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Most New Cancer Drugs Lack Evidence of Improved Survival or Quality of Life

Oct 06 2017 - 13:10

A new study in BMJ suggests that the majority of new cancer drugs approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) lacked evidence that they improved survival or quality of life.

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Chemistry Color Magic Tricks- Whee!

Oct 06 2017 - 06:10

It's Friday before a three-day weekend. No one's in the mood for anything serious, right? So let's do something completely not serious. A very cool YouTube video about "magic" color changes isn't really magic ... it's chemistry. Enjoy! 

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Cirrhosis and the New Axis of Evil: Oral-Gut-Liver

Oct 05 2017 - 20:10

Cirrhosis is the #12 leading cause of death in the U.S. Unhealthy bacteria in the mouth and gut appear to play a role.

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Love is not an Ingredient, Says FDA

Oct 05 2017 - 16:10

Warning letters by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) can be interesting to read. A recent one, from the end of September, is more interesting than most.

The facilities of Nashoba Brook Bakery, located in Concord, MA, were inspected by the FDA and a number of violations were found and documented. Actually, to be clear, Nashoba Brook Bakery was found to be - in one phrase - a hot mess. 

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Jessica Chastain, Please Don't Use Doctors In Your Political War

Oct 05 2017 - 16:10

I get it. Actress Jessica Chastain hates guns. But, Ms. Chastain, please don’t use your platform to spread untruths about the medical profession to make a political point. When you have nearly 600,000 twitter followers, the damage is done even if you inevitably delete your tweet. Which you did.

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Fingerprinting's Accuracy is Suspect, And Not Science Based

Oct 05 2017 - 12:10

A working group with the American Association for the Advancement of Science released a new report stating that any claim of precision in identifying a specific person from a fingerprint is "indefensible" and has no scientific foundation.

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Mom Jailed for Disregarding Court Order to Vaccinate Son

Oct 05 2017 - 12:10

A Detroit mother was sentenced to seven days in jail for failing to comply with a judge's orders to vaccinate her son, as she had agreed to do in her divorce agreement. Falsely claiming a religious exemption, this woman is now a martyr for anti-vaccine propagandists.

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Detroit Mom Goes to Jail For Failing to Obey a Court Order

Oct 05 2017 - 12:10

A Detroit woman was sentenced to seven days in jail for failing to comply with a judge's orders to vaccinate her son as she had agreed to do in a previous divorce agreement.  Falsely claiming religious exemption, this woman is now a martyr for anti-vaccine propagandists.

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Soy's Contradictory Impact on Breast Cancer - A Tentative Finding and Important Lesson

Oct 05 2017 - 08:10

We often write about how one study says a diet or food is helpful followed in short turn by another review saying it has no effect or is even detrimental. What is a person to believe? And don’t these apparent contradictions tear at the value of science in helping make decisions? The recommendation to take or avoid soybean-based foods for women is one of those seemingly contradictory areas. Soybean-based foods contain isoflavones, specifically genistein, which is felt to mimic estrogen and accelerate breast cancer in susceptible women.

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Hepatitis C "Me-Too" Drugs: Innovation And Lower Cost

Oct 05 2017 - 06:10

When Sovaldi, the first in a family of drugs that cured hepatitis C, came out its maker Gilead came under fire for the price of the drug: $1,000 per pill X 84 pills. Now we have eight more direct-acting antivirals for hep C. They are not only getting better but also cheaper. Competition in the pharmaceutical industry benefits all of us. 

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Case For E-Cigs Continues to Strengthen

Oct 04 2017 - 16:10

Researchers from Georgetown University recently published a study in the journal Tobacco Control demonstrating the potential to save millions of people from premature smoking-related deaths by switching to e-cigarette use.

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Once Again, Americans Dominate the 2017 Nobel Prizes

Oct 04 2017 - 15:10

When I was in high school, I was part of a community service organization (Key Club) that literally was one of the best in the world. We won international awards, and at the state level, it wasn't uncommon for us to sweep nearly all the awards.

Maybe I was the only one who felt this way, but after a while, it started to get a little uncomfortable. Everybody already knows you're the best, and winning every award year after year feels a little like rubbing it in. Public accolades paradoxically make me feel proud but also a little embarrassed.

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Old Fashioned but Profound Science Won the Nobel this Year

Oct 04 2017 - 14:10

The 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was announced yesterday and, suffice it to say - it was a surprise.

There have been many scientific advances that have made a big splash recently. It would have been no surprise to see the discoverers of the gene editing technique CRISPR practicing their acceptance speeches. The same could be said for the team that has brought immunotherapy to the forefront of cancer treatment - predicted by some to be the recipients this year. 

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Weight Loss is Aided by Black Tea, Study Suggests

Oct 04 2017 - 13:10

There are many who are devoted to black tea, not only for its strong, distinct flavor but also for its health benefits, both known and even perceived. A couple years ago the beverage was linked to added bone protection for the elderly, and possibly other benefits as well. Now, "for the first time," a new study has found that black tea may promote some form of weight loss. 

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King Stannis Baratheon: The Personification Of Redox Chemistry

Oct 03 2017 - 21:10

As great as is it, who would have expected Game of Thrones to be fodder for a chemistry lesson about electrons, oxidation, reduction, and tin. But it is, thanks to (former) King Stannis Baratheon. Whoever said that chemistry wasn't magic?

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The Good News About Breast Cancer

Oct 03 2017 - 18:10

According to a new report from the American Cancer Society, deaths attributable to breast cancer have decreased by 39 percent, which means that 322,600 fewer deaths have been claimed by this terrible disease. Improvements in mortality rates were observed in all races and ethnicities.

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Obesity Linked To 40 Percent Of Cancers

Oct 03 2017 - 16:10

CDC notes that obesity-related cancers are now 40 percent of all cancers diagnosed. When scaremongering groups insisted chemicals were the problem, we noted this was happening.

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Cuban Diplomats Expelled Following Mysterious 'Sonic Attack'

Oct 03 2017 - 15:10

The rapprochement with Cuba appears to be short-lived.

Today, the Trump Administration expelled 15 Cuban diplomats due to the mysterious "sonic attack" against nearly two dozen American diplomats and staffers in Havana. According to the New York Times, Secretary of State Tillerson says the expulsion is "due to Cuba's failure to take appropriate steps to protect our diplomats."

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The Gender Disparity of Physician Income has a Market Solution

Oct 03 2017 - 11:10

Women are underpaid because, in the workplace, they are not considered equal to their male colleagues. They come with other needs, most significantly from an economic point of view, a need for flexible hours and a penalty is being assessed. The marketplace is already reducing the disparity for other healthcare workers without legislation, regulations or policies. The same forces are at work for physicians.

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How Much Worse Can It Get For NHS? Chief Inspector Says ‘Not Fit For 21st Century’

Oct 03 2017 - 07:10

The bad news just keeps coming out of England with respect to the state of the National Health Service (NHS) and its rapidly eroding quality of care. Most recently, Professor Ted Baker-- the new chief hospital inspector-- declared it was “not fit for the 21st century.”

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