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Updated: 18 min 46 sec ago

Is a PhD Still Useful to Society?

Jan 18 2018 - 21:01

One of my favorite movie lines comes from 10 Things I Hate About You. The father, Walter Stratford, is giving advice to his oldest daughter, Kat:

"You're 18, you don't know what you want. And you won't know what you want 'til you're 45, and even if you get it, you'll be too old to use it."

There is much wisdom in these words.

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New York: Taxing Health Care To Pay For Health Care

Jan 18 2018 - 15:01

A number of unions and activist groups are worried that New York is receiving less money due to changes in the Federal government’s cost-sharing reduction payments (CSRs) (1), and others are concerned that New York will burn through its Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) reserves, unless Congress comes to a budget agreement by tomorrow.

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Not all Bacterial Infections are Created Equal

Jan 18 2018 - 15:01

Three people can have a Strep infection caused by the same strain of Strep. Person A could have no symptoms. Person B could be laid up in bed for a week with Strep throat. And, person C could end up in the ICU. Why? 

When studying "host-pathogen" interactions, or how bacteria and humans interact, one big question is how much of the infection is caused by the characteristics of the "host" and how much is due to the "pathogen?" 

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Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Peacock Feathers

Jan 18 2018 - 14:01

Ever familiar with the puffing of peacock feathers having started my career in neurosurgery before switching fields, watching CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta question Trump's White House physician brought back memories.

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Red Bull Is Not Going To Destroy Our Youth And Kill Us All

Jan 18 2018 - 11:01

There’s a new scary poison in town. It comes wrapped in a thin, shiny can, and tastes like someone mixed cough syrup and Coke and then poured it over a few kilos of sugar.

I’m talking, of course, about energy drinks.

This week, energy drinks have again been in the news as probably the worst thing that you could do to your body, causing everything from nausea to seizures. They are apparently going to destroy our youth and kill us all.

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Canada Is A Vampire Country Purchasing U.S. Blood Products

Jan 18 2018 - 11:01

Why would Canada spend $512,000,000 on blood products from the U.S. when they have perfectly good sources of their own?

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Rotavirus Vaccines Do More Than Prevent Diarrhea

Jan 18 2018 - 09:01

It's another vaccine success story, this time about rotavirus vaccines. Not only do the vaccines prevent the sometimes dangerous dehydration that accompanies this infection, they are also associated with a decreased occurrence of non-febrile seizures in infants and young children.

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Fugu: Attack Of The Killer Blowfish

Jan 18 2018 - 09:01

For those of you who have deluded yourselves into believing that you can eat a natural, "chemical-free" diet and live to be 2 million years old, I hate to burst your bubble. But, as we at the American Council have said time and time again, there is no such thing as life without chemicals, nor is there an innate difference in toxicity (or any other property) between naturally occurring chemicals and those that were made in a lab. Chemicals in either group can be safe or deadly; this depends solely upon the chemical structure of any given molecule.

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While Controversial, Kentucky's Medicaid Overhaul is Worthy of Debate

Jan 18 2018 - 07:01

Gov. Matt Bevin is trying something new in Kentucky, and as we know brash ideas have a way of stirring up controversy, especially in this hyper-partisan political climate. And as it pertains to establishing new requirements for poorer citizens to receive Medicaid benefits, this is what we're seeing right now.

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Want To Catch A Killer? Know Your Science.

Jan 18 2018 - 02:01

A new report on expanding the use of science to estimate time of death better in suspected homicides was just published. 

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Fake News Award for Science Goes To... The New York Times!

Jan 17 2018 - 18:01

Much buzz has surrounded President Trump's "Fake News Awards." Given that part of our mission is debunking pseudoscience and bogus health claims, we felt obliged to offer our own Fake News Award... for junk science.

Websites like Food Babe, Mercola, InfoWars, and Natural News are perennial contenders. But giving them the award is too easy and predictable. Anyone with a halfway decent frontal lobe knows that these websites are pure garbage.

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Diagnosing President Trump's Medical Statement: 'Fit For Duty'

Jan 17 2018 - 16:01

President Donald Trump completed his first periodic medical examination at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. His White House physician, Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, released a statement of his findings and held a protracted press conference. His conclusions discussed here. 

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Babies' Crawling Cleans Floors And Strengthens Immune Systems

Jan 17 2018 - 14:01

Babies who crawl can double up as your own personal sweeper. That's because they kick up all sorts of microbiomes and dirt from what you thought were your clean carpets and rugs. But worry not, all this gunk will just make them stronger.

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ProPublica Is Wrong In Charging Racial Bias In An Algorithm

Jan 17 2018 - 14:01

ProPublica accused a predictive algorithm, used in sentencing criminal defendants, with being racially bias. A new study suggests that the narrative is wrong.

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Your Dishwasher is Disgusting, But It's OK

Jan 17 2018 - 13:01

Bacteria are everywhere, surviving in even the most extreme environments like hot springs and ice cubes. 

So, if you think that your appliances that use hot water, like a dishwasher, are sterile - you are wrong. In fact, they are not even that clean. 

Bacteria can survive a lot

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Fake Honey Is A Problem And Science Can Solve It - If Government Gets Out Of The Way

Jan 17 2018 - 11:01

Adulterated honey, meaning it has been diluted with other substances, has been an issue for as far back as honey has been sold.(1) One of the reasons we know so much about the composition of the sweetener is due to efforts from the 1960s on to fight fraud. Today, it is most likely to be mixed with high fructose corn syrup because, as you probably know, that is about the same in fructose.

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Reader's Digest, Newsweek, Fox News, NPR, And More Media Links Last Week

Jan 17 2018 - 10:01

1. NPR linked to our work on the flu, which we predicted would be a concern for the US after seeing it go through Australia, with 5 Things You Need To Know.

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Honey Bees: The #1 Pollinator of Both Crops and Wild Plants

Jan 16 2018 - 23:01

On average, across natural habitats all over the world, the western honey bee is the most common pollinator, responsible for 13% of flower visits. The researchers also found that 5% of the plant species they studied were exclusively visited by the western honey bee.

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Panicked After Touching a Bat? Here's What to Do

Jan 16 2018 - 15:01

A 6-year-old boy tragically died this week after he contracted rabies after touching a bat. But dying from rabies is preventable ... if you know the correct steps to take. So here's what to do if you come into contact with a potentially rabid animal. 

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Atrial Fibrillation Risk Assessment Changes Over Time

Jan 16 2018 - 07:01

Atrial fibrillation affects lots of Americans and can result in debilitating strokes. Risk calculators help physicians identify those patients at risk for stroke, but the calculation can be improved by remembering that risk changes over time.

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