we mean by Covid immunity?

Is Covid becoming endemic?

From The Medical Republic, 18 February 2022: “It’s no worse than the flu” has been the rallying cry of covid-deniers, anti-vaccination campaigners, and anyone with a financial or political interest in downplaying the devastating impact that SARS-CoV-2 has had on humanity. While they have been proven spectacularly wrong on so many fronts, there is one Continue reading Is Covid becoming endemic?

Sotrovimab-resistant covid ‘could spread’

From The Medical Republic, 10 March 2022: Covid can develop resistance to the monoclonal antibody that was thought to be “variant-proof”, Australian research suggests. A research letter published in the New England Journal of Medicine reports on four patients with covid who experienced treatment failure with sotrovimab, and were then found to have variants of Continue reading Sotrovimab-resistant covid ‘could spread’

Platelet-rich plasma injections show no benefit in knee OA in placebo-controlled trial

From Medscape, 23 November 2021: A large randomized, placebo-controlled trial of platelet-rich plasma injections for knee osteoarthritis has found almost no symptomatic or structural benefit from the treatment, giving some clarity to an evidence base that has seen both positive and negative trials for the treatment modality. Given the need for better disease-modifying treatments for Continue reading Platelet-rich plasma injections show no benefit in knee OA in placebo-controlled trial