Category: Basic Science

The Brownstein protocol is not a proven treatment for COVID-19

Dr. David Brownstein is a "holistic" physician who practices in Dr. Gorski's neck of the woods. Unfortunately, he just wrote a book promoting an unproven protocol involving vitamins, nebulized hydrogen peroxide and iodine, and intravenous ozone to treat COVID-19. There is no evidence that his protocol works, other than a very poor quality case series.

/ March 15, 2021
Central Dogma of Molecular Biology

Antivaxxers misrepresent a study to falsely claim that COVID-19 vaccines cause cancer

The latest antivaccine propaganda claims that a 2018 research paper published by researchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center shows that the RNA in the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines can cause cancer. As usual, it's a complete misapplication of a cherry picked study grounded in a lack of understanding of molecular biology. Same as it ever was.

/ March 8, 2021
Prions and Creutzfeldt‐Jakob disease

Can mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines cause prion disease or Alzheimer’s?

Antivax immunologist J. Bart Classen published a paper claiming that mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines can cause prion disease leading to neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's dementia. What are prions, and can these vaccines cause prion disease? (Spoiler alert: The answer to the second question is almost certainly no. It's speculation based on highly implausible biology.)

/ February 22, 2021
Central Dogma of Molecular Biology

The latest antivax false claim: mRNA vaccines against COVID-19 are not vaccines but “medical devices” or “gene therapy”

There's a new antivaccine talking point in town, and it's just as much disinformation as other antivaccine talking points. It's the claim that mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are not really vaccines but "medical devices," "gene therapy," or "experimental biologics" and that they were falsely classified as vaccines in order to bypass safety testing. Here, we discuss why this claim is utter nonsense based...

/ February 8, 2021

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