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?
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Breast cancer is more difficult to detect in women whose breasts are dense. It is unclear whether there is also underlying behavioral differences in their cancers. Should we treat them as a separate population?
If the goal is guaranteeing the safety of children and the general population being protected from infectious disease, then why is shaming playing any role in vaccine compliance?
A seven-year study of all Gulf coastal regions maps where fish and other aquatic life live, and in what amounts. This was done in order to give marine biologists a better understanding of the ecological damage that occurred following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster, and to help them better prepare for future spills.
Two FDA expert panels rejected a new extended-release oxycodone pill. Some of their findings are reasonable, even if you don't agree with them. But one reason is very far beyond stupid. Especially since they refused to learn from history.
A group at Mount Sinai Medical School has made a rather startling discovery. People who died from Alzheimer's Disease (AD) had brains that contained more of two herpes viruses than controls. Could we have been looking in the wrong direction for therapies for AD? A potentially huge discovery.
Because Medicare Advantage programs are paid in part, by the value their care-partners provide, they choose their partners carefully. And when incentives are aligned, patient outcomes seem to improve.
The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act amends the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and was signed into law June 22, 2016. It created a mandatory requirement for EPA to evaluate existing chemicals with clear and enforceable deadlines, to do so in a transparent fashion, and to do so using risk-based chemical assessments rather than rely on simple epidemiological correlations.
Not unlike government or healthcare metrics, focus on Sen. McCaskill's injury after receiving the life-saving Heimlich maneuver is inherently flawed.
A very dangerous plant called the giant hogweed is in the news because it is being increasingly spotted across the US. What you probably don't know is that one of the chemicals that makes the plant so dangerous is also a drug that treats psoriasis.
Cosmic rays are the largest source of radiation exposure associated with flying and it may have health impacts on flight crews. A new study suggests that their risk of cancer may be increased, but "may" is the operative word. For the flying public there should be no concern.
It was a busy recent stretch for the American Council, working to continually promote the need for sound-science decision making.
While the recent Pennsylvania decision on surgical consent was about a physician's responsibility it did not consider how it binds physician to patient emotionally. The ritual of consent has many layers to consider.
Every human cell carries our genome, roughly 3.5 billion letters - DNA - that assemble into our genetic code. RI order for large genomes to fit into the tiny cells, proteins called histones organize and package DNA in cells. DNA wraps around the histones so they can be condensed into the space.
The rising price for EpiPens, a drug delivery system that is crucial for persons experiencing potentially life-threatening allergic reactions, has resulted in outrage.