• Get off your bum! Your office chair could be killing you (very slowly)

    I have some bad news to tell you – are you sitting down? Well, I’m sorry to break it to you, but your office chair could be killing you. I know it looks harmless, with its ergonomic arm rests and comfy sponge seat, but each hour you spend sitting in it could be causing your […]

  • Strokes are NOT rising among people of working age, despite news reports

    If there were an award for the world’s most stupidly named medical condition, ‘stroke’ would win. We use it when talking about petting a dog or caressing a lover – the complete opposite of what a medical stroke is. A serious and life-threatening condition, strokes frequently cause paralysis, slurred speech, confusion – or worse. For […]

  • The unseen Rwanda healthcare revolution – and what it teaches us

    Good news stories can be sometimes hard to come by. All too often the television and media tell us only of humanity at its worst: crimes, killings, and politicians doing dodgy things. Away from the flat screens, however, remarkable victories take place every day – often in the most surprising places. Rwanda, for example, is […]

  • Don’t forget to vote: it’s good for body and mind

    Waiting for the general election has been a bit like waiting for Christmas. The hype keeps building but the big day never seems to arrive. Rather than greetings cards, however, ‘vote for me’ flyers have been piling up on the door mat. And instead of wall-to-wall seasonal specials, television viewing has been nonstop politics. Come […]

  • Is owning a dog is good for you? Separating howling myths from tail-wagging truths

    There are some things in life no one ever teaches you. Like the etiquette of dog walking. As a reluctant dog owner of two years, the strange world of dog walkers still mystifies me. Should I let my dog sniff another dog’s crotch? Should I apologise when my dog barks at a stranger? Will the […]

  • A chocolate a day (may possibly) keep the doctor away

    The Easter eggs don’t last long in our house. It wouldn’t have always been that way though: as I child, I would diligently squirrel away Easter chocolate, treating myself only on special occasions. I now have no such willpower and, by the looks of it, neither do the rest of you. A recent survey has […]

  • ‘Google to rank pages by accuracy’ shown to be inaccurate

    As a science writer who writes a lot about health, I spend more time than most scouring the internet for medicine-related information. Unfortunately, the advice that ‘Dr Google’ prescribes is all-too-often a bit dodgy. Search ‘how to treat my headache’, for example, and in alongside the sensible suggestions are some rather more dubious and laughable […]

  • Three parent babies: it’s not what you think

    Most of us came into this world through a moment of passion between our father and mother. Not so for everyone. In the world today there are 200,000 people who were not conceived in the conventional way – but in a Petri dish. For the past 35 years, IVF (In Vitro Fertilisation) and similar ‘test […]

  • The risks of drinking bottled water: getting some clarity

    One of the best ever episodes of Only Fools and Horses has to be ‘Mother Nature’s Son’. Originally aired in 1992, the hilarious Christmas special sees Delboy convert his kitchen into a mineral water bottling factory after he successfully duped a wealthy entrepreneur into selling his brand of ‘Peckham Spring’ water. In true Del and […]