Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

  • Science & Medicine

Oxford Medicine Online

Palliative care around the world

With a failing NHS and an ageing population in Britain, palliative care is a topic currently at the forefront of healthcare debate. Whether to abandon treatment in favour of palliation, is a challenging decision with profound implications for end-of-life care.

Read More
IJLIT.cover

Just a face in the crowd

The widespread practice of uploading photographs onto internet social networking and commercial sites has converged with advances in face recognition technologies to create a situation where an individual can no longer be just a face in the crowd. Despite the intrusive potential of face recognition technologies (FRT), the unauthorised application of such technologies to online digital images so as to obtain identity information is neither specifically prohibited nor a critical part of the international law reform discourse.

Read More

The Jurassic world of … dinosaurs?

The latest incarnation (I chose that word advisedly!) of the Jurassic Park franchise has been breaking box-office records and garnering mixed reviews from the critics. On the positive side the film is regarded as scary, entertaining, and a bit comedic at times (isn’t that what most movies are supposed to be?). On the negative side the plot is described as rather ‘thin’, the human characters two-dimensional, and the scientific content (prehistoric animals) unreliable, inaccurate, or lacking entirely in credibility.

Read More
9780199644469_450

50 shades of touch

Disgusting or delighting, exciting or boring, sensual or expected, no matter what you think about it, 50 Shades of Grey is certainly not a movie that passes by without leaving a mark on your skin. Based on E.L. James’ novel (honestly, somehow even more breathtaking than the movie), it tells the story of the complicated relationship between the dominant multi-millionaire Christian Grey, and the newly graduated, inexperienced, and shy, Ana Steele.

Read More
Wenk Blog

What 4,000 years of hallucinations have taught us about our brain

Over the past forty years, many of my students have shared their personal experiences with hallucinogenic drugs. They are typically more fascinated, than frightened, by the experience. About sixty years ago the scientist C.H.W. Horne commented that “It is remarkable that one characteristic which seems to separate man from the allegedly lower animals is a recurring desire to escape from reality.”

Read More
9780199330454

Why do we eat?

At first pass, the answer is obvious—to obtain energy to support our everyday activities and ultimately, to promote our survival. However, many of our modern day food choices suggest another answer, one that actually stands to threaten our health and functioning.

Read More
9780199554355_450

From Galileo to Rosetta

For some people, recent images of the Rosetta space program have been slightly disappointing. We expected to see the nucleus of the Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet as a brilliantly shining body. Instead, images from Rosetta are as black as a lump of coal. Galileo Galilei would be among those not to share this sense of disappointment.

Read More
14764989 political analysis

Using web search data to study elections: Q&A with Alex Street

Social scientists made important contributions towards improving the conduct and administration of elections. A paper recently published in Political Analysis continues that tradition, and introduces the use of web search data to the study of public administration and public policy.

Read More
Oxford Medicine Online

World Blood Donor Day 2015: blood types [infographic]

World Blood Donor Day 2015 is celebrated on 14 June each year. This Sunday, the theme is “Thank you for saving my life,” a chance for everyone who has benefited from a blood donation to thank the donors that selflessly donated to the cause. The demand for blood is always high as the shelf life of donated blood is only 42 days.

Read More
Environmental Epigenetics cover

A Q&A with the Editor of Environmental Epigenetics

Environmental Epigenetics is a new, international, peer-reviewed, fully open access journal, which publishes research in any area of science and medicine related to the field of epigenetics, with particular interest on environmental relevance. With the first issue scheduled to launch this summer, we found this to be the perfect time to speak with Dr. Michael K. Skinner, Editor-in-Chief to discuss the launch of the journal into an exciting and rapidly developing field.

Read More
9780198714620_450 (1)

Happiness: it’s not always smiley faces and that’s okay

Imagine that today is Happiness Day. For the next 24 hours, you get to enjoy the day to the best of your ability. What would you do?’ I asked some of my friends and family this same question. If you’re like many of the people I polled, you would probably plan to spend the day with family, indulge in a pleasurable activity, or aim to carve out a significant chunk of time with one of your favorite hobbies. But not everyone approaches happiness the same way.

Read More
9780199656097_450

Facing the challenges of palliative care: evolution

The last two decades have witnessed truly remarkable growth in the field of palliative care. Such growth is challenging, and brings both uncertainties and optimism about the future. In this three-part blog, we’ll take a look at some of the complex issues of continuity, development and evolution in palliative medicine.

Read More
FoPD-email-lead-story-low-res

Sexual deception in orchids

“In the spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love” (Alfred, Lord Tennyson), but he could have said the same for insects too. Male insects will be following the scent of females, looking for a partner, but not every female is what she seems to be. It might look like the orchid is getting some unwanted attention in the video below, but it’s actually the bee that’s the victim. The orchid has released complex scents to fool the bee into thinking it’s meeting a female.

Read More
Human Reproduction

Preconception stress and infertility: a Q&A with Dr. Courtney D. Lynch

Does preconception stress increase the risk of infertility? Dr Courtney D. Lynch will be presenting the results from a couple-based prospective cohort study, the LIFE study, at this year’s Human Reproduction Keynote Lecture in Lisbon. We meet Dr Lynch to learn more about how she came to specialise in reproductive medicine and the findings of her research.

Read More
9780199744541

Residency training and lifestyle

For many generations, doctors seemingly had little choice. Work came first. Doctors were expected to live and breathe medicine, spend long hours at the office or hospital, and, when necessary, neglect their families for the sake of their patients.

Read More