Science

I Used To Be a Holistic Nutritionist

Science-Based Medicine - April 27, 2018 - 3:00am
Up until a year ago, I was a practicing holistic nutritionist. As someone who has left that world behind, I have a moral obligation to do what is right – and what is right is to denounce my former beliefs in an industry rife with deception.
Categories: Science

Dark Side of the Earth

Radiolab Podcasts - April 26, 2018 - 6:00pm

Astronauts at the International Space Station can make one request to talk to an earthling of their choice. For some reason, Astronaut Mark Vande Hei chose us. A couple weeks ago, we were able to video chat with Mark and peer over his shoulder through the Cupola, an observatory room in the ISS. Traveling at 17,000 miles an hour, we zoomed from the Rockies to the East Coast in minutes. And from where Mark sits, the total darkness of space isn’t very far away. 

Talking to Mark brought us back to 2012, when we spoke to another astronaut, Dave Wolf. When we were putting together our live show In the Dark, Jad and Robert called up Dave Wolf to ask him if he had any stories about darkness. And boy, did he. Dave told us two stories that  became the finale of our show.

Back in late 1997, Dave Wolf was on his first spacewalk, to perform work on the Mir. Dave wasn't alone -- with him was veteran Russian cosmonaut Anatoly Solovyev. 

Out in blackness of space, the contrast between light and dark is almost unimaginably extreme -- every 45 minutes, you plunge between absolute darkness on the night-side of Earth, and blazing light as the sun screams into view. Dave and Anatoly were tethered to the spacecraft, traveling 5 miles per second. That's 16 times faster than we travel on Earth's surface as it rotates -- so as they orbited, they experienced 16 nights and 16 days for every Earth day.

Dave's description of his first spacewalk was all we could've asked for, and more. But what happened next ... well, it's just one of those stories that you always hope an astronaut will tell. Dave and Anatoly were ready to call it a job and head back into the Mir when something went wrong with the airlock. They couldn't get it to re-pressurize. In other words, they were locked out. After hours of trying to fix the airlock, they were running out of the resources that kept them alive in their space suits and facing a grisly death. So, they unhooked their tethers, and tried one last desperate move.

In the end, they made it through, and Dave went on to perform dozens more spacewalks in the years to come, but he never again experienced anything like those harrowing minutes trying to improvise his way back into the Mir.

After that terrifying tale, Dave told us about another moment he and Anatoly shared, floating high above Earth, staring out into the universe ... a moment so beautiful, and peaceful, we decided to use the audience recreate it, as best we could, for the final act of our live show.

This episode was produced by Matt Kielty and Soren Wheeler. 

Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.

Categories: Science

“Dr. Amy” Yasko’s Autism Protocol: Unproven, Complicated and Expensive

Science-Based Medicine - April 26, 2018 - 1:00am
"Dr. Amy" Yasko isn't a real doctor and her autism protocol is unproven, complicated and expensive. Her claims of success are contradicted by autism, nutrition and genetics experts.
Categories: Science

Bee Venom is Snake Oil

Science-Based Medicine - April 25, 2018 - 8:22am
Bee venom acupuncture is a double-barrel pseudoscience that provides new example of an old problem - the use of poor quality preclinical research to justify the inclusion of nonsense in medicine.
Categories: Science

Montreal Healthy Girl Gives Unhealthy Advice

Science-Based Medicine - April 24, 2018 - 3:00am
Montreal Healthy Girl Brittany Auerbach spreads misinformation, pseudoscience, and outright fantasy. She could hurt people who believe her nonsense about cancer, viruses, and vaccines
Categories: Science

Homeopathy, rabid dogs, and naturopathic propaganda

Science-Based Medicine - April 23, 2018 - 7:00am
Last week, a story of a bizarre homeopathic remedy used by a Canadian naturopath made the news. Today, American naturopaths are in Washington, DC lobbying for increased prescribing power, including for controlled substances. Lawmakers should be reminded of the quackery at the heart of naturopathy.
Categories: Science

Separating Fact from Fiction in Maternal-Fetal Medicine: Anti-D Immunoglobulin for the Prevention of Hemolytic Disease of the Fetus and Newborn

Science-Based Medicine - April 20, 2018 - 7:00am
The Healthy Home Economist, a pseudoexpert in health and wellness with no actual education or training in medicine, is telling mothers to avoid a safe and effective approach to preventing a deadly pregnancy complication that used to result in the death of thousands of babies every year.
Categories: Science

Border Trilogy Part 3: What Remains

Radiolab Podcasts - April 20, 2018 - 5:06am

Border Trilogy:

While scouring the Sonoran Desert for objects left behind by migrants crossing into the United States, anthropologist Jason De León happened upon something he didn't expect to get left behind: a human arm, stripped of flesh.

This macabre discovery sent him reeling, needing to know what exactly happened to the body, and how many migrants die that way in the wilderness.  In researching border-crosser deaths in the Arizona desert, he noticed something surprising. Sometime in the late-1990s, the number of migrant deaths shot up dramatically and have stayed high since. Jason traced this increase to a Border Patrol policy still in effect, called “Prevention Through Deterrence.”

Over three episodes, Radiolab will investigate this policy, its surprising origins, and the people whose lives were changed forever because of it.

 

Part 3: What Remains 

The third episode in our Border Trilogy follows anthropologist Jason De León after he makes a grisly discovery in Arivaca, Arizona. In the middle of carrying out his pig experiments with his students, Jason finds the body of a 30-year-old female migrant. With the help of the medical examiner and some local humanitarian groups, Jason discovers her identity. Her name was Maricela. Jason then connects with her family, including her brother-in-law, who survived his own harrowing journey through Central America and the Arizona desert.

With the human cost of Prevention Through Deterrence weighing on our minds, we try to parse what drives migrants like Maricela to cross through such deadly terrain, and what, if anything, could deter them.

This episode was reported by Latif Nasser and Tracie Hunte and was produced by Matt Kielty and Tracie Hunte. 

Special thanks to Sandra Lopez-Monsalve, Chava Gourarie, Lynn M. Morgan, Mike Wells, and Tom Barry.

Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.

Categories: Science

How rabid dog saliva became an approved and endorsed remedy in Canada

Science-Based Medicine - April 19, 2018 - 10:00am
A recent blog post by a British Columbia naturopath is raising questions from health professionals about the practice of naturopathy, and the use of homeopathic remedies to treat children with serious behaviour problems.
Categories: Science

New Study Finds that Statins Prevent Cardiovascular Deaths

Science-Based Medicine - April 18, 2018 - 7:48am
A new meta-analysis shows that statin drugs are effective at preventing cardiovascular events and death, especially in patients with a baseline LDL cholesterol >100.
Categories: Science

Psychodermatology?

Science-Based Medicine - April 17, 2018 - 3:00am
A new specialty, psychodermatology, was invented to address the interaction of the mind and the skin. The effects of stress on the skin are not well defined, and the need for this new specialty is questionable.
Categories: Science

Homeopathy Awareness Week shows that homeopathy is still a problem

Science-Based Medicine - April 16, 2018 - 4:00am
Homeopathy Awareness Week might be almost over, but The One Quackery To Rule Them All wastes resources and endangers patients year round.
Categories: Science

Dog breath and stinky studies: Do pets need to be knocked out for dental care?

Science-Based Medicine - April 13, 2018 - 11:00am
Most professional veterinary organizations recommend anesthesia to ensure thorough dental care for pet dogs and cats. Despite this, some companies are trying to mislead the pet-owning public by claiming they have high quality evidence showing they provide the same benefit without the risks. Their research smells worse than old chihuahua breath.
Categories: Science

Hypothesized benefit from integrative treatments for veterans’ chronic pain fails to materialize

Science-Based Medicine - April 12, 2018 - 1:00am
Researchers hypothesized that chiropractic, acupuncture and massage would benefit veterans with chronic pain. Their results said otherwise.
Categories: Science

Adding Sensation to Robotic Limbs

Science-Based Medicine - April 11, 2018 - 8:03am
Recently scientists have managed to stimulate the brain in such a way that approximated some of the sensations of a natural limb in a paralyzed subject. No, they did not regain sensation, but the research is a powerful proof of concept. It shows that it is possible to produce natural-feeling sensation through electrical stimulation of the cortex, an important step for brain-machine interface research.
Categories: Science

Modern Reflexology: Still As Bogus As Pre-Modern Reflexology

Science-Based Medicine - April 10, 2018 - 3:00am
Reflexology has no basis in science. It is a belief system based on imaginary connections between spots on the skin and internal organs.
Categories: Science

Another pebble in the quackademic integrative avalanche

Science-Based Medicine - April 9, 2018 - 3:19am
We've documented the infiltration of quackery into academic medicine through the "integration" of mystical and prescientific treatment modalities into medicine. Here, we look at a pebble in the quackademic avalanche. Is it too late for the pebbles to vote?
Categories: Science

Science-Based Satire: NASA Teams with NCCIH to Study Alternative Medicine in Space

Science-Based Medicine - April 6, 2018 - 7:00am
Are NASA and the NCCIH working together to study reiki in space? It sounds plausible I know, but this isn't even remotely true. It's satire. Enjoy!
Categories: Science

Border Trilogy Part 2: Hold the Line

Radiolab Podcasts - April 6, 2018 - 1:31am

Border Trilogy: 

While scouring the Sonoran Desert for objects left behind by migrants crossing into the United States, anthropologist Jason De León happened upon something he didn't expect to get left behind: a human arm, stripped of flesh.

This macabre discovery sent him reeling, needing to know what exactly happened to the body, and how many migrants die that way in the wilderness.  In researching border-crosser deaths in the Arizona desert, he noticed something surprising. Sometime in the late-1990s, the number of migrant deaths shot up dramatically and have stayed high since. Jason traced this increase to a Border Patrol policy still in effect, called “Prevention Through Deterrence.”

Over three episodes, Radiolab will investigate this policy, its surprising origins, and the people whose lives were changed forever because of it.

 

Part 2: Hold the Line:

After the showdown in court with Bowie High School, Border Patrol brings in a fresh face to head its dysfunctional El Paso Sector: Silvestre Reyes. The first Mexican-American to ever hold the position, Reyes knows something needs to change and has an idea how to do it. One Saturday night at midnight, with the element of surprise on his side, Reyes unveils ... Operation Blockade. It wins widespread support for the Border Patrol in El Paso, but sparks major protests across the Rio Grande. Soon after, he gets a phone call that catapults his little experiment onto the national stage, where it works so well that it diverts migrant crossing patterns along the entire U.S.-Mexico Border.

Years later, in the Arizona desert, anthropologist Jason de León realizes that in order to accurately gauge how many migrants die crossing the desert, he must first understand how human bodies decompose in such an extreme environment. He sets up a macabre experiment, and what he finds is more drastic than anything he could have expected.

This episode was reported by Latif Nasser and Tracie Hunte, and was produced by Matt Kielty, Bethel Habte, and Latif Nasser.

Special thanks to Sherrie Kossoudji at the University of Michigan, Cheryl Howard, Andrew Hansen, William Sabol, Donald B. White, Daniel Martinez, Michelle Mittelstadt at the Migration Policy Institute, Former Executive Assistant to the El Paso Mayor Mark Smith, Retired Assistant Border Patrol Sector Chief Clyde Benzenhoefer, Paul Anderson, Eric Robledo, Maggie Southard Gladstone, and Kate Hall.

 Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.

 

 

Categories: Science

St. John’s Wort for depression – A herbal remedy that works?

Science-Based Medicine - April 5, 2018 - 8:04am
St. John's wort is a herbal remedy that appears to be effective for the treatment of depression. But how does it compare to antidepressants?
Categories: Science

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