23 – 29 May 2015

The Peek (portable eye examination kit) app is shown to have equal accuracy to traditional eye-testing charts in a study led by Andrew Bastawrous, who spoke to BBC Radio 4 (from 06m43s): “The main reason for most people not getting an eye treatment is simply that they don’t access the services, and that’s usually because the services are too far away, or unaffordable. If we can detect people with visual impairment early on, we have a much greater chance of increasing awareness and ensuring they receive appropriate treatment, so something as simple as a visual test can be part of that journey.” Dr Bastawrous also spoke to BBC World Service (from 19m15s), and BBC London 949 Breakfast Show (from 01:27:14). The story features in bulletins across the BBC including Radio 6 Music, while further global coverage includes the Telegraph, BBC News, Metro, Irish Examiner, Scotsman and NPR.

James Logan brings his mosquitoes to BBC Springwatch Unsprung, and also talks about midges and ticks: You can think about them as nature’s ultimate blood-sucking machine; perfectly designed to seek us out and steal our blood without us even knowing it.” Dr Logan also appears on Springwatch Extra.

Val Curtis speaks to the Daily Mail about the science behind disgust: Disgust is a fundamental part of human nature – it is the voice of our ancestors”. This leads to coverage in Metro, Capital Bay and La Voz.

Brendan Wren in the Independent commenting on an FSA report on levels of Campylobacter contamination in supermarket food: “It’s a national scandal that we readily accept such a toxic food poisoning organism into our kitchens.” Also in the Daily Mail and Daily Express (print only).

Vikram Patel quoted by BBC News about suicide in Indian farmers: “In India we haven’t done good research on farmers’ suicides and in terms of mental health, this has always been seen as a social issue.”

Vikram Patel also speaks to the Telegraph about why suicide is now the biggest killer of young girls worldwide: “The most probable reason is gender discrimination. Young women’s lives [in South East Asia] are very different from young men’s lives in almost every way. In India, female suicide rates are highest in parts of the country with the best education and economy, probably because women grow up with greater aspirations only to find their social milieu limits them.”

The Daily Mail quotes Sally Bloomfield about the importance of hand washing in hygiene practice: “I’ve known families who have prevented the spread of norovirus by practicing fastidious hygiene: disinfecting often and washing their hands often.”

Ian Roberts speaks to the Guardian about the value of 20mph speed limits: “It’s very difficult to randomise areas of Britain to different transport policies. So for most policy decisions you have to settle for less than the best.”

Peter Piot and David Heymann are signatories to a letter to the Wall Street Journal in which 19 experts from Africa, Asia, Europe and the US set out their support for the use of a range of clinical trial designs during the Ebola epidemic. The letter is in response to an earlier article by the paper that questioned the ethics of conducting single-arm clinical trials during the outbreak.

An open letter in The Lancet signed by Martin McKee and Shah Ebrahim, which addresses possible impacts of UN health targets to reduce premature deaths, features on the front page of the Telegraph and in the Daily Mail.

Taane Clark leads the development of an online tool to rapidly determine drug resistance of TB strains, covered by Health Medicine Network, Science Daily, Infections Control Today, Medical Xpress and Medical News Today.

Research led by Harparkash Kaur about fake drugs in Nigeria is covered by Punch, Medical News Today, Qué.es, and Dario Madrid.

A study led by David Conway about an emerging form of zoonotic malaria is featured by Science Newsline, Roll Back MalariaOutbreak News Today, Science Daily, Health Canal, Infectious Disease News, Vaccine News and Medical Xpress.

Martin McKee speaks at the annual conference of the Austrian Society of Public Health about the need for strict laws concerning drugs, junk food and alcohol. His comments are reported in Austrian press including Tiroler Tageszeitung and Salzburger Nachrichten.

Recent research showing that cold weather kills more people than hot weather by Antonio Garsparrini continues to receive global coverage, including TheLocal.se, Focus.it, Canadian Press and Health Canal.

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