Category: Science and Medicine

Those who live in glass houses…

The last two weeks have brought good news to those who seek to hold chiropractic to the standard of evidence and science-based medicine. In the first bit of good news, on October 14th Simon Singh was granted permission to appeal the High Court ruling on meaning of the term “bogus” within his original article.  I’m sure most readers of this blog are...

/ October 30, 2009

A Science Lesson from a Homeopath and Behavioral Optometrist

Charlene Werner is getting a lot of attention she probably did not anticipate or desire. She is the star of a YouTube video in which she explains the scientific basis of homeopathy. Before you watch it, make sure you are sitting down, relax, and brace yourself for an onslaught of profound scientific illiteracy combined with stunning arrogance. For those with more delicate...

/ October 28, 2009

A Not-So-Split Decision

For those who battle tirelessly against the never ending onslaught of anti-vaccine propaganda, misinformation, and fear, there was great news the other day from Merck. The pharmaceutical company, and maker of the MMR vaccine against measles, mumps, and rubella, has decided not to resume production of the individual, or “split”, components of the vaccine. A Merck representative made the announcement during a...

/ October 26, 2009

“Methodolatry”: My new favorite term for one of the shortcomings of evidence-based medicine

I’d like to thank revere right now publicly. He’s taught me a new word: Methodolatry: The profane worship of the randomized clinical trial as the only valid method of investigation. Many of you have e-mailed me and other SBM bloggers about a recent article in The Atlantic by Shannon Brownlee and Jeanne Lenzer, two reporters whose particular bias is that we as...

/ October 24, 2009

Hi Ho Silver

I was making rounds at the hospital and, for some strange reason, I was being asked about influenza. No, this is not going to be an entry on influenza. But I was asked if there was anything besides the vaccines that can prevent influenza.  Masks and good hand washing will help, I said. Anything else? A nurse suggested colloidal silver.

/ October 23, 2009

The New Plague

I’m taking this opportunity to introduce a new blog to the SBM audience, and to draw yet more attention to the growing and dangerous trend of parental vaccine refusal. So, please take a momentary break from your perusal of this most esteemed font of knowledge, and point your browser to Gotham Skeptic.

/ October 21, 2009

Copper and Magnetic Bracelets for Arthritis

A recent study published in the journal Complementary Therapies in Medicine shows no benefit from copper or magnetic bracelets for symptomatic treatment of arthritis. While this is a relatively small study, it highlights the lack of evidence to support this billion dollar plus industry. The study is a double-blind, controlled crossover study involving 45 subjects with osteroarthritis. Each subject wore one of...

/ October 21, 2009

Mixed Messages on Campus

The past two months have been my first time working in the hospital, as a third-year medical student in my Internal Medicine clerkship. It’s been exciting not only to see how medicine works but to be a part of the action! It really is striking to see the dramatic increases in proficiency and confidence with each stage of the training. From junior...

/ October 20, 2009

The wild Weil world of woo

Dr. Weil is often seen as the smiling “mainstream” of alternative medicine. He’s a real doctor (unlike, say, Gary Null), and much of what he advocates is standard and uncontroversial nutritional advice. But Weil illustrates the two biggest problems with so-called alternative medicne: once you’ve decided science is dispensible, the door is open to anything, no matter how insane; and no matter...

/ October 18, 2009

Oh Canada.

Oh Canada. Look over here. Not there. Not at the press release. Look here. A real study. Published. With methodologies you can evaluate. Something you can sink your teeth into to help guide policy decisions.  You know, published epidemiology.  Science. Its called  “Partial protection of seasonal trivalent inactivated vaccine against novel pandemic influenza A/H1N1 2009: case-control study in Mexico City.” and published...

/ October 17, 2009