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The Death of Expertise

Science-Based Medicine - November 21, 2017 - 3:00am
In Tom Nichols' new book, The Death of Expertise, he explains how a misguided intellectual egalitarianism is harming our ability to assess the truth and solve problems, and discusses some of the responsible factors and possible long-term consequences.
Categories: Science

What is “integrative oncology”? Even the Society for Integrative Oncology doesn’t seem to know for sure

Science-Based Medicine - November 20, 2017 - 3:25am
Last week, the Society for Integrative Oncology published an article attempting to define what "integrative oncology" is. The definition, when it isn't totally vague, ignores the pseudoscience at the heart of integrative oncology and medicine.
Categories: Science

15 Credibility Street #29: Amateur Hour

Doubtful News - November 19, 2017 - 7:55pm
Trump nominates Brett Talley, an unqualified lawyer and former paranormal investigator, for Federal Court in Alabama. Being a former ghost hunter is the least of his problems. Bigfoot gets another “official” name: Kryptopithecus gimlinpattersonorum. What does this all mean? Can you name a species from a photo? Yes. A classic case of taxonomic vandalism: Raymond…
Categories: Skepticism

Alternative healer proposes legitimate species name for Bigfoot

Doubtful News - November 17, 2017 - 10:09pm
An alternative healer with a PhD and background in entomology (study of insects) has exploited an opportunity to officially name Bigfoot as a new species. Thanks to a rule change by the naming committee, a famous film that some believe depicts an actual Bigfoot has been designated the type specimen for the as-yet non-corporeal animal.…
Categories: Skepticism

Hopelessly Devoted to Woo: TLC and Forbes Bring Us Yet Another Celebrity Healer

Science-Based Medicine - November 17, 2017 - 8:00am
Endorsed by journalists and studied by academic medicine, bogus celebrity energy healer Charlie Goldsmith now has his own television program. In other words, it's just another day at Science-Based Medicine.
Categories: Science

CAM use leads to delays in appropriate, effective arthritis therapy

Science-Based Medicine - November 16, 2017 - 9:00am
A preference to use CAM before seeking medical advice may be harming patients with inflammatory arthritis.
Categories: Science

Placebo Myths Debunked

Science-Based Medicine - November 15, 2017 - 8:03am
Placebo treatments are often sold as magical mind-over-matter healing effects, but they are mostly just illusions and non-specific effects.
Categories: Science

Turpentine, the Fountain of Youth According to Dr. Jennifer Daniels

Science-Based Medicine - November 14, 2017 - 3:00am
Jennifer Daniels says turpentine is the Fountain of Youth, able to cure many ailments, both real and imaginary. It isn't; it's a poison with no recognized benefits for human health.
Categories: Science

Why do some women refuse treatments for breast their breast cancer?

Science-Based Medicine - November 13, 2017 - 3:14am
Adjuvant therapy after surgery, such as chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, and radiation therapy, has contributed to a 39% decrease in breast cancer mortality since 1989. Unfortunately, a significant number of women decline evidence-based adjuvant therapy. A recent study suggests that distrust of the medical system plays a significant role in such refusal.
Categories: Science

Match Made in Marrow

Radiolab Podcasts - November 9, 2017 - 9:25pm

You never know what might happen when you sign up to donate bone marrow. You might save a life… or you might be magically transported across a cultural chasm and find yourself starring in a modern adaptation of the greatest story ever told.

One day, without thinking much of it, Jennell Jenney swabbed her cheek and signed up to be a donor.  Across the country, Jim Munroe desperately needed a miracle, a one-in-eight-million connection that would save him. It proved to be a match made in marrow, a bit of magic in the world that hadn’t been there before.  But when Jennell and Jim had a heart-to-heart in his suburban Dallas backyard, they realized they had contradictory ideas about where that magic came from. Today, an allegory for how to walk through the world in a way that lets you be deeply different, but totally together.


This piece was reported by Latif Nasser.  It was produced by Annie McEwen, with help from Bethel Habte and Alex Overington.

Special thanks to Dr. Matthew J. Matasar, Dr. John Hill, Stephen Spellman at CIBMTR, St. Cloud State University’s Cru Chapter, and Mandy Naglich.

Categories: Science

Another “Chronic Lyme” VIP disciplined by NY medical authorities: Bernard Raxlen

Science-Based Medicine - November 9, 2017 - 1:00am
Another "Lyme literate" NY physician is on probation and under orders to clean up his act. Will other physicians treating "chronic Lyme" take note?
Categories: Science

Risks of a Gluten-Free Diet

Science-Based Medicine - November 8, 2017 - 8:27am
Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity does not seem to be a real entity according the current evidence, but this has not stopped the gluten-free fad, which may be causing real harm.
Categories: Science

Update on ASEA, Protandim, and dōTERRA

Science-Based Medicine - November 7, 2017 - 3:00am
Multilevel marketing distributors of dietary supplements and essential oils point to studies that they think constitute evidence that their products work. They don't understand why those studies are inadequate.
Categories: Science

ORBITA: Another clinical trial demonstrating the need for sham controls in surgical trials

Science-Based Medicine - November 6, 2017 - 3:58am
Last week, the results of ORBITA were published. This clinical trial tested coronary angioplasty and stunting versus optimal medical management in patients with single-vessel coronary artery disease. It was a resoundingly negative trial, meaning that adding stunting to drug management t didn't result in detectable clinical improvement. What was distinctive about this trial is that it used a sham procedure (i.e., placebo) control, which few trials testing surgery or a procedure use. The results of ORBITA emphasize how important sham procedure controls are, whenever they can be ethically used, and how resistant physicians can be to change.
Categories: Science

15 Credibility Street #28: Defense against the dark art of scare-mongering

Doubtful News - November 5, 2017 - 6:11pm
It was just Halloween, the media is out to scare you into believing dumb things. Don’t. Tricks in treats? Not-too-deep-thinking about marijuana-laced candy warnings will bring quick realization this hazard is not worth worrying about. One incident in New Brunswick, Canada may have been nailed down but who would eat that anyway? The condition called…
Categories: Skepticism

The American Chiropractic Association Answers Crislip’s Call, Joins the Choosing Wisely Campaign

Science-Based Medicine - November 3, 2017 - 8:00am
The Choosing Wisely campaign has invited the largest chiropractic organization in the United States to publish a list of interventions to avoid. The results, while not entirely without merit, consist of redundant or unnecessary recommendations. And there is a glaring absence of recommendations to avoid any of the blatant pseudoscience commonly practiced by chiropractors.
Categories: Science

Liver cancer, naturally

Science-Based Medicine - November 2, 2017 - 7:30am
Aristolochic acid, a highly toxic substance naturally found in some traditional herbal medicines, may be a significant cause of liver cancer.
Categories: Science

ASEA – Still Selling Snake Oil

Science-Based Medicine - November 1, 2017 - 8:49am
ASEAs marketing practices, in my opinion, are clearly deceptive. They use a lot of pseudoscientific claims representing the epitome of supplement industry misdirection and obfuscation. They use science as a marketing tool, not as a method for legitimately advancing our knowledge or answering questions about the efficacy of specific interventions.
Categories: Science

Facial Cupping: A Kinder, Gentler, Sillier Kind of Cupping

Science-Based Medicine - October 31, 2017 - 3:00am
A new cupping fad using silicone devices is gentler than traditional cupping, but even sillier. There is no evidence of health benefits.
Categories: Science

Torturing mice, data, and figures in the name of antivaccine pseudoscience

Science-Based Medicine - October 30, 2017 - 3:00am
In September, antivaccine "researchers" Christopher Shaw and Lucija Tomljenovic published a study claiming to link aluminum adjuvants in vaccines to neuroinflammation and autism. Naturally, the antivaccine movement pointed to it as slam dunk evidence that vaccines cause autism. It's not. In fact, not only is it bad science, but it might well be fraudulent.
Categories: Science