Another Win For Golden Rice: Canadian Government Approves

ACSH - Mar 17 2018 - 15:03

After consulting experts in molecular biology, microbiology, toxicology, chemistry and nutrition and ignoring precautionary principle claims by anti-science activists, the government of Canada has affirmed that a variety of rice called Provitamin A Biofortified Rice Event GR2E (Golden Rice), which has higher levels of provitamin A and is intended to be sold in countries where diets are typically low in vitamin A, is

Categories: ACSH

BMI Cutoffs For Older Women Should Be Lower

ACSH - Mar 17 2018 - 10:03

Twenty years ago an expert panel at the NIH lowered the BMI cutoff for overweight from 27 to 25. But a recent report suggests that might not be low enough for one segment of the population — postmenopausal women. And further, 30 might be too high a cutoff to define obesity in this population too.

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36 Years Since AIDS Hit - Now The Possibility Of A Cure

ACSH - Mar 17 2018 - 08:03

AIDS became known to Americans in 1982. In the 36 years since it has gone from a certain death sentence to a very manageable disease. Even as good as anti-HIV drugs are today, they can suppress the virus, but not eliminate it. After almost 4 decades of research, HIV infection remains incurable. But that may change thanks to two drugs and a bunch of rhesus monkeys. 

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FDA Chief Scott Gottlieb Strikes Right Tone on E-Cigarettes

ACSH - Mar 16 2018 - 20:03

Commissioner Scott Gottlieb believes that the FDA should be in the business of getting smokers to transition away from cigarettes to something less harmful, such as e-cigarettes or other products. That is similar to the policy taken by the UK's NHS, and it is precisely in line with ACSH's policy stance of harm reduction.

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Our Brain Switches Between Habits and Choices. Here's How

ACSH - Mar 16 2018 - 18:03

We all have habits. Some are useful automatic actions that we can do without thinking about, like pressing the start button on our coffee maker while still bleary eyed. Habitual behavior is routine and automatic, frequently initiated by a cue or change in a situation.

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Doctors in Boston, Prestigious Medical Community, Near Bottom of US Pay Scale

ACSH - Mar 16 2018 - 14:03

With so many well-respected medical schools in Boston, you just might assume that physicians there are likely among the best paid in the nation. But that isn't nearly the case. In 2017, the Boston metro area produced the ninth-lowest average pay for physicians in the U.S., according to a recently-released salary analysis.

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Poisoning Paradise: I Was On A Film Panel Devoted To Hating Science, And Here Is Why You Should Be Also

ACSH - Mar 16 2018 - 14:03

I was on vacation in Europe earlier this week but five days before I left I had gotten an email asking if I might be willing to appear on a panel at a film festival called Festival du Film et Forum International sur les Droits Humains (International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights), which was scheduled to be in conjunction with the March session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Categories: ACSH

American Council on Science and Health Petitions and Calls to Action

ACSH - Mar 16 2018 - 12:03

The American Council on Science and Health believes in empowering pro-science citizens with the tools to be able to fight back against encroachments on freedom and evidence-based thinking. Below is the first petition we have created. We are going to deliver these signatures in person to trial lawyer lobbying groups in Washington, DC.

Let’s Defeat The Trial Lawyers’ War Against Science!


Categories: ACSH

Snakes Can Be Good Moms Too

ACSH - Mar 16 2018 - 08:03

Most of us don't think of cold-blooded creatures (i.e. reptiles and amphibians) as having any maternal instincts. However some crocodiles do, and some snakes that bear live young have been seen to shelter babies. New research demonstrates that the South African python, which lays eggs, also demonstrates maternal concern.

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Gut Bacteria Fuels Colon Cancer Cells, Study Shows

ACSH - Mar 15 2018 - 16:03

Colon cancer kills more than 50,000 Americans each year. One in 22 men and one in 24 women will be diagnosed with colon cancer in their lifetime. Currently, patients rely on colonoscopies to detect pre-cancerous growths called polyps. But doctors from John Hopkins University have discovered two digestive bacteria that form a film on the colon — months before the polyps appear.



Categories: ACSH

Theranos CEO Settles 'Massive Fraud' Charges

ACSH - Mar 15 2018 - 13:03

Theranos had been staying afloat on the waves of Elizabeth's Holmes' smoke-and-mirrors act. But what its famed CEO lacked was evidence to support the technology upon which the would-be, blood-test innovator was founded. Unfortunately for Holmes – some, like the SEC – call that fraud. And that's something even Holmes couldn't talk her way out of. 

Categories: ACSH

Theranos CEO Charged with 'Massive Fraud'

ACSH - Mar 15 2018 - 13:03

When Henry Kissinger (an ex-Theranos board member) wrote the entry for Elizabeth Holmes's inclusion in TIME magazine's 2015 top 100 Most Influential People, he wrote,

"When I was introduced to Elizabeth by George Shultz, her plan sounded like an undergraduate’s dream. I told her she had only two prospects: total failure or vast success."

Well, he got one thing right.

Categories: ACSH

Stop the Cyberbullying of Scientists

ACSH - Mar 15 2018 - 11:03

Cyberbullying has real-world consequences, from damaging a person’s professional aspirations to harming his mental and physical well-being. The U.S. should consider implementing anti-cyberbullying laws similar to those in the UK.

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Oklahoma Finally Gets Its Capital Punishment Chemistry Right

ACSH - Mar 15 2018 - 07:03

Oklahoma, which badly botched a number a number of executions by using experimental methods that were scientifically flawed, has decided to use nitrogen asphyxiation instead. A look at the chemistry and physiology of a more humane method of capital punishment. 

Categories: ACSH

How Many Pets Does United Airlines Kill?

ACSH - Mar 14 2018 - 18:03

It's difficult to imagine what life must be like for people who work in public relations at United Airlines. If the crew isn't dragging a medical doctor off of a plane or killing a giant bunny, they are suffocating a puppy in the overhead compartment.

Just how dangerous is it for a pet to fly on an airline? Not very. But it should be kept in mind that transporting animals can be trickier than transporting people. Rabbits, for instance, can get so scared that they literally die of fear. Unfamiliar settings can greatly stress animals.

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Genetic Testing Post-Breast Cancer Diagnosis Isn't Done As Much As It Should Be

ACSH - Mar 14 2018 - 10:03

Some women who have been diagnosed with early stage breast cancer would be well advised to have genetic screening and advice to help inform decisions about additional treatments. But many are not, and they should be aware that genetic counseling could be crucial and ask for it if it isn't offered — especially those who are considered at high risk of developing additional cancers.

Categories: ACSH

Zinc -A Bipolar Element

ACSH - Mar 14 2018 - 08:03

Trying to assign human characteristics to elements might get you convicted for anthropomorphizing. But in the case of zinc, it's not as crazy as you'd think. Zinc is "chemically bipolar" for a number of reasons. Some will surprise you.

Categories: ACSH

Russian Propaganda: Three-Fingered Mummies in Nazca, Peru Are Aliens

ACSH - Mar 13 2018 - 23:03

A complete hoax was circulated among Russian state-controlled media as legitimate news, and the Western media fell for it. Sure, some of them provided "caveats," but the point is that Russian propaganda has so infiltrated the public discourse that it appears regularly in mainstream Western media outlets. That's shocking.

Categories: ACSH

In Side-by-Side Test, Recycled Wastewater Tastes Better than Tap

ACSH - Mar 13 2018 - 16:03

Just the thought makes some cringe, but the truth is that recaptured, treated wastewater is safe to drink. But as compared to tap and bottled water, how does it taste? Researchers from the University of California, Riverside set to find out, and the results of their study were somewhat surprising.

Categories: ACSH

Humans Sleep (Way) Less than Other Primates

ACSH - Mar 13 2018 - 13:03

It's sleep awareness week and we are trying to, well, be more aware of our sleep. 

Sleep is a fascinating topic in large part because we know that we will die without it but don't really understand why. Why we sleep is a perpetuating question in neuroscience along with what our brain is doing while we sleep. 

A new study from the Department of Evolutionary Anthropology at Duke University asked the question, how much do humans sleep when compared with other non-human primates?  

Categories: ACSH