Spence injured his eye as a child and has since replaced it with a prosthetic camera eye. This technological feat was named one of Time Magazine’s “Best Inventions of the Year.”
A new study adds to the body of research suggesting that “man’s best friend” may actually be able to smell cancer. Researchers in Germany found that dogs were able to pick up on the scent of organic compounds linked to the presence of lung cancer in the human body, and that their keen sense of smell may be useful for the early detection of the disease.
An Israeli family has been given legal permission to extract and freeze eggs from the ovaries of their 17-year-old daughter, who died in a road accident.
The ruling by the magistrates court in the town of Kfar Sava sets a legal precedent in Israel and, according to a lawyer with 10 years experience in similar cases, is possibly the first of its kind in the world.
Looks like it was UN workers who caused the cholera outbreak in Haiti after all.
Could have sworn that was just a conspiracy theory, but, you know, evidence.
Rick Santorum’s abortion was okay - but if you do it, it’s murder! So says Rick Santorum.
I hope they’re still going to watch this guy pretty closely, because castration is not a sure-fire cure for rapists:
That rate of recidivism in surgically castrated offenders is about the same as it for all sex offenders.
It’s feel-good politics to castrate, but for the most part, that’s all it is. The money could be better used for prevention.
Dr Large’s central conclusion was that “The results…confirm the need for a renewed public health warning about the potential for cannabis use to bring on psychotic illness.” However, the scientific evidence for such a very bold statement is absent from the paper. The study provides no new data. It consists of a recalculation of data from 83 previous studies. It’s all correlation and association, and correlation does not equal causation. Dr Large provides no evidence of a causal relationship between cannabis use and psychosis whatsoever.
Further examination of the “meta-analysis” shows that the majority of subjects already had a predisposition towards psychosis (usually by genetics). Additionally, as well as being consumers of cannabis, participants were also regular users of tobacco and other psychoactive substances, including cocaine, heroin and amphetamines. Therefore Dr Large’s claim that it is cannabis specifically that caused psychosis in these patients is illogical and un-scientific. 90% of diagnosed schizophrenics smoke cigarettes – but nobody is claiming tobacco causes schizophrenia.
Sir, you seem to have gotten some propaganda in your science.
But it takes away your mental powers:
That same day, it took seven Bay County deputies to restrain a man who reportedly snorted Blue Silk, a common brand name of the fake cocaine, according to Ruth Corley, spokeswoman for the Bay County Sheriff’s Office. His girlfriend called police from the airport, worried that he was acting crazy.
Paramedics were unable to calm him down, Corley said, and the deputies were forced to wrestle him into a patrol car. He tore apart the backseat of the car with his teeth, screaming “Please help me, please help me, I’m dying,” Corley said.
….”It’s creating super-human strength that takes seven to eight officers to deal with these individuals,” he said.
If only it gave you super agility.
What one always hears is that salt = necessary for life, but from the far corners of the natural foods/health nut world comes a contrary minority view: not just that too much salt will give you high blood pressure, but that ZOMG SALT IS TEH TOXXXIC!!
Salt eating is an addiction begun prenatally and shortly after birth as the parents force salt into the baby to the extreme repulsion and disgust of the child. After a few weeks of forced eating the baby’s body becomes so weakened that it forms a craving and addiction. This continues throughout its life.
I think of them as the “Eek! Salt!” crowd.
They will be irritated to learn of this paper, “Can Dietary Sodium Intake Be Modified By Public Policy?”
The complexity and sophistication of the central control of sodium appetite offers compelling support for the proposition that vertebrates evolved a mechanism to assure that their physiologic needs for sodium are defended when dietary access to it is limited or when excessive amounts of sodium are lost under conditions of stress …
In other words, people want their goddamned salt, and they will never eat below a certain threshold, resisting all health guidelines and governmental efforts.
It does appear however, that a couple of this paper’s authors have worked for the Salt Institute in the past … And here’s an “Eek! Salt!” person slamming the Salt Institute:
So would most Americans be better off if they consumed a lot less salt as most public health organizations suggests? Not if you believe the Salt Institute.
The Salt Institute has long maintained that “Healthy persons with normal blood pressure have no problems with sodium or salt intake” . If you listen to the Salt Institute it is easy to come away with the impression that only about 1/3 to 1/2 of those who already have hypertension (HTN) need cut back on dietary salt because they are “salt sensitive”. They argue that since 75% of the U.S. population does not have HTN (currently defined as a blood pressure (BP) of more than 140/90 mmHg) only a small minority of Americans should be concerned about their salt intake. Of course, largely those who profit directly or indirectly from the use of excessive dietary salt fund the Salt Institute.
Is the Salt Institute a reliable source of information about salt? The now defunct Tobacco Institute was hardly a credible source for the health problems caused by cigarette smoking because they had an obvious conflict of interests. Over time even the news media (which seems wedded to the notion that there are two sides to every issue) came to dismiss the veracity of claims coming from the Tobacco Institute and this is what eventually doomed that institution. However, the Salt Institute�s press releases and pronouncements about the safety of dietary salt or even the dangers of too little salt often escape much critical commentary in the news media. At best, the news media will present the Salt Institute�s position as if it warrants as much credibility as that of scientific researchers. Given the economic incentives of those that support and speak on behalf of the Salt Institute it would be wise to take everything they say with a grain of salt.
Not sure what to believe now.
…don’t lose that luggage:
U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was successfully transferred Friday to a Houston hospital from Tucson, Arizona, and physicians described the brain-injured congresswoman as “doing great.”
….Portions of Giffords’ skull that were removed are still frozen in a sterile bag, and it could be weeks, if not months, before those portions are surgically returned to her head, doctors said.
“The transfer of that is not a big deal,” Kim said of such surgery.
For you, maybe!
The incredible story of the MRI Sex Tape, which won an Ig-Nobel prize.
…in this footage the woman seems to claim they did it backwards, but the imagery I’ve seen is face-to-face, so they must have come around.
…MRI video footage of sexual intercourse. This is science. The couple is actually doing it missionary style, so tilt your head to the right.
Graphic in a NSFW kind of way, but on the other hand, it’s just science people.
Article about Vitamin D recommendations winds up discussing one of science’s big Achilles’ heels: conservatism.
The conclusions are deliberately very conservative based on requirements for absolute proof, not implications from all the collective research. The IOM places the burden of proof on those who would suggest that higher levels are effective or safe. However, given the evolutionary human experience of sun exposure and the high doses of vitamin D we used to get from fatty fish — equivalent to up to 10,000 IU a day — perhaps, the burden of proof should be on scientists to prove that lower intakes of vitamin D are, in fact, safe over long-term.
The Gonzo Science position is that we should apply this logic across the board and maybe we’d really start getting somewhere.
The problem is that scientists frequently confuse “what can be proven absolutely” with “the Truth”, when in fact “what can be proven absolutely” is quite limiting. The implications of collective research should be a larger part of the discussion - in our view, much larger.
State officials say his notes show he implanted at least twice as many embryos as Suleman has claimed. Officials allege this is evidence of unreasonable judgment, substandard care, and a lack of concern for the eight children she would conceive and the six she was already struggling to raise.
Kamrava should instead have sent the unemployed 33-year-old single mom for a mental health evaluation, officials say.
In his testimony, Kamrava has moved away from his previous statements. Last year, he defended his actions in a Nightline interview that Suleman’s case “was done the right way … under the circumstances.”
Glad to see this apology; too bad he only saw the error of ways under years of intense withering criticism. Brings to mind the William S. Burroughs warning: “No job too dirty for a fucking scientist.” Get all caught up in the objectivity, fail to recognize the human implications … or possibly sociopathic. You decide.
It’s not the amount of radiation, necessarily. It’s the pulsed nature of the signal.
So next time someone tells you it’s the amount of radiation, you can tell them to suck it.
Famous scifi writer attending a scifi convention that may literally kill him:
“This is gonna be the biggest fucking science-fiction convention ever,” Ellison says, “because no con has ever had a guest of honor drop dead while performing for the goddamn audience.”
An in-depth examination of the possible selection pressures to account for psychopathology.
The very latest research shows that ketamine, an anaesthetic with hallucinogenic properties, can reduce the symptoms of depression quickly and effectively, and that MDMA (popularly known as ecstasy) can be beneficial to sufferers of post-traumatic stress disorder when used in combination with behavioural therapy.
By contrast, new research into the effects of the classical hallucinogens has progressed at a much slower pace, probably because these drugs are categorised as Class A in the UK (Schedule I in the US), and researchers who wish to obtain them therefore face numerous regulatory barriers.
Nevertheless, it now seems quite clear that psychedelic drugs have enormous potential for treating a wide variety of psychiatric conditions. Much still remains to be discovered about exactly how they affect the brain, however.
Amazing what can happen when people quit freaking out.
What is even more troubling is that the United States Government actually did a secret follow up-study on the Virginia findings, in the mid ’90’s. When it only served to confirm the results of the 1974 research, and showed that THC (one of the main active ingredient in cannabis – and the one the government loves to hate), when administered to mice, protected them against malignancy, true to form, our government attempted to bury the results. Fortunately, a draft copy of the study was leaked to the journal, AIDS Treatment News, and the media covered the story. An excellent article by Paul Armentano, Deputy Director of NORML, covers this part of our shameful history.
Imagine if policy were determined by objective scientific findings instead of politics.
Yes I know Dr. Mercola runs the hottest alternative health site on the web. But it’s become obvious from some of the links he posts that he’s a tea bagger deficit-hawk type, with a comments section infested with Ron Paul devotees and other right wing libertarian degenerates. You know, the Ron Paul who (with his son) goes around trashing the Civil Rights Act. Yuck. I know it’s ad hominem to judge someone as a whole based on some of their thinking, so I won’t go there. But I am seriously starting to wonder if being a right wing tea bagging libertarian will someday become a recognized category of mental illness. So, goodbye Dr. Mercola. I want to start reading other health sites now. It’s not me: it’s you.
It is reported that Michelangelo concealed an image of the brain in the first of these last 4 panels, namely, the Creation of Adam. Here we present evidence that he concealed another neuronanatomic structure in the final panel of this series, the Separation of Light From Darkness, specifically a ventral view of the brainstem.
…here’s a bullet-point summary of my findings:
- If anything, President Barack Obama appears to be warmly in favor of genetic engineering, although there is some wiggle room with his campaign statements.
- President Obama’s picks for Ag Secretary, campaign advisers, and other cabinet positions further suggest that he is positively disposed to GE crops. Given his emphasis on plant-based biofuels, he may also see it as a means to achieve his domestic renewable fuel goals.
- Obama did not make a written campaign statement promising to require mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods.
did not respondto mailingsfrom The Campaign to Label Genetically Engineered Foods, nor did his presidential campaign contact them.
- Obama’s declared agenda, now housed at the White House website, indicates that these labels are not on his agenda.
- The claim that he will “fast track” GE food labeling appears to be an invention or the result of miscommunication.
- President Obama only once expressed a desire for GE food labeling, but has not made a campaign promise or pledge that he will “require mandatory labeling” for GE food.
There is no evidence that Barack Obama ever made a statement strong enough to be considered as a campaign promise to label GE foods.
Don’t get me wrong - I love me some Obama. He knows what science is and everything. So that’s great and I can work with that. But this unwelcome news about the US trying to squash GMO labeling worldwide is the kind of stuff that’s worth fighting about.
Contact the White House here. (Phoning is always more effective than email; scroll down for phone number.)
And in case you aren’t sure why GMOs are bad, our epic smackdown of hapless pro-GMO science writer Michael Le Page is here.
Robert Whitaker on the causes of mental illness.
Levine: So mental illness disability rates have doubled since 1987 and increased six-fold since 1955. And at the same time, psychiatric drug use greatly increased in the 1950s and 1960s, then skyrocketed after 1988 when Prozac hit the market, so now antidepressant and antipsychotic drugs alone gross more than $25 billion annually in the U.S. But as you know, correlation isn’t causation. What makes you feel that the increase in psychiatric drug use is a big part of the reason for the increase in mental illness?
Whitaker: The rise in the disability rate due to mental illness is simply the starting point for the book. The disability numbers don’t prove anything, but, given that this astonishing increase has occurred in lockstep with our society’s increased use of psychiatric medications, the numbers do raise an obvious question. Could our drug-based paradigm of care, for some unforeseen reason, be fueling the increase in disability rates? And in order to investigate that question, you need to look at two things. First, do psychiatric medications alter the long-term course of mental disorders for the better, or for the worse? Do they increase the likelihood that a person will be able to function well over the long-term, or do they increase the likelihood that a person will end up on disability? Second, is it possible that a person with a mild disorder may have a bad reaction to an initial drug, and that puts the person onto a path that can lead to long-term disability. For instance, a person with a mild bout of depression may have a manic reaction to an antidepressant, and then is diagnosed with bipolar disorder and put on a cocktail of medications. Does that happen with any frequency? Could that be an iatrogenic [physician-caused illness] pathway that is helping to fuel the increase in the disability rates?
So that’s the starting point for the book. What I then did was look at what the scientific literature — a literature that now extends over 50 years — has to say about those questions. And the literature is remarkably consistent in the story it tells. Although psychiatric medications may be effective over the short term, they increase the likelihood that a person will become chronically ill over the long term. I was startled to see this picture emerge over and over again as I traced the long-term outcomes literature for schizophrenia, anxiety, depression, and bipolar illness. In addition, the scientific literature shows that many patients treated for a milder problem will worsen in response to a drug– say have a manic episode after taking an antidepressant — and that can lead to a new and more severe diagnosis like bipolar disorder. That is a well-documented iatrogenic pathway that is helping to fuel the increase in the disability numbers.
Now there may be various cultural factors contributing to the increase in the number of disabled mentally ill in our society. But the outcomes literature — and this really is a tragic story — clearly shows that our drug-based paradigm of care is a primary cause.
Use this to calculate the number of chickens you’d need to bring to the doctor in the GOP’s new Chickens for Checkups barter economy health care plan.
…Here’s Atrios the economist on the barter economy and why we don’t have one:
All joking aside, there’s a reason we no longer have a barter economy. It’s tremendously inefficient. Transactions require a “mutual coincidence of wants,” meaning I have to have something you actually want to have in exchange for my heart surgery. Many goods are highly indivisible - can’t trade half a live chicken - making precise pricing difficult.
I have most certainly reported on the therapeutic uses of Psilocybin, more specifically the study from Johns Hopkins University, here at GS. But to see it get positive treatment from such a mainstream news organization, well, awesome.
Despite early positive results, researchers are cognizant of overcoming the negative stereotype often conferred upon the psychedelic movement’s previous incarnation. To that end, the drugs are administered using strict safety protocols. Researchers are also hopeful that with other new age trends like yoga and meditation becoming mainstream, acceptance of psychedelic medical treatment isn’t far behind.
Well, perhaps more rational open-minded discourse from mainstream news orgs will help with that.
I see that the New York Times also has an article on this, much more in depth.
the therapeutically active components in marijuana - the cannabinoids - appear to be remarkably non-toxic to healthy cells and organs. This notable lack of toxicity is arguably because cannabinoids mimic compounds our bodies naturally produce - so-called endocannabinoids - that are pivotal for maintaining proper health and homeostasis.
In fact, in recent years scientists have discovered that the production of endocannabinoids (and their interaction with the cannabinoid receptors located throughout the body) play a key role in the regulation of proper appetite, anxiety control, blood pressure, bone mass, reproduction, and motor coordination, among other biological functions.
Just how important is this system in maintaining our health? Here’s a clue: In studies of mice genetically bred to lack a proper endocannabinoid system the most common result is premature death.
Armed with these findings, a handful of scientists have speculated that the root cause of certain disease conditions - including migraine, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, and other functional conditions alleviated by clinical cannabis - may be an underlying endocannabinoid deficiency.
Now THAT’S scientific heresy! Whoo!