Health + Medicine – Articles, Analysis, Comment

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Scientists have been looking for and finding ways to track various cancers in the blood for some time. from shutterstock.com

Can we use a simple blood test to detect cancer?

Techniques to measure and sequence this cancer's DNA in the bloodstream, scientists can get a snapshot of the cancer itself, which is referred as a "liquid biopsy".
Gardening in Australia requires, to varying degrees depending where in the country you are, pesticides, herbicides and fertilisers. from shutterstock.com

Are common garden chemicals a health risk?

When working with garden chemicals, always make sure you are wearing gloves. Apply sprays and dusts downwind and wear goggles if necessary. Always follow the directions.
Our language abilities are enabled by a co-ordinated network of brain regions that have evolved to give humans a sophisticated ability to communicate. [bastian.]/Flickr

What brain regions control our language? And how do we know this?

When you read this text, certain regions in your brain begin working more than others. Advanced imaging allows scientists to map the brain networks responsible for understanding language.
The facilities were poor and some inmates were subjected to unsuccessful experimentation with a “vaccine” that used arsenic compounds. Hospital Ward Dorre Island/State library of Western Australia

What do the newspapers really tell us about the lock hospital histories?

The lock hospitals inflicted incalculable traumas on Aboriginal people, wrenching them away from families and country.
LSD causes euphoria, increased body temperature and hallucinations where some or all of the senses are distorted. from shutterstock.com

Weekly Dose: LSD – dangerous, mystical or therapeutic?

During the 1950s and 1960s, LSD was used more for psychotherapy than recreation. Between 1950 and 1965, many were treated with LSD for alcoholism, depression, schizophrenia, autism and homosexuality.
In the SBS documentary series Who Do You Think You Are?, Peter Garrett traces the history of his grandmother, who worked in the “lock hospitals” as a nurse. Screenshot/Who Do You Think You Are/ SBS

Acknowledge the brutal history of Indigenous health care – for healing

Hundreds of Aboriginal people were incarcerated on Dorre and Bernier islands for "venereal disease" between 1908 and 1919. The lock hospitals were penal rather than therapeutic institutions.
The outbreak of Zika virus in Brazil had Australian travellers on alert but transmission is only possible in tropical Queensland. Cameron Webb

Common Australian mosquitoes can’t spread Zika

New research shows common local mosquitoes aren’t able to spread Zika. This means Australia is unlikely to see a major outbreak of the disease. But a risk remains in northern Queensland.
Swap the bacon for something a little healthier. Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

If you love me, don’t feed me bacon

It is easy to fall into the trap of giving people you love lots of ultra-processed, high kilojoule, nutrient-poor foods because they like them. But immediate pleasure comes at a cost.
Cataracts are one of the leading causes of visual impairment globally. Rakesh Ahuja, MD/Wikimedia Commons

Explainer: what are cataracts?

More than a million Australians have an untreated cataract and hundreds of cataract surgeries are performed daily, but what are they?
Alcohol is a big part of our culture, but how do you know if you’re drinking too much? Neil Moralee/Flickr

Health Check: how do I know if I drink too much?

It's important to know the recommendations on drinking to ensure we're not drinking too much for our own health and for the safety of others.