Sometimes the Journal of the AMA Gets It Wrong! And so do careless journalists.

ACSH - Mar 21 2018 - 13:03

A recent JAMA paper which concluded that opioid drugs are ineffective for long-term pain relief is flawed, perhaps intentionally so. American Council advisor Richard "Red" Lawhern explains.

Categories: ACSH

Psychology Today Is Wrong, The Placebo Effect Is Not Growing

ACSH - Mar 21 2018 - 11:03

From the irreproducible world of psychology, comes an article trumpeting the increasing power of placebos. How can that be? Not to worry, a practitioner of Chinese Medicine is on the case.

Categories: ACSH

Twitter-Storm Shuts Down the Latest and Craziest Anti-Vaccine Idea

ACSH - Mar 21 2018 - 11:03

Let's start by making a very obvious statement. Perhaps the most obvious statement ever.

Car seats are safe to use.

They are so safe, it is illegal not to use them. All 50 states and the District of Columbia have child safety seat laws. These laws require children to be placed in approved child seats or booster seats when traveling in a car.  The states' rules differ at what age children can switch to using the seat belts in the car versus the booster seats. But, the overall message is clear. Car seats are safe and they must be used.

Categories: ACSH

Don't Stop Testing Self-Driving Cars

ACSH - Mar 20 2018 - 18:03

When self-driving cars become the norm, our grandchildren will be shocked to learn that humans used to drive cars, and that nearly 40,000 Americans died every year because of them. Self-driving cars are a true revolution in the making. The more we test them now, the sooner the revolution arrives.

Categories: ACSH

A 40-Year Controversy: Baby Formula Does Not Increase Infant Mortality

ACSH - Mar 20 2018 - 11:03

The use of sophisticated econometrics techniques does not demonstrate that the introduction of formula to low and middle-income countries resulted in a higher infant mortality. At best it demonstrates that how the formula was reconstituted had an effect, at worst, it is advocacy disguised by mathematical technique.

Categories: ACSH

Nanofibers Dramatically Improve Wound Healing and Tissue Regeneration

ACSH - Mar 20 2018 - 10:03

Wounds in the fetus can heal without scarring. That has prompted scientists to work on designing new biomaterials based on the properties of the fetal skin as promising regenerative strategies. 

One key component of this property of fetal skin is thought to be the extracellular matrix (ECM) protein fibronectin. It is found in a particular form in the fetal skin called a fibrillar conformation.  

Categories: ACSH

1 In 3 Americans Will Develop Shingles. Why Aren't They Getting Vaccinated?

ACSH - Mar 20 2018 - 08:03

Shingles develops in one out of every three adults who've previously had chickenpox. Luckily there's not one, but two vaccines, against the painful rash. So why aren't adults getting the shot?

Categories: ACSH

Some Good Health News, as Coffee Consumption is Highest Since 2012

ACSH - Mar 20 2018 - 07:03

Coffee houses are virtually everywhere, and for good reason. Nearly two out of three people recently surveyed said that they consumed coffee the previous day. That's slightly up from a year ago, and approximately equal to the consumption figures from six years ago. But sipping homed-brew java is still America's favorite.

Categories: ACSH

Transformative Agriculture: Medicine for Plants

ACSH - Mar 20 2018 - 06:03

In response to a bizarre emissions scandal - they were caught rigging emissions software to show improved performance in America long after their technology had been able to legitimately do it - Volkswagen AG announced a "path" toward electric vehicles by 2030. 

Categories: ACSH

Alaska Should Shut Down Naturopaths Instead of Allowing Them to Prescribe Medicine

ACSH - Mar 19 2018 - 23:03

Naturopaths are dangerous frauds. Giving a naturopath the privilege of prescribing medicine would be like giving a chimpanzee a machine gun. Don't do it, Alaska.

Categories: ACSH

The Forgotten Children of the Opioid Epidemic

ACSH - Mar 19 2018 - 13:03

With the opioid epidemic center stage in media stories and political agendas, the fact pediatric opioid-related hospitalizations warranting the highest level of intensive care unit admission doubled between 2004 and 2015 is being largely ignored.

Categories: ACSH

The CDC Quietly Admits It Screwed Up Counting Opioid Pills

ACSH - Mar 19 2018 - 11:03

It has been clear for years that the CDC was making a very big mistake in gathering data about opioid overdose deaths - lumping together prescription drugs with street drugs. All this accomplished was to make the pills look much more dangerous than they really were. The agency finally fessed up. Too little. Too late. Too secretive. 

Categories: ACSH

Extra Protein Doesn't Build Muscle In Older Men

ACSH - Mar 19 2018 - 10:03

Aging can be associated with a loss of muscle mass and functional deficits. Recent research finds that while testosterone can help older men gain muscle, just adding more protein to the diet does not — thus there doesn't seem to be a reason to change protein requirements for seniors.

Categories: ACSH

Regenerative Organic Plus: For Sneetches Who Want Two Stars

ACSH - Mar 19 2018 - 10:03

I was vacationing in Europe last week but I took an evening to appear on a panel at a 'human rights film festival' in Geneva.

Leaving aside their 'I read this thing on Google that says corporations control science' conspiracy tale, one thing really stuck out: Americans are a whole lot more scientific than Europe.

Categories: ACSH

Another Win For Golden Rice: Canadian Government Approves

ACSH - Mar 17 2018 - 15:03

After consulting experts in molecular biology, microbiology, toxicology, chemistry and nutrition and ignoring precautionary principle claims by anti-science activists, the government of Canada has affirmed that a variety of rice called Provitamin A Biofortified Rice Event GR2E (Golden Rice), which has higher levels of provitamin A and is intended to be sold in countries where diets are typically low in vitamin A, is

Categories: ACSH

BMI Cutoffs For Older Women Should Be Lower

ACSH - Mar 17 2018 - 10:03

Twenty years ago an expert panel at the NIH lowered the BMI cutoff for overweight from 27 to 25. But a recent report suggests that might not be low enough for one segment of the population — postmenopausal women. And further, 30 might be too high a cutoff to define obesity in this population too.

Categories: ACSH

36 Years Since AIDS Hit - Now The Possibility Of A Cure

ACSH - Mar 17 2018 - 08:03

AIDS became known to Americans in 1982. In the 36 years since it has gone from a certain death sentence to a very manageable disease. Even as good as anti-HIV drugs are today, they can suppress the virus, but not eliminate it. After almost 4 decades of research, HIV infection remains incurable. But that may change thanks to two drugs and a bunch of rhesus monkeys. 

Categories: ACSH

FDA Chief Scott Gottlieb Strikes Right Tone on E-Cigarettes

ACSH - Mar 16 2018 - 20:03

Commissioner Scott Gottlieb believes that the FDA should be in the business of getting smokers to transition away from cigarettes to something less harmful, such as e-cigarettes or other products. That is similar to the policy taken by the UK's NHS, and it is precisely in line with ACSH's policy stance of harm reduction.

Categories: ACSH

Our Brain Switches Between Habits and Choices. Here's How

ACSH - Mar 16 2018 - 18:03

We all have habits. Some are useful automatic actions that we can do without thinking about, like pressing the start button on our coffee maker while still bleary eyed. Habitual behavior is routine and automatic, frequently initiated by a cue or change in a situation.

Categories: ACSH

Doctors in Boston, Prestigious Medical Community, Near Bottom of US Pay Scale

ACSH - Mar 16 2018 - 14:03

With so many well-respected medical schools in Boston, you just might assume that physicians there are likely among the best paid in the nation. But that isn't nearly the case. In 2017, the Boston metro area produced the ninth-lowest average pay for physicians in the U.S., according to a recently-released salary analysis.

Categories: ACSH