Since March 25, I have been writing a daily live blog covering COVID-19 for Australian general practitioners, for medical magazine The Medical Republic. It reports on everything from guideline updates to the latest studies, with occasional detours into welcome funny distractions. Check it out here.
From Griffith Review, April 2020: My Nan was an active, outgoing, engaged senior citizen. She gardened, kneeling on a foam pad to protect the skin of her knees and her fragile bones, honeycombed with osteoporosis. She read books, the newspaper, did the crosswords. She looked after her neighbours’ children for an afternoon here and there, … Continue reading Longevity, quality and turning back the clock
From Nature Careers India, 1 April 2020: In 2017, the World Health Organization (WHO) came up with a new classification system for antibiotics on its essential medicines list: Access, Watch, and Reserve. Antibiotics on the Access list were narrow spectrum antibiotics — only effective against a small range of organisms — that would be recommended … Continue reading How Indian scientists have been scrambling to contain antimicrobial resistance for years
From Nature, 16 October 2019: The commercial story of RNA interference (RNAi) harbours more plot twists and unexpected demises than television fantasy drama Game of Thrones. As in all good dramas, there was someone — or something — that, just as things were looking promising, showed up to foil everyone’s plans, in this case hindering … Continue reading The challenge of delivering RNA-interference therapeutics to their target cells
From The Scientist, 1 April 2020: When the first anticancer therapies based on engineered T cells hit the market a few years ago, they offered the possibility of what would have once been perceived as a medical miracle: a one-shot cure for certain blood cancers. Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapies, as they are … Continue reading Nature killer cell therapies catch up to CAR-T
From the Sydney Morning Herald, 24 April 2020: For thousands of years, women have been denigrated as the weaker sex, men’s inferior in cognitive and physical abilities, in need of their protection and support, vulnerable and flawed. Oh, how the tables have turned, and not a moment too soon. With a virulent and deadly pathogen … Continue reading Immunity and our DNA: why women are the stronger sex
From Wired UK, 21 April 2020: Everything was chaos, but at least he wasn’t being hunted by a lion. Chad Staples comforted himself with that thought as he crammed pandas, marmosets and tamarins into his kitchen until his counters overflowed with animals. Outside his home, giraffes, rhinoceroses, zebras and ostriches fended for themselves in flaming … Continue reading The day Australia burned
From Nature, 22 April 2020: When Jedd Wolchok began working in the area of melanoma 20 years ago, the average life expectancy for a patient with advanced disease was six or seven months. Now his waiting room is full of people coming back for their third or fourth year of follow-up, sharing their stories of … Continue reading Game-changing class of immunotherapy drugs lengthens melanoma survival rates
From Nature Outlook, 25 March 2020: When cancer was first described by the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates, he identified just two forms: the non-ulcer-forming carcinos and the ulcer-forming carcinoma. In the late nineteenth century, physicians found, with the help of the microscope, that cancer had multiple cellular forms. Now, technology is once again transforming our … Continue reading How cancer genomics is transforming diagnosis and treatment
I chat with Susanne Courtney and BBC5 Live ‘Up All Night’ listeners about the effect of Australia’s devastating bushfire season. Listen here.