Category: Basic Science
The origin of SARS-CoV-2, revisited
Since early in the pandemic, scientists have overwhelmingly concluded that evidence points to a natural origin for SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, as a far more likely explanation for the pandemic than a laboratory origin. In May, however, there has been a lot of media chatter about the "lab leak" hypothesis, and President Biden even ordered US intelligence agencies to look...
Artificial Sweeteners – A Free Lunch, or an Obesogenic Carcinogen? What 80+ Studies Say (part 1 of 2).
In this two part series, I explore the impact of artificial sweeteners on obesity, diabetes, the gut microbiome, and cancer. Part one of two!
Craniosacral Therapy Is Bogus but DOs Are Required to Learn It
The standard textbook used in many schools of osteopathic medicine includes a lamentable chapter on cranial manipulation. It is clearly biased and fails to meet the minimal standards of science-based medicine. Craniosacral manipulation therapy is bogus, and it should no longer be taught to DOs or feature on their exams.
“The vaccinated are a danger to the unvaccinated because of shedding!”: The latest COVID-19 antivaccine disinformation
Antivaxxers are masters of projection, which is why the latest antivaccine disinformation about COVID-19 vaccines is that they lead the recipient to "shed" spike protein, which can can cause menstrual irregularities or even miscarriages in women who come into contact with the vaccinated and even make people very sick. This trope is nothing more than a clever repackaging of the old antivaccine...
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.
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.
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.)
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...
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.