Side Effects May Vary
Right Jab or Sucker Punch [PART TWO]: How do we know the COVID-19 vaccines are safe?

Right Jab or Sucker Punch [PART TWO]: How do we know the COVID-19 vaccines are safe?

March 8, 2021

The major vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 have been developed at a speed unprecedented in human history. For some people, this raises concerns around their safety. This two-part episode proposes a critical framework to allow laypeople to satisfy themselves of the answers to those questions. What do we know so far? What do we not know? What are the various types of evidence and how do we weigh them appropriately to determine if the risks outweigh the benefits? Part One addresses the merits, unpacking the science that underpins the vaccines. Part Two addresses procedure: the processes that both regulators and we as healthcare consumers employ to assess safety.

Right Jab or Sucker Punch [PART ONE]: How do we know the COVID-19 vaccines are safe?

Right Jab or Sucker Punch [PART ONE]: How do we know the COVID-19 vaccines are safe?

March 8, 2021

The major vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 have been developed at a speed unprecedented in human history. For some people, this raises concerns around their safety. This two-part episode proposes a critical framework to allow laypeople to satisfy themselves of the answers to those questions. What do we know so far? What do we not know? What are the various types of evidence and how do we weigh them appropriately to determine if the risks outweigh the benefits? Part One addresses the merits, unpacking the science that underpins the vaccines. Part Two addresses procedure: the processes that both regulators and we as healthcare consumers employ to assess safety.

A Bite-Shaped World: Malaria, medicines and mosquitos [PART TWO]

A Bite-Shaped World: Malaria, medicines and mosquitos [PART TWO]

February 9, 2021

Did the emergence of the environmental movement in the 1960s really sink humanity's chances of eradicating malaria once and for all? What role did the world's first effective antimalarial, quinine, play in the imperial projects of the 19th and early 20th centuries? And how could humble cow's milk help save children's lives in the developing world?

A Bite-Shaped World: Malaria, medicines and mosquitos [PART ONE]

A Bite-Shaped World: Malaria, medicines and mosquitos [PART ONE]

December 16, 2020

From ancient Greece through to the 21st century, malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases have put a heavy thumb of the scales of human interaction. They've helped shape migration patterns, affected the outcomes of wars and brought down empires. We speak with two leading malaria researchers, Darren Creek and Sue Charman, who explain the history of antimalarials and unpick the difficulties of treating this killer disease.

This Episode May Save Your Life: Melanoma, sunscreen and the fatal allure of the sun tan

This Episode May Save Your Life: Melanoma, sunscreen and the fatal allure of the sun tan

November 24, 2020

Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, and around 2,000 of us die from it every year. Divya Krishnan and Dr Amy Chen look at some of the social and cultural factors around being sun smart, and get the authoritative word on how to detect melanoma early, how to apply sunscreen properly and how this mundane yet lifesaving compound actually works to protect you from the sun's harmful rays.

The Long Shadow of the Opium Wars [PART 2]: From post-punk to the future of pain

The Long Shadow of the Opium Wars [PART 2]: From post-punk to the future of pain

October 21, 2020

In the second part of our episode exploring the past, present and future of opioids, we chart the impact that they've had on Melbourne's signature cultural export, get a deeper understanding of how they work to treat pain, and gain an insight into what the future of pain management might look like. But first, we address a nagging question about pharmaceuticals...

The Price of a Cup of Tea: The long shadow of the Opium Wars

The Price of a Cup of Tea: The long shadow of the Opium Wars

October 6, 2020

Divya Krishnan investigates one of the oldest drugs known to mankind, tracing the way it has shaped global geopolitics, examining the biological mechanisms that underpin its power and discovering more about a modern-day epidemic that has reached Australian shores. Plus an interview with the man known as The Godfather of Methadone in Victoria.

The Itchy and Scratchy Show

The Itchy and Scratchy Show

September 23, 2020

In the spring a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of antihistamines. But irritating as it may be, hayfever is amongst the more benign allergic reactions people deal with. Some of them can be life-threatening.

The Brainless vs The Mindless: Searching for answers about anti-depressants

The Brainless vs The Mindless: Searching for answers about anti-depressants

September 11, 2020

Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors ("SSRIs") are by far the most commonly prescribed class of antidepressants. But how do they work in the brain?  How can patients get the most out of them? And how do they fit within a broader mental health plan?

Pandemic

Pandemic

August 21, 2020

In the debut episode of Side Effects May Vary, researchers, educators and students share stories from various fronts on the war against COVID-19, from the quest to develop a vaccine to the way that, when reliable evidence about medicine use and safety is still emerging, fake news inevitably fills the void.

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