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CVS sued for deceiving consumers in sale of homeopathic remedies

Science-Based Medicine - July 19, 2018 - 1:00am
A lawsuit claiming pharmacy giant CVS fraudulently deceives consumers in the sale of worthless homeopathic remedies has been filed by the Center for Inquiry (CFI), acting on behalf of the general public. CFI says co-mingling ineffective homeopathic products with science-based treatments on CVS's retail shelves and online confuses consumers.
Categories: Science

Homeopathic Arnica in Plastic Surgery

Science-Based Medicine - July 18, 2018 - 7:55am
Homeopathic Arnica is clearly pseudoscience and does not work for wound healing, so why are so many cosmetic surgeons recommending it?
Categories: Science

Wisdom Versus Weakest

The Bird's Brain - July 17, 2018 - 7:26pm

This week has been a doozy for news in America, and it’s only Tuesday. Trump has travelled the world, cow-towed to Putin, and managed to do unfathomable damage to our world standing… oh, yes, Germany now lists us as adversarial thanks to recent comments by Trump. AND, Jimmy Kimmel once again reinforced the inadequacy of the American educational system.

“I can’t name anything” – Pedestrian Questions – Jimmy Kimmel Live

Understanding that the bit is edited to be a shocking and humorous as possible, it is still hard to believe that people don’t know the difference between a continent and country – many responses were to point at Africa when asked to locate/name a country on the map. Even more disturbing is that when given the option to locate ANY country on the map, they don’t even start with the United States. Thankfully, we are relieved when a young boy-child seems to name all the countries in North and South America. The future is in good hands… can the rest of us just leave already?

But, the problem is I can’t even be shocked by the revelation of ignorance in this video clip. The news for the past couple of years has etched this reality into the nerve pathways of my brain. A good portion of Americans don’t know anything about the rest of the world, let alone where the rest of the world is located. They also don’t know much beyond their own experiences. The educational system has let a lot of people pass through its grasp without actually teaching them to see beyond what is right in front of their own faces.

Of course, the media is to blame as well. It perpetuates what people want to see, and it seems as though that vision is driven by the least curious among us. Once again we fall victim to the influence of the weakest link instead of being lofted by the wisdom of the crowd.

How we change this pattern is something the brightest minds are trying to figure out. For the time being we don’t have an answer that involves systemic change. For now, it is up to each of us to be responsible for a few things:

  1. Ourselves – be curious, and feed that craving for information. Don’t take things at face-value. Do your own research.
  2. Our families – inspire curiosity in the next generation.
  3. Our communities – conversation doesn’t have to be argumentation. Learn to listen, and practice compassionate communication to build stronger, more resilient communities. Kindness really is essential in the present moment.
  4. Our world – Vote. It really is the chance you have to voice your preferences in a way that will count. Local elections are essential to a functioning democracy. Forget about “trickle-down” economics, politics is all about trickling up. The grass has strong roots, and it will grow.

Not too hard, right?

Together we can turn the weakest links to wisdom.

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Categories: Science

Coffee Enemas: A Latte Nonsense

Science-Based Medicine - July 17, 2018 - 3:00am
A humorous take on coffee enemas.
Categories: Science

Bad Faith: When conspiracy theorists play academics and the media for fools

Science-Based Medicine - July 16, 2018 - 3:00am
Does a recent study of changes in brain cancer rates indicate indicate we should fear our cell phones? Or does the problem lie elsewhere?
Categories: Science

What’s the Truth behind The Truth About Pet Cancer?

Science-Based Medicine - July 13, 2018 - 3:00am
The Truth About Pet Cancer (TAPC) is a slick bit of propaganda. Although it contains some interesting, even promising ideas, these are unfortunately served with a heavy seasoning of misinformation and fear-mongering. Hypotheses and opinions are presented as established facts, and anyone who disagrees is suggested to be ignorant at best, venal and corrupt at worst.
Categories: Science

Supplements for Osteoarthritis – Evaluating the Evidence

Science-Based Medicine - July 12, 2018 - 10:57am
A new review evaluates the evidence for supplements to treat osteoarthris
Categories: Science

Multivitamins and Vascular Disease

Science-Based Medicine - July 11, 2018 - 7:26am
Yet another massive meta-analysis shows no health benefit to routine supplementation with vitamins or minerals.
Categories: Science

Aloe Vera

Science-Based Medicine - July 10, 2018 - 3:00am
Many claims are made for the health benefits of aloe vera, used both topically and orally. The scientific evidence is lacking.
Categories: Science

Clínica 0-19: False hope in Monterrey for brain cancer patients (part 3 of 3)

Science-Based Medicine - July 9, 2018 - 3:00am
This is the conclusion of my series on Clínica 0-19, the cancer clinic where Drs. Alberto Siller and Alberto Garcia see patients with DIPG, a deadly brain tumor, whom they treat at Hospital Angeles in Monterrey Mexico with an unproven combination of intra-arterial chemotherapy with up to 11 drugs and a poorly defined dendritic cell immunotherapy. Some people have asked me: What's the harm? In this concluding post, I attempt to answer that question.
Categories: Science

Respected health news media watchdog to shut down, citing lack of funding

Science-Based Medicine - July 5, 2018 - 1:00am
The only U.S. media watchdog devoted exclusively to health news, HealthNewsReview.org, will shut down at the end of the year for lack of funding, a huge loss to the science-based medicine community.
Categories: Science

Independence Day!

Science-Based Medicine - July 4, 2018 - 7:59am
Happy 4th to all our readers.
Categories: Science

How Naturopaths Treat Heart Disease

Science-Based Medicine - July 3, 2018 - 3:00am
Naturopaths claim to excel at preventing and treating cardiovascular disease. Their claims don't stand up to scrutiny. They co-opt from mainstream medicine, add non-evidence-based treatments, and fail to use effective drugs.
Categories: Science

Back At It…

The Bird's Brain - July 2, 2018 - 4:02pm

I looked at the date of my last blog posting… just about 6 years ago, in fact… and am amazed at how things have progressed since then.

I obviously stopped blogging, but in the past 6 years I have managed to continue broadcasting TWIS, written articles for some great science magazines, appeared on cable tv science programming, done bits for what is now called Seeker on the Discovery Digital Platform, been hosting a second podcast (the Stem Cell podcast), become part of an amazing science communication organization called ScienceTalk, started to build a science media production company called Broader Impacts Productions, moved to Portland, and raised my little NanoKai into a wonderful 7-year old boy.

During that time, I also struggled off and on with depression, which certainly added a challenge to life. But, I discovered ways to deal with the lows, and try to really appreciate the good days. It doesn’t always work out the way I envision, but I am getting better and better at rolling with the unpredictability of my moods.

More recently, however, I have been feeling like some part of myself that was lost somewhere in the past is returning. Hence, this post, and my plan to get back into blogging… writing on a regular basis. Words stream through my mind that in the past few years have simply been lost to consciousness, slipping through the neuronal fingers of my mind. Now, I’m grabbing them with intention – some to be placed here for posterity.

I don’t know how many of these words will hit the pages of this blog. There are so many things I want to say; books I want to write. It might take me a while to hit my stride again, but I look forward to every moment of trying. Thank you for joining me in this venture.

Write on…

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Categories: Science

Clínica 0-19: False hope in Monterrey for brain cancer patients (part 2)

Science-Based Medicine - July 2, 2018 - 3:00am
Last week, I discussed Clínica 0-19, a clinic in Monterrey, Mexico whose doctors claim to be able to treat the deadly brainstem cancer DIPG using intra-arterial chemotherapy and immunotherapy. This week, I discuss what I've learned since last week, specifically a lot more about just what it is that these doctors do, why it is scientifically dubious and unproven, and why I am becoming even more harsh in my assessment of this clinic, which shows every indication of being a predatory clinic selling an unproven treatment for a very high price.
Categories: Science