Category: Basic Science

Genetics and evolution in cancer

Several new studies were published earlier this month describing the sequencing of over 2,600 cancer genomes. What the results show include what sorts of mutations drive cancer development and how evolution makes cancers so difficult to treat.

/ February 17, 2020
James Lyons-Weiler and Del Bigtree discussing coronavirus

No, James Lyons-Weiler did not “break the coronavirus code”

Last week, a new conspiracy theory about the coronavirus outbreak by James Lyons-Weiler went viral (if you'll excuse the term) after antivax conspiracy theorist Del Bigtree interviewed him. Lyons-Weiler strongly implies that the strain of coronavirus behind the outbreak (2019-nCoV) has a SARS-like sequence that came from a laboratory working on a SARS vaccine. Fortunately, Dr. Gorski has the mad molecular biology...

/ February 10, 2020

Ellura: A Supplement Backed By Evidence

Ellura is a dietary supplement marketed to treat recurrent urinary tract infections. There is promising evidence and a credible mechanism of action, and using it instead of antibiotic prophylaxis could reduce antibiotic resistance.

/ December 24, 2019

Aging: Is It a Preventable Disease?

David Sinclair says aging is a disease that can be prevented and treated, and there is no reason life must end. The evidence he presents from scientific studies is intriguing, but far from definitive.

/ November 12, 2019

Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2019

Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2019 given to researchers who discovered the mechanisms of oxygen sensing in cells.

/ October 9, 2019

A world-renowned placebo researcher asks, “Does placebo research boost pseudoscience?”

Professor Fabrizio Benedetti is the most famous and almost certainly also the most influential researcher investigating the physiology of placebo effects. In a recent commentary, he asks whether placebo research is fueling quackery, as quacks co-opt its results. The answer to that question is certainly yes. A better question is: How do supporters of science counter the placebo narrative promoted by quacks,...

/ September 23, 2019

One reason mouse studies often don’t translate to humans very well

Mouse models are often used as preclinical models of human disease, but the number of drugs that succeed in mice but go on to be approved as a drug for humans is only about one in ten. A new study comparing gene expression in the cells of human brains with those of mouse brains provides new insight into why.

/ August 26, 2019

Processed Foods and Autism

Reports of a "link" between processed food and autism highly misrepresent the actual findings of an in-vitro study.

/ July 3, 2019

Skin pH: Salesmanship, Not Science

People are being encouraged to worry about the pH of their skin and to try to change it. These concerns and interventions are not supported by scientific evidence.

/ July 2, 2019

Infomercial in PLOS One links to website selling unproven treatments for fibromyalgia and dementia

PLOS One recently published a clinical trial that was essentially a poorly-disguised advertisement for an unproven product. I object to this use of the scientific literature to market such a device.

/ May 30, 2019