Tasman Medical Journal Blog Page

Welcome to Our Blog Page

Tasman Medical Journal welcomes you to our blog page.  Our purpose is to float and respond to respectable and scientifically justified but sometimes potentially controversial medical ideas in a way that avoids the need for peer review and stimulates discussion amongst our readers.  But we will ensure that a high standard of scholarship applies.  The rules for commenting are:

  • Submitted comments must relate directly to the blog post or formal paper under which they appear and should aim to maintain an acceptable level of academic discussion appropriate to a medical journal. 
  • Where comments are submitted in relation to a formal paper, the journal may publish the comment as a letter to the editor, on condition that full disclosure of your identity, professional qualifications and contact details is provided. 
  • If your comment makes a claim of fact, you must cite the primary source, just as you would for a paper.
  • A word limit of 600 will apply to comments. Where your comment exceeds this amount we may reject your comment and ask you to edit and resubmit.
  • Comments will be scrutinised to prevent publication of insulting or defamatory material, frankly unscientific or crank ideas or illogical claims, and to ensure the above rules is met. We may reject a comment outright without notification, or notify you to edit and resubmit the comment.
  • Tasman Medical Journal aims to maintain acceptable standards of well-written English. We reserve the right to edit your comment to maintain these standards, but may also reject your comment for the very same reasons and ask you to edit and resubmit.

To start things off we present two blogs, one on the contribution to annual global CO2 emissions from human breathing, and one on whether Herpes simplex viruses (cold sores) can cause skin cancers.

We look forward to hearing from you!

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Omicron strain demands new terminology to describe vaccination status against SARS-CoV-2 infection

Recent papers1-3 have demonstrated and confirmed that the omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2, which is now the dominant strain worldwide, is resistant to neutralising vaccinations, and that immunity from two vaccinations is poor.  On the other hand, it increases substantially after a third administration. Garcia-Beltran and his colleagues1 state that, in a study of  239 vaccinees internationally, “…Taken together, our results indicate that two-dose mRNA-based vaccines are effective at inducing neutralizing immunity to SARS-CoV-2 wild-type and Delta variants but suboptimal for inducing neutralizing responses to the Omicron variant”  but that “…recently boosted vaccinees exhibited potent neutralization of Omicron variant pseudovirus that

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CO2 emissions by humans caused by breathing

Atmospheric CO2  concentration is measured in parts per million, total tonnage and “emissions”.  There is a natural carbon cycle because plants can remove CO2 by photosynthesis.  It is suggested that in a “natural” world this cycle would be in equilibrium and that increasing CO2 concentrations are due directly or indirectly to human activity, either by increasing CO2 production (burning fossil fuels etc) or decreasing CO2 adsorption (by deforestation), of which the former is the greater factor.  However, this means that all sources of CO2 emissions need to be measured, and it is to be expected that the direct and indirect

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Does Herpes simplex virus (HSV) cause BCC?

A staff member at the Tasman Medical Journal recounts having a solar-activated cold sore (presumed HSV infection) at the same site on the forehead over many years.  One year the lesion returned in spring as usual but its evolution differed from previous years. The herpetic crusting resolved but a patch of erythema remained at the site.  It was eventually biopsied and was shown to be a basal cell carcinoma which was resected.  The solar keratosis has not returned since, over a period of about 30 years. Viruses including HSV cause or are strongly associated with a variety of human cancers

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