Category: Basic Science

A thousand points of pseudo-medicine

Corrigendum. The Week in Review for 02/19/2017

More poorly done acupuncture studies. Burzynski eats just desserts. Italians like homeopathy. New Jersey is going after Oregon. And more

/ February 19, 2017
Translational research and preclinical data

Donald Trump versus the FDA: Is the standard of evidence for drug approval actually too low rather than too high?

All of the candidates being considered by President Trump for FDA Commissioner believe that the FDA is too strict in its standards for approving new drugs. In a commentary in Nature last week, two bioethicists argued that, at least in terms of preclinical data, the standard of evidence is actually too low. Which is correct?

/ February 6, 2017
Cancer cell immunofluorescence

How reproducible is basic lab research in cancer biology?

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.

/ January 23, 2017
benecol-product-image

A review of Benecol, a plant-stanol margarine

Most nutraceuticals don't really work as advertised. For the most part, Benecol pretty much does. But is it worth it?

/ December 27, 2016
Alan Sokal

OHNOMOPOMO! Justifications and Unsolicited Advice

People who have a chronic debilitating disease often have to deal with well-meaning people suggesting that they try treatments that are unproven or outright quackery. Consideration of the Sokal hoax can help.

/ December 20, 2016
vegetablesgmo

We still Need Better Communication on GMOs

A new PEW survey has been carried out regarding public attitudes toward genetically modified organisms (GMOs), organic food, and scientific consensus. While the numbers are better than I expected for science, they still indicate a large disconnect between scientific and public opinion on food matters. Scientists need to do better.

/ December 7, 2016
Ball-and-stick diagram of the phenibut molecule

Phenibut Is Neither Proven Nor Safe As A Prosocial Wonder Drug

Editor’s note: With Mark Crislip away on yet another vacation, we present an inaugural guest post from Abby Campbell, a practicing MD, Ph.D and contributor at HealthyButSmart.com. Welcome Abby! On average for the past year, phenibut has been typed into google 49,500 times a month. Phenibut is a supposed wonder drug that claims to promote sociability and lessen anxiety. When people run...

/ November 25, 2016
When Dr. Oz met Donald Trump: Somehow this photo just seemed appropriate for this post.

Medical science policy in the U.S. under Donald Trump

The election of Donald Trump was unexpected. Given Trump's history of antivaccine beliefs and conspiracy theories, coupled with a fervor for deregulation (a fervor shared by the Republican Congress), it is reasonable to fear what will happen to medical science policy during the next four years.

/ November 14, 2016
bluelight

Blue Light. Special?

I do not sleep as well as I used to. Perhaps it is being tormented by guilt and worry combined with profound existential angst. Or maybe it is my iPad. I gave up on most dead tree editions. I miss the smell and feel of books and magazines, but nothing is better than being able to increase the font size to 18....

/ November 11, 2016
all-seeing-eye

Stem Cell Tourism for Eye Disease: No Passport Required

Stem cell clinics outside the United States, and outside the jurisdiction of the U.S. regulations, have flourished and the pursuit of treatment at these centers has been called “stem cell tourism.” Seekers of unproven stem cell therapies no longer need to look outside the U.S. Paul Knoepfler, a stem cell researcher and leading advocate for the responsible use of stem cell technology,...

/ October 16, 2016