Cytokines and all the ills that flesh is heir to

Cytokines are engaged in a perpetual identity crisis of sorts. Their role in healing and restoration of tissue integrity and homeostasis is invaluable. Yet, simultaneously, their involvement in multiple medical conditions points to their darker nature.  Given that inflammation is a common factor in many diseases, cytokines are of considerable … [Read more...]

Sporty rats beat sedentary rats paws down

When we ask whether something in medicine is validated by science, the basic approach is to demonstrate biological plausibility (basic science research) as well as actual real-world efficacy (public health research). In other words, it is more interesting when something that works is actually supported by known biological mechanisms. We feel that … [Read more...]

Stressed mice and weak p53: Alas! Not cancer free!

There is an old and well known adage that stress causes negative health outcomes including the formation of gastric ulcers, heart disease, and cancer. How this takes place in any specific individual is horribly difficult to sort out due to the multiple systems and factors that are involved (we could be lost in a sea of confounders). However, … [Read more...]

Poles support WW2 veteran in trial

I made up the above title to highlight a small recurring problem in how media frequently portrays science: less than accurately! Especially in the headlines! Who would have thought that my headline actually spoke of a WW2 veteran who used crutches while taking part in a randomised controlled trial? Why am I writing this? The Telegraph! This … [Read more...]

Peer review picks a pack of pickled papers

I can only speak for myself, but the idea of peer review usually fills a researcher with the diametrically opposed feelings of fear of failure and a genuine excitement that the imminent suggestions will help one’s paper shine. It doesn’t help that the time of judgment usually comes after one has spent countless hours working on presenting an … [Read more...]

TNF-a: the scroundrel that can smile and smile

Glial cells keep appearing everywhere I look. No, I have not been shrunken by some Rick Moranis-like character and made to wander around the body (a reference to “Honey, I shrunk the kids”)! But, I have been wandering around the pages of journals, ever-so-slowly trying to get a grasp of how the nervous and immune systems talk to each-other. What … [Read more...]

Luke Parkitny talks CRPS at BiM

Luke is a PhD student at Neuroscience Research Australia researching some of the factors that play a role in the development of complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). Luke joins the Body in Mind team with a background of clinical practice and research in Western Australia. He has rapidly cultivated an interest in all things pain and has very … [Read more...]

It’s semantical my dear Watson

I recently read an interesting article from Vraceany et al titled “Less specific arm illnesses". The authors make some very good points about what are frequently futile clinical approaches. However, the foundations they erect to support these arguments made me think about how we approach the whole idea of what is and isn’t biopsychosocial … [Read more...]

Left or Right Brain Game

Left Right Brain Game

I reckon that all great scientific discoveries are judged on two criteria: firstly the idea must be truly original and useful to human-kind and secondly it must permeate into popular culture. I’ll cite two examples: (1) Gravity not only bruised Newton’s forehead and still keeps us grounded but also provides hours of entertainment to skydivers and … [Read more...]

Real World Attempts To Bring Science To Practice 101

This article reminds me of the last time I spent 2 years obstinately trying to prove a point! Why? Mainly because I just received, hot off the press, this very article in which our team in Perth describes what we consider to be a really great way of approaching modern health care! One might also argue that it is a bit of a slap in the face of … [Read more...]