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nucleus: Christmas 2009

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editorial...

Many churches have coined December as mission month. This is recognition that Christmas is a time when our secular friends are more receptive to the message of Jesus Christ. If, however, this prospect brings a creeping sensation of guilt or fear then Matt Lillicrap's article 'Sticking in and Standing out'...

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learning to lead

Alex: Greg, our medical students will all be leaders when they qualify, whether they think of themselves as leaders or not. What can they learn from Jesus' example of leadership? Greg: Jesus is the greatest leader humanity has ever seen; he was distinctive in many ways. First, he was completely...

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failing exams

It was a beautiful summer's day in June 2002, the sort of day most of us would crave for - perfect conditions for water fights, Ultimate Frisbee, reading a novel in the park, sunbathing or alfresco dining.It was also the day I was to get my exam results for medical...

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Spotlight on: Obama's healthcare reforms

what is the current US health system? Currently 66.7% of US citizens receive healthcare through private insurance, provided mostly by employers or by directly approaching insurance companies. There are also government-funded insurance programs for specific groups: Medicare (for individuals 65 years and above, and some under 65 with long-term disabilities), Medicaid...

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assisted suicide law clarified

New guidance has been published to clarify the assisted suicide law in England and Wales. Many rejoiced with Debbie Purdy at the ruling that forced the publication of the guidance, following several failed attempts with the High Court and Court of Appeal. The guidance, published by the Director of Public...

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new Alzheimer's genes discovered

A British-led study has discovered two new genes believed to be associated with Alzheimer's, with a French-led study uncovering a third. The Britishled study has been hailed as 'the biggest advance in Alzheimer's research in 15 years'; genetic faults are thought to account for 60-80% of an individual's risk of...

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human material can be used in hybrid experiments without consent

New rules have given scientists working on stem cell research permission to use human tissue without the express consent of the individual it came from. The legislation, part of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008, came into force on 1st October and covers material such as blood and tissue...

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carbon emissions: is the third world to blame?

A study published in the journal Environment and Urbanisation has claimed that population increase in third world countries has a much lower impact on climate change than over-consumption by developed nations. It advises that western countries should aim to reduce consumption in their own countries, rather than focusing on reducing...

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doctors call for tough alcohol measures

Doctors in the UK have called for a comprehensive ban on all forms of alcohol advertising to curb rising alcohol consumption. The call was made in a report published by the British Medical Association (BMA) in addition to other proposals, including a rise in the minimum price of alcohol, an...

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PETA and 'moobs'

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) have released an advert showing a fullbreasted, overweight man. The billboard has been displayed outside the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow with the caption: 'Dude looks like a lady? Lose the breasts. Go vegetarian.' The aim of the advert, PETA say, is...

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fresh or frozen?

There is great news for us medical students with sensible freezer stocking habits. Researchers at Sheffield Hallam University have found that frozen fruit and vegetables are often the same and sometimes superior nutritional value to the fresh. The reason for this is that frozen food is often frozen almost immediately...

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HIV infections and deaths fall

World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNAids figures show a drop in both new HIV infections and AIDS related deaths. New infections have been reduced by 17% since 2001. This is thought to be due to the impact of HIV prevention programmes - particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. Infection rates have also...

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distinctively different

When you saw the title of this article, what did you think? Was it, 'Fantastic, another opportunity to sharpen up on witnessing, I'm looking forward to this'?Or maybe your reaction was like this: 'Oh... An article about witnessing. Shall I skip over it? No, I'd better not, let's read it...

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dialogue dinners

Imagine the scene. A room filled with your med school friends. Good food, good company, and an evening spent talking about the gospel – whether it's true and what it means in practice. Does that sound like merely a fantasy? Well, it's just what happens at a dialogue dinner.Dialogue dinners...

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a season for sowing

The last year at the St George's (SGUL) Christian Union (CU) has been a year in which God has demonstrated to us that prayer is powerful and that he is faithful to answer when we pray. I say this partly as encouragement; it may seem such a long time since...

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caring for asylum seekers

A man sits alone in the corner of a busy room. He looks gaunt and sad. As we talk, he soon reveals why. He cannot sleep; he doesn't want to eat. He explains he is completely alone in the UK. He has a ten year old daughter in Sri Lanka,...

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heroes + heretics

HERETIC: SATAN Heresy is a very unpopular and archaic word, but in fact there are many modern heresies. These are beliefs that contradict popular consensus, or 'orthodoxy' on important issues. Christians often agree with atheist friends on many issues, and want to defend important truths with them. For instance, it is...

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how to read the Bible

'all is revealed' Seven golden lamp stands? A beast with ten horns and seven crowns? A dragon chasing a pregnant woman? Confused? We often view Revelation with apprehension, seeing it as a book for the highly academic Bible scholar or science fiction fanatic. This next chapter in our series helps us...

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Affluenza

How often do we consume more than we need? Is sincerity the same as authenticity? Why isn't parenthood as valuable to society as a job? Oliver James, a clinical psychologist, travelled all over the world to compile this book. The title of the book refers to a set of values...

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www.bethinking.org

Affluenza Oliver James Vermillion; 2007; £8.99   Pb; 592pp ISBN 0091900115 'Never have I read a book that so precisely captures the way we are being emotionally snookered by the demands of 21st century living...'   Jeremy Vine How often do we consume more than we need? Is sincerity the same as authenticity? Why...

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mutiny

'Fat', as Dr Paul Brand states in reference to our western culture, 'connotes a lack of discipline, an unnecessary aggregation of cells that should be reduced'. It can be said that fasting or 'dieting' has, over the ages been an instrument towards the development of the inner self for Christians...

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letters...

editor, 'Obama: change for good?' (Nucleus, April 2009) was a challenging read. Van Mol put forward a convincing case supporting the positive legislation that came out of the Bush administration. There is a great variation in how the two leaders are presented by the world's media - Obama, the man...

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