LIFESTYLE

Pain isn’t just physical: why many are using painkillers for emotional relief

The biological pathways related to physical and emotional pain overlap. Issam Hammoudi/Unsplash Australians are increasingly using prescription or over-the-counter painkillers to ease emotional, rather than physical, pain. Our cultural understanding of pain is changing, and as a result it’s becoming more difficult to distinguish intoxication from relief. In my recently published book A Fine Line: Painkillers and Pleasure in the Age of...

Essays on health: microbes aren’t the enemy, they’re a big part of who we are

Modern diets are changing the compositions of our gut microbiota,and with that, our personalities. We have long believed that “good” immune cells recognise and defend against “bad” invaders. That’s why a large proportion of medicine has been directed at killing microbial enemies and conquering microbial infections. This militaristic understanding of immunity reflected the culture of the 20th century, which was...

Plain sailing: how traditional methods could deliver zero-emission shipping

The Avontuur recently completed a sail-powered transatlantic cargo voyage. Timbercoast On May 10, the 43.5-metre schooner Avontuur arrived in the port of Hamburg. This traditional sailing vessel, built in 1920, transported some 70 tonnes of coffee, cacao and rum across the Atlantic. The shipping company Timbercoast, which owns and operates Avontuur, says it aims to prove that sailing ships can offer an environmentally...

Research Check: can you cut your cancer risk by eating organic?

The science isn’t clear on whether organic foods can lower your risk of cancer. But eating plenty of fruit and veg – however it’s grown – can reduce your risk. A new study out this week has shoppers wondering whether it’s worth paying more for pesticide-free organic food. View image on Twitter CNN ✔@CNN You can cut your cancer risk by eating organic, a new...

Sustainable Skylights – Why Velux Is A Name You Can Trust

Global warming is no myth. We each have our part to play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and our carbon footprint. There’s heaps of things we can do - cycle to work, catch public transport, become a one car, or no car, family, buy recycled products, recycle our own trash, teach our kids sustainable living skills, buy hybrid cars,...

Autism advocacy and research misses the mark if autistic people are left out

The message from autistic activists is clear: “nothing about us without us”. Philosophographlux/flickr Autistic people have been routinely misunderstood, ignored, and excluded for decades – including from campaigns designed to promote awareness of autism itself. But this is beginning to change. Autistic self-advocacy organisations and autistic activists have long criticised autism awareness initiatives. The criticism is they too often emphasise the...

What’s happening at Empress boots?

Send your husband Christmas shopping with a plan this year! The Holiday season is here, time when husbands and partners everywhere get nervous about finding that perfect gift. At Empress we are experts at calming the flustered shopper with personalised suggestions for everybody's special someone. Hanro Singlets, Torretti Sandals, Balenciaga Sunglasses, Carthusia Fragrances, Avantgarde Paris Jewellery and more gift ideas in store. empress boots 34 Armstrong Street Middle Park, Victoria 3206 Australia

Better boil ya billy: when Australian water goes bad

Just what is coming out of your tap.Steve Dorman/Flickr Many Australians take it for granted we can drink untreated tap water, without worrying about the health effects. However, a recent audit criticised the regulation of pollution in the massive Warragamba Dam drinking water catchment, the biggest single metropolitan water reservoir in Australia. Read more: Why does some tap water taste weird? The Auditor-General’s report found that...

Articulate US teenagers could finally force action on gun control

For the first time in decades, there is now a real possibility that some gun controls might be implemented.Colin Abbey/AAP On Wednesday in the US, thousands of students left their classrooms in a national day of action designed to force political change on gun crime. Following the recent shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, this walkout is part of an extraordinary...

A short history of anaesthesia: from unspeakable agony to unlocking consciousness

General anaesthesia has come a long way since its first public demonstration in the 19th century, depicted here.
 General anaesthesia has come a long way since its first public demonstration in the 19th century, depicted here. Wellcome Library, London/Wikimedia, CC BY-SA   We expect to feel no pain during surgery or at least to have no memory of the procedure. But it wasn’t always so. Until the discovery of general anaesthesia in the middle of the 19th century, surgery was...