Monthly Archives: May 2012


Bath salts – does what it says on the tin?

Posted 30 May 2012 by Suzi Gage

I was alarmed yesterday to see a news report about a man ‘eating another man’s face’. Assuming it to be the beginning of a zombie apocalypse I grabbed my axe and started packing up to head to the safe house, but luckily I decided to read the rest of the article before hermetically sealing myself in. Apparently, the ‘new LSD’ is to blame, a drug called ‘bath salts’ (by the media, not by users). Interesting, so what is it? Well,... Read more

On the Importance of understanding real interest rates

Posted 22 May 2012 by Neil Davies

For an economics student, understanding the difference between real and nominal interest rates is pretty important. Nominal interest rates are the headline rate given in on a loan or debt. For example, a mortgage might charge a fixed nominal interest rate of 3.5%. However, over time inflation, a rise in the general price level erodes the value of the pound. A year ago £1 would buy more goods than it does today. In the year to April, the Office of... Read more

SciCom12 – Impact to Heart Attack

Posted 16 May 2012 by Suzi Gage

I’ve just returned from the British Science Association‘s Science Communication Conference, a 2 day event in London for everyone from researchers like me who communicate alongside their ’day job’ to press officers to funding bodies. It was my first time attending, and it really was an excellent event. I went up to London on Sunday evening for Science Showoff, the recommended pre conference entertainment. It didn’t disappoint, and has me excited for Science Showoff Bristol (featuring a set by me)... Read more

Is exposure to angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors related to Alzheimer’s disease?

Posted 11 May 2012 by Neil Davies

One of the hypotheses I have been investigating is whether a type of anti-hypertensive drug, angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors, may inadvertently cause some people to develop Alzheimer’s disease. There is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Patients diagnosed with dementia on average survive for 4 years. Alzheimer’s disease was first described in 1906, but scientists do not know exactly what causes the biological changes characteristic of the disease. We do know Alzheimer’s disease gets more common as people get older:... Read more

Tobacco Control, Plain Packaging, and Media Misinformation

Posted 3 May 2012 by Suzi Gage

Yesterday an article in the Daily Mail was brought to my attention by Ben Goldacre, and Transform Drug Policy Foundation. There have been a few articles along a similar line to this one, questioning tobacco control research and policy. This one seemed particularly one-sided, so it’s made me decide to go through the arguments, and discuss. The very first sentence of this article riled me, I have to say: There are few industries to have come under such sustained attack... Read more