Glorious Summer

A short guide to evidence

Checking the facts Throughout this website I have tried to be as rigorous as any scientist might be in writing a clinical paper. You will find major assertions, as well as facts and figures justified by reference to reliable texts. Statistics are the language by which scientific information is communicated. Statistics help us distinguish between …

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Normal or Gaussian distribution, 95% confidence interval

A short guide to statistics

Why bother? When it comes to statistics, scientists need to define their terms very accurately. There are two terms that we see again and again in reports and studies. Those words are average and risk. Just being able to understand what mathematicians mean when they refer to these two terms, will give you a far …

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How understanding about homeostasis helps you lose weight

Homeostasis Life’s balancing act

All day, every day, our cells are performing a metabolic balancing act. In fact, every cell, in every living thing, performs the same task. Nature is wonderful. Our metabolic rate isn’t regulated by just one system.  The human body possesses trillions of metabolic clocks, ticking away within every single cell in the body. Each cell …

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Ancel Keys

Famous Scientists: Ancel Keys

The scientists that changed our thinking about longevity It used to be that childhood was the most dangerous stage of life.  That means that throughout history, up until modern times life expectancy for most people was between 35-45 years.  That doesn’t mean that older ages were unheard of.  Life expectancy was low – on average …

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The Three Graces Prado Museum

Four million obese people in England might be unfairy excluded from priority vaccinations

When Liam Thorp, Political Editor of the Liverpool Echo tweeted on Wednesday that his doctor had mistakenly classed him as morbidly obese by recording his height as being 6.2cm instead of 6ft 2in we all had a good laugh.  No harm done!   But this simple clerical error at the GP surgery highlights a national issue …

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A soup kitchen in the Netherlands Wiki commons

Environment matters

We tend to think that ageing starts somewhere in late middle age. Who has not scrutinised their own reflection for signs of grey hair or the first wrinkle? But the reality is far more complex than that.  Your chances of enjoying longevity starts with your grandparents. During WWII the Germans invaded the Low Countries, precipitating …

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Adolphe Quetelet after a lithograph by Madou 1939

Famous Scientists: Adolphe Quetelet

A few weeks ago, I wrote about Bronze Age Peoples, describing how the archaeological evidence indicates that people lived then almost as long as we do today.  The Bronze Age is considered the beginning of civilisation.  By civilisation we mean a stable society, with towns and villages, with a system of commerce and agriculture, a …

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Mapping the future

Longevity shouldn’t feel like a life sentence

I’ve been discussing dementia care with some experts this week, and the advice that comes to me again and again as I research this topic is to have the important conversations early.  I think we all tend to put off thinking about old age, because we are deep down scared of what might happen.  And …

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