Shooting the Messenger: Activists Persecute Scientists Whose Findings They Don’t Like
Alice Dreger's book recounts many instances of shooting the messenger, when scientists were persecuted for research findings that activists found objectionable. Social justice matters, but it should rely on science and reality, not ideology.
Would you pay $1 million to enroll in a phase 1 clinical trial of an “anti-aging” gene therapy?
Libella Gene Therapeutics, LLC made the news last week for announcing a "pay-to-play" trial of its telomerase-based anti-aging gene therapy. What was shocking about the announcement was not that it was a "pay-to-play" trial, given that such trials have become all too common, but rather the price of enrollment: $1 million. Worse, the trial is being conducted in Colombia; the therapy doesn't...
For-profit stem cell clinics, universities, and “pay-to-play” clinical trials for autism
Stem cell therapies show great promise, but as yet the vast majority of that promise has not been validated in rigorous clinical trials. Unfortunately, for-profit stem cell clinics are running clinical trials that require patients to pay to be part of it. These trials are not rigorous. Even more unfortunately, it appears that some universities are also running "pay-to-play" clinical trials that...
Coca-Cola and Corporate Sponsored Research
A new study reveals that Coca-Cola included restrictive clauses in some research funding contracts. This is a good opportunity to review how such behavior can be stopped.
Harriet Washington's book tells the dark history of medical experimentation on black Americans. It also reveals broader problems of inequality, poor science, and human failures.
The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment: A Fiasco with a Silver Lining
The Tuskegee syphilis experiment studied black men with advanced syphilis for 40 years. Patients were lied to and prevented from getting treatment. A black mark in the history of American medicine, it led to important reforms.
Flipping the Script In Action: The Nick Gundersen Case
The tragic consequences of a boy with leukemia and a mother who believed an alternative medicine documentary-maker over her son's oncologist.
BladderMax: Fake News and Outrageous Headlines
A newspaper ad for BladderMax is disguised as a news story reporting "the end of bladder leakages." The information is inaccurate and the headlines are preposterous.
Clínica 0-19: False hope in Monterrey for brain cancer patients (part 2)
Last week, I discussed Clínica 0-19, a clinic in Monterrey, Mexico whose doctors claim to be able to treat the deadly brainstem cancer DIPG using intra-arterial chemotherapy and immunotherapy. This week, I discuss what I've learned since last week, specifically a lot more about just what it is that these doctors do, why it is scientifically dubious and unproven, and why I...
A Culture of Standards Matters
Perhaps the most dangerous effect of the alternative medicine movement has been an erosion of the culture of dedication to science and standards within medicine. This has to change.