All posts by Steven Novella

Founder and currently Executive Editor of Science-Based Medicine Steven Novella, MD is an academic clinical neurologist at the Yale University School of Medicine. He is also the host and producer of the popular weekly science podcast, The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe, and the author of the NeuroLogicaBlog, a daily blog that covers news and issues in neuroscience, but also general science, scientific skepticism, philosophy of science, critical thinking, and the intersection of science with the media and society. Dr. Novella also has produced two courses with The Great Courses, and published a book on critical thinking - also called The Skeptics Guide to the Universe.

Death from Cancer Quackery – Black Salve Edition

An Australian nurse dies of cancer while being treated by a cancer quack with a caustic substance known as black salve. How and why is this allowed to happen?

/ May 23, 2018

Essential Oils in the Ambulance

Aromatherapy with essential oils is pseudoscience, backed only with low quality studies guaranteed to show a placebo effect. Their growing popularity warns that better science education is needed.

/ May 9, 2018

Stem Cell Tourism Comes Home

You used to have to go to China to get ripped off by fraudulent stem cell clinics. Now you can get conned right here at home.

/ May 2, 2018

Bee Venom is Snake Oil

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.

/ April 25, 2018

New Study Finds that Statins Prevent Cardiovascular Deaths

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.

/ April 18, 2018

Adding Sensation to Robotic Limbs

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...

/ April 11, 2018

The Pertussis Resurgence

A new analysis shows that the resurgence of pertussis is largely due historical patterns of vaccination. This and other data show the importance of full vaccine compliance in preventing returning epidemics of this deadly disease.

/ April 4, 2018

Augmented Reality in Medicine

Augmented reality has the potential to revolutionize how physicians access data while caring for patients, whether in the operating room or clinic.

/ March 28, 2018

Music for ADHD?

In a recent "Ask Me Anything" on Reddit, the CEO of Brain.fm claimed his company's music can improve concentration and help with ADHD. At the very least I see such claims as highly implausible, and not something we can conclude from the existing basic science research. I have no problem with doing clinical research, and maybe we might learn something about how...

/ March 21, 2018

Facilitated Communication Rears Its Ugly Head Again

Facilitated communication is pure pseudoscience that was debunked almost 30 years ago, but it keeps coming back, creating new victims.

/ March 14, 2018