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Updated: 38 min ago

It's Time for Those End-of-Year Lists

Dec 29 2017 - 10:12

Pollsters are always on the lookout for opinions and trends, and the waning days of 2017 provide a ripe opportunity for investigating  what we've thought about and our hopes for 2018. In the not-so-great category, what words or phrases irked the largest number of people? And of course there's all those New Year's resolutions — will we make them? Will we keep them?


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Two Lotteries worth more than $300 million

Dec 29 2017 - 10:12

We spend over $73 billion annually on state lotteries. What is that all about?

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Will Lawyers Destroy Science?

Dec 29 2017 - 09:12

Routinely, lawyers are required to solve problems that they themselves created. If something like this were to occur in any other area of life, it would be called racketeering. So beware, science. A lawsuit-happy nation turns its eyes to you.

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When it Comes to Toys, Less May Be More

Dec 29 2017 - 09:12

Having children means also having their stuff. For those of us who are organizationally challenged, this stuff tends to pile up. Clothes and toys, shoes, toys, books, toys, oh - and more toys.

This time of year, it's not uncommon for people with children to have "getting rid of old toys" somewhere toward the top of the list of New Year's resolutions. This year, there is science to motivate that resolution. 

A new study published in Infant Behavior and Development shows that cleaning out those old toys may actually improve kids' play.

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Everyone Wants Value in Healthcare, We Just Disagree on What That Means

Dec 29 2017 - 07:12

Value-based healthcare, everyone wants it. But like blind men touching the elephant, describing one part or another, what we mean by value depends on who we are. 

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Congress Is Forming a Bipartisan Alternative Medicine Caucus

Dec 28 2017 - 13:12

Open displays of bipartisanship are rare these days and, as such, should be applauded. Unfortunately, a recent example of bipartisanship promotes junk science and bogus health claims.

In a press release, Democratic Congressman Jared Polis and Republican Congressman Mike Coffman announced their intention to launch the Integrative Health and Wellness Caucus. That sounds nice, until you realize that "integrative" and "wellness" are code words for "alternative medicine."

Categories: ACSH

Healthcare's 2017 Bad Boys

Dec 28 2017 - 11:12

What'cha gonna do when they come for you? If "they" are the Department of Justice and you are a pharmaceutical or healthcare company or even a physician, you settle.

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Obesity-Associated Cancers Are Increasing

Dec 28 2017 - 10:12

This isn't really about fat cats — the real ones or the rich ones — rather it's about the results of being overweight or obese. According to the CDC, there are 13 types of cancer that are linked to obesity. As one might expect, as the prevalence of obesity increases, so does the prevalence of these cancers.

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Amazon cuts off the sale of home circumcision kits

Dec 28 2017 - 10:12

I'm not feeling a lot of love for Amazon right now. Used to be a great company. But it's a little disturbing that the company is cutting its inventory. You can no longer buy a circumcision practice kit in Britain! What's next?

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Motorcycle Deaths Increase During Full Moons

Dec 28 2017 - 07:12

More motorcyclists die in the United States when riding at night under a full moon.

A recent study analyzing decades of data show this to be the case, so it's not conjecture. But what is not absolutely known is whether full moons – and the attention they possibly draw away from a motorcyclist's main safety task – are the cause of the higher incidence of fatal accidents.

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Quack Alert! ACSH's Most Controversial Articles of 2017

Dec 27 2017 - 18:12

ACSH is in the business of promoting evidence-based science and debunking junk science. That rubs some people the wrong way.

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What Hollywood Taught (Or Didn’t Teach) Us About Disease This Year

Dec 27 2017 - 16:12

Those in Hollywood are in a unique position to do tremendous good given their substantial platform. Unfortunately, with that megaphone comes immense responsibility. So, let’s take a look back this year at what we learned from Tinseltown--good, bad and indifferent.

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When it Comes to Duplicated Images, 8 is Enough

Dec 27 2017 - 10:12

Everyone makes mistakes. Sometimes, it is easy to make the same mistake twice.

But, eight times? That's a different story. 

A group of researchers have been caught publishing the same image in multiple papers and the retractions are starting to pile up. 

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Calcium and Vitamin D Supplements Still Do Not Prevent Fractures

Dec 27 2017 - 06:12

For the general population, fueling a $6-8 billion supplement habit, Vitamin D, and Calcium supplements do not prevent hip fractures.

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10 Intriguing Medical Cases of 2017

Dec 26 2017 - 15:12

This year brought about a number of public discussions surrounding not only less mainstream medical conditions, but also physically and emotionally challenging and ethically complex ones. Check out which ones made the spotlight.

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Neurontin: Over-Hyped and Underwhelming

Dec 26 2017 - 14:12

When a drug receives FDA approval for a particular use a physician can then legally prescribe that drug for other conditions. This is called off-label use and it is very common. Depending on the disease and population, about half of the prescriptions that are written are for different indications than those for which the drug was approved. A few examples:

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One More Gene Therapy Approved Before Year's End

Dec 26 2017 - 09:12

The appearance of FDA approved gene therapies is at the top of the list of exciting health and science advances of 2017. Following on the tails of two cancer therapies approved earlier this year, a third therapy received approval just before the New Year - this time for vision.

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Location, Location, Location

Dec 26 2017 - 07:12

Location is everything. Hospital-based outpatient care is far more expensive than the same care provided in a physician's office. $2.7 billion more expensive, why?

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Eisenhower's Less Famous Warning: Government-Controlled Science

Dec 26 2017 - 06:12

A few times per year we have a meeting of the Trustees of the American Council on Science and Health, to discuss issues like finances (1), to discuss nominees for our Board of Scientific Advisors, and our general direction.

Among our Trustees is Fred Smith, the founder of Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), which promotes the benefits of free markets. I certainly agree with them on that (2). At our November meeting Fred asked for a spot on the agenda to talk about how we can better talk about science policy without getting into politics.

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In Dialysis, Is Substandard Care Adequate?

Dec 24 2017 - 05:12

How do patients needing chronic health care, with no insurance, in this case, undocumented immigrants, fair? That is a decision made by the states and can impact their lives and our finances.

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