31 October – 6 November 2015

Dame Marjorie Scardino has been appointed the School’s Chairman of Council, after Sir Tim Lankester steps down after ten years in the position. This is reported by PR Newswire, which leads to coverage in more than 90 outlets including CNBC, Reuters and Bloomberg.

Vikram Patel features in a short film by Al Jazeera that discusses the challenges of mental health care in the developing world: “The problem with addressing the burden of mental health problems in India are the great paucity and maldistribution of mental health resources in the country… I do not believe in the role of large institutions in mental health care. You’re effectively robbed of any identity, autonomy, agency and dignity. That’s not care.”

David Heymann writes a Perspective in The Lancet about Body Team 12, a short film which follows a team of Ebola burial workers in Liberia in 2014 and 2015: Body Team 12 is a stark reminder of how future body teams must work hand in hand with those who understand social behaviour, and who can engage communities in providing safe care for those who are sick, and safe burial for those who have died.”

A study of past outbreaks of Ebola in Democratic Republic of Congo showed that each day of delay in hospitalisation increased the risk of death by 11% coverage. This is reported in outlets including Global Biodefense, News Medical and Infection Control Today.

Val Curtis speaks to Discovery News about new research suggesting that macaques exhibit disgust: “I’m really excited to see my theory that disgust evolved to drive behaviour that prevents infection born out in experimental work in primates. There have been many anecdotal observations of hygienic behaviour (in animals), but this is the first experimental demonstration of its likely function in primates, and so it is very exciting.”

Brian Greenwood comments in SciDev.net about the use of the drug ivermectin for malaria control: “An advantage of ivermectin is that it is a cheap drug and has been given to millions of people to control [other] infections and shown to be safe… definitely an approach worth pursuing.”

Meenakshi Gautham speaks to Mosaic Science about the value of training rural practitioners in India to become rural healthcare providers, as medically qualified doctors are scarce in the country: “But you still have rural medical practitioners. Why is that? The obvious reason is that people’s health needs aren’t being met… The long-term strategy cannot be to keep training informal healthcare providers. This market cannot remain informal forever.” This leads to coverage in Quartz India and Gizmodo.

Huffington Post write a guide to earlier research led by Ciceley Marston about anal heterosex. This research is also mentioned in The Independent.

Jennifer Quint is quoted in Guernsey Press as a co-author of research showing the resurgence of bronchiectasis, a lung disease, in recent years:The high prevalence of bronchiectasis in people with asthma and COPD is an important finding. Whether the diagnosis of bronchiectasis precedes or follows the diagnosis of asthma or COPD is important to investigate next as it may help to guide longer-term management in these patients.” The story is also reported by outlets including Irish Examiner and Western Daily Press.

A BMJ editorial mentions earlier School research investigating Chemsex among gay and bisexual men. This leads to coverage in The Telegraph and Tech Times.

David Lawson blogs in Capioca about his recent research on polygyny in Tanzania, also reported in Futurity: “Our study suggests that highly polygynous, predominantly Maasai, villages do poorly not because of polygyny, but because of vulnerability to drought, low service provision, and broader socio-political disadvantages.”

Clare Wenham is quoted in SciDev.net as co-author of a report showing the role of foreign troops in the recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa: We do not want to suggest that the military should continue to have a role in [all] global health crises; merely that if they are deployed again, these are some lessons learned.”

BBC Radio 4 World At One mentions earlier School research in a discussion about cancer diagnosis and survival rates in the UK (at 35m00s).

Antonio Gasparinni speaks to Environmental Health Perspectives about his earlier research showing that more people die in mild than extreme weather conditions: “You try to focus on the high-exposure situations, and sometimes you don’t realize that the important impact can be much higher for mild exposures, not because they are more dangerous but because they are far more common.” A second article in Environmental Health Perspectives also discusses the research.

Chris Whitty speaks to the Lords Select Committee about insect-borne diseases and the field of GM insect technology. The session is broadcast on Parliament TV.

Recent research led by Nick Furnham receives continued coverage in IFL Science and Metro.

Val Curtis is mentioned in Tribun News (Indonesia) in an article about the importance of handwashing in reducing cases of diarrhoea.

Alumnus Dr Serge Marquis is interviewed on Radio France Internationale about modern living, mental health and his book “On est foutu, on pense trop!”

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