It's been 50 years since Dr. Paul R. Ehrlich published his anti-population growth screed, The Population Bomb. Although he scared some folks and annoyed more, most of the deadly consequences he foresaw just didn't happen.
Since essential oils, such as lavender and tea tree oils have been all over the news for causing moobs, and I found that most of my own colleagues at ACSH (1) didn't really know what the term "essential oil" meant I figured that it might be a good time for a chemist (aka dork) to step in and explain it. Don't feel bad if you're confused. Part of the problem is that English itself can be confusing. For example, try explaining to someone who is trying to learn English the pronunciation of these two states:
The history of societies and climatic change have much to teach about fragility and resilience. Will we look to our past to envision our future?
Through modern science, the grim discovery of a Medieval woman's remains is able to tell the tale of a "coffin birth" and ancient brain surgery.
The authors had a clear strategy in mind: (1) Do a study on a common household object; (2) Produce boring data that doesn't surprise any microbiologist; (3) Write a provocative, fearmongering headline; (4) Market it to a gullible, clickbait-hungry press (like the New York Times), who would repeat their claims without any criticism or critical thinking; and (5) Watch the media interview requests and grant dollars come rolling in.
Nestle has launched a new candy bar with 30 percent less sugar than its current counterparts. The move is the latest in a pressured industry to cut down on consumers' sugar intake.
Dan Berger, Ph.D. is a former colleague of mine from Wyeth. When Wyeth went away so did we, albeit in different directions. Dan became a patent agent - a very specialized field in which a very high-stakes game is played - invalidation of drug company patents by other companies, usually generic manufacturers. This makes him uniquely qualified to explain the nuances in patents that can result in billions of dollars going to one company rather than another.
Four people have cholera in British Columbia - something that has never happened before in that area - creating quite a mystery as to how this could have happened.
A viral video by "Attn:" is spreading lies about food processing in the United States and Europe. Don't fall for it.
It is Easter, and all of our thoughts turn to candy as we spend roughly $28 a person or about 2.1 billion dollars. In keeping with our mandate to promote science and health, I thought I would share the typical numbers found in the lay press in a more ‘scientific’ format.
While we “know” with our minds that candy is not necessarily nutritious, we use our wallets to purchase candy for Easter. We undertook a meta-analysis of various online sources to quantify this behavior.
Of course, everyone knows that cutting back on calories is a key component to losing weight. But do you know what else plays an important role in the ability to slim down?
As every educated foodie knows, one of the world's best superfoods is quinoa. The only problem is that there's no such thing as a superfood, and there's nothing particularly unique about quinoa.
"Superfoods" are supposedly extremely healthy foods, and everyone from Dr. Oz to "Crazy Joe" Mercola has written articles about which ones you should be eating. That's a gigantic red flag. If snake oil salesmen are trying to make money by telling you which vegetables are especially magical, then the odds are that they are pushing hype rather than science.
I had the distinct pleasure of being a reviewer for the 2018-2019 Community Grants program for Komen this Fall. This is what I learned.
Just how easy is it to get sick on a plane? One research team from Emory University decided to look at that question, and what the factors are that could make the difference between walking off of the flight infected or not. Their findings are surprising, with a big factor being your assigned seat.
Newer tests can substantially speed up the determination of the causative pathogens in outbreaks of foodborne illnesses. However, because they don't provide all the detail of older culturing methods, they could make it more difficult for clear epidemiological results. A combination of methods is likely the best way to go.
Reporting on the Uber fatality in Arizona continues to mislead us about our autonomous future. Aircraft's history of automation shows us the likely path forward. Why are we not listening?
It is impossible to disprove a negative, which also means that it is impossible to prove that something is safe. The best you can do is perform the best possible studies using the best possible protocols. Then you compile and publish the results and hope that sanity will prevail. You'd think that the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), one of the premier medical journals in the world, would come down on the side of sanity.
Recently I wrote about the state of Oklahoma's decision to switch from lethal injection to nitrogen asphyxiation. Although death penalty opponents (1) objected on grounds that this method was untested and could be a cruel method of execution, I noted that asphyxiation itself may not be cruel depending on the gas that was chosen.
Apparently, we are at a point where encouraging children to be independent requires legislation - a new Utah law modifies the definition of child neglect. Considered a win for free-range parenting, what does it mean that such an action was taken in the first place?