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Updated: 37 min 34 sec ago

“GMO” Is a Meaningless, Misleading Term

Jun 28 2018 - 09:06

Many people believe that a so-called “genetically modified organism” (GMO) is a term that has some significance for interpreting the safety of food. Most life scientists -- geneticists, biologists, ecologists, and agronomists -- are pretty sure that the opposite is true.

First, we should distinguish between two points:

(1) A theoretical keystone of agri-food biotechnologies and the related safety issues; and

(2) socioeconomic considerations.

In both cases, “GMO” appears to be a detrimental meme and a misleading compass.

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If Our Science Tribe Was A D&D Game

Jun 28 2018 - 07:06

I've never been much for the word "tribe." It sounds too insular in 2018, the kind of term (see also "zeitgeist", "heteronormative", and "schadenfreude") thrown around by barely literate postmodernists with their heads in the clouds believing what they tell each other as the real world passes by.

That's not to say it isn't an accurate description of science media.

Categories: ACSH

Revisiting the Impact of Breast Density On Diagnosing Breast Cancer

Jun 27 2018 - 20:06

Breast cancer is more difficult to detect in women whose breasts are dense. It is unclear whether there is also underlying behavioral differences in their cancers. Should we treat them as a separate population?

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Is Refusal To Treat Vaccine-Hesitant Families The Sanders-Red Hen of Medical Practice?

Jun 27 2018 - 15:06

If the goal is guaranteeing the safety of children and the general population being protected from infectious disease, then why is shaming playing any role in vaccine compliance?

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Assessing Marine Life, 8 Yrs. After Massive Gulf-of-Mexico Oil Spill

Jun 27 2018 - 13:06

A seven-year study of all Gulf coastal regions maps where fish and other aquatic life live, and in what amounts. This was done in order to give marine biologists a better understanding of the ecological damage that occurred following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster, and to help them better prepare for future spills. 

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The Madness Continues - FDA Opioids Advisory Panels Must Be Stoned

Jun 27 2018 - 12:06

Two FDA expert panels rejected a new extended-release oxycodone pill. Some of their findings are reasonable, even if you don't agree with them. But one reason is very far beyond stupid. Especially since they refused to learn from history. 

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Could Herpes Cause Alzheimer's? Maybe

Jun 27 2018 - 09:06

A group at Mount Sinai Medical School has made a rather startling discovery. People who died from Alzheimer's Disease (AD) had brains that contained more of two herpes viruses than controls. Could we have been looking in the wrong direction for therapies for AD? A potentially huge discovery. 

Categories: ACSH

For Care After Hospitalization, It is Location, Location, Location

Jun 26 2018 - 20:06

Because Medicare Advantage programs are paid in part, by the value their care-partners provide, they choose their partners carefully. And when incentives are aligned, patient outcomes seem to improve. 

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ACSH Explains: What's The Story On Methylene Chloride (DCM)?

Jun 26 2018 - 12:06

The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act amends the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and was signed into law June 22, 2016. It created a mandatory requirement for EPA to evaluate existing chemicals with clear and enforceable deadlines, to do so in a transparent fashion, and to do so using risk-based chemical assessments rather than rely on simple epidemiological correlations. 

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Media Sees Trees, Not Forest With Sen. McCaskill Rib Fracture

Jun 26 2018 - 11:06

Not unlike government or healthcare metrics, focus on Sen. McCaskill's injury after receiving the life-saving Heimlich maneuver is inherently flawed.

Categories: ACSH

Beware Of Giant Hogweed - A Carcinogenic 'Psoriasis Treatment' From Hell

Jun 25 2018 - 14:06

A very dangerous plant called the giant hogweed is in the news because it is being increasingly spotted across the US. What you probably don't know is that one of the chemicals that makes the plant so dangerous is also a drug that treats psoriasis. 

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Cosmic Radiation, Flight Attendants and Flying the Friendly Skies

Jun 25 2018 - 12:06

Cosmic rays are the largest source of radiation exposure associated with flying and it may have health impacts on flight crews. A new study suggests that their risk of cancer may be increased, but "may" is the operative word. For the flying public there should be no concern. 

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We Spoke At The World Bank, Were In Washington Examiner, Big Think, And More Outreach

Jun 25 2018 - 07:06

It was a busy recent stretch for the American Council, working to continually promote the need for sound-science decision making.

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Consent In Medicine Is More Than Risk and Benefit

Jun 25 2018 - 05:06

While the recent Pennsylvania decision on surgical consent was about a physician's responsibility it did not consider how it binds physician to patient emotionally. The ritual of consent has many layers to consider. 

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Spt6: New Gene Expression Mechanism With Possible Role In Cancer

Jun 24 2018 - 07:06

Every human cell carries our genome, roughly 3.5 billion letters - DNA - that assemble into our genetic code. RI order for large genomes to fit into the tiny cells, proteins called histones organize and package DNA in cells. DNA wraps around the histones so they can be condensed into the space.

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Government Is The Big Reason EpiPen And Other Generics Are So Expensive

Jun 23 2018 - 15:06

The rising price for EpiPens, a drug delivery system that is crucial for persons experiencing potentially life-threatening allergic reactions, has resulted in outrage.

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In NEJM, Did Authors Get It Wrong On Informed Consent?

Jun 22 2018 - 22:06

A recent Pennsylvania Supreme court ruling recognizes outsourcing what it means to be a doctor is not a solution, but a problem. Authors in The New England Journal of Medicine beg to differ.  

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Ovine Rinderpest Outbreak in Europe: Wait, Wasn't That Eradicated?

Jun 22 2018 - 14:06

In 2011, the global public health community declared the eradication of rinderpest, a severe viral disease of cattle. However, today, Bulgaria has announced an outbreak of ovine rinderpest. What's going on?

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For Younger Women, Breast-Cancer Risk Lessens With Weight Gain, Study Finds

Jun 22 2018 - 13:06

A new, large-scale breast cancer study of nearly 760,000 premenopausal women produced a surprising result: as body fat increased, their cancer risk decreased. That's the opposite of the risk for women who have reached menopause. But don't take this to mean it's OK to put on the pounds. 

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The Smoke and Mirrors of Vaping

Jun 22 2018 - 04:06

Vaping is substance agnostic although the controversy and debate about vaping only involve tobacco or nicotine. The harms of vaporizing depend on what is being vaped. To clear away the smoke, we should be more specific about our concerns.

Categories: ACSH