Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

New NHS treatments: a real breakthrough for breast cancer?

In November last year, after much debate over cost, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) approved two new drugs for treatment of breast cancer for use on the NHS. Although first approval happened some time ago, this decision to make palbociclib and ribociclib available on the NHS, gives thousands more people access.

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Animal of the Month: Ten things you didn’t know about squirrels

Whether they’re gray or red, climbing a tree or scurrying on the ground, squirrels are one of the most ubiquitous mammals in the world. They are found in almost every habitat imaginable from tropical rainforests to deserts, avoiding only the most extreme conditions found in the high polar and arid desert regions. Different types of squirrels are indigenous to almost every continent including the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Africa.

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Communication in palliative care [reading list]

Palliative care is now a cemented service offered by health care services globally, and in the United Kingdom the hospice care sector provides support to 200,000 people each year. The care given to the terminally ill, as well as their family and friends is vital in supporting individuals through what is, for most, the most challenging time of their lives. This care ranges from clinical medical practice to spiritual support, and aims to put individuals in as much comfort as is possible.

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Emerging infectious diseases: Q&A with Michel A. Ibrahim

Defined as “the branch of medicine which deals with the incidence, distribution, and possible control of diseases and other factors relating to health”, the field of epidemiology is a widely-encompassing field. Issues under this branch range from incarceration and health to environmental issues to gun violence. In recent years, global outbreaks have also brought epidemiology to the forefront with the reemergence of infectious diseases such as Ebola and Zika.

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Glioblastoma’s spectre in the Senate

With his right arm extended – pausing for just a moment – Senator John McCain flashed a thumbs-down and jarred the Senate floor. Audible gasps and commotion followed. At 1:29 am on 28 July, Senator McCain had just supplied the decisive “Nay” vote to derail the fourth and final bill voted on that night. With that, a seven-year pursuit to undo the Affordable Care Act had collapsed.

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Does the route to equality include Indigenous peoples?

At the time of writing, many Australians are preoccupied with the recent result of the same-sex marriage survey (with 61.6% voting in favour of marriage equality). The survey’s result is indicative of a shift in the thinking about ‘rights’ in general, but also about ‘equality’ and what it means in practice. Unsurprisingly also, and as evidenced throughout the public and social media, all those who advocate for more open and inclusive society are pleased by what looks like a public surge for a social change.

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Animal of the Month: Reindeer around the world

We all know Dasher and Dancer, Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid, Donner and Blitzen. But do you know about the different subspecies of reindeer and caribou inhabiting the snowy climes of the extremes of the northern hemisphere? As Santa Claus travels the globe, here’s an exploration of the possible types of reindeer that are pulling his sleigh.

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Questioning the magical thinking of NHS RightCare

When drafts of Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STP) for the 44 “footprints” of the NHS in England began to surface last year, a phrase caught my eye: “Championing the NHS Right Care approach to others within commissioner and provider organizations and building a consensus within the teams of those organizations”. This was the first bullet point for clinical leadership, from the 30 June 2016 version of the Cheshire and Merseyside STP.

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Emigration and political change

International mobility has been reshaping the economies and societies of countries over the course of human history. In Europe, during recent years, media and policy-makers have been focused on immigrants from North Africa and the Middle East who cross the Mediterranean Sea to look for opportunities in Europe. However, another important but much less noticed mobility phenomenon has been on the rise.

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Of microbes and Madagascar

Microbes are everywhere. On door knobs, in your mouth, covering the New York City Subway, and festering on the kitchen sponge. The world is teeming with microbes—bustling communities of invisible organisms, including bacteria and fungi. Scientists are hard at work cataloging the microbial communities of people, buildings, and entire ecosystems. Many discoveries have shed light on how culture and behavior shape these communities.

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Is yeast the new hops?

In recent years we have seen a revolution in brewing and beer drinking. An industry once dominated by a small number of mega brands has shifted so that bars and retailers across the world are offering a seemingly endless variety of beers produced by craft or speciality breweries. In the midst of all this new […]

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Concerned scientists — World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity: Second Notice

It’s been 25 years since more than 1,700 scientists, including a majority of the world’s living Nobel laureates in the sciences, co-signed the Scientists’ Warning to Humanity. This startling document published by the Union of Concerned Scientists, expressed concern about ozone depletion, freshwater availability, marine fishery collapses, ocean dead zones, forest loss, biodiversity destruction, climate change, and continued human population growth.

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Connecting clinical presence and clinical knowledge in music therapy

In all clinical practices, students must learn to make meaning of clinical information such as, “What does it mean that the client said this or did that? What is the client’s body saying when it does or does not do this?” For music therapy students, there is the additional consideration of music, namely “What does it mean when the client plays music like this? What does it mean when the client hears this music like that?”

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Will 2018 be a turning point for tuberculosis control?

Although tuberculosis (TB) has plagued mankind for over 20,000 years and was declared a global emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO) in the early 1990s, political attention and funding for TB has remained low. This looks set to change for the first time. On 17 November 2017, 75 national ministers agreed to take urgent action to end TB by 2030.

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The first contracting white dwarf

White dwarfs are the remnants of solar-like stars that have exhausted the reservoir of fuel for the nuclear fusion reactions that powers them. It is widely believed, based on theoretical considerations, that young white dwarfs should experience a phase of contraction during the first million years after their formation. This is related to the gradual cooling of their interior which is not yet fully degenerate.

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Unfitness to plead law and the fallacy of a fair trial

Cognitive disability is not well accommodated in criminal justice systems. Yet, people with cognitive disability are overrepresented in these systems. Unfitness to plead law is one legal mechanism that is purported to assist when a person with cognitive disability is charged with a crime. The aim of such laws is claimed to be to prevent an individual with cognitive disability to have to engage in a trial process.

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