News and Views

This morning Archana Radhakrishnan et al. from Johns Hopkins and the University of Pennsylvania, published a paper in Cancer on who and why patients seek second opinions on prostate cancer. Despite recommendations from both the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society for cancer patients to seek second opinions regarding treatment, there is little substantive medical literature on the behavior surrounding second opinions.

The Findings

  • 4676 men identified diagnosed with localized prostate cancer and in the Pennsylvania Cancer Registry within the greater Philadelphia region were mailed surveys along with nominal payment for their completion. 51.1% (2386) responded.
  • The...

With the Cubs winning the World Series for the first time in more than a century, there's a level of excitement for the team's historic achievement that's extending well beyond Wrigley Field and the city of Chicago.

Baseball fans nationwide are appreciating what the franchise accomplished this season, with broad interest for this instant-classic showdown with the Cleveland Indians averaging more than 20 million viewers each game. As for the series finale, Game 7 drew an astounding 40.45 million viewers, making it the most-watched baseball game -- of any kind -- since Game 7 of the 1991 World Series.

Yes, Americans wanted great, thrilling baseball -- along with seeing a perennial loser finally win it all --  and they got exactly that. And while the Indians also brought a...

Don't be fooled by the rocks that she's got - Jennifer Lopez is just your average, everyday molecular biologist. 

Or, at least, she might be if a new TV show continues moving through the production pipeline at NBC. In addition to gorgeous actors, another star of the show will be a molecular biology technique called CRISPR (you can find a description of the mechanism I wrote earlier this year here) that has the ability to edit the genes in our DNA in a truly revolutionary way. 

The Hollywood Reporter claims (and its not every day that I get...

Samoa, in the Pacific Ocean

Have you ever had this experience traveling to an unknown destination?

You think you're headed in the right direction, and using a combination of gut instinct and your dashboard GPS to navigate, you realize that you've overshot your turn ... resulting in you becoming completely upset and totally lost.

The next time that happens, perhaps you might take solace thinking about another type of traveler, one who faced a few challenges of his own. He was forced to rely on the wind, weather and the stars to navigate the mysterious and perilous Pacific Ocean, searching for a spit of land hundreds, if not thousands, of miles away. 

Sure, it's a different context. And that's the point. Because sometimes it's comforting to take a step back from modern life's minor annoyances...

A new economic claim from the American Lung Association of California regarding Zero Emission Vehicles and their potential health benefits has us all living in an episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show.  

But, their statement goes way beyond,"You get a car, you get a car, you get a car!"  

Their analysis postulates that a big push in the usage of Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEVs) will allow Americans to save billions of dollars in health costs each year, along with thousands of lives. Unfortunately, that's a promise not even Oprah could make happen. 

A Zero Emission Vehicle is a vehicle that directly produces no harmful emissions - some don't even...

The news regarding antibiotic misuse is, needless to say, bleak. 

But, the work of Dr. Sara Cosgrove of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine is a ray of hope. And, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) - an arm of the US Department of Health and Human Services - must agree with me as they just gave her $16 Million (a LOT of money for that governmental agency.) 

Dr. Cosgrove, an associate professor of medicine and epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University, is not interested in designing new antibiotics, or even antibiotic resistance so much. What she and her colleague, Dr. Pranita Tamma, are interested in is implementing change in the way that antibiotics are used in health care settings. They are focused on the...

LED lighting

Small towns and big cities across America are replacing overhead streetlight bulbs with brighter, longer-lasting versions. Embraced by communities mostly as a money-saving measure, the move can also deliver added quality-of-life benefits, in some cases even deterring crime by illuminating areas of town that were once poorly lit. 

However, the American Medical Association is seeing the switch in a whole different light, even raising some health concerns that it's calling potentially "harmful." But to us, those concerns seem baffling and somewhat overblown, because when the AMA's policy statement is examined it's hard to discern what its concern is all about.

Before we get into that, let's first look up and see what's going on above our heads. In this nationwide street-...

Supermarket Selections

When it comes to matters involving food -- shopping for, eating and disposing of it, just to name a few -- it's surprising how lack of awareness factors into each area. And once again this appears to be a recurring theme given the tepid news coverage of World Food Day last Sunday, coupled with a recent survey of Americans about food consumption and overall food waste.

World Food Day, established in 1979, is a global initiative described by the organization as "a day of action against hunger. On October 16, people around the world come together to declare their commitment to eradicate hunger in our lifetime."

A eminently laudable goal, it's hard not to get behind the effort to address worldwide hunger concerns, as well as those here in the United States. But a news search...

The death of a young, vibrant, single mother is beyond tragic. When that death could have been avoided, it is infuriating. When it is at the hand of a chiropractor, it is time for things to change. 

TMZ broke the story this week that Katie May's death on February 4th of this past year was due to a chiropractic adjustment.

Katie sought relief from a pinched nerve by visiting a chiropractor which is recounted in her tweets from the days leading up to her death. 

According to other tweets, she returned to the chiropractor on February 1st. Later that day, she ...

Dr. Alexandre Martin has seen countless young, inexperienced graduate students be duped into thinking that an email invitation from an online journal to publish their work is legitimate. This is why he puts in extra time and effort while teaching his introduction to research class at the University of Kentucky's College of Engineering. Martin wants to impress on these young scientists that these emails are, in fact, too good to be true.  

These journals are categorized as a 'predatory open access' (pOA) journals, which indicates that the peer review process is either incredibly loose or nonexistent. There are hundreds of these journals, many of which can be found on this list of potential, possible or...