Independence Day: America’s Deadliest Holiday?

ACSH - Jul 04 2018 - 07:07

Explosions, alcohol, delicious grilled foods - those are all the things that made America great. But in combination, they make it America's deadliest day. Add in heat, swimming and cars and it's easy to recognize why hospital emergency rooms staff up for July 4th.

Here's a short rundown.


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Morons Gone Wild - Seriously Stupid July 4th Tricks

ACSH - Jul 04 2018 - 06:07

It's July 4th and the fireworks roll out. So do the morons. Here's what can happen when they meet.

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Your July 4th Cookout Will Be Cheaper This Year - Thanks Farmers!

ACSH - Jul 04 2018 - 06:07

The cost of the annual cookout is down. But as we thank our farmers we should remember that what is good for the consumer may not be as good for the producer.

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Glyphosate and Pesticides: Et Tu, Live Science?

ACSH - Jul 03 2018 - 12:07

Normally a reliable source of information, Live Science published an article that is a dream for anti-pesticide and anti-chemical fearmongers.

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Genetics or Lifestyle - Where Is The Cause of Disease?

ACSH - Jul 02 2018 - 20:07

Data mining genomic data is a growing trend. This study seeks to determine whether nature or nurture control who gets ill. Turns out, it's complicated and genes may not hold all or any of the answers.

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Are Hospital Harms From ‘July Effect’ Real Or Imagined?

ACSH - Jul 02 2018 - 19:07

It is officially July! In the medical world that means fresh graduates become interns or fellows or attendings. Along with such promotions comes high turnover departures and the refrain "don’t get sick in July." But, does this annual transition actually make patients more vulnerable to adverse events?

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CNN's Christiane Amanpour Misleads on Flint Water Crisis

ACSH - Jul 02 2018 - 12:07

CNN's Christiane Amanpour has a unique relationship with reality.

While she has made a very big deal of her adherence to the truth and nothing but the truth, the matter is a bit more complicated. Like MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, Ms. Amanpour is an incredibly intelligent person who paints highly distorted views of the world -- mostly by selectively providing or withholding facts -- and presents them as objective journalism.

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Fentanyl 101- Let's Clean Up The Terminology

ACSH - Jul 02 2018 - 10:07

There is a fair amount of confusion about the terms "pharmaceutical fentanyl," "illicit fentanyl," and "fentanyl analogs." Read this and the confusion should go away. It is important to avoid inaccuracies here. Words can make a big difference. 

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Fad Diets Are Bad Diets

ACSH - Jul 02 2018 - 07:07

Who doesn't love the idea of quick and easy weight loss? Imagine being able to eat nothing but ice cream, and still losing 10 pounds. It sounds a little too good to be true, and that's because it is. Weight loss is a $66 billion dollar industry, and one of the most advertised, according to U.S. Weight Loss & Diet Control Market.

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Lead Paint: Eliminate the Threat or Reduce the Risk?

ACSH - Jul 02 2018 - 07:07

Forty solid years after the Consumer Product Safety Commission implemented regulations for getting rid of lead-based paint, the US is still on the lead-based paint merry-go-round. This week, I attended a Congressional hearing entitled “Oversight of the Federal Government’s Approach to Lead-Based Paint and Mold Remediation in Public and Subsidized Housing”, which hoped to figure out how the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) can finally be rid of the pesky threat of lead-based paint in federal housing.

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Vaping And Harm Reduction: Don't Let the Perfect Be the Enemy of the Good

ACSH - Jul 02 2018 - 06:07

We all know that cigarettes increase the risk of cancer, heart disease, and early death, among other things. While the tobacco smoke of cigarettes contains thousands of chemicals, many of which are known carcinogens, nicotine itself, though highly addictive, is not a carcinogen. Tobacco harm reduction—the policies, programs, and practices that reduce the damage caused by smoking—must consist of viable alternative options to traditional cigarettes.

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Coffee, Mendel and Mortality

ACSH - Jul 02 2018 - 06:07

In the ongoing battle over the benefits or risk of drinking coffee, a study reported in JAMA Internal Medicine has enlisted a new variable into the fray, genetics. The study makes use of genotype data on 500,000 Brits contained in the UK Biobank.

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By Not Seeing The Same Doctor, You May Be Risking Your Life

ACSH - Jun 29 2018 - 14:06

If health care fixes continue to undermine the doctor-patient relationship, financial costs won't be the only price paid.

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An Identity Crisis for Bob the Tomato

ACSH - Jun 29 2018 - 11:06

Round. Red. Good in salads and great on a BLT. Tomatoes are a typical find in the kitchens of families in the United States, so popular we are the world’s third largest producer of them.

Though some people like to engage in the “tuh-MAY-toh” versus “tuh-MAH-toh” debate, the more popular question when it comes to tomatoes has to do with their classification. Are the circular plants vegetables or fruits?

We're going to answer that once and for all. Maybe. Because science, history, and law create a lot of confusion.

Categories: ACSH

The Problem With P-Values

ACSH - Jun 29 2018 - 10:06

In science and health, we are often looking for results that are considered to be “statistically significant.” The golden rule is if the p-value is less than 0.05, then the result is statistically significant, or “publishable.” However, the interpretation and use of p-values is often misconstrued.

What is a p-value?

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CMS Wants To Drop "Hospital Compare's" Safety Measurements - Does It Matter ?

ACSH - Jun 28 2018 - 20:06

Here is the headline, Trump administration rule could stop public reporting of hospital infections despite death toll, taken from the online version of USA today. The article goes on to report that CMS is proposing to remove six measures of “patient safety” from its ratings of hospitals. Those measures are all hospital-acquired conditions so that they do reflect in part how hospitals perform and they include:


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Phages May Be The Answer to the Antibiotic Apocalypse

ACSH - Jun 28 2018 - 13:06

A recent study presented at the American Society for Nutrition annual meeting in Boston may have raised hopes about a new way to combat the Antibiotic Apocalypse. As bacteria become more resistant to our current medications, there is a real risk that soon we not be able to treat infections.

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Herpes From Double Dipping - An Outbreak Of Terrible Science

ACSH - Jun 28 2018 - 12:06

Can you catch herpes from double dippers? Unlikely, but it's hard to tell because what passes for science in reporting this story clearly flunks science. 

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“GMO” Is a Meaningless, Misleading Term

ACSH - Jun 28 2018 - 09:06

Many people believe that a so-called “genetically modified organism” (GMO) is a term that has some significance for interpreting the safety of food. Most life scientists -- geneticists, biologists, ecologists, and agronomists -- are pretty sure that the opposite is true.

First, we should distinguish between two points:

(1) A theoretical keystone of agri-food biotechnologies and the related safety issues; and

(2) socioeconomic considerations.

In both cases, “GMO” appears to be a detrimental meme and a misleading compass.

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If Our Science Tribe Was A D&D Game

ACSH - Jun 28 2018 - 07:06

I've never been much for the word "tribe." It sounds too insular in 2018, the kind of term (see also "zeitgeist", "heteronormative", and "schadenfreude") thrown around by barely literate postmodernists with their heads in the clouds believing what they tell each other as the real world passes by.

That's not to say it isn't an accurate description of science media.

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