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Briefings Archive

Can we make cannabis safer?

In a Personal View article to be published in the Lancet Psychiatry, the authors explain that increasingly liberal cannabis laws in some countries and the increasing potency of cannabis worldwide mean that we need to think about whether and how cannabis can be made safer.

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Mental health screening of military personnel

The UK has been considering following in the footsteps of the US and Australia by introducing mental health screening of military personnel after they return from deployment. However, there have been question marks over whether screening works, whether it the best way of helping military personnel and whether it is worth the money. read more

Vitamin D supplementation and respiratory infections

The effect of vitamin D supplementation on health continues to be a subject of controversy, despite recent recommendations from SACN and PHE that everyone over the age of one should consume 10 micrograms of vitamin D daily to ensure good health. read more

Football and dementia

Boxing and American football are under scrutiny because of head injuries causing long-term damage to the brain, but the situation is much less clear for football where heading is extremely common, but head injuries are less so. read more

Could overcooking some foods cause cancer?

Acrylamide is a chemical that is created naturally when many foods, particularly starchy foods like potatoes and bread, are cooked for long periods at high temperatures, such as when baking, frying, grilling, toasting and roasting. read more

Antibiotics in farming

Future dangers of antimicrobial resistance are widely acknowledged, with farming practices often blamed for the rise in resistance to common antibiotics in human diseases. read more

Climate change and the Trump presidency

Donald Trump has said that no-one really knows whether climate change is real. Scientists tend to disagree. But what will the new presidency have in store for the US approach to climate change? read more

Global overfishing: what is the world’s true catch?

Two leading marine biologists, Prof Daniel Pauly and Dr Dirk Zeller from the University of British Columbia’s Sea Around Us project, published findings last year that challenged fundamental assumptions about global fisheries. read more

the facts about antidepressants

Antidepressants are a constant source of controversy. Concerns are raised that these drugs are not safe, that the side-effects are being overlooked, that they are being over-prescribed and are part of a trend of over-medicalisation. read more

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