Sunday, 21 September 2014

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Urine Trouble

Heads up for what promises to be an interesting program on Radio 4 this evening.  Urine Trouble:
  • You have a headache and take a pill. The headache is gone, but what about the pill?

    What we flush away makes its way through sewers, treatment works, rivers and streams and finally back to your tap. Along the way most of the drugs we take are removed but the tiny amounts that remain are having effects. Feminised fish in our rivers, starlings feeding on Prozac-rich worms, and bacteria developing antibiotic resistance; scientists are just beginning to understand how the drugs we take are leaving their mark on the environment.

    The compounds we excrete are also telling tales on us. Professor of Chemistry, Andrea Sella, gets up close and personal with music festival toilets to find out what the revellers are swallowing, and hears from scientists who are sampling our rivers to learn about our health.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

The Decline Effect

If you've read Ben Goldacre's Bad Science or Bad Pharma then you'll be aware of the deep rooted problems in medical research.  But it gets worse.  It seems that the truth is a 'perishable commodity', as articulated in Everything We Know is Wrong (available on iPlayer):
  • "Every day the newspapers carry stories of new scientific findings. There are 15 million scientists worldwide all trying to get their research published. But a disturbing fact appears if you look closely: as time goes by, many scientific findings seem to become less true than we thought. It's called the "decline effect" - and some findings even dwindle away to zero.