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Lancet 10/18/2019 12:17
Why has Margaret Atwood gone back to Gilead now? The world of 2019 is, superficially, a very different place for women than it was in 1985, when The Handmaid's Tale—the precursor to The Testaments—was published. That novel came out at the fag-end of feminism's second wave and as the backlash was surging. In the USA, which is the site of Atwood's Gilead, external opposition and internal divisions had left the women's movement scattered. Popular culture—in the form of primetime television, evangelical preachers, and bad-science bloviators—was fomenting a back-to-the-home doctrine for women.
Lancet 10/18/2019 10:16
Dame Sally Davies has stepped down as Chief Medical Officer for England, using her final report to make strong and ambitious recommendations for the UK to stem childhood obesity. Her proposals include a cap on the calories per serving for food sold in restaurants and takeout outlets, a ban on eating and drinking on public transport, and the possibility of introducing plain packaging for unhealthy foods, similar to that used with success for tobacco. Nearly a third of young people aged 5–19 years in the UK are overweight or obese.
Lancet 10/18/2019 06:16
What should we expect of scientists in society? To do great science for sure. But to demand more is surely unreasonable. When medical journals publish research on war, the climate crisis, migration, Brexit, President Trump, and even notions of social justice, for some readers we clearly violate a principle that they hold dear—that science and politics do not mix, and certainly should not be mixed in the pages of a medical journal. I remember one ardent (and knighted) advocate of evidence-based medicine saying that journals should focus only on publishing the best available science.
Lancet 10/18/2019 05:18
It is a long way from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to Omaha, Nebraska, USA, but for Senait Fisseha, Director of International Programmes at the Susan T Buffett Foundation, it is where she exerts great influence in global reproductive health. “I came here to have impact. At the Foundation I oversee grant-making for reproductive health programmes on a global scale, an incredible opportunity for me to contribute to the reproductive rights and health of women around the globe”, she says. Fisseha is clear about the Foundation's role.
Lancet 10/18/2019 04:17
Intermittent ischaemia and reperfusion cycles, or ischaemic conditioning, has been viewed as a promising potential cardioprotective technique since its first description by Murry and colleagues in 1986.1 The most encouraging iteration of this technique to emerge over the past three decades has been the application of a modified blood pressure cuff placed on the upper arm to induce cycles of remote, transient ischaemia that relay protection to the heart via predominantly neurohormonal mechanisms.
Lancet 10/18/2019 02:19
The UK Chief Medical Officer's independent review of childhood obesity, Time to Solve Childhood Obesity, was published on Oct 10, 2019.1 In England the prevalence of childhood obesity is too high; about 20% of children aged 10–11 years are obese (≥95th centile on the UK90 growth charts).2 There is widespread public support for action with three "chapters" of an ambitious plan outlined by the UK Government.1,3–5 Now we need a focus on implementing solutions, and the independent review calls for bold action to improve children's health.
Lancet 10/18/2019 01:17
Peanut allergy is a potentially life-threatening disease with substantial impact on the quality of life of patients and carers.1 Many initiatives are underway to develop treatment alternatives for strict peanut avoidance. Subcutaneous immunotherapy with aqueous peanut extract was found to be too dangerous.2 Alternatives such as sublingual, epicutaneous, and oral immunotherapies are being tested. So far, oral immunotherapy (OIT) has proved most effective in achieving meaningful desensitisation while on therapy.
Lancet 10/18/2019 00:16
On Oct 21, 1959, the establishment of the Faculty of the History and Philosophy of Medicine and Pharmacy was announced by the UK's Worshipful Society of Apothecaries. Its founding aim was “to foster and extend more general interest in medical history and to attract the co-operation of general historians, so that work in this field may be co-ordinated with wider historical studies”. On the Faculty's diamond anniversary, it's timely to reflect on the pursuit of this aim, especially from a personal perspective since from April, 2019, I've served as a “general historian” Faculty President, the 19th person to hold the post.
Lancet 10/17/2019 23:17
For the first time since the endorsement in 2010 of the WHO global strategy to reduce harmful use of alcohol,1 alcohol had a place on the World Health Assembly (WHA) agenda. At the 2019 WHA, it was agreed that the WHO Director-General will report on “the implementation of WHO's global strategy to reduce the harmful use of alcohol during the first decade since its endorsement, and the way forward” to the WHA in 2020.2 This move comes after several years of civil society and some member states working cooperatively to raise the profile of alcohol at the WHA.
Lancet 10/17/2019 22:16
World Sight Day, Oct 10, 2019, opened the final stages of Vision2020 and the Global Action Plan, two global advocacy initiatives that strived to tackle the global burden of avoidable blindness and vision impairment. 80% of vision impairment is preventable or treatable, yet it affects millions of people, and many have no access to affordable, good-quality eye care. WHO's first World Report on Vision, released on Oct 8, 2019, suggests how to meet the world's growing eye care needs.
Lancet 10/17/2019 21:16
Canada's often-lauded health-care system has an unusual and unfortunate distinction. Physician care and hospital stays are universally publicly funded, but medicines are not. Canada is the only country in the world with public health care and no universal public system for providing prescription drugs (pharmacare). In the run-up to the country's federal election on Oct 21, the harms to Canadians, and the costs to the health-care system, of the absence of national pharmacare are again in the spotlight.
Lancet 10/17/2019 19:16
We disagree with Gideon Paul and colleagues1 in their assertion that academic research should not be divisive. Divisive is a subjective term and at times, if research examines or illuminates factors underlying conflict and its impact on populations, it could be seen by some as being divisive. For example, during the USA-backed war on Nicaragua's Sandinista Government, researchers documented the effects on the civilian population, helping to inform the policy debate;2,3 this certainly did not please advocates of US policy.
Lancet 10/17/2019 19:16
Results of the YOMEGA trial1 showed that one anastomosis gastric bypass (OAGB), compared with Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB), induces better outcomes (even if not significant) in terms of weight loss and diabetes improvement at 2 years. However, we feel some issues regarding the design of this study should be addressed.
Lancet 10/17/2019 19:16
Academic bullying and the complexity that surrounds it are dramatically increasing.1 Academic institutions play a key role in minimising different types of academic bullying by improving their fair and thorough reporting systems with no fear of reprisal.2,3 Although most institutions claim to use a fair and robust process to address academic bullying, they are ill equipped to handle such cases, with departments such as ombuds offices being responsible for informally addressing the issue.
Lancet 10/17/2019 19:16
Paul Gideon and colleagues1 suggest that the term occupied Palestinian territory is a “political statement with intentional prejudice” and should be avoided in medical academic papers. However, they use an alternative term, disputed territories, to describe the West Bank and Gaza Strip. This term is only used by the Government of Israel and always in the service of Israel's political aims.
Lancet 10/17/2019 19:16
Our study suggests that peanut OIT could desensitise individuals with peanut allergy to 4000 mg peanut protein but discontinuation, or even reduction to 300 mg daily, could increase the likelihood of regaining clinical reactivity to peanut. Since baseline blood tests correlated with week 117 treatment outcomes, this study might aid in optimal patient selection for this therapy.

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