Science

Breaking Bad News Bears

Radiolab Podcasts - September 28, 2018 - 6:00am

Today, a challenge: bear with us.

We decided to shake things up at the show so we threw our staff a curveball, Walter Matthau-style. In two weeks time we told our producers to pitch, report, and produce stories about breaking news….or bears. What emerged was a sort of love letter for our honey-loving friends and a discovery that they embody so much more than we could have imagined: a town’s symbol for hope, a celebrity, a foe, and a clue to future ways we’ll deal with our changing environment. 

This episode was reported and produced by Simon Adler, Molly Webster, Bethel Habte, Pat Walters, Matt Kielty, Rachael Cusick, Annie McEwen and Latif Nasser.

Special thanks to Wendy Card, Marlene Zuk, Karyn Rode, Barbara Nielsen and Steven Amstrup at Polar Bears International, Jimmy Thomson and Adam Kudlak.

Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate

Categories: Science

Reporting on the edge: Authority, dog whistles, and the politics of the unknown

Science-Based Medicine - September 28, 2018 - 3:00am
Beatrice Golomb, MD, has appeared in the news arguing "mysterious symptoms" experienced by Cuban diplomats are due to electromagnetic radiation. Though quoted by The New York Times and published in a peer-reviewed journal, are her opinions credible?
Categories: Science

AAFP should publish research behind finding that functional medicine lacks evidence, contains harmful and dangerous practices

Science-Based Medicine - September 27, 2018 - 1:00am
For public's health and safety, AAFP should publish research behind finding that functional medicine lacks evidence, contains harmful and dangerous practices.
Categories: Science

A Nuanced View on Breast vs Formula

Science-Based Medicine - September 26, 2018 - 8:05am
While there is strong evidence that breast is best, a new study suggests that the benefits have been overstated, and may be mostly due to non-specific factors such as better education and overall health care.
Categories: Science

Flu Shots: It’s That Time Again

Science-Based Medicine - September 25, 2018 - 3:00am
Flu shots are safe and effective. They not only protect the recipient but others in the community who are more vulnerable. Get your flu shot!
Categories: Science

The FTC cracks down on iV Bars for false advertising claims about its “intravenous micronutrient therapy”

Science-Based Medicine - September 24, 2018 - 3:09am
One of the most popular forms of quackery sold by alternative medicine practitioners such as naturopaths is intravenous vitamin therapy, sometimes also called "intravenous micronutrient therapy" (IVMT). Most are variants of a concoction known as "Myers cocktail," and there is no good evidence that IVMT is efficacious for any of the indications for which quacks use it. Last week, the FTC issued a proposed consent agreement based on a complaint against the company selling iV Bars for false advertising. Here's hoping this is the beginning of something good.
Categories: Science

A Recent Case Report Highlights Why Skipping the Chickenpox Vaccine is a Bad Idea

Science-Based Medicine - September 21, 2018 - 7:00am
Chickenpox is a nasty infection. And though it isn't as deadly as some other vaccine-preventable illnesses, it can cause severe complications even in healthy kids, especially those too young to be vaccinated against it. Ignore anyone who shrugs it off as "no big deal".
Categories: Science

Infective Heredity

Radiolab Podcasts - September 20, 2018 - 11:00pm

Today, a fast moving, sidestepping, gene-swapping free-for-all that would’ve made Darwin’s head spin.

David Quammen tells us about a shocking way that life can evolve - infective heredity. To figure it all out we go back to the earliest versions of life, and we revisit an earlier version of Radiolab. After reckoning with a scientific icon, we find ourselves in a tangle of genes that sheds new light on peppered moths, drug-resistant bugs, and a key moment in the evolution of life when mammals went a little viral.

Check out David Quammen's book The Tangled Tree: A Radical New History of Life 

This episode was produced by Soren Wheeler. 

Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate

Categories: Science

Fish Oil Doesn’t Help Dry Eyes

Science-Based Medicine - September 20, 2018 - 8:48am
Dry eyes? Despite guidelines that recommend fish oil consumption, a new trial demonstrate that they are not effective.
Categories: Science

The Pseudoscience of Kelly Brogan

Science-Based Medicine - September 19, 2018 - 8:28am
Kelly Brogan sells an impressive array of pseudoscience wrapped in the standard alternative tropes.
Categories: Science

27: The Most Perfect Album

Radiolab Podcasts - September 19, 2018 - 12:00am

More Perfect is back with something totally new and exciting. They just dropped an ALBUM. 27: The Most Perfect Album is like a Constitutional mix-tape, a Schoolhouse Rock for the 21st century. The album features original tracks by artists like Dolly Parton, Kash Doll, and Devendra Banhart: 27+ songs inspired by the 27 Amendments. Alongside the album they'll be releasing short stories deep-diving into each amendment's history and resonance. In this episode, we preview a few songs and dive into the poetic dream behind the First Amendment. The whole album, plus the first episode of More Perfect Season 3 is out now.

Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate

Categories: Science

Rapid-onset Gender Dysphoria and Squelching Controversial Evidence

Science-Based Medicine - September 18, 2018 - 3:00am
A flawed study suggested that rapid onset gender dysphoria around the time of puberty might be a result of peer pressure and media influence. It raised some important questions, but Brown University succumbed to pressure from activists and removed it from its website
Categories: Science

Crowdfunding: The fuel for cancer quackery

Science-Based Medicine - September 17, 2018 - 3:54am
Ever since I first started taking notice about cancer quacks like Stanislaw Burzynski, I noticed how crowdfunding using social media and sites like GoFundMe appear to be an integral part of the business model of quack clinics. Thanks to an investigation by The Good Thinking Society published in the BMJ last week, I now have a feel for the scope of the problem. The question, though, is: What can be done to turn off this lucrative revenue stream for quack clinics?
Categories: Science

The Chiropractic Technique Parade

Science-Based Medicine - September 14, 2018 - 3:00am
Failure of the chiropractic establishment to renounce the scientifically indefensible vertebral subluxation theory assures an unending parade of questionable chiropractic diagnostic and treatment methods for correction of putative vertebral subluxations.
Categories: Science

Integrative Medicine finally admits it’s attracting bad apples

Science-Based Medicine - September 13, 2018 - 1:00am
Integrative medicine proponents finally acknowledge their field is attracting bad apples but fail to identify the real source of their problem: It's rejection of science-based medicine, not lack of training in integrative medicine.
Categories: Science

A Culture of Standards Matters

Science-Based Medicine - September 12, 2018 - 7:48am
Perhaps the most dangerous effect of the alternative medicine movement has been an erosion of the culture of dedication to science and standards within medicine. This has to change.
Categories: Science

Gender Dysphoria in Children

Science-Based Medicine - September 11, 2018 - 3:00am
Gender transitions are becoming more and more common. Adults can make informed decisions about hormone treatments and gender reassignment surgeries, but what about children?
Categories: Science

Acupuncture versus breast cancer treatment-induced joint pain: Spinning another bad study

Science-Based Medicine - September 10, 2018 - 3:37am
The investigators behind a recent clinical trial testing acupuncture to treat joint pain caused by aromatase inhibitors used to treat breast cancer are spinning it as a positive study. As is usually the case for acupuncture studies. It isn't
Categories: Science

Have Researchers Developed a Potential Microbial Miracle for Phenylketonuria Patients?

Science-Based Medicine - September 7, 2018 - 7:00am
Researchers specializing in synthetic biology are developing a new therapy for a potentially devastating metabolic disorder, and they have some promising preliminary human data. But it's just too early to get excited.
Categories: Science

Not just water! This homeopathy is contaminated with bacteria

Science-Based Medicine - September 6, 2018 - 7:00am
Homeopathy from King Bio may contain an unlabelled ingredient: Bacterial contamination.
Categories: Science

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