News and Views

In an all too common turn of events, former President George H. W. Bush and his wife Barbara were admitted to the same hospital for respiratory issues-- pneumonia and bronchitis, respectively. President Bush is reported to be in the ICU (aka intensive care unit) implying a more serious bout of disease than his wife who as per the latest announcement by spokesman, Jim McGrath, feels "1,000% better" as of the morning of January 19, 2017.  

As the nation gears up for today's inauguration of the 45th President Donald J. Trump of the United States, sadly, the Bushes will be unable to be in attendance. Wishing them the speediest of recoveries, they are clearly where they need to be and, hopefully, will return to good health expeditiously.  

Bush implied the state of his...

McKesson Corporation [1] was fined $150 million in civil penalties related to failure to report suspicious opioid orders through their distribution network this week.

They were fined $20 million in 2008 over the same problem, but it apparently didn’t alter their behavior. In 2008 they committed to designing and implementing a system to identify and report suspicious orders. “The Justice Department says McKesson created a compliance program but failed to fully implement or adhere to it, resulting in the latest penalties.” [2]

Now an independent monitor is required to oversee McKesson’s...

Science is one of the few institutions in America that has largely remained above the hyperpartisanship gripping our nation. However, there is a small but growing perception among Americans that scientists are becoming politically biased. Indeed, surveys have confirmed that Democrats vastly outnumber Republicans in academia. And, over the last few months, the behavior of high-profile scientific journals has only served to reconfirm these perceptions of bias. 

Consider an editorial in Environmental Science & Technology Letters, a journal...

Like most, my initial reaction to such a challenge is “umm, no thanks.” But, I admit I am not much like the long distance running extreme endurance athlete set. A unique club. One I simultaneously admire and am perpetually surprised by as the stakes in these wild endeavors seem to be getting higher and higher from ultra marathons in the Serengeti to the imminent World Marathon Challenge of 7 marathons on 7 Continents in 7 days.

Whereas I used to think there was a level of insanity that must accompany such extreme sport, a dear friend taught me invaluable lessons that enabled me to reframe these triumphs and feats of physical prowess. She had a life goal to run a marathon on every continent as just the United States would have...

The USDA announced last week that on-line providers of fresh food would begin participating in a pilot study with the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP). The retailers include Amazon, FreshDirect, Safeway, ShopRite, HyVee, Hart’s Local Grocers and Dash’s Market.

The primary purpose of SNAP is to prevent hunger and promote food security using the USDA’s Thrifty Food Plan, a diet minimizing cost while satisfying nutritional requirements and limits, as the model for determining a financial benefit. SNAP provides electronic benefit transfer cards (EBT) to redeem eligible food items at nearly 250,000 retailers with few restrictions.

SNAP eligibility is based upon financial need (income less than 130% of poverty level). In 2016 it provided benefits to 44.2...

Recently a breast cancer awareness campaign has been popping up on women's Facebook messengers, including my own.

The idea behind it is that we ought to post a simple 'heart' as our status to 'secretly' show support for the continued battle against breast cancer. Hundreds — if not thousands — of women have done this in the past week or so, prompting follow-up questions about the message behind the images from Facebook friends. 

Let me be clear: If this is your way of showing support for breast cancer, so be it. And while the idea is well-intentioned, we women are doing a great disservice to ourselves — and our lady lumps...

In a world where optics, buzzwords and marketing magic carry as much meaning if not more than — it seems— the actual validity of the core concept or technology, nothing baffles me more than how a Theranos was able to rise and fall so precipitously and garner a multi-billion dollar valuation. Or, raise such capital at all from the start.  

Fundamentally, the company’s promise of “groundbreaking finger-stick technology" was the reinvention or rebranding of an existing technology:  the microtainer (aka the pediatric bullet).  I will get to that shortly.

The power of marketing or a good story that can sell is likely what...

A naturopath is not a physician, should not be able to substitute for one, act like one or even play one on TV.

However, in the last few weeks, the Massachusetts legislature passed bill 2335 "An Act establishing a board of registration in naturopathy," that will give the profession of naturopaths legitimacy - one of the worst moves that they could have made for the health of the people of the "bay state."   

The heart of the bill designates that a board will be instituted to determine the role of naturopaths and define their abilities and limits. The five person board will be...

If this trend continues, Canadians may someday have more access to sugar than they have to ice skating. 

New government research shows that when it comes to packaged foods and beverages sold in Canada, two of every three items contain added sugar of some kind. That jarring news comes from a joint report by Public Health Ontario and the University of Waterloo, made public today. 

The labels of more than 40,000 products "sold at national supermarket chains of a major Canadian grocery retailer" in March of 2015 were analyzed, in an effort to identify any of 30 terms that indicated the presence of sugar, "everything from sugar to dextrose, high-fructose corn syrup, glucose, fructose and fruit juice concentrate," states a...

Basic —but vital—needs being met contribute significantly to overall health and well-being.  They play a substantial role in disease prevention, maintenance and the success of many therapeutic interventions. 

A well-balanced diet, sufficient sleep, routine exercise and social connection are core tenets that empower us to go out into the world each and every day.  These necessary tools of daily living serve to improve our physical and mental health.  

Sex is also considered an essential component of life and wellness.  Touch, intimacy and the resultant pleasurable physiologic responses bestow a number of benefits and facilitate the ability for us to participate in the experience of being human.  

Though most research in the United States tends to emphasize the...