News and Views

When submitting a scientific manuscript to a journal for review, it is safe to say that the worst possible outcome imaginable for most scientists is that it will be rejected.

However, a far worse outcome is indeed possible - and it happened to Dr. Michael Dansinger. 

Like any other physician or scientist who is trying to publish their results, Dr. Dansinger submitted his manuscript (entitled “One-Year Effectiveness of the Atkins, Zone, Weight Watchers, and Ornish Diets for Increasing Large High-Density Lipoprotein Particle Levels: A Secondary Analysis of a Randomized Trial”) to the Annals of Internal Medicine to undergo the peer-review process. (If you would like a refresher on how the peer-review process works, please read a description of it...

It is nothing short of amazing that we are still alive, or at the very least, don't all have cancer.

Because if even a fraction of the phony chemical scares that we write about almost every day were real, there'd be no one left alive to read what our dead writers didn't write. Whatever the hell that means.

An oldie, but goody refuses to go away. It is called acrylamide, which is formed during baking or frying of bread, chips, cookies, cereal, and — most notoriously — French fries

The chemical also occurs naturally (no—this does *not* matter) in a variety of vegetables,...

Sometimes, things just don't make sense. Recommendations on what causes cancer should not be one of them. However, most major news outlets ran headlines this past June claiming that "hot drinks probably cause cancer" based on a letter that the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) published in the Lancet.

But, when you take a minute, (before we all start drinking our coffee lukewarm) and take a look into the letter, it becomes apparent that there is no science that supports this statement.

The majority of the letter is concerned with whether coffee causes cancer or not (it doesn't.) The last time that coffee was reviewed by IARC was in 1991, when it was classified as “...

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) gets so many things wrong that finding one of them is as difficult as looking for corn in Iowa, genetically modified or otherwise. Here are a few of many examples. 

  • The group used cheesy, but effective tactics to try to make the herbicide 2,4-D look highly toxic. It isn't. Not even close. In particular, it equated 2,4-D with Agent Orange, the defoliant that was used in the Vietnam War. The problem with their otherwise-stellar science is that not only does 2,3,7,8-TCCD (commonly called dioxin) not exist in 2,4-D, but it is impossible for it to be there. This is because dioxin was a contaminant that was formed in the manufacture of a...

Cancer deaths are falling in the United States, and that's great to see. On the other hand, fatalities caused by heart disease are on the rise and there's a significant increase in deaths attributed to Alzheimer's disease. 

These are some of the top developments from 2015 included in the latest national report on life expectancy, recently released by National Center for Health Statistics, a department of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

But the most significant and sobering news generated from the analysis shows that for the first time in 22 years, life expectancy for the average American has dropped. Last year it was 78.8 years, down from 78.9 years in 2014. Broken down by gender, men could expect to live 76.3 years (down from 76.5), while for women "life...

Your noggin is not as special as you think. That is, in terms of losing heat in the winter. Here's why you can skip the hat and not be entirely doomed.

Here's a study we thoroughly approve of, peer reviews be damned: Retail therapy can do the mind good, especially when it comes to calming fears of your impending death. 

In a study published earlier this year in the Journal of Consumer Affairs, researchers analyzed two types of participants: those who described themselves as 'anti-consumers' and 'over-consumers.' Those generally opposed to overspending and over-consumption fell into the anti-consumers group, while over-consumers fell into the opposite category. 

So how exactly did they figure it out? First, the participants took a series of tests designed to measure their materialism or frugality. Researchers asked the participants how they felt...

As players adapt this season to the National Hockey League's updated concussion protocol, several who have taken hits to the head during games received on-the-spot medical evaluations. But as to whether the safety guidelines are having their intended effect, to answer that question many onlookers are scrutinizing an incident involving Connor McDavid on Dec. 4 

The reason is that the "injury," which required his removal from the game at a crucial moment, could have been interpreted in different ways. As such the situation has invited observers to more closely examine how the protocol works (as well as the ways that it may not), and to offer suggestions to improve it. 

As detailed in ...

Concussions in hockey

When it comes to concussion prevention, and the ways to reduce brain trauma in professional sports, for years now the spotlight has steadily shone on the National Football League and the efforts it has made. And it's been thrust onto center stage for good reason.

First, the sport is relentless, inherently brutal and violent, and so many high-impact areas of the game need to be addressed. Second, it's the most popular sport in America, so naturally what executives are doing to address concussion mitigation is being very closely watched. And the league, while it has its many critics, is making progress by instituting rule changes and strengthening medical safeguards.

But there's another sport that's also putting effective measures in place, and since it operates in the NFL'...

New genetic technology can either come to fruition and have a positive impact on our lives or be driven into the ground. The difference depends on whether the people making decisions understand the science and can accurately and properly weigh the risks and benefits.

In order for that to happen, scientists have to participate in open discourse, as education and communication are the keys to moving science forward to a place where changes can evolve to positively impact our health and the environment.

One the best examples of this goes back to 1953 when Dr. Jonas Salk announced during a national radio show that the vaccine against poliomyelitis had been tested and worked, sparking one of the largest and most important public health campaigns that our country has ever...