Issues Magazine

Articles about medicine

Lifelines for Antarctic Medicine

Casey doctor Eve Merfield (right) prepares a patient for an X-ray.

Casey doctor Eve Merfield (right) prepares a patient for an X-ray (2005). Credit: Eve Merfield

By Jeff Ayton

Telemedicine and evacuation support are critical supplements to the expertise of Antarctic physicians, while medical research continues to provide an invaluable evidence base.

Surviving on the Edge: Medicine in Antarctica

By Alexander Kumar (1) and Sophie Duong (2)

Living at Antarctica’s Concordia Station, buried deep within the world’s worst winter, this year’s winter crew station doctor has time to appreciate where Antarctic medicine has come in the past 100 years.

In all the world there is no desolation more complete than the polar night. It is a return to the Ice Age – no warmth, no life, no movement. Only those who have experienced it can fully appreciate what it means to be without the sun day after day and week after week. Few men unaccustomed to it can fight off its effects altogether and it has driven some men mad. – Sir Ernest Shackleton

* American Frederick Cook, alongside his claim to have been the first person to have reached the North Pole, was the first doctor to overwinter in Antarctica in 1898. British-born Edward Wilson was the first doctor to reach the South Pole in 1912.

Fur and against: Scrutinizing the efficacy of animal testing and its alternatives

By Dyani Lewis

Toxicologist and pharmacologist Prof Thomas Hartung explains why animal testing is often unnecessary or of questionable efficacy. He discusses the emerging protocols and technologies that enable development of safe products without the need to conduct animal testing.

DYANI LEWIS