In case you missed – TGBSL #30 – Life’s a beach and other research.

TGBSL explained: In the second book of the semi-autobiographical series describing the progress of an Edinburgh medical graduate, Colin Douglas describes his hero, David Campbell’s, involvement with medical research. The book’s title is “The Greatest Breakthrough Since Lunchtime“ and the cynic in me always remembers it when I read headlines like these. I insist that I have a huge regard for our researchers, having watched my brother persevere with his work for years and now my son wrestle with a PhD I know that it is something to which I am not suited at all. 

1 Ultra-tough antibiotic to fight superbugs

US scientists have re-engineered a vital antibiotic in a bid to wipe out one of the world’s most threatening superbugs.  Their new version of vancomycin is designed to be ultra-tough and appears to be a thousand times more potent than the old drug, PNAS journal reports. It fights bacteria in three different ways, making it much less likely that the bugs can dodge the attack. It is yet to be tested in animals and people, however. The Scripps Research Institute team hope the drug will be ready for use within five years if it passes more tests….

BBC Report HERE

2 Common periodontal pathogen may interfere with conception in women

According to a study carried out at the University of Helsinki, Finland, a common periodontal pathogen may delay conception in young women. This finding is novel: previous studies have shown that periodontal diseases may be a risk for general health, but no data on the influence of periodontal bacteria on conception or becoming pregnant have been available….

“Our results encourage young women of fertile age to take care of their oral health and attend periodontal evaluations regularly”, says periodontist and researcher Susanna Paju, University of Helsinki….

Medical News Today HERE

3 Study: Use of prefabricated blood vessels may revolutionize root canals

While root canals are effective in saving a tooth that has become infected or decayed, this age-old procedure may cause teeth to become brittle and susceptible to fracture over time. Now researchers at OHSU in Portland, Oregon, have developed a process by which they can engineer new blood vessels in teeth, creating better long-term outcomes for patients and clinicians….

Full story HERE

 

4 Visiting virtual beach improves patient experiences during dental procedures

Imagine walking along a South Devon beach on a lovely day. The waves are lapping on the shore, rabbits are scurrying in the undergrowth, and the bells of the local church are mingling with the calls of the seagulls. Then, as you turn to continue along the coast path feeling calm and relaxed you suddenly hear your dentist say “Fine, all done, you can take the headset off now”. For patients at one dental practice in Devon, England, such Virtual Reality encounters are resulting in demonstrably better experiences in the dentist’s chair….

Full story HERE

5  Study: Blocking yeast-bacteria interaction may prevent severe biofilms that cause childhood tooth decay

Though most tooth decay can be blamed on bacteria, such as Streptococcus mutans, the fungus Candida albicans may be a joint culprit in an alarmingly common form of severe tooth decay affecting toddlers known as early childhood caries.

In earlier research, a team from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine had found that C. albicans, a type of yeast, took advantage of an enzyme produced by S. mutans to form a particularly intractable biofilm. In a new study, the researchers have pinpointed the surface molecules on the fungus that interact with the bacterially-derived protein. Blocking that interaction impaired the ability of yeast to form a biofilm with S. mutans on the tooth surface, pointing to a novel therapeutic strategy….

Read more HERE

 

The Monday Morning Quote #425

“No is a powerful word. To me, it’s the single most powerful word in the English language.

Said clearly, strongly and with enough frequency and force, it can alter the course of history.”

Shonda Rhimes

(thanks to Michael Bungay Stanier)

The Monday Morning Quote #424

“A week is a long time in politics.”

Harold Wilson

UK Prime Minister 1964-70 & 74-76.

 

Dental associates; workers or self-employed? The tide is turning…. from JFH lw

Laura Pearce, Senior solicitor at JFH law has written a an informative blog post on the changing position of associates in the eyes of HMRC.

Since the Central London employment tribunal handed down its decision in the Uber case on 28th October 2016, the courts have been awash with claimants seeking to gain worker status. Pimlico Plumbers and CitySprint have both had judgments against them, and claims against Deliveroo, Amazon Logistics and Hermes are all in the pipe line. 

But how is this relevant to the dental profession?

Whilst associates enjoy self-employed status for tax purposes, this is an arrangement with HMRC; not the legal system. Since the Uber case it is clear the courts are cracking down on false self-employment and so dental practices need to be live to this issue.

Failing to identify a person’s status from the outset will be a costly mistake to make.

Here we take a look at the recent judgments in the Pimlico Plumbers and CitySprint cases and explain what impact they have on worker status in the dental profession.

To make sure you don’t wind up before the courts read on here. 

The Monday Morning Quote #423

On this day in 1964 Nelson Mandela was sentenced to life imprisonment, during the Rivonia Trial Mr Mandela chose, instead of testifying, to make a speech from the dock and proceeded to hold the court spellbound for more than four hours. His speech, which was made at the beginning of the defence case, ended with the words:

“During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

 

Winnie Mandela, wife of African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela, escorts his mother Nosekeni Fanny through a police cordon outside the court in Pretoria, South Africa, June 11, 1964, where he was a defendant in the treason trial. Mandela was found guilty on all four counts and together with six others, was sentenced to life imprisonment.

Peter Ward exposes the NHS(E)’s “Cunning Plan”

Nice editorial in the BDJ from BDA Chief Exec Peter Ward. HERE

Edited highlights only

Death by commissioning

….That master plan looks like a determined effort to wrest away NHS dental care from small autonomous units. That model that has been supplied by a legion of conscientious practitioners ever since the beginning of the NHS. This applies both in salaried dental service and in general practice.…….

….’Savings’ is the name of the game. That coupled with ongoing ‘efficiency’ signals a race to the bottom, as each year becomes more and more squeezed than the last. It can’t be long before the social enterprises seek freedom from the obligations of NHS terms and conditions – think about the savings to be had there!…..

…..So, it is clear that the NHS in England stands to gain by ‘going large’ in all its areas of practice. But its gain is at the expense of the dentists who serve it. In essence, the wholesale dismantling of access to NHS terms and conditions provides the opportunity for savings. Proposing such a move overtly would be met with horror and outrage. Doing it stealthily and by downstream consequence may be less dramatic but the result is the same. It is not a good result for either dentists practising in England, or for patients expecting enduring, high quality care…

If only it was as easy to dismiss as Baldrick…

 

The state of the internet. Mary Meeker’s 2017 internet trends report:

Mary Meeker of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers has released her highly anticipated, annual presentation on internet trends at this year’s Code conference.

The article in Quartz with a link to her slides is HERE it’s worth a look

Some highlights from the presentation:

  • Smartphone shipments have continued to slow, with only 3%year-over-year growth from 2015 to 2016.
  • Global internet use continues to grow at 10% year over year, with 3.4 billion people on the internet as of 2016.
  • Internet advertising spending is expected to surpass TV spending in 2017.
  • Combined, Google and Facebook accounted for 85% of the total internet ad revenue growth between 2015 and 2016.
  • Images and voice are replacing typed words in advertising.
  • Google’s voice recognition has hit a word accuracy rate of 95%.
  • There are now 2.6 billion gamers, up from 100 million in 1995.

 

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