Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

Notable female microbiologists you’ve never heard of

Female microbiologists many not have had professor or doctor in front of their names, instead listed as laboratory assistants or technicians, but in many cases their skills were critical for numerous notable discoveries. It is worth reminding ourselves who they are and how they changed the world for good.

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Warning: music therapy comes with risks

Bob Marley sings, “One good thing about music—when it hits you, you feel no pain.” Although this may be the case for some people and in some circumstances, we dispute this statement as a global truth.

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Beer before wine – can we avoid hangovers that way?

As St. Patrick’s Day approaches, many dread the incapacitated hangover of the day after – when the nausea hits you and you cannot do anything but lay in bed and every movement worsens your pounding headache. Wouldn’t it be helpful to have ways to lessen the burden of alcohol-induced hangover? A hangover is a complex […]

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The brave new world of cannabis: chronic vomiting

A young patient, let’s call him Chad, goes to the doctor. He complains of attacks of nausea from the moment he wakes up in the morning. Sometimes his belly hurts as well. It’s been happening, on and off, for years. He gets cold and shaky. At times, it will progress to full-fledged vomiting, uncontrollable with any medications. The nausea is unbearable. Sometimes, getting in a very hot shower will take the edge off the nausea, but not always. In many cases a trip to the emergency room is needed for rehydration and intravenous anti-nausea medications.

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Schizophrenia and ballet dancer Vaslav Nijinsky

Schizophrenia is the most iconic of all mental illnesses but both its conceptualization and causes remain elusive. The popular image portrays patients convinced of being persecuted and hearing voices that nobody else can hear.

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Could too low blood pressure in old age increase mortality?

With increasing age, blood pressure rises as a consequence of arterial stiffness, caused by the biological process of ageing and arteries becoming clogged with fatty substances, otherwise known as arteriosclerosis. Large hypertension trials showed that lowering blood pressure in people over 60 is beneficial and lowers the risk of heart attacks, stroke, and all-cause mortality, even in people over 80. Since arterial hypertension, high blood pressure in the arteries, is the most important preventable cause of cardiovascular disease, it seemed obvious for at least two decades to treat hypertension without restrictions even patients over 60.

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Oral sex is good for older couples

Is it difficult or even embarrassing to imagine grandparents having oral sex? Indeed, most studies of oral sex focus on adolescents or younger adults, while research on sexuality in late life is primarily focused on sexual dysfunctions from a medical perspective, contributing to the prevailing stereotype that most older adults are sexually inactive or asexual […]

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The Man who Mapped LSD

Ingesting 250 micrograms of the compound, Albert Hofmann experienced strong sensory and cognitive alterations, which reminded him of mystical episodes of his youth. That was the advent of the modern psychedelic age, which would go on to change society fundamentally.

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The best strategies to prevent cancer

February 4th marks World Cancer Day and this year, the launch of a new three year campaign called “I Am and I Will,” led by the Union for International Cancer Control. The focus lies on emphasising the importance of each person’s role in the fight against cancer, and reinforcing that everyone has the power to reduce the […]

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Cervical cancer and the story-telling cloth in Mali

Around the world, the arts are being used within communities to address local needs. For such projects to be most effective, program participants must: ensure that their program goals are locally-defined; research which art forms, content, and events might best feed into their program goals; develop artistic products that address their goals; and evaluate these products to ensure their efficacy.

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Healthy aging and the Mediterranean diet

In this Q&A, Rozalyn Anderson, PhD and Co-Editor in Chief of the biological sciences section of The Journals of Gerontology, Series A, sits down with Luigi Fontana, PhD, and Mediterranean Diet expert.

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A better way to prevent the spread of HIV

HIV prevention is now focused on finding at least 90% of the existing cases, putting at least 90% of those people in HIV treatment, and keeping the virus from multiplying in the body among 90% of those people retained in care (known as durable viral suppression). Despite these admirable goals, known as the United Nations’ “90-90-90” programme, HIV transmission rates have not declined since 2011.

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Improving immunizations for older people

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends multiple immunizations for older adults, including flu, two pneumonia vaccines, vaccination against herpes zoster, and a one-time tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 63% of annual hospitalizations, and 90% of influenza-related mortality, occurs in people over 65. Fortunately influenza vaccinations can prevent hospitalizations related to respiratory illness and even more importantly, vaccination may prevent an increased risk for stroke and myocardial infarction that occurs following the flu.

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