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On the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War it is worth recalling the devastating psychological and physical effects of chemical warfare. Mustard gas was widely used causing temporary and sometimes permanent incapacity from corneal exposure.
Dame Ida Mann, a leader in many fields of ophthalmology, is honoured at the RANZCO Head Office in Sydney with a poster presentation of her life and work as well as her original slit lamp in the Ida Mann conference room at the RANZCO office.
'Eye Surgery and Surgeons in New Zealand' is an account of those who have practised ophthalmology in New Zealand from colonial times to recent times. Some early surgeons were colourful itinerants, who operated in hotel rooms and patients’ homes, and advertised like snake-oil salesmen. Others, such as Sir Lindo Ferguson in the early 1900s, were at the top of the specialty, and were huge contributors to medical education in New Zealand and Australia. All those who practised ophthalmology in the past are mentioned, together with the contributions that were made by many. As well as biographies of many characters, the book details the organization of ophthalmology in New Zealand, the remarkable ascent of academic ophthalmology since the late 1990s driven largely by the academic department in Auckland, the evolving relationship with Australian ophthalmology culminating in a joint College, and also some controversies fuelled by the news media, which have not always been kind to the specialty.
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Dr. Kevin O'Day, an ophthalmologist in Victoria in the early and middle part of the last century, accumulated an eclectic mix of animal eyes which he had processed for histology. Whilst a few of these descriptions (platypus, albatross) contributed to knowledge of comparative ophthalmology by being published at the time most were not reported in any form. The collection of slides was hidden away for many years but recently was recovered in the basement of the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital and upon request was loaned to Prof McMenamin in Anatomy and Development Biology for “rebirthing”. RANZCO museum had a desire to make some form of electronic resource of the collection available to members. Hence, we carefully selected the best 70 slides from 57 species from several thousand slides that we considered were well enough preserved and provided valuable morphological data. Slides were cleaned and then digitally scanned and this data will be available to college members as an online resource. Amongst the many slides are specimens of fish, amphibians, reptiles, monotremes,
marsupials, and placental mammals, many of which would be difficult to source in the modern era. Many have likely never been carefully studied hence the digital resource will be a wealth of untapped scientific data as well being a legacy to this visionary ophthalmologist and possibly frustrated zoologist.
Prior to introduction of steroids, uveitis was treated by physical therapies with limited results.
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The molecular biography of John Dalton whose observations on colour vision has been verified 200 years after his death by examining DNA extracted from his preserved eye. The poster by Enis Kocak won the 2016 Jim Martin prize.