Category Archives: community

Work in progress – awesome video clips themed on the early origins of chronic disease

I have already blogged about the developmental origins of disease: why you are what you eat, what your parents ate and how it’s never too late to change your genes. This blog in an ongoing project to collect great video clips related to this phenomenon because it is important to learn about how to get our message across as researchers. Let me know if you have any more for me to add along the way. Here goes. Click on the images to play the video clips.

Social media Revolution” by Evan Kutsko

socialmediaThis clip is from a marketing company but you get the message – engage with people through social media. Some of the facts contained within this clip are stunning. Here is a slightly different version on YouTube

“The Mother ‘Hood” from Similac

The message is that parenthood in general is much more important than how you raise your children.


“What happens in the womb can last a lifetime” by

BBBNarrated by non other than Sir Robert Winston and focusing on maternal stress and supporting bot parents during pregnancy. The You Tube version can be found here.

“Charlie’s Story” from

charlieAn example of a possible effect of early life stress on problem behavior (on the same page as the “what happens in the womb” clip).

“Brain Hero” from The Alberta family Wellness initiative

Brain2Great animation that shows how family, community and policy makers can change the course of a child’s development.

“How brains are built – the core story of brain development” from the Alberta family Wellness initiative

Brain1Another great animation on the same theme as above.

“Tipping the scale towards positive outcomes” by the Royal Children’s Hospital and The Frameworks Institute

FrameVisualising how genetic and modifiable environmental factors can interact to influence the “see-saw” of risk for chronic disease.

“Epigenome: the symphony in your cells” from the journal ‘Nature’, Feb 2015

Screen Shot 2015-02-18 at 11.48.42The genes are the instruments and epigenetics is how they are played.

“Too young to drink” by Fabrica

TYTDA powerful message against drinking alcohol in pregnancy.

Launched on September 9th 2014, on the occasion of the International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Day, #TooYoungToDrink is a new communication campaign to raise awareness of the risks of drinking alcohol during pregnancy conceived by #Fabrica for the European FASD Alliance.
FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders) is a range of problems caused by prenatal exposure to alcohol which can include birth defects, learning disorders, behavioral problems, and mental illness.
For further information:

“Gene’s Eye View” from Baba Brinkman

GIVGreat rap about genetic mutations, disease and evolution from the album The Rap Guide to Medicine. Ingenious.

The Sugar of Death (S.O.P) from Dunk The Junk


Another way that hip-hop is being used to target messages to our youth about the harmful effects of junk food.

“The story of Gravida” by Gravida New Zealand

grav“From the mouth of babes” How New Zealand is aiming to understand and reverse the early origins of noncommunicable disease

“The Ghost of Earth Day” by Master Shift

maxresdefaultMore about saving the planet than Early Life Origins but a great concept that the traditional owners of the land are ashamed of our current lifestyles. Maybe for DOHaD, the Native American could be replaced by “The Ghost of Children Future”? This wold say that we will be haunted by our future children if we don’t look after own health.

“Health research: making the right decision for me” by the Nuffield Foundation


Great clip explaining to children about what it means to participate in ethically-driven research. See also here for more details

‘Little Things Matter – the impact of toxins on the developing brain’ by the Canadian Environmental Health Atlas

LTMThis clip explains how ‘small’ amounts of heavy metals and other toxins can have a significant effect on population health, with a focus on exposure of young children.

More to come…

Other resources

The Raising Children network: award-winning web site supporting all aspects of child health

Gravida: a New Zealand government-funded Centre of Research Excellence that brings together leading biomedical, clinical and animal scientists from across New Zealand and around the world.


Radio without the ga-ga: why I love local, independent radio

“I’d sit alone and watch your light/ My only friend through teenage nights / And everything I had to know / I heard it on my radio” – “Radio Ga Ga” by Queen

radioI remember the day the music was born. It was December 25th 1978 and my parents had just given me a cassette recorder for Christmas. I tried recording theme music from the TV but soon gravitated to my little transistor radio and the local independent radio station – Pennine Radio – in Bradford in the North of England. The DJ was one Julius K Scragg; I have never heard of him since but he rocked. He was reviewing the year’s music: Grease had been the Word and Love had been Unkind. I was hooked. I’m sure I still have that first tape today locked away in an attic somewhere. You can even hear my dad in the background yelling at me to turn the music down.

cassetteFrom them on I’ve surfed the airwaves wherever I’ve been. Why radio? Well, it’s not as distracting as TV (I did my homework to it), it’s more portable and leaves more to your imagination. Being in the UK, I listed to BBC Radio One – to David “Kid” Jensen and to the Late John Peel. I also found the pirate radio station Radio Luxembourg and remember one particular occasion when listening to Stuart Henry, who unbeknown to me had multiple sclerosis. I knew that he slurred his words and that his slurring was getting worse, but one night he just stopped talking mid-show and never appeared on radio again. Up until earlier this year I had assumed that he’d died on air, but he actually died a good few years’ later.

johnpeelOther radio DJs I admired were Andy Kershaw, who first exposed me to world music and Annie Nightingale, who DJ’d an eclectic request show is currently the longest serving female DJ on British radio. At university in Manchester I listened to Piccadilly Radio, supplementing my “homework” on a Sunday evening listening to the emerging House music scene and the Hip hop show. In my first job in London, I tuned in to another pirate radio station, Kiss FM, the only station at the time playing Acid House.

My cassette recorder had evolved into a radio-cassette recorder. I accumulated hundreds of tapes of my favourite music, enabled by pressing “play “, then “pause” then “pause” again when I heard a tune I liked. Many of them I would edit out the DJ’s intro and “outro”.

Fast forward twenty years to the present and I’m living in Melbourne Australia and listening to independent community radio station Radio 3RRR. It is commercial-free and plays an eclectic range of music, from lounge to hip-hop, together with a variety of chat shows. Triple R started in 1976 within RMIT University in Melbourne and has since grown to one of the largest independent, subscriber-based radio stations in the world. It does not receive any government funding. Once a year in August, it holds a week-long Radiothon subscriber drive which begins this year on the 15th. The theme for this year’s Radiothon is “Local and Vocal Radio” to emphasise its place in the Melbourne community. Having said that, anyone in the world with a digital radio can listen to current or past shows. My favourites are The Skullcave with Stephen Walker on a Friday evening and Vital Bits with Tim Thorpe on weekend mornings.

3RRR-logoOccasionally, while trapped in a taxi, I am reminded what the alternative is: commercial radio with its short, repetitive play lists, opinionated DJs and endless banal advertisements. You can keep it; I’m going local and independent.

I am also playing my own small part in the 3RRR family. In addition to being a paid-up subscriber, I am a regular co-presenter on the Sunday science show Einstein A Go-Go. I am a tiny part of what I love. I also recently found a great, themed request show on another local community station – Centrelinked on North West FM and like the in old days, I still get a kick out of hearing them play my song.

And do I have a “secret” ambition to host my own show one day? You bet. However, for now, I’ll stick with listening to the radio. Morning, afternoon and evening.

You had your time, you had the power / You’ve yet to have your finest hour.” “Radio Ga Ga” by Queen