Posts tagged with ‘medicine’

Bad Pharma by Ben Goldacre

Ben Goldacre’s previous book, Bad Science, was effectively an adaptation of his Guardian columns of the same name, and although it wasn’t a straightforward compilation, it had something of the same character: a bit of a grab-bag of subjects, held together by the broad theme of bad science and bad science journalism, with a emphasis […]

Say aaah.

I went to the doctor today about a sore throat; he took a quick look down my throat, made me go aah, asked me where it hurt, and recommended that I just wait for it to get better. Which is both reassuring — I’m glad he didn’t take one look down my throat and gasp […]

The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande

This book is a paean to the power of checklists and specifically a call for their use in medicine — Gawande is a surgeon. I bought it after reading a couple of fascinating articles he wrote for the New Yorker, and to be honest if you’ve read those articles (and watched his TED talk) you […]


NCBI ROFL: That’s one miraculous conception. | Discoblog | Discover Magazine Girl with no vagina accidentally gets pregnant under, um, remarkable circumstances. Has the flavour of an urban myth but was published in an actual scientific journal… so I guess we take it at face value. ( tags: medicine ) accidental mysteries: How Genetics Works […]


Darwin’s finches tracked to reveal evolution in action : Nature News More fascinating results from the legendary research by Peter and Rosemary Grant into Galapagos finches. If you haven't read 'The Beak of the Finch' – why not? ( tags: Galapagos birds evolution speciation ) Video: Atul Gawande: New Yorker Festival : The New Yorker […]

Wolf flu

The swine flu outbreak had me thinking: presumably the very nature of infectious diseases means that, if you want to beat them, you have to act fast and take large-scale measures. You have to act, every time, as though this one is The Big One because if it is, then time is of the essence. […]

Kidneys! Kidneys! Get your kidneys here!

I’m fascinated by this story—that the British government is considering changing organ donation to an opt-out system. So the surgeons would be able to presume consent unless the patient had specifically asked that his organs not be used. I think it’s such an interesting ethical question. In some ways it would so clearly be a […]

George III and the Mad-Business by Ida Macalpine and Richard Hunter

I highly recommend this fascinating book; it seems to be out of print, but there are lots of second-hand copies on Amazon. As the title suggests, it’s about poor mad George III. And even Americans, brought up to think of George III as a tyrant, might have a little sympathy for him after reading this. […]

Self-portrait with peristalsis

Actually it’s not a self-portrait—I certainly wasn’t operating the camera—but it is a picture of me. Since my blogging is generally short on personal details and I’ve never even posted a photograph of myself before, I suppose a shot of the inside of my colon seems like a rather radical step. But what the hell, […]