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Needles, Haystacks and p-values

May 08 2018 - 08:05

The proverbial searching for "the needle in a haystack" can help us understand science's problem with p-values and why so many studies find contrary things.  

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From A Risk-Assessment Perspective, EPA Getting Rid Of 'Secret Science' Makes Sense

May 08 2018 - 07:05

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt’s recent announcement that EPA will not use “secret science” — that is science for which the underlying data is not available — is challenging. Whereas EPA is routinely in receipt of unpublished toxicity studies for chemicals designed for commerce, not all important scientific findings are publishable. Nor do scientific journals generally have sufficient space to include all data.

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NBC, Medical Journal Lying About Police Shootings and Race

May 07 2018 - 23:05

Let's pretend that researchers are investigating acts of violence between players during hockey games. And let's further pretend that they are interested in determining if violent behavior has a racial component.

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Dr. Oz Goes to the White House

May 07 2018 - 22:05

The news that Dr. Oz has been appointed by the President to the President's Council on Sport, Fitness, and Nutrition (PCSFN) shouldn't surprise us. Not after President Trump went on The Dr.

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Are Breastfeeding Messages Actually Hurting Mothers?

May 07 2018 - 15:05

Though well-intentioned, 'at all costs' breastfeeding messages are routinely misguided, even intellectually dishonest.

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The Next Plague and How Science Will Stop It

May 07 2018 - 11:05

Before modern study of microbiology, how diseases spread was essentially unknown. The leading hypothesis until the 1850s and real understanding of microorganisms was called “miasma theory.” Miasma is the bad-smelling air that originates from decaying material, and it was believed that miasma made people ill. The legacy is still with us today, in diseases like "malaria" (mala, “bad” and aria, “air”) which afflict 200 million per year.

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Regeneron's Science Talent Search is Not Your Average Science Fair

May 07 2018 - 09:05

Each year, the Society for Science & the Public and the biotech company Regeneron sponsor a science talent search (STS) - the most prestigious science and math competition for seniors in high school. For 77 years, this contest has selected and given money rewards to some of the leading young math and science talent in the country.

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USA Today, Seattle Times, And More Places We Appeared Last Week

May 07 2018 - 06:05

We started a media firestorm in the Pacific Northwest, and we set the record straight on chemicals for an agricultural trade publication. And we also took a peek into a baseball dugout to see how statistical analysis – personally delivered to field managers by stat geeks – is continually reshaping the game. 

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Why Does American Heath Care Cost So Much? Let's Ask Dr. Robert Popovian

May 06 2018 - 20:05

The "American healthcare costs vs the rest of the world" narrative has been with us forever and this is unlikely to change. But it is not a simple problem, even though it is portrayed as just that. Pfizer's Dr. Robert Popovian takes his usual thoughtful look at thorny issues in his latest piece in Morning Consult. Don't miss.

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The "Dr." Oz Art Collection

May 05 2018 - 13:05

It's the weekend and I just don't feel like writing. Yet, with my old friend  Dr. Oz squarely within the virtual anus of the intestinal machinations of the news cycle, I just can't resist. Here is some really terrible art I have created over the years.

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Now That The Dr. Oz Show Has Been Canceled, Here Are 5 Favorite Guests I'll Miss

May 05 2018 - 09:05

With the cancellation of "The Dr. Oz Show", his alternative medicine audience should not think of it as a time to mourn. but instead should take a moment to celebrate the man who created all their worst fears; they should rejoice a guy who wore medical scrubs during a show in which he suggested apple juice was as dangerous for children as plutonium, who taught concerned viewers to fear chicken and to love juice cleanses.

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President Trump, Dr. Oz Is a Loser Who Should be Fired on Live TV

May 04 2018 - 21:05

Dr. Oz is a fraud who ought to be fired from Columbia University and have his medical license revoked. Instead, he'll be headed to the White House.

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Forced to Fight, CTE Claims Another Young, Ex-NHL Player

May 04 2018 - 13:05

Now that the results of his posthumous brain examination are in, we now must add Jeff Parker, who played briefly in the 1980s and died last September at 53, to the running list of former hockey players who developed CTE during their careers. Everyone gets the link between head trauma and this devastating brain disease. Everyone, that is, except the head of the NHL.

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Does Fast Food Affect Fertility?

May 04 2018 - 02:05

A study from the Commonwealth countries indicates that it will take two weeks longer to get pregnant if you eat fast food. Huh? And you can save yourself a week or so by eating fruit, not vegetables. Really? And, no surprise, It goes without saying that this incomplete study came complete with grievous limitations.

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Does Fast Food Effect Fertility?

May 04 2018 - 02:05

A study from the Commonwealth countries indicates that it will take two weeks longer to get pregnant if you eat fast food. You can save yourself a week or so by eating fruit, not vegetables. 

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Instead of Curing Cancer and Acne, Rattlesnake Pills Give You Salmonella

May 03 2018 - 23:05

There's nothing magical about a rattlesnake. Just because rattlesnakes are tough and cool doesn't mean that you'll be tough and cool if you eat them. Instead, you might just be a dope.

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Trend Alert: Medicare Could Cover Food, Air Conditioners...Is Sex Next?

May 03 2018 - 14:05

How far will behavioral economics go to improve our health and decrease costs?

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Planting Flowers Has Limited Effect On Pollination

May 03 2018 - 11:05

Humans like to do something. We go to war on cancer, we battle it, we seek to defeat it. We buy Tamiflu even though on even the most optimistic surveys of people who buy Tamiflu (and thus have white hat bias), it might knock off a few hours of symptoms. It's why placebos such as homeopathy, or useless herbal draughts of mysticism in naturopathy, are still being purchased. If people do something and a cold still ends in three days, at least they weren't bored.

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Gates, In Funding Universal Flu Vaccine, Warns of Global Unpreparedness

May 03 2018 - 07:05

In case you missed it, Bill and Melinda Gates were pretty visible over the weekend expanding their altruistic pursuits, specifically by contributing their names and ample resources to important, underfunded causes.

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New Study Refutes the 'Wine Will Kill You' Nonsense

May 03 2018 - 00:05

A few weeks ago, a paper claimed that an extra glass of wine will shorten your life. The story circled the globe in minutes. A new paper, with better methodology, concluded what we all knew: Moderate alcohol consumption can be integrated into a healthy lifestyle. It, however, won't receive nearly as much attention as the sensationalist report. Such is the power of the academic PR hype machine combined with a gullible, sensationalist press.

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