For the vast majority of people who live in the developed world, infectious disease is an afterthought.
Sure, we still catch colds and (if we're old or immunocompromised) can die of influenza, pneumonia, or food poisoning. Antibiotic resistance is scary -- and directly responsible for about 23,000 deaths in the U.S. each year -- but it hasn't quite become the apocalypse we all feared. In general, the microbial world is just not something the average person has to think about very much.
Due to the opaque nature of the pharmaceutical industry’s disclosures, a new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine sought to quantify a standard amount companies spent on research and development (R&D) of cancer drugs. Do these R&D costs justify such high prices and revenues?
There is ongoing discussion in the medical community and among politicians about when and whether terminally ill patients can receive access to medicines not approved by regulators. With the support of the “right to try” movement, 37 states—and recently, the U.S. Senate—have passed laws aimed at providing easier access to experimental treatments that have undergone only the most rudimentary human testing.
We sometimes think that if you give people truthful, scientific information they will listen — but then that's blown away by a reality check — such as the case of an Australian man who continued to take supplements derived from apricot kernels that doctors told him was giving him chronic cyanide poisoning.
Biohackers normally walk a blurry line between science and pseudoscience. But, today, they fall square on the science side due to their recent decision to disinvite David Avocado Wolfe from the Biohacker Summit - the largest biohacking event in Europe. The meeting, held in Helsinki, Finland in mid-October, will have 1,000 attendees - all of whom will (thankfully) not be hearing what Wolfe has to say. This includes, among other things, that mushrooms have intelligence and consciousness, that chocolate is an octave of male sun energy and that the Earth is flat.
Medicare does not dispute how much pharmaceuticals choose to charge for their drugs. This has inevitably led to its fleecing by companies to the tune of over a billion dollars - for a drug that does not even need to be in use.
Researchers from Johns Hopkins University report that they've set a new delivery distance record by using medical drones to safely deliver human blood samples 161 miles. The experiment in the Arizona desert ferried contents that "were viable for laboratory analysis after landing," with minimal related problems.
The drug phobia that now has us firmly in its grip, you know, the "let's restrict everything" mentality, didn't start with Vicodin, Valium, or Ritalin. It began with Sudafed, which contains the drug pseudoephedrine. If you've watched Breaking Bad you know very well that pseudoephedrine can be chemically modified to produce methamphetamine, aka crystal meth, which is why Sudafed was taken off pharmacy shelves in 2006 (1). To get the decongestant you now have to sniff out the pharmacist counter and hand over your driver's license.
For the last 17 years, the United States government has given organic food corporations a key ally within their halls. But things may get a little more difficult now that Miles McEvoy, deputy administrator of USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP), is stepping down.
Exercise is good for us, and inactivity isn't. A new study emphasizes that not only is that true, but the pattern of inactivity – as well as the amount of inactive time – can increase the risk of mortality.
Junk epidemiological studies are rather like pigeons in New York—an omnipresent nuisance that you learn to live with and ignore. It's too bad that CNN didn't have the judgment to do this. Instead, the network took what is just about the worst study to ever fly the coop and not only ran with it but also sensationalized it by using both children's health and 9/11 as manipulative hooks. Shameless.
My heart sank when I received the news.
Nearly two years ago, my friend and colleague, Sam Chi, called to tell me that he had pancreatic cancer. I knew that was a death sentence.
There are various kinds of pancreatic cancer, and his was the most common type: adenocarcinoma. It was stage III, which meant that even though the cancer had not metastasized to other organs, it was locally advanced. The cancer had engulfed nearby blood vessels, making it inoperable.
Pumpkin season is here, but it's more than just a fad. There's a bit of science behind why we're so obsessed with pumpkin spice everything!
Colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Finding it early can vastly improve the chances for successful treatment — but screening rates are low, even though screening is known to be effective. But if people are reminded to be screened, or are sent in-home tests, the screening rates improve (although they're still not great). Motivation is a hard nut to crack!
Despite years of research, our understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is limited. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is hoping to change that by awarding $100 million dollars in grants to nine different groups working on various aspects of ASD.
People all over the world pop Tylenol like candy corn without a second thought, so it must be pretty safe, right? Hardly. The drug can be lethal when taken in a dose that isn't all that much higher than the dose you might take for flu or a headache. Perhaps more surprising, a bottle of 50 Tylenol pills will probably kill you while a bottle of 500 Valium will not.
Designer Babies Debunked, Wildfire Physics, We Get A Nod From A Partisan Activist Group, And More Media
The American Council on Science and Health writes at least 1,300 original articles on our website, produces five books, and writes science op-eds in America's largest newspapers every month. That means we get a lot of media traction. Here is who used our work this past week.
For decades, only three mechanisms for spreading DNA (such as antibiotic resistance genes) from one bacterium to another were known. Now, researchers have characterized a fourth, adding a new wrinkle in our war on bacteria and a new page to microbiology textbooks.
Canadian researchers say they've produced software that can "accurately determine" when distracting activities are taking place behind the wheel. The new innovation, utilizing artificial intelligence, could potentially lead to the car issuing a warning and, if necessary, taking over for the driver briefly until the safety threat is alleviated.
Marie Antoinette never said "Let them eat bananas" — but we do. Especially if those bananas are genetically engineered to enhance their beta-carotene content. Bananas are staple foods in Uganda — and the country recently decided to allow farmers to grow genetically-engineered crops — hopefully this will go a long way towards wiping out vitamin A deficiency in that country where it is widespread.