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Over the last month or so, I've written numerous posts about Daniel Hauser. Danny, as you recall, is the 13-year-old Minnesota boy who was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma back in February, underwent one round of chemotherapy for it, and then decided that he wanted to pursue quackery ...
CDC has another snapshot of what the flu surveillance system is seeing up through week 23 (ending June 13). It shows still circulating in many communities at a time when most seasonal flu is normally at a very low level. Indeed of the 2765 specimens tested in CDC's network of 150 labor...
In light of the recent assassination, by a member of a right wing Christian anti-abortion cabal, of a physician who specialized in late term abortions, it may be worth having a look this medical phenomenon. Well, my blog colleague Monado contacted me a week ago or so and we discusse...
Author David Ewing Duncan now officially has the most annotated genome of any human being; but given that the vast majority of those annotations are wrong and the remainder only weakly predictive, he's also a powerful illustration of how far we still have to go before the era of person...
It was the second-most-blogged article on the NYT when I got up this morning; now, it is the first-most-blogged.  It is the article that reports on a survey that shows 72% support for a government-run health insurance program.  The program would be similar to Medicare, but wo...
If you don't want to smell, the FDA has a recommendation: use an over-the-counter cold remedy that contains an intranasal zinc solution. You won't smell. Possibly ever again: Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...
RePORTER!! This is so much better. h/t: writedit Read the comments on this post...
This is slightly unusual subject matter for this blog, but I found this presentation by 2001 Nobel Prize winner Paul Nurse absolutely fascinating. It's an account of his slow unravelling of his family background, told to an audience at the World Science Festival in New York last week.T...
There are a couple of fantastic boy bloggers here at ScienceBlogs who write about the marketing of unvalidated alternative therapies to patients (a practice they call "woo"). I agree with them that is completely unethical to market a therapy (or, non-therapy) using claims that have no...
No idea what this website is (Routes?), but they have some fun science themed (loosely science based) Flash games, like SNEEZE! They also have 'DNA Hero'-- Guitar Hero with ACTG sequences, and 'Ginger Dawn'-- increase the frequency of that recessive gene, baby! LOL! And it looks lik...
Homeopathy Awareness Week is almost over, alas. I hope I've done a good job at making my readers even more "aware" of just how silly the principles of homeopathy are. To finish up, I thought I'd repost a bit of "classic insolence" from three years ago, because it's dedicated to one of ...
Two elite flu reporters, Helen Branswell (Canadian Press) and Declan Butler (Nature), both noted yesterday the dearth of clinic information on the serious and fatal swine flu cases. First Butler: Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...
One of the major reasons for concern from presenters and conference organisers about the notion of conference bloggers is that having unpublished work discussed online may violate the embargo policies of journals and damage their chances of publication.We now have clarification of this...
Misha Angrist points me to the launch of TruGenetics, which basically looks like just another genome scan company with a unique gimmick: they're giving 10,000 scans away free.What's the business model here? The registration page provides some hints:Your questionnaire responses and gene...
I've been a bit remiss in my coverage of the Simon Singh case, reviewed in detail by Phil Plait, among others. As many of my readers already know, respected science writer Simon Singh is being sued for libel in England by the British Chiroquacktic Association (BCA) because he described...
This is an edited repost of something I wrote nearly three years ago. You can see the original post and comments here. Over at Dr. Isis's blog, there's a post answering a reader's question about whether to tell her postdoc advisor about her troubles with clinical depression. I agree...
With Homeopathy Awareness Week rapidly approaching its end, I wondered just what I could do to bring further "awareness" of just how bogus and full of woo the concepts of homeopathy are. True, discussing homeopathic plutonium as a remedy and how homeopaths did "provings" of it the othe...
Swine flu infection of health care workers (or as CDC refers to them, health care personnel or HCP) was of interest early in the pre-pandemic phase for at last two reasons. One was the obvious goal of estimating the risk to front line workers and devising best practices for their prote...
You may have been following with some interest the statements made by an apparent biomedical science blogger, Dr. J., regarding the unacceptability of the use of cats in biomedical research. The post and subsequent comments from Dr. J follow a familiar track- the arbitrary personal sta...
Zincs connected to the common cold isnt as wooie as you all might be thinking after this weeks Zicamscepade (cough, sniffle). Though Zicam was marketed as a 'homeopathic' remedy, zinc-->common cold connection wasnt established by some naked sweaty white guy pretending he is a Native A...
Have you ever bought an album and discovered a song so dark, so sad that it makes you physically uncomfortable to listen to it? What do you do then? Can you stand to hear it or do you skip the track in favor of something a little lighter? For me, the songs that twist my stomach in kn...
A key component of health-care reform -- and saving our ass from going bankrupt and sick from spending too much on lousy treatments -- is establishing comparative effectiveness measures, otherwise known as "actually knowing WTF works and what doesn't." This idea terrifies companie...
Joanna of Morbid Anatomy is on a quest to locate private collections of medical oddities. She's already sussed out fourteen such hidden wunderkammern and photographed their treasures, but she wants to find more: "Who are these private collectors, and what sort of treasures do they po...
We were among the first to bring you the full text of the leaked minutes of the secret meeting of the bisphenol-A (BPA) cabal at a posh private club in Washington, DC on May 28. It turns out those minutes may be almost as toxic to the cabal as their endocrine disrupting chemical is to ...
Will wonders never cease? A recent story about how "homeopathic" Zicam managed to slide through a loophole in which the FDA doesn't require evidence of efficacy or safety for medicines labeled as homeopathic has been percolating through the blogosphere based on a recent warning that th...
Is Your Ab Workout Hurting Your Back?: Instead, he suggests, a core exercise program should emphasize all of the major muscles that girdle the spine, including but not concentrating on the abs. Side plank (lie on your side and raise your upper body) and the "bird dog" (in which, from a...
My name is not Catharine. My name is "Nurse!" Not "Nurse?" Or "Nurse." But "Nurse!" Sometimes "Nuuurrrrsssse!!!!" That is what I'm called by the patients (if they can talk), their families, the doctors, social workers, dietitians, respiratory therapists, chaplains, visitors, physic...
Big psych news of the day is that a big JAMA study debunked the "depression gene" -- that is, this big new study (by Risch et alia, in JAMA, today) found that, contrary to a famous earlier big study (Caspi et alia, in Science, 2003), the short ("bad") form of a particular gene called 5...
[Originally posted in April 2007] One "trick" dieters often use is to put their food on a smaller plate. The idea is to fool yourself into thinking you're eating more food than you really are. But doesn't our stomach tell us how full we are? Actually, it doesn't. Brian Wansink has de...
Sci has learned something important today: Mini-moos SUCK. I know my regular brand of coffee. I know it in all its dark, rich, spicy deliciousness. But today, it tastes like...like...I don't know how it's possible for a creamer to make expensive, fair trade, delicious awesome into ...
When I first heard about the American Medical Association (AMA) opposing Obama's health care reform, I was troubled.  I almost wrote a post about it, but by the time I got home, I found that others had beaten me to it.  Revere, for example, appears to have written before work...
In keeping with Homeopathy Awareness Week (which still runs until June 21), I can't resist commenting on this gem of a story that was sent to me the other day. I mean, we're talking super duper heaving shopping in the very heart of London. It turns out that the Helios Homeopathy Shop r...
tags: Shawn Johnson, gymnastics, sports, humor, satire, Onion News, streaming video Gymnast Shawn Johnson euthanized after breaking leg. After gym doctors confirmed the her injuries were career-ending, Johnson's trainers said there was no reason to keep her alive. [2:28] Read the r...
I've been getting questions about whether it is safe to send sons and daughters to travel to places where there might be a lot of swine flu about. Many are from people in North America whose children are due to travel to Asia or Africa. The irony is that it is North America which is wh...
Researchers at the University of Washington have woven together chitosan and polyester to create a new material that can help to repair severed nerves. Chitosan, found in the shells of crabs and shrimp, was mixed with an industrial polyester; the hybrid fibre combines the biologically...
When it comes to antivaccinationists, The Onion, as for most things, nails it. Don't vaccinate not because science shows no link between vaccines and autism but rather because, you know, Jenny McCarthy has some really convincing anecdotes. When antivaccine loons are the butt of jokes...
A beautiful anatomical ad campaign for the Zurich orchestra, via fubiz via Notcot. Of particular interest I think is this comment on the thread at fubiz, from kmaz: "Music, and overall classical music, plays on emotion, not on the nervous system. instead of putting the music emotion...
The latest edition of 'Life Extension' as once again provided me with a bounty of lols. For instance, did you know that "For the past fourteen years, the gerontological establishment has sought to persecute anti-aging physicians, anti-aging health practitioners, and the American Acade...
Neuroskeptic offers an elegant unpeeling of a study seeming specifically designed to find a marketing-friendly distinction for a drug -- Abilify -- otherwise undistinguished. Suppose you were a drug company, and you've invented a new drug. It's OK, but it's no better than the competi...
A day later than promised, let's kick off our discussion of "Research Rashomon: Lessons from the Cameroon Pre-exposure Prophylaxis Trial Site" (PDF). The case study concerns a clinical trial of whether tenofovir, an antiretroviral drug, could prevent HIV infection. Before it was halt...