• The time I saw demons: let’s remove the stigma of mental health

    ‘The witch’ first started speaking evil thoughts into my mind when I was working in a hospital in Gambia, West Africa. To everyone else she was a concerned-looking 50-something woman crouching over a feverish relative. My supernatural sensitivities told me otherwise. Utterly oblivious, I was suffering the horrifying symptoms of schizophrenia and was utterly convinced […]

  • Mario turns 30! How playing video games can be good for us (sometimes)

    Happy Birthday Mario! The large-nosed plumber, famous as Nintendo video game character who jumps down pipes and collects mushrooms, has just turned just turned thirty*. And he now the iconic video game star has a real reason to jump for joy. Research is increasingly showing us that video games could be good for us, which […]

  • It’s official: you’re only as old as you feel (and look)

    “You are only as old as you feel,” or so the saying goes. This adage is great for cheering yourself up when the grey hairs start to take root, but science has recently revealed that the time-honoured expression is alive and kicking – the younger you feel, the younger you actually are. Ground-breaking new research […]

  • Beware the health scan scams: don’t be fooled by the long words

    Magic 8 Ball toys are great fun when you’re a kid. The fortune-telling plastic spheres have been entertaining children since the 1950s and are delightfully simple – you ask the black ball a question, give it a shake, and an answer ‘magically’ emerges out of the inky darkness. “Will I be popular at school?” The […]

  • Why drinking milk is good for us (and our farmers)

    Milk prices are sinking fast and UK dairy farmers are fighting to stay afloat. The ‘milk trolley challenge’ and supermarket protests have helped raise the profile of their plight but our appetite for the white stuff has never been lower. Twenty years ago we drank three times as much whole milk as we do today; […]

  • Ditch the ‘detox’: don’t let the diet myth cleanse your wallet

    Lady Macbeth kept scrubbing but she couldn’t get the marks out. Shakespeare’s character was so wracked with guilt that imaginary blood stains appeared on her hands and, try as she may, she couldn’t get herself clean. It’s not just fiction: research shows that all of us have a powerful urge to wash, bathe, shower, or […]

  • Gardener beware! 4 deadly plants that could be in your backyard

    Vegetable growers will know that there is little to beat eating the fruit of efforts. A bowl of garden-grown lettuce leaves, tomatoes and cucumbers, sprinkled with freshly cut basil leaves puts any shop-bought salad to shame. The mysterious death of gardener Nathan Greenway, however, highlights the dangers of unwittingly harvesting the wrong kind of plant. […]

  • Test yourself: Could you spot a skin cancer? Never miss a melanoma.

    If you ever doubted humankind’s ability to do great things for our planet, just look at the sky. Or rather, look toward the ozone layer high in the stratosphere. If you cast your mind back, you will remember that there was a lot of talk of the ‘hole in the ozone layer’ brought on by […]

  • Choosing Wisely: when you should refuse a medical test

    Today I offer you an exclusive preview of a forthcoming late summer blockbuster. Due for premiere later this year, it will be a medical drama billed to be more engaging than Terminator: Genisys and more disturbing than Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension. Directed and produced by an internationally respected team from America, Canada and the […]