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Australia’s shark-punching outlaw spirit is losing its battle with the nanny state

Last September, a 20-year-old man was retrieving a goose he had shot in Australia’s Northern Territory when a crocodile dragged…

Vapers deserve to be angry – they are under attack

There is a perception – on Twitter at least – that vapers are angry and abusive. Ben Goldacre recently described…

Ten years on, the public health puritans who predicted 24-hour drinking look like idiots

One of the many old temperance beliefs that linger on in the field of ‘public health’ is known as availability…

Hormone ‘halves risk of premature birth,’ says the Mail. But its report is wildly inaccurate

As a gynaecologist, I was appalled to read this story about a supposedly ‘groundbreaking’ treatment to stop premature births in the…

Why GPs are the London cabbies of the NHS

GPs are the very personification of the description ‘jack of all trades, master of none’. Following so-called ‘specialist’ training, they emerge…

Charles’s ‘spider letters’: The Guardian falls for the pseudoscience of graphology

The Prince of Wales’s ‘spider letters’ are out today – his letters to government ministers written or annotated in his distinctive…

Happiness is…

Happiness has become a serious health issue. If you Google the words ‘happiness and longevity’ you’ll get over a million…

A fear-free guide to post-mortems

A post-mortem (also called an autopsy) is an examination performed after someone has died. There are two main reasons for…

Check up

  The hidden perils of dining out   For many, eating out is associated with a treat. According to a…

Illustration by David Humphries

Junk policy

In 1982 a doctor called John Marks walked into a grey little GP surgery in the Wirral, in the drizzly…

Apple and IBM may just have changed the future of personalised medicine

As the FT reports, Apple and IBM have got into bed together. The deal they’ve struck has major implications for…

Hangover? Try chewing on a deep-fried canary

For hardened drinkers, looking for the perfect hangover cure is like the search for the fountain of youth. To drink…