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Updated: 29 min 25 sec ago

Winter Is Coming - The First Scientific Study of Game of Thrones

6 hours 53 min ago

The last season of Game of Thrones is almost upon us. A group of researchers has looked at the chances of dying in the previous seven seasons. Spoiler alert: Do not sell life insurance to prominent, loyal, males.

Categories: ACSH

No Sympathy for the “Powder of Sympathy”

Dec 07 2018 - 11:12

Screwy medicine is nothing new. Some of what went on 400 years ago makes Joe "Crazy Joe" Mercola seem like Albert Schweitzer. For example, infections were treated (unsuccessfully) with "ointment consisting essentially of the moss on the skull of a man who had died a violent death, combined with boar's and bear's fat, burnt worms, dried boar's brain, red sandal-wood, and mummy." A "real" Joe, Dr. Joe Schwarcz of McGill's OSS looks at some very odd therapies from the past.

Categories: ACSH

Non-profit Health Systems Pay No Taxes But "Give Back" Community Benefits - But To Whom And Who Really Benefits?

Dec 07 2018 - 07:12

Instead of paying taxes non-profit health systems give back to the community. But how much, to which community and who actually benefits is increasingly a divisive issue. The spotlight is now on Sutter Health, the seventh largest health system in the US

Categories: ACSH

Secondhand Smoke Exposure Is Down, So Now We Fear Thirdhand Smoke

Dec 07 2018 - 00:12

Cigarette smoking is at an all-time low, and secondhand smoke exposure is also collapsing. So some public health officials have manufactured a new threat: Thirdhand smoke.

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Copperpenis Owls and Other Boogeymen - The Cause Of All Diseases

Dec 06 2018 - 15:12

Should John Oliver decide that he's had enough, there is someone who can slip seamlessly into his seat. Dr. Jonathan Jarry - a member of the McGill Office on Science and Society. Jarry, who blames The Boogeyman in different forms, for all of mankind's ailments absolutely obliterates chemophobia and alternative medicine and those who practice it. Brilliant and hilarious. Don't miss.

Categories: ACSH

Do Opioid Scripts For Tooth Extraction Really Cause Abuse - Or Just Useless Numbers?

Dec 06 2018 - 12:12

A new study in JAMA Internal Medicine claims that people who get their wisdom teeth pulled and are prescribed opioids are more likely to have problems with them down the road. The numbers may look convincing, but the study is a retrospective analysis - the least reliable type because manipulated variables can change the outcome. Was this the case here? Biostatistician and ACSH advisor Dr. Stan Young weighs in. He is not shy.

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Sleep Finds It's Goldilocks Range

Dec 06 2018 - 07:12

How much sleep is enough? Can there be both too little and too much? A new study thinks they have identified that Goldilocks range which is just right.

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No Benefit Found for Chiropractic 'Preventive Maintenance'

Dec 05 2018 - 23:12

A recent thorough investigation of the scientific literature found no evidence that chiropractic care can prevent or stop early disease. The researchers urged chiropractors to “cease such activities until, if ever, new evidence emerges.” It’s doubtful that chiropractors will follow this advice.

Categories: ACSH

PETA's Tactics Hurt Animal Rights... and People, Too

Dec 05 2018 - 22:12

In what can only be described as a purposeful attempt to damage its own poor reputation even further, PETA's latest campaign is to change our "speciesist" language.

Categories: ACSH

Organic Chemistry Can Defeat Any Fentanyl Agreement

Dec 05 2018 - 08:12

Chinese President Xi and President Trump are trying to hammer out an agreement to stop fentanyl from flooding into the US. Whatever they come up with may help but only so much. In this case, organic chemists have more power than presidents. Here's why.

Categories: ACSH

The Talented Gribble

Dec 05 2018 - 08:12

Plants can be turned into fuels and chemicals but much of their stored value is lost in the woody component that is hard to break down. A sea creature, among others, has found a way to get at that additional value. It provides both something we can use and a reminder about the power of nature and evolution.

Categories: ACSH

Missing: Scientist Who Gene Edited Baby Is Being 'Re-Educated'

Dec 04 2018 - 23:12

If you're a Chinese citizen, don't irritate the Chinese government. Otherwise, you'll be subject to re-education and then possibly deployed as a pawn of the regime. Apparently, the Chinese scientist who gene edited a baby is now learning this lesson the hard way.

Categories: ACSH

Why Is Access To New Medications So Complicated?

Dec 04 2018 - 10:12

The interaction of supply and demand is an initial lesson in economics. The FDA approves new drug's safety and efficacy but it is the payers, Medicare and insurance companies, that determine the true supply. Before we begin to discuss cost, we should learn about supply.

Categories: ACSH

ACSH in the Media: NBC, Fox News, and More!

Dec 03 2018 - 22:12

The Holiday Season is in full-swing, and we here at the American Council on Science and Health continue our fight on behalf of good science! Here's where we appeared in recent days.

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No Smell Like An Old Smell

Dec 03 2018 - 16:12

"No sooner had the warm liquid mixed with the crumbs touched my palate than a shudder ran through me and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary thing that was happening to me." That's ACSH friend Dr. Michael Shaw channeling Proust on the power of smell. Of course, it cuts both ways. Body odor? Why do we have it? Do deodorants work? How about hygiene? Is "old-person smell" real? Just take a sniff of what's in this fascinating piece.

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When Does No Mean Know(ing)? - The Intersection Of Facts And Beliefs

Dec 03 2018 - 13:12

What makes a patient chose not to undergo treatment, that can reduce their risk of cancer by upwards to 30%? Facts or beliefs? Why do we pay so much attention to that homunculus jabbering away in our heads?

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Ocean Spray Lawsuit: Another Insane Debate over 'Artificial' Flavors

Dec 01 2018 - 04:12

The plaintiffs claim that Ocean Spray lied about not using artificial flavors, and the only restitution is for the company to hand over a big bag of money. How big? Very big. They want a jury to award them "statutory, compensatory, treble, and punitive damages" -- all due to a technicality that hasn't affected their lives one iota.

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10,000 Steps: Myth or Fact?

Nov 30 2018 - 11:11

Conventional wisdom tells us that 10,000 steps per day is the "magic number" required for health benefits. But is there sound evidence behind this number? Dr. Christopher Labos of McGill University’s Office for Science and Society investigates.

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Melinta - Are We Getting the Message?

Nov 30 2018 - 10:11

Melinta is only one of several companies experiencing the pain of antibiotic development. The company lost 85% of its market cap over the past year and now may close its New Haven Research facility. Yet, the company just received approval from Europe to market Vabomere, a combination of two antibiotics, meropenem and vaborbactam. This is becoming a repetitive pattern of success breeding failure in the antibiotic space. Dr. David Shlaes explains.

Categories: ACSH

Why Isn’t Evidence Based Policy More Common?

Nov 30 2018 - 08:11

Everyone believes in evidence-based decision making, but why is it so hard to find the evidence we need?

Categories: ACSH