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Showing posts from April, 2015

Personalised Nutrition: A look into the future

Personalised nutrition is the future. When the sequence of the human genome was first announced, it was believed that human biology had set a new boundary around its research challenges. It was believed to herald a new dawn in cancer prevention when President Bill Clinton and Prime Minister Tony Blair launched the human genome sequence project in June 2000. Clinton commented: “In fact it is now conceivable that our children’s children will know the term ‘cancer’ only as a constellation of stars” to which Blair added the this heralded: “a breakthrough that opens the way for massive advances in the treatment of cancer”. The era of personalised medicine had arrived and the road ahead was envisaged thus: You doctor would have your genome scanned to check some conditions such as blood pressure where your measurements were marginally high. She or he might find you had a genetic predisposition too high blood pressure and based on your genetic information, the ideal pharmaceutical treatment t…

Scientific norms and the WHO

In 2007, a paper was published in the medical journal The Lancet that sought to study how the WHO expert panels reach their conclusions, which are profoundly important in shaping global policy on public health [1]. The study, conducted jointly between the Norwegian Centre for Health Services and the Centre for Health Economics at McMaster University in Canada, and funded by the EU concluded systematic reviews were rarely used and the favoured way of developing a report was to use an expert committee or individual experts. One interview among the 29 directors or equivalents commented thus: “There is a tendency to get people around a table and get consensus – everything they do has a scientific part and a political part. This usually means you go to the lowest common denominator or the views of a ‘strong’ person at the table.” This criticism was bad enough but worse was to come. Two papers were published subsequently in the Lancet, one by researchers looking at insecticide treated anti-…