Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.

Donate

Health

Here, here! U.K. panel recommends against public funding of homeopathy

Using blunt language, a British parliamentary panel recommended today that the U.K.’s government-run National Health Service (NHS) stop funding homeopathic remedies.
“[E]xplanations for why homeopathy would work are scientifically implausible,” the p

Socrates would probably have hated Facebook

If, like me, you sometimes wonder if the time you spend on the Internet is stealthily wreaking havoc with your brain, you’ll be relieved to read the latest article in Slate by Vaughan Bell, the British neuropsychologist and intrepid blogger (Mind Ha

Thumbs up for Esquire profile of Roger Ebert’s struggle with cancer

When you have the time over the next few days, I recommend that you read Chris Jones’ moving article in Esquire about Pulitizer Prize-winning film critic Roger Ebert’s eight-year struggle with thyroid cancer.
The article, which is beautifully written

Doctors and patients may be divided on need for routine mammograms

Has a divide developed between physicians and patients regarding routine screening mammograms?
Apparently, if the results of an online survey described this week in an editorial in the Annals of Internal Medicine are to be believed.
As widely (and so

Get me to the church (and the oxytocin experiment?) on time

With a wedding looming on the horizon in my own family, I read with amusement as well as interest New Scientist writer Linda Geddes’ recent account of how she turned her wedding last July into a remarkable little science experiment to, as she put it,

How drug marketing has trumped science

Last month, I posted about a research paper that showed how pharmaceutical companies “salami slice” a single set of data into many different medical journal studies to make their products more marketable.
The author of that paper, Glen Spielmans, an

Proposed changes to psychiatry’s ‘diagnostic bible’ are released

The long-awaited proposed changes to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the “diagnostic bible” of the American Psychiatric Association, were released Tuesday.
Already, individuals, physicians, special-interest groups and

And the Oscar for best junk-food ‘brand-cameo’ performance is ….

If there were an Oscar category for best performance by a food and beverage in a movie, it would have to include even more nominees than this year’s best-picture category.
But you could bet all your Oscar pool money that the winning product would be

Forbes highlights misleading drug ads

Forbes magazine has put up a must-see slide show of “Ten Misleading Drug Ads.”
These are among the 41 advertising and promotional campaigns that generated warning letters in 2009 from the apparently newly energized U.S.

Twin Cities physician in Haiti sees the battle slowly turning

There is some good news coming out of what Dr. Peter Melchert describes as the “awfulness” of post-quake Haiti. Melchert, a Minneapolis internist and pediatrician in Haiti caring for quake victims, says, “The whole crisis is evolving.”

A turning point in the vaccine safety debate?

On Tuesday, the British medical journal The Lancet took a remarkable action.
It finally retracted a discredited 1998 study that had linked the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine with autism and bowel disorders.
The retraction came a week after

Unsavory bacteria found in packaged lettuce

I’m someone who eats at least one salad daily, sometimes with prewashed packaged organic lettuce, so the findings from Consumer Reports’ latest tests on packaged leafy greens were not what I wanted to hear.
The magazine tested 208 samples of packaged

Drug, device companies want to ‘talk’ to you via social media

With 60 percent of us now searching the Internet for health-related information, you can understand why the marketers of drugs and medical devices are so eager to implant their messages online — particularly in social media sites and blogs.
But how c

Study: Thinking about the past or future can be moving (literally)

The only way we can travel through time, of course, is in our mind.
But as we do so — as we contemplate either our past or our future — our body moves ever so imperceptibly with us.
Specifically, we sway slightly backward when we muse about the past