As a microbiologist, I have a pet peeve; when the words bacteria and virus are used interchangeably. It is not an infrequent mistake to see. And, a story this week in the New York Post is no exception.
In an article entitled, "Mom dies after catching flesh-eating bacteria on family vacation," the tragic story of a woman who contracted (and subsequently died from) an infection is described.
Ironically, from the bacterium's perspective, the very enzyme that it uses to protect itself from antibiotics becomes complicit in its own demise.
When one stops to consider the particular circumstances of a 104-year-old's recent decision to end his life, it's difficult for many who sympathize with his plight not to see the judgment as anything but reasonable.
However, that's just one view.
Walmart apparently has some big plans for its pharmacies and they will involve you. A Whistleblower document from the company reveals what steps the company will take to address (wrongly) the overuse of painkillers. You will be graded on your probability of misusing not just opiate drugs, but also sedatives and stimulants. Since when does Walmart tell our doctors what they can or cannot give to their patients? What will this mean for your privacy?
If integrative medicine wants to be taken seriously, then they need to provide data obtained from actual scientific studies. There is no complementary science.
Only 15% of new homes utilized solar panels, the California Energy Commission now requires all homes to have them because they are good for the environment and "save you money." Those "savings" can teach us two economic terms, first-mover advantage and the cost of ignoring externalities in cost-benefit considerations.
The recent intentional death by 104-year old scientist David Goodall via euthanasia brings to the forefront whether to deem deterioration from advanced aging as another reasonable consideration beyond having an incurable disease.
I once asked a Seattle businessman what he thought of consultants. "They borrow your watch to tell you what time it is," he said coldly.
That's not an uncommon sentiment. Despite that, management consulting is roughly a $140-billion industry globally. And McKinsey is widely considered the gold standard. People who work for McKinsey receive a golden ticket to top jobs at nearly any firm in the world.
Since you aren't here unless you are a pro-science reader, if I ask you what Center for Biological Diversity, Earthjustice, Center for Food Safety, Environmental Working Group and Center for Science in the Public Interest have in common, you might answer they hate science and actively undermine it. Yes, that is true. And you might also answer they are primarily lawyers who make their money suing companies after they manufacture doubt about them.
All kinds of stuff is pouring out of the Kilauea volcano. But perhaps the chemical of most concern – sulfuric acid – doesn't come from the volcano itself. Sulfur dioxide, however, sure does, and it's converted into sulfuric acid due to environmental factors. And if that's not enough, we share the secret of how to know how hot the lava is. Something for everyone!
Factfulness is all about giving us the means of debunking - separating the reality of life from the dramatic narratives we instinctually create or are told. It continues the teachings and wisdom of Hans Rosling.
Saunas, for the most part and for legions of adults, enjoy a warm reputation as being good for you. And a recent study of Finnish men and women seems to add more credence to sauna's health benefits, in defending against stroke. But were these favorable results skewed because this activity baked into Finland's culture?
In California, Robin Hood robs from the poor and gives to the solar industry.
Finally, the hats and gloves can be stowed away. The summer is almost here and it's time to get outside and enjoy the weather. But, this year, more than any other year, our time spent outside may not be as worry-free. A recent report by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) indicated that the number of vector borne diseases (those carried and transmitted by arthropods - insects like ticks, mosquitoes, sandflies and blackflies) has increased over the last 12 years in a dramatic way. (1)
With all due respect to government officials and their decades of well-intentioned effort to reverse algae bloom, it's now the private sector's time, led by ingenious researchers, to tackle this ever-expanding crisis.
And an eight-figure cash reward as an incentive for the winner doesn't hurt, either.
A scientific competition, which began in July 2016, is seeking to produce a workable solution to the problem of explosive algae growth, which has plagued the Florida coast to the Great Lakes, and beyond, and has been getting progressively worse since the 1990s.
Shaming and blaming isn't part of improving patient safety or resolving the opioid crisis. Healthcare workers and Congress frequently blame others and rarely take personal responsibility, and that's not a culture that fosters reflection and meaningful improvement.
Blame and shame are not part of improving patient safety or resolving the opioid crisis. Healthcare workers and Congress frequently blame others and rarely take personal responsibility, that is not a culture that fosters reflection and meaningful improvement.
In high school, I took organic chemistry, microbiology, genetics, and anatomy & physiology. Without a doubt, I received a world-class science education, despite growing up in a largely rural area that was not wealthy. For Teacher Appreciation Week, I would like to thank the middle school and high school teachers who greatly shaped my life.
As if our government and press haven't screwed up the story of the so-called "opioid crisis" thoroughly enough, why not add some meaningless and confusing terms to the mix so that absolutely no one knows what the hell is going on.
It's time to prove we really care about the children.