Coming soon: book an appointment on your smart phone

In what Britain’s health secretary calls “a decade of patient power” plans are being made to give NHS patients the same kind of smart phone access that banks give their customers.

“People should be able to access their own medical records 24/7”  Jeremy Hunt planned to tell an NHS conference on Tuesday (according to the Telegraph and the Guardian.)  Patients should be able to access records via smartphone by the end of 2018.

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Spaniards have longer life expectancy than Portuguese

According to the CIA world fact-book, Spaniards can expect to live 79.92 years on average.  That’s nearly 80. (For Spanish men it’s 76.6 years, and 83.45 years for Spanish women).  That’s the highest in life expectancy in Europe and second highest in the world.

Their western neighbours in Portugal, however, only have a life expectancy of 78 years and two weeks. (Portuguese males are expected to live for 74 years, 9 months, and 11 days.  Portuguese females can expect to live for 81 years, six months and 11 days.)

Yes, Spaniards live almost two years longer than Portuguese.  Where did those two years go?  Portugal has a similar climate, and Spaniards smoke more.

What’s the secret of Spanish longevity?  We’ve investigated and were surprised by what we found.

If there’s enough interest, we’ll publish a special report, either here or elsewhere.  Don’t worry, if our report is published elsewhere, we’ll let you know about it right here on

New hope in fight against a deadly brain cancer

Former Presidential candidate John McCain was recently diagnosed with a glioblastoma.

Glioblastoma is a brain cancer with a very low survival rate.  According to the American brain tumor association, of ten people who have glioblastomas, only one is likely to survive five years.

Through manipulation of enzymes, Glioblastoma cancer cells stop the immune system from responding. But this manipulation helps them stand out from normal cells, and may provide the key to targeting cancer cells.

Researchers from Alabama and China teamed up to research this phenomena after the failure of a previous study.  This time, tests on mice and cultures suggest that a drug called CMP3a could target cancer cells without affecting normal brain cells.  They hope to perform clinical trials in “a year or two.”

While Glioblastoma is relatively rare, the same technique could be used to fight more common cancers that carry similar enzymes.

Galen on the dangers of excessive exercise

We all know that “too much of a good thing is a bad thing,1” whether we watched the Karate Kid movies or not.  Working too long leads to tiredness and slows down performance, eating too much leads to health problems, and even reading too long can lead to vision problems.

What we may not realise in these days of consumer gadgets is that it is actually possible to exercise excessively.  The ancients recognised this, and they said that it was better to have a healthy body than an athlete’s body.
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Happy 14th of July! errata on the eggs story

Sorry if we didn’t have comments enabled on all our articles.  We’ll let you know when we get comments in email.

And sorry if this is late.  But late only counts when you have an appointment to meet, like meeting your destiny in Waterloo.

Speaking of Waterloo, our article on Napoleon seems to have hit a button.  And we even got praise from someone who considers “le petit caporal” to be a good egg. Continue reading “Happy 14th of July! errata on the eggs story”

Is healthcare Britain’s biggest worry?

If you follow the media, you’ll see that health care has become a political issue.  In the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and elsewhere, candidates lay down their plans for medicine.

As much as ten percent of political speeches are devoted to health funding, and to health infrastructure, whether it be “Obamacare” or the NHS.  But does the electorate care? Continue reading “Is healthcare Britain’s biggest worry?”