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Friends of The Scotsman

Ian Gatt: Don’t overlook humble herring and mackerel

It can be a difficult balance to eat healthily yet stay within a household budget.

Opinion 1
The Global Seed Vault. The Vault is a safe storage facility for up to four and a half million seed samples of crops from all over the world.

Dr Glenn Bryan: Scots potato link to Svalbard seed vault

Deep inside an ice-covered mountain fortress, halfway between mainland Norway and the North Pole, lies a precious agricultural resource that could make a huge difference to human survival on this planet, or ­other planets, in the future. This underground treasury, the Global Seed Vault, is the world’s ­largest collection of agricultural ­biodiversity.

Opinion
Filming of the Down's Syndrome Scotland advert as part of their Awareness Week

Don’t see Down’s syndrome, see the person

My name is Natasha Connon, I am 27 years old. This year I was involved in a very exciting project with Down’s Syndrome Scotland. As part of their awareness week they wanted to create a television advertto raise awareness about Down’s syndrome to the general public. They asked me to star in their advert.

Opinion
Dr. Calum MacKellar Scottish Council on Human Bioethics

Danger of soft opt-out for organ donation

The Scottish Government public consultation on organ and tissue donation and transplantation ended on 14 March. This examined whether the current Human Tissue (Scotland) Act 2006 should be updated, including whether a soft opt-out system for Scotland should be considered.

Opinion 2
Harry McQuillan is chief executive of Community Pharmacy Scotland.

Time to tell more people about help at pharmacy

Have you heard of the minor ailments service? I would hazard a guess you haven’t. This invaluable service was introduced in all of Scotland’s community pharmacies in 2006, but only 60 per cent of the population are eligible to use it, and an underwhelming 18 per cent are currently registered.

Opinion
Get prepared for a new world of data protection

Get prepared for a new world of data protection

Set to be one of the last legacies of the EU to enter UK law before Brexit, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will take effect on 25 May 2018, applying automatically in all Member States of the EU to organisations that collect, process, or store personal data. It will bring organisations under increased regulatory scrutiny, and significantly increase the potential sanctions for non-compliance by those handling personal data.

Opinion
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 21: Charles Keidan (2nd R) and Rebecca Steinfeld (C) address the media outside the Royal Courts of Justice, Strand on February 21, 2017 in London, England. Mr Keidan and Ms Steinfeld have today lost their Court of Appeal battle to enter into a civil partnership. The couple were challenging a previous High Court ruling which said that they could not have a civil partnership because they were not in a same sex relationship. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

I do believe laws on marriage need fix

‘There is nothing wrong with it, but it just isn’t right for us, and isn’t for lots of other people. We see each other as partners – not as husband and wife – and we didn’t want all the social pressures and expectations that surround marriage, like the bride wearing white virginal dresses and being given away by her father.”

Opinion
Burness Paull - Karen Fraser - picture by Donald MacLeod - 23.07.14  07702 319 738  clanmacleod@btinternet.com  www.donald-macleod.com

A big change is coming 
to the world of third 
party rights

Almost all businesses face time and cost pressures. Opportunities to save minutes and money don’t come along often but there is a very important opportunity on the horizon in Scotland via the Contract (Third Party Rights) (Scotland) Bill.

Opinion

A better approach to aftercare for patients who have had breast cancer

More people than ever before are surviving cancer, but at the same time incidence of cancer is increasing. By 2030, the number of people living with cancer in Scotland is expected to rise from 220,000 to 360,000.

News
Professor Derek Stewart is Professor of Pharmacy Practice in the School of Pharmacy and Life Sciences at Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen.

It’s not just doctors and dentists who can hand out drugs these days

The prescribing of medicines is a vast activity in Scotland, with the NHS spending over £1 billion a year on drugs. Prescribing is a complex, challenging task requiring considerable knowledge, skills and self-belief. It is much more complex than simply printing and signing a piece of paper. Prescribing requires full understanding of a patient’s medical history, the medicines they have been prescribed in the past and any others being taken currently, assessment of the risks and benefits of treatment, consideration of the patient’s expectations, beliefs and concerns, as well as in-depth knowledge of available medicines.

Opinion
Antares, the newest vessel in the Shetland pelagic fleet

So what’s Patty Hearst got to to with Brexit and Scottish fishing?

Some of us are old enough to remember the Patty Hearst case. Just to jog those grey cells, and for the benefit of the younger generation, she was the Californian heiress kidnapped by a revolutionary gang back in 1974. She came to sympathise with her captors and was caught after she joined them in a bank robbery.

Opinion
Professor Tony Trewavas FRS. FRSE. Scientific Alliance Scotland

UK should be generating research into world-changing cold fusion system

In 1989, two scientists at the University of Utah claimed that they had succeeded in generating cold nuclear fusion in a laboratory under entirely safe conditions. At a press conference they indicated they had been passing an electrical current (electrolysis) through heavy water (deuterium oxide) spiked with lithium salt. They had detected the anomalous generation of heat energy up to tenfold in excess of any energy input from the electrolysis current. The immediate media coverage was enormous and ecstatic but rapidly turned very negative when some other laboratories failed to detect anomalous heat production. Some scientists misleadingly claimed it to be a hoax, even voodoo science. The reasons for replication failure were uncovered within a couple of years – lack of care in using identical experimental conditions. But the real sticking point was the claim of fusion. Orthodox physics dictated that such fusions or nuclear reactions had to involve very high temperatures in plasma and either in the sun or in tokamaks – a magnetic confinement system – here on earth. As one scientist pointed out, if genuine fusion had occurred, the two scientists would have quickly died from the radiation emitted.

Opinion 3
Home care feature. Generic carer image

Good intentions aren’t enough when it comes to a personal care plan

In recent weeks, social care has dominated the news headlines as Governments, both north and south of the Border, have sought to prevent a crisis. Inevitably this has focused significantly on budgets, and how we ensure that local authorities are resourced to deliver care and support which enables the human rights of people in their communities. As we close in on May’s local authority elections in Scotland, the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland (the Alliance) believes that Self-directed Support should be a top priority for prospective councillors.

Opinion 2
Ray Brown, Residential Manager at Spark of Genius, member of the Scottish Childrens Services Coalition

Ray Brown: Society must think about how kids end up in care

Nicola Sturgeon recently announced that Fiona Duncan, chief executive of Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland, has been appointed as chair to the independent Care Review in ­Scotland.

Opinion
Oxfam canoes transporting vulnerable people who could not make it by themselves to the mainland for the WFP biometric food registration. The UN announced an emergency food situation level 4 in Panyijiar County on 20th February 2017.

Give just a little now and make a big difference to starving people of South Sudan

Sixteen million people are on the brink of starvation in East Africa because of a combination of drought and conflict. People are already dying in South Sudan, Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia. The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) in Scotland has launched a joint fundraising appeal and, with so many people in need right now, our message is simple: don’t delay, please donate.

Opinion
Smallholder farmers tending their fields in Malawi

Charlie Bevan: Eat into poverty with Malawi rice

As the Malawian proverb goes, “wali na charo wali na moyo” (the one who has land has life). Across Malawi, smallholder farmers proudly and ­diligently work their land, seeking a living for themselves and their ­children. However, low prices, lack of access to markets and unpredictable weather leave farmers vulnerable to food insecurity, with limited opportunities to make a living.

Opinion 2
Pinsent Masons Edinburgh
Pic Peter Devlin

We’re preparing Scottish businesses for Brexit

Following the EU referendum, Pinsent Masons teamed up with blue chip clients to developed BASe, a corporate crowdfunded Brexit advisory service. This delivers expert responses to Brexit-related legal issues within 48 hours, and provides access to thought leadership, knowhow and industry trends.

Opinion
Jennifer Maciver is Legal Director for Family Law, Gillespie Macandrew

Jennifer Maciver: Surrogacy now easier to consider but care needed

The majority of people looking to become parents will not even think about surrogacy, but for some it is the only way to have a family.

Opinion
Iain Nicol is a Litigation Partner at Balfour+Manson LLP

Iain Nicol: Forthcoming changes to the law could help resolve compensation cases more quickly

When someone suffers an accident, it can turn their life upside down. Apart from coping with pain and disability they can face serious financial and practical difficulties if they cannot work and have no regular source of income.

Opinion

Together we’ve the power to change the world

On 8 March, girls and women all over the world shared how they would Be Bold For Change to celebrate International Women’s Day 2017. This year’s theme focusses on global action to increase gender equality in the work place – an issue that seems all the more pressing following the World Economic Forum prediction that women won’t close the gender pay gap until 2186.

Opinion 1
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