The Holiday Season is in full-swing, and we here at the American Council on Science and Health continue our fight on behalf of good science! Here's where we appeared in recent days.
"No sooner had the warm liquid mixed with the crumbs touched my palate than a shudder ran through me and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary thing that was happening to me." That's ACSH friend Dr. Michael Shaw channeling Proust on the power of smell. Of course, it cuts both ways. Body odor? Why do we have it? Do deodorants work? How about hygiene? Is "old-person smell" real? Just take a sniff of what's in this fascinating piece.
What makes a patient chose not to undergo treatment, that can reduce their risk of cancer by upwards to 30%? Facts or beliefs? Why do we pay so much attention to that homunculus jabbering away in our heads?
The plaintiffs claim that Ocean Spray lied about not using artificial flavors, and the only restitution is for the company to hand over a big bag of money. How big? Very big. They want a jury to award them "statutory, compensatory, treble, and punitive damages" -- all due to a technicality that hasn't affected their lives one iota.
Conventional wisdom tells us that 10,000 steps per day is the "magic number" required for health benefits. But is there sound evidence behind this number? Dr. Christopher Labos of McGill University’s Office for Science and Society investigates.
Melinta is only one of several companies experiencing the pain of antibiotic development. The company lost 85% of its market cap over the past year and now may close its New Haven Research facility. Yet, the company just received approval from Europe to market Vabomere, a combination of two antibiotics, meropenem and vaborbactam. This is becoming a repetitive pattern of success breeding failure in the antibiotic space. Dr. David Shlaes explains.
Everyone believes in evidence-based decision making, but why is it so hard to find the evidence we need?
A key challenge in building electric aircraft involves how much energy can be stored in a given amount of weight of the on-board energy source. Although the best batteries store about 40 times less energy per unit of weight than jet fuel, a greater share of their energy is available to drive motion. Ultimately, for a given weight, jet fuel contains about 14 times more usable energy than a state-of-the-art lithium-ion battery.
What a medical doctor sees in social media posts can tell an entirely different picture than the one intended to be told. As the saying goes "the devil is in the details."
Medicare Part D provides coverage for the cost of drugs. It is a complex system with varying out-of-pocket costs. The stakeholders, beneficiaries, insurance companies, manufacturers and the feds are all trying to shift costs to someone else. Two graphs will show the value of Part D to patients and what all the fighting is about.
One would think that in a world where facts can be easily verified, it shouldn't become so polarized. But a new paper in the European Journal for Philosophy of Science argues that polarization is the natural outcome when groups of people disagree. In fact, the authors document a major example of polarization within the scientific community itself.
One would think that a world in which facts can be easily verified should not become so polarized. But a new paper in the European Journal for Philosophy of Science argues that polarization is the natural outcome when groups of people disagree. In fact, the authors document a major example of polarization within the scientific community itself.
Researchers ingested Lego Heads to see how quickly they excreted them. This "work" was published in a journal.
How can you identify a scientifically ignorant person? Ask him if he's concerned about the health effects of GMOs. If the answer is yes, you've identified somebody who probably couldn't pass an 8th grade science test. Too harsh? Not according to the latest Pew poll.
Winter is on the way and the hideous norovirus (stomach virus) always comes along for the ride. Are we still helpless against this little monster? What's going on out there? You may be surprised.
Given the rogue nature of one scientist, should we expect "designer babies" to follow?
Our northern neighbor is considering public payment for nearly all pharmaceutical costs. The model makes its assumptions known, its cost and benefit analysis clear, and provides a blend of new taxes to support the plan. If it was not for some academic hand-waving over special needs and interests it might actually be feasible.
Plenty of bad papers are accepted as true because the academic who wrote it is famous. On the flip side, many good papers are never written out of the fear that it could cost an academic his job. So, how about we just eliminate real names and publish papers under fake ones instead? That's the fundamental idea behind a new journal, not-so-subtly called The Journal of Controversial Ideas, set to launch next year. This idea is so good, I wish I'd thought of it first.
There is a growing cottage industry in reporting industry payments to physicians, the implication is that they alter our behavior. Is there any proof?
The CDC's latest report shows dangerously high lead levels in children who live in households that contain spices, herbal remedies, and ceremonial powders -- in other words, the sort of things we associate with alternative medicine and other "natural" or "traditional" practices.