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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

Chelation Therapy for Autism is Quackery

Science-Based Medicine - September 5, 2018 - 8:11am
Chelation therapy for autism is not based on any scientific rationale and what evidence we have shows it does not work, yet it continues to be offered as an "alternative" treatment.
Categories: Science

Estrogen Matters

Science-Based Medicine - September 4, 2018 - 3:00am
Hormone replacement therapy in menopause is safer and more effective than we have been led to believe. A new book examines the evidence and sets the record straight.
Categories: Science

NCCIH has a new director, and she’s a true believer in acupuncture.

Science-Based Medicine - September 3, 2018 - 6:00am
Helene Langevin has been named the new director of the National Center for Complemenary and Integrative Health. Given her history of dodgy acupuncture research, my prediction is that the quackery will flow again at NCCIH, the way it did in the 1990s when Tom Harkin zealously protected it from any attempt to impose scientific rigor on it.
Categories: Science

Bad Documentary Review: Cancer Can Be Killed

Science-Based Medicine - August 31, 2018 - 7:30am
Cancer Can Be Killed is a conspiracy thriller masquerading as a documentary. Don't watch it.
Categories: Science

Bait and switch in Oregon: Substituting quackery for opioids for Medicaid patients

Science-Based Medicine - August 30, 2018 - 3:26am
The Oregon Health Authority is on the verge of passing a radical policy that would require chronic pain patients receiving Medicaid to have their opioids tapered to zero while covering "nonpharmacologic treatments for pain" that include primarily acupuncture, chiropractic, massage therapy, and other "alternative" treatments. Not surprisingly, the Oregon Chronic Pain Task Force, which is responsible for this proposed infliction of quackery on the most vulnerable, has three acupuncturists and a chiropractor sitting on it.
Categories: Science

Kratom – An Emerging Herbal Drug

Science-Based Medicine - August 29, 2018 - 8:16am
Kratom is an emerging herbal drug used for pain and fatigue but also has abuse potential. What is the current state of the science?
Categories: Science

Baby Blue Blood Drive

Radiolab Podcasts - August 29, 2018 - 3:25am

Horseshoe crabs are not much to look at.  But beneath their unassuming catcher’s-mitt shell, they harbor a half-billion-year-old secret: a superpower that helped them outlive the dinosaurs and survive all the Earth’s mass extinctions.  And what is that secret superpower? Their blood. Their baby blue blood.  And it’s so miraculous that for decades, it hasn’t just been saving their butts, it’s been saving ours too.

But that all might be about to change.  

 Follow us as we follow these ancient critters - from a raunchy beach orgy to a marine blood drive to the most secluded waterslide - and learn a thing or two from them about how much we depend on nature and how much it depends on us.

This episode was reported by Latif Nasser with help from Damiano Marchetti and was produced by Annie McEwen and Matt Kielty with help from Liza Yeager.

Special thanks to Arlene Shaner at the NY Academy of Medicine, Tim Wisniewski at the Alan Mason Cheney Medical Archives at Johns Hopkins University, and Jennifer Walton at the library of the Marine Biological Lab of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate

Categories: Science

The Pivot

The Bird's Brain - August 28, 2018 - 12:27pm

I’ve hit a moment in my life where I think it is time to make a change. I look around at the science communications landscape, and it is FULL of amazing people communicating science. The YouTube space is now overflowing with intelligent, energetic young women explaining science. And… I feel aged out.

I’m not old, but I’m not young anymore either. It’s hard to believe that I could be a mom or even grandmother to most YouTube viewers. So, why do I keep doing the same things – producing content that is now being produced by younger voices and faces?

Like I mentioned in my last post, I’ve started a small video production company, and that is part of my pivot. I can use my experience to help others tell their stories. I don’t need to be the face in front of the camera any more.

However, I like to talk with people. I like to use my voice. So, I’m considering working on new shows beyond the weekly science news of TWIS. I want to produce shows that have personal value to me, and that set me apart from the pack of youngsters I no longer fit into. I’d love your feedback on my thoughts and experiments, so that I can really figure out what works and what doesn’t.

First, I’d like to interview more people – scientists, primarily, but I’m also thinking about a focus on women and the various issues that crop up as we age. My concern here is that although this is something that I am very personally interested in, it is a HUGE shift from what I have done historically, and away from the audience that I have built up over many years. Not that it’s a bad thing to do that. It’s just fear-inducing to consider something so different.

And, second, I’d like to do something with my son. I think it would be extremely rewarding to spend time creating a science-based show with him. This would also be targeted at a different audience, but the same amount of fear isn’t there because this show wouldn’t be about me as much as something to experience with my son. He has expressed interest, but seems to like the idea of a gaming channel more than science at the moment. So, we’ll see whether this idea gets any traction.

Finally, as far as helping other scientists tell their stories goes, I’ve also been thinking about putting some videos together about story-telling and video production for science. Maybe a weekly or monthly video workshop would be helpful for people…

Anyway, it’s time to pivot. I have ideas. I just need to start moving forward on execution. And, like I said, I’d love your feedback on what you think will be both useful and enjoyable.

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Categories: Science

Smoking Cessation

Science-Based Medicine - August 28, 2018 - 3:00am
Smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease and death. There are effective pharmacological and non-pharmacological methods to help people stop smoking.
Categories: Science

Confronting homeopathy, naturopathy, homeopathy, and other quackademic medicine at my alma mater

Science-Based Medicine - August 27, 2018 - 3:05am
Several years back, I was forced to confront quackery at my alma mater in the form of an anthroposophic medicine program at the University of Michigan. The situation has deteriorated since then, as now the Department of Family Medicine there is inviting homeopaths to give talks and teaching acupuncture as credulously as any acupuncturist. Will the disease metastasize to other departments in the university? I certainly hope not.
Categories: Science

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