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Kids Who 'Skype A Scientist' Learn Science In A Whole New Way

July 24, 2017 - 2:30pm

Although most people have been in a classroom, hospital, courtroom, etc., almost no one has been in a laboratory. So, how is anyone supposed to understand how science is done or who is doing it? A new program run by a graduate student called "skype a scientist" is looking to change that.

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Can You Hear Me Now? A Tale of Hearing Impairment and Alzheimer's

July 24, 2017 - 1:00pm

I am of an age when my ability to not “hear” my wife is becoming less a spontaneous reaction and more a physiologic one. I just don’t hear as well as I did ten or fifteen years ago and I have been known to spend more than a few moments looking for my cell phone. So I was particularly entranced by a headline that said that hearing loss, among other “modifiable factors,” might be involved in the development of dementia.

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The Chicken May NOT Cross The Road! We Will Need New Jokes

July 24, 2017 - 11:16am

When it comes to survival, birds are not birdbrains. 

A recent Australian study in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution found that birds can adapt to urban environments better than we thought. But before we get to that, I do have a bit of a problem with one sentence in the introduction:

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LNT at Cato, We Take Down Junk Science in USA Today, and More Outreach

July 24, 2017 - 10:23am

1. Dr. Julianna LeMieux and I were at the Cato Institute for the Dr. Ed Calabrese talk on the linear no-threshold model (LNT) used to set regulatory limits.

Members of our Board of Scientific Advisors, like Dr. Jerry Cutler and others, have long-considered LNT to be the Patient Zero of junk science used to create regulations. It basically says that particle 1 is as harmful as particle 1,000,000. Also mixed in the discussion is hormesis, a u-shaped curve in dose-response, which can also be controversial when misused by activists.

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The Pregnancy Diaries: Drinking The Juice For The Glucose Test

July 21, 2017 - 10:40pm

The Glucose Screening Test is performed between weeks 26 and 28. Pregnant women are tested to see how their body is able to absorb high levels of glucose. The catch? Drinking 10 ounces of a nasty juice before the blood is drawn — find out if Ana Dolaskie passed!

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Science News of the Weird for the Weekend: July 22-23, 2017

July 21, 2017 - 8:08pm

A dose of science weirdness for the weekend.

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Some Diagnoses Are Just Junk Medicine

July 21, 2017 - 3:55pm

Some medical diagnoses are like fad diets — everyone you know has chronic Lyme disease or gluten intolerance, if not out and out celiac disease (whether a medical test confirms it or not). But many are just junk medicine, just as many fad diets are junk nutrition.

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Does Saffron Fight Cancer? A Plausible Biological Mechanism

July 21, 2017 - 12:51am

New research suggests that saffron -- a spice used in some Asian, Indian, and Mediterranean dishes -- may have an intrinsic ability to fight cancer. But don't get too excited. Research on antioxidants suggests the same thing, but they fail in clinical trials.

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Vitamin D Doesn't Help Kids Avoid Colds

July 20, 2017 - 5:37pm

Although some observational studies have suggested that vitamin D can help prevent upper respiratory ailments in adults, no such data substantiates that claim for children. And a new study that compared low and high dose vitamin D with respect to such problems in kids found no effect at either level. Sorry, parents!

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With Lightning, Your Next Move May Be Your Last. Know What to Do

July 20, 2017 - 5:27pm

David Everette was simply walking to a store when making the absolute wrong decision during a fierce thunderstorm cost him his life. Instead of racing for shelter, the North Carolina resident took shelter under a tree. The tragic incident underscores the importance of knowing what to do – and what not to – when lightning is even remotely nearby.

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Caveat Lector - Let The Reader Beware, Especially Over The Spate of Alzheimer's Reports

July 20, 2017 - 7:04am

The Alzheimers Association’s International Conference is underway in London which might explain an uptick in reports on Alzheimer's in the popular media. There are reports in the Washington Post, NPR, BBC, Medscape, even Yahoo food. These report all share a salient quality; the reporting is based on clinical abstracts [1] rather than the actual papers or datasets. Do these media reports clarify or confuse? Consider two abstracts.

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Understanding Sen. McCain’s Glioblastoma Diagnosis

July 20, 2017 - 2:53am

John McCain’s office released a statement from the Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix, providing details of his Glioblastoma brain tumor. It was disclosed that the 80-year old senior Senator from Arizona was recovering from a surgical excision of a blood clot performed on July 14 that was discovered during a routine annual physical. 

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Understanding Senator John McCain’s Glioblastoma Diagnosis

July 20, 2017 - 2:53am

Senator John McCain’s office just released a statement from the Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix detailing his newly diagnosed Glioblastoma brain tumor. It had been disclosed he was recovering from a surgical excision of a blood clot performed on Friday, July 14, 2017 that was discovered at a routine annual physical. 

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Chipotle or Shark Attack? You're Safer with Sharks

July 20, 2017 - 12:15am

In 2015, you were roughly 16 times more likely to get food poisoning from Chipotle than you were to be attacked by a shark. We can't remove all the sharks from the ocean, but we can remove pathogens from our food. Chipotle should have focused on that, instead of GMOs.

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Is Chipotle Really A Bioweapons Research Lab?

July 19, 2017 - 11:44pm

What's happened to Chipotle during the past two years is too bad to be true. The food chain has given a whole bunch of people food poisoning, especially from norovirus. But the virus rarely strikes in the summer, so how did it end up hitting the same chain again? Could this be a conspiracy? Is Chipotle actually making the virus? Put on your tin foil hats and read this. 

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Take Me Out to the Ballgame ... Sunscreen Dispenser

July 19, 2017 - 5:04pm

Two major league teams recently raised sun-protection awareness with their fans, many of whom often sit for hours exposed to the strong summer sun. The Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves are spreading the word (and the sunblock), having installed free sunscreen dispensers at the ballpark, all part of MLB's Play Sun Smart campaign. 

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These Chickens Can't Cross The Road

July 19, 2017 - 2:24pm

If you believe the hype that the Organic Consumers Association puts out, you believe that organic foods are better for you than the conventionally raised variety. And you likely also believe that animals raised in line with organic principles are also treated more humanely. Oops!

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Cutting Off Your Nose To Spite Your Weight

July 19, 2017 - 1:18pm

What would you say if there was a way to lose weight while eating a high-fat diet – and you wouldn't even have to sell your soul to the devil? But part of the deal would be that you'd have to stop smelling for a while. Interested? Allow us to explain. 

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How Can Poisonous Heavy Metals Be Perfectly Safe?

July 19, 2017 - 12:59pm

Heavy metals get a bad rap. For the most part, it is deserved because they are usually toxic. Except when they aren't. You have probably consumed a whole lot of at least one or two of them and are just fine. Here's why.

BARIUM

If you mention the element barium to someone, it will elicit one of precisely two responses:

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Gilead Once Again Puts The Hurt On Hepatitis C, as Vosevi Is Approved

July 19, 2017 - 11:49am

In 2012, the hepatitis C universe changed forever when Gilead's Sovaldi was approved. Finally, there was an excellent drug that could eliminate the infection almost all the time. But some strains of HCV are tougher than others to treat. But now, Gilead strikes again.

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