When cruelty costs money why wouldn’t you stop?

When cruelty costs money why wouldn’t you stop?

Some farmers have absolutely no interest in animal welfare but wouldn’t you think they’d be interested in saving thousands of dollars a year? I recently interviewed Don Mudford of Parkdale Merino Stud, who breeds ‘bare breached’ sheep that don’t need to be mulesed. This is a horribly cruel practice of cutting off skin under the tail which theoretically prevents fly strike, but even...

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GP dismisses breast symptoms. Can you believe that’s still happening?

This media release from the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation makes disturbing reading, and not only because the number of women diagnosed last year hit a new high. It includes the information that one of the 3003 women diagnosed in 2012 was 47-year-old Nicki Hayles, of Christchurch. Between mammograms, Nicki felt some pain in one breast. When it grew worse, and she noticed some redness on her...

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What exactly is a low-glycaemic diet?

What exactly is a low-glycaemic diet?

The Harvard Medical School circulated these principles via their online newsletter today. Pretty much the same as a regular, healthy diet, I’d say – except that the first point strikes me as a bit odd. Why would anyone think tropical fruits have a higher glycaemic index (GI) than any dessert that isn’t fruit? And, if we’re supposed to avoid starchy fruit, why are bananas,...

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Addressing the psychological impact of BRCA testing

Addressing the psychological impact of BRCA testing

As someone with a faulty BRCA2 gene, I’m glad to see that someone is paying attention to the psychological impact of being on the receiving end of this diagnosis. I’d already had all of my treatment when I agreed to take the test and I didn’t give the matter much thought. It felt like something I should do because it might be helpful in terms of research. I must have been...

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Man beats cancer – or man gives himself cancer?

Man beats cancer – or man gives himself cancer?

This is the kind of ‘beating cancer’ story that I find really disturbing. In the Guardian article, the photograph is captioned ‘Jonathan Acott: ‘I wanted to prove that I would not be beaten by my cancer.’ So, at first sight it’s about a remarkable man who has used increasingly extreme forms of exercise to beat cancer three times. He says that: ‘Working with researchers...

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