Category: Basic Science

Wim Hof, the Iceman

Wim Hof, the Iceman, is extraordinarily resistant to extreme cold. His Wim Hof Method (WHM) combines breathing exercises, cold exposure, and meditation. Hyperventilation has been shown to reduce the body's response to inflammation, but Hof's extravagant claims of health benefits are not supported by scientific evidence.

/ January 12, 2021
COVID-19

Deciding between a vaccine and…an infection?

A handy comparison of COVID-19 vaccines compared to COVID-19 infections.

/ December 10, 2020
Central Dogma of Molecular Biology

No, the Moderna and Pfizer RNA vaccines for COVID-19 will not “permanently alter your DNA”

With the new mRNA vaccines developed by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna likely to be available soon, antivaxxers have been ramping up the fear mongering. Their latest claim is that mRNA vaccines will "permanently alter your DNA" or even "make you transhuman." Such claims rest on an utter ignorance of the totality of what we know about the biology of DNA, RNA, and how...

/ November 30, 2020
Mercola versus flu vaccines and COVID-19

There is no COVID-19 “casedemic.” The pandemic is real and deadly.

Antivaccine activists and pandemic minimizers Del Bigtree and Joe Mercola are promoting the myth of the "casedemic" that claims that the massive increase in COVID-19 cases being reported is an artifact of increased PCR testing and false positives due to too sensitive a threshold to the test. As they have done for vaccines and vaccine-preventable diseases many times before, they are vastly...

/ November 23, 2020

When Doctors Refuse to Believe Evidence

Paul Offit's new book covers the evidence for many surgeries, medications, and screening tests that have been proven ineffective and harmful yet are still being used by doctors who refuse to follow the science.

/ November 17, 2020

Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump. Now what for science-based medicine?

In 2016 and 2020, scientists expressed surprise and alarm at the results of the Presidential election. In 2016 it was alarm that someone as antiscience as Donald Trump was elected, and in 2020 it was over how close the election was, given Trump's dismal record on science, medicine, and the COVID-19 pandemic. Are scientists out of touch? And now what, for federal...

/ November 9, 2020
Stem cells

Dubious stem cell trials for autism and the darker side of quackademic medicine

Despite a lack of evidence, Duke University is all-in on stem cells for autism, thanks to a billionaire benefactor and a highly dodgy for-profit Panama stem cell clinic. How did this come to be and what will be the outcome? Whatever the answers to these questions, it is clear that arrangements like the one between Duke University and The Stem Cell Institute...

/ November 2, 2020

Don’t use a COVID-19 vaccine, cry the antivaxxers, because of the horseshoe crab!

Antivaxxers are now urging vegans not to use a COVID-19 vaccine because blood from horseshoe crabs will be used in its manufacture. At its heart, this is no different than their weaponization of beliefs against other vaccine ingredients, except that it does use a germ of a good point that we should be looking for other ways to ensure that vaccines have...

/ September 7, 2020
Hydroxychloroquine

Hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19: Evidence can’t seem to kill it

Despite the accumulating negative evidence showing that hydroxychloroquine doesn't work against COVID-19, activists continue to promote it as a way out of the pandemic. This week, the AAPS and a Yale epidemiologist joined the fray with embarrassingly bad arguments.

/ July 27, 2020
COVID-19

COVID-19 “super-spreaders” and “super-spreading events”: The controversy

Evidence is emerging suggesting that COVID-19 does not spread equally. A minority of infected individuals seem to spread the virus easily to many people, while most infected individuals spread it to few others or no one at all, likely through a combination of circumstance, environment, and possibly biology. Why is this, and what does it mean for coronavirus containment strategies?

/ July 20, 2020