In the Science Podcast of 2.1.9 there is discussion of immersive technology for learning. The ability to create complex environments can be useful for learning e.g. in medicine. There is also a discussion of how discrepancies between performance in exams and in practice can be addressed by using these immersive environments. Further research on this technology is recommended. There is also a discussion of computer-assisted training which is quite tricky as the computer needs to anticipate many types of interaction with the student. There is also a discussion of e-learning in South Korea.
In the Science Podcast of 9.1.9 there is discussion of a study in which there was a discrepancy between people’s attitudes and behaviours in a situation with overt racism although a number of explanations are put forward by the researcher. There is a discussion of the origins of life on earth with the author of an essay in Science and the discussion focuses on the RNA hypothesis. There is discussion of a study looking at the hormone Oxytocin, where evidence shows an importance in attachment. Male volunteers were administered either a spray with Oxytocin or a placebo and found that the first group were significantly better at describing faces they had seen before. This didn’t translate to objects suggesting a specificity in the role of Oxytocin. There is then some speculation about a possible relationship with autism.
In the Science Podcast of 16.1.9 there is a discussion on a US policy on genomics which focuses on race and ethnicity. There is also a discussion of finger length in traders working in a fast paced trading environment and found a relationship with the success of traders in this scenario. There was also a discussion of study showing an association between higher levels of caffeine and hallucinations.
The BMJ has started a new series of Podcasts which provide a useful means of keeping up to date with medical news.
In the BMJ Podcast of 23.1.9 there is a mention of a move by the FDA to allow off-label prescribing providing there is evidence in scientific journals. There is also a discussion of a randomised trial of interventions by health visitors in women with postnatal depression. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy was compared to a Person Centred approach and also health care visits as usual. The treatment arms were found to be equally effective in terms of a number of clinical outcomes and also cost-effective in comparison with health care visits as usual. There was found to be a reduction in depressive symptoms and an improvement in general health measures and further research was recommended.
The BMJ Podcast of 16.1.9 has a brief discussion of some of the work done by medicine sans frontieres including that in the Congo. President Obama’s intentions for health care are discussed including a national insurance plan based on subsidies according to a person’s income and retention of insurance after a person loses their job (when the employer pays for their insurance). Other considerations are discussed.
The BMJ Podcast of 30.1.9 features an interview with Andrew Dillon Chief Executive of NICE who discusses how some of the difficulties associated with the organisation’s responsibilities are tackled. There follows a debate on whether or not to raise the threshold of QALY’s for assessing cost-effectiveness of treatments.
In the BMJ Podcast of 6.2.9 there is a brief discussion of the NICE Guidelines for exercise. There is also a look at a suggestion of the Royal College of Physicians that Pharmaceutical companies should stop paying for postgraduate medical education. This is discussed further later in the Podcast where additional suggestions are made by a guest who remarks on the possibility of bringing a number of different organisations together to discuss these important issues*.
*In the Blogosphere, the report of the Royal College of Psychiatrists has also been discussed by Carlat in the Carlat Psychiatry Blog here.
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