Earlier this month, I attended a conference on Controlled Human Infection Studies in the Development of Vaccines and Therapeutics. These studies involve deliberately infecting healthy volunteers with a disease (such as malaria, typhoid, norovirus, or salmonella) in a controlled environment. This research has significant benefits for the development of vaccines [some of the benefits are set out here]. Given that these studies could result in the development of new vaccines, they could serve a crucial role in saving many lives. Nevertheless, intentionally infecting humans with diseases is potentially risky. The degree of risk for the volunteers will vary case to case, depending on the disease and the efficacy of treatment. Continue reading
This week is Living Wage Week. The aim of this campaign is to encourage employers to pay their lowest paid employees a Living Wage – the amount necessary to meet the basic cost of living –rather than the legally required minimum wage. Currently, the minimum wage is £6.19 per hour, whereas outside London the Living Wage is £7.45. The basic cost of living is determined by the cost of “an adequate level of warmth and shelter, a healthy palatable diet, social integration and avoidance of chronic stress for earners and their dependents”.
Almost five million workers are paid less than the living wage. Continue reading