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Reviews Minerva


BMJ 2001; 322 doi: (Published 09 June 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:1434

Sir Douglas Black, known for the 1980 “Black report” on equalities in health, makes the point that what one can do may depend on available resources. Watching a man give another man an intravenous injection in Bengal during the war, Sir Douglas asked what he was doing. “Giving him calcium” was the reply. Pursuing the matter further, Sir Douglas asked, “Why?” He received the conclusive answer: “Calcium is what I have got” (SK Goolamali. Twice Daily after Meals. London: Medi-Derm, 2001).

Using a protein “glue” and short, synthetic, single strands of DNA, scientists at the National Cancer Institute have invented a new system of molecular “cutting and pasting” for repairing intracellular DNA. Their method can apparently remove single base mutations and longer sections of rogue genetic material, and it should provide interesting new ways of studying the genomes of various organisms (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 2001;98:6742-6).

Unhappy doctors thinking about leaving the profession should reconsider. Work related stress is positively associated with high blood pressure, according to a retrospective cohort study of over 2300 adults in California. Taking baseline psychosocial, behavioural, and demographic factors recorded in 1974 and performing fancy mathematics on them 20 years later, the …

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