Science-Based Medicine

Flame Retardants Have Ignited a Flaming Controversy (Di, 24 Jan 2017)
Flame retardants are controversial: proponents say they reduce fire damage and save lives; critics say they don't work, are poisoning our environment, and should be banned.
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How reproducible is basic lab research in cancer biology? (Mo, 23 Jan 2017)
Last week, a review of the reproducibility of several highly cited cancer biology papers was published. The results were mixed and demonstrate how difficult reproducing published results can be at times—and how scientists need to do better.
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The SCAM Week in Review 1.22.2017 (Mo, 23 Jan 2017)
We report the science and woo. You decide.
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Chinese BioMedical Research: Sturgeon’s Law In Action (Fr, 20 Jan 2017)
A Chinese government investigation has found that 80%, yes eighty percent, of Chinese biomedical research is fabricated. I bet that is an underestimate for Traditional Chinese Pseudo-Medicine.
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Junk science helps homeopathic remedy company win class action (Do, 19 Jan 2017)
Junk science from two of homeopathy's biggest apologists help Hyland's defeat a class action lawsuit for consumer false advertising claims, and nixed refunds for ineffective homeopathic remedies.
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Cleveland Clinic Fully Embraces Pseudoscience (Mi, 18 Jan 2017)
A recent and embarrassing anti-vaccine screed from the Director of the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Center produced a media backlash. Toby Cosgrove, CEO and President of the Cleveland Clinic, had the opportunity to re-dedicate his organization to good science and medical practice. Instead he doubled-down on the Cleveland Clinic's embrace of quackademic medicine and pseudoscience.
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Bellevue (Di, 17 Jan 2017)
Harriet is back! This time, she reviews Bellvue: Three Centuries of Medicine and Mayhem at America’s Most Storied Hospital by Pulitzer-prize-winning history professor David Oshinsky. Bellevue was, and is, a microcosm of American history and politics, as well as the history of modern medicine itself. Highly recommended!
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Donald Trump and Peter Thiel vs. the FDA: Be afraid. Be very afraid. (Mo, 16 Jan 2017)
Donald Trump's three most likely picks for FDA Commissioner all favor loosening drug approval standards. Two are cronies of Peter Thiel, of which one believes that the FDA shouldn't require evidence of efficacy, only safety, and the other believes that a "Yelp for drugs" would do a better job than the FDA. The third candidate is a bona fide, honest-to-goodness pharma shill. If any of them becomes FDA Commissioner, drug safety standards will take a nosedive.
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Science-Based Satire: Invertebrate Research Reveals Clue to Evolutionary Origins of the Chiropractic Subluxation (Fr, 13 Jan 2017)
New evidence calls into question the belief that chiropractic subluxations require a spine, much to the relief of millions of suffering invertebrate species.
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Peanut Allergy Prevention Advice Does a 180 (Do, 12 Jan 2017)
New guidelines suggest that preventing peanut allergies may be as simple as giving peanut-containing food, beginning in infancy. How did old guidelines, which recommended avoidance, get it so wrong?
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Trump Meets with RFK Jr. To Discuss “Vaccine Safety” (Mi, 11 Jan 2017)
Trump and RFK Jr., both with anti-vaccine conspiracy beliefs, met to discuss forming a presidential panel on vaccines and autism. The exact outcome is uncertain, but the possibilities are frightening.
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Dietetics: Embracing Integrative and Functional Medicine? (Di, 10 Jan 2017)
The Accreditation Council for Education in Dietetics is planning on changing the accreditation standards for requirements Registered Dietitians to include integrative and functional nutrition as core components. This should worry science-based practitioners, and the general public.
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The Medical Director of The Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute spewed antivaccine misinformation last week. Why is anyone surprised? (Mo, 09 Jan 2017)
A social media firestorm erupted over the weekend after Dr. Daniel Neides, Director of The Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute, posted an article full of antivaccine misinformation. The Cleveland Clinic promptly disavowed it, but shouldn't have been surprised that one of its "integrative medicine" leaders is antivaccine. If you "integrate" medicine that teaches that "toxins" cause disease and "detoxification" is the cure, antivaccine quackery can't be far behind. If you abandon science for magical thinking, nothing is off limits to magic.
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Myths integrative medicine sells us: “We never advocate alternative medicine without conventional medicine” (So, 08 Jan 2017)
"Integrative medicine" (IM) effectively integrates quackery with real medicine. The main talking point by advocates of IM meant to deflect this criticism is that IM practitioners always use alternative medicine with conventional medicine and never advocate the use of alternative medicine alone. A new book by a prominent advocate of IM suggests that this talking point is at best self-delusion among academics who have embraced IM.
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Oh no, not again! Massachusetts Legislature passes naturopathic licensing bill (Sa, 07 Jan 2017)
The Massachusetts legislature passed a licensing bill giving naturopaths the right to use bogus lab tests to diagnose fake diseases and treat patients with useless remedies like homeopathy and herbs. It's up to Gov. Baker to stop this.
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Acupuncture’s Big Myth (Fr, 06 Jan 2017)
The great acupuncture myth? No spoilers from me. Read the entry or skip to the penultimate paragraph to find out.
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Chiropractic Internist: A “specialty” to avoid (Do, 05 Jan 2017)
The "chiropractic internist" is the creation of an industry association which promotes chiropractors as "primary care physicians." After 300 hours of instruction in a hotel conference room, they claim they can treat "anything that a medical doctor can."
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Detox Scams are Worthless and Potentially Dangerous (Mi, 04 Jan 2017)
A case report of a healthy woman who landed in intensive care due to her New Year's detox regimen highlights that detox treatments are a dangerous scam.
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The Never-Ending Unchanging Story (Di, 03 Jan 2017)
NaturalNews.com is one of the most highly trafficked alternative medicine websites in existence. Even though its owner, Mike Adams, has become a rising star in the alt right and has also gone full conspiracy theorist à la Alex Jones, that doesn't mean he's given up promoting medical pseudoscience. He's still at it, this time continuing to make unsupported claims about fluoride in water and cancer.
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In the tradition of Chairman Mao, traditional Chinese medicine gets a new boost by the Chinese government (Mo, 02 Jan 2017)
Despite a lack of evidence for its efficacy and safety, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has made major inroads into US medical centers, both academic and community. I've told the story of how Chairman Mao Zedong created the myth of TCM and promoted it to credulous Westerners to facilitate the "integration" of TCM and "Western medicine." Over the holiday break, I learned that this process continues apace, even in today's China.
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