News and Views

On the First Day of Christmas, ACSH gave to me... The End of the NRDC

On the Second Day of Christmas, ACSH gave to me... Two Killer Coffees

On the Third Day of Christmas, ACSH gave to me... Three French Fries

On the Fourth Day of Christmas, ACSH gave to me... Four Science Quacks

On the Fifth Day of Christmas, ACSH gave to me......

If you watched the 2016 summer Olympics swimmers — especially super-star Michael Phelps — you could hardly avoid noticing what looked like great big hickeys on various spots on their bodies — like these:

But no, these aren't hickeys, they're the results of an ancient Chinese/Egyptian technique called cupping. A therapist puts special cups, which might be made of glass, bamboo, silicone or earthenware, on your skin to create a vacuum. The cups contain a flammable substance (e.g. alcohol, herbs or paper) which are set on fire: when the fire goes out, the cups are placed on the skin. As the air inside the cups cools, it contracts, setting up a vacuum which exerts a...

2016 may go down as "The Year of the Stoner," as marijuana's surge toward legality really got moving. Despite being classified by the DEA as a Schedule I drug (no approved medical use, high addiction potential—the same as heroin) (1) 26 states  and Washington D.C. have already legalized the drug for either medical, recreational purposes, with other states ready to move forward. But, because of crazy, conflicting laws, you can't ship the stuff across state lines because that violates federal law—even if it is legal in both states (2). Duh? 

 

The...

Dipping a toe into the waters of dental issues associated with scuba diving, a DDS-to-be wants to alert divers to the fact that taking the plunge can exacerbate problems with unhealthy teeth and loose fillings.

The researcher, a student in the University of Buffalo School of Dental Medicine, began a small survey of divers on a personal instinct that underwater conditions worsen existing dental problems.

The curiosity of the student, Vinisha Ranna, Bachelor of Dental Surgery, deepened after her own underwater excursion three years ago, when she experienced a "squeezing sensation in her teeth, a condition known as barodontalgia." And when Ms. Ranna subsequently found that there wasn't much clinical research previously done, she decided to dive into the topic herself.

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Standing on the doorstep of 2017, we can only wonder which anti-science voices will be the loudest next year, as we consider how best to debunk their anti-science messages... 

We were skeptical of the appointment of Mark Bittman to the faculty of Columbia's School of Public Health last month. This esteemed position will, undoubtedly resurrect his message from its death last year when he left The New York Times. Since leaving his position, we have had a brief respite from hearing the importance of eating vegan and labeling of GMOs. Mr. Bittman (not Dr. Mark Bittman, nor Mark Bittman, Ph.D.) is not only unqualified for such an esteemed appointment (one that academics spend their entire career working toward) but, his prescriptive views on food are simply not obtainable...

Here at ACSH, we cover nearly every topic under the sun related to biomedicine, chemistry, health, epidemiology, and sports science.

We are sometimes surprised to learn which articles are most popular with our readers. This year, our work on herpes vaccines resonated across the globe. In fact, one of them was the most popular article we wrote all year! (Kudos to Dr. Josh Bloom.)

So, in case you missed them, here are the ten most popular articles we wrote in 2016 (yes, including two on herpes):

#1. A Vaccine For Herpes Erupts In The News

#2. Like Beef, Insects Are A Good...

You swear you were sooo careful last year but nevertheless, the tangled Christmas lights prevail. It's knot science, and here's why!

With the release of a new report on the dangers of sleep-deprived driving, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety should be credited for reiterating an essential tenet: one must be fully aware and alert when getting behind the wheel of a car.

We applaud the non-profit organization for its comprehensive study, which highlighted the degree of driver impairment that occurs depending on the amount of sleep lost in the 24 hours preceding a traffic accident. The AAAFTS then quantified that risk – increasing, logically, with sleep/hours lost – in its report, which then made news nationwide.

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Hope you don't makeup (1) your mind before you read this thing.

Of all the scares that we debunk, perhaps no one is dumber than whatever appears on the Skin Deep Cosmetics web page, which, just by coincidence happens to be run by the Environmental Working Group—the perennial winner of the "Worst Science Site in the Galaxy" award. These jokers somehow find it within themselves make even the NRDC look like an All Star Team of Nobel Prize winners. Not so easy.

EWG cares a whole lot about your skin. So much so that they pretty much want you avoid putting anything on it. For example:

  • In the Perfume, cologne, and body spray category, they advise you to avoid: “Fragrance” (...

Chiropractors are traditionally thought of as someone you go to for back pain. However, the profession has started moving way (WAY) outside of that traditional scope, frequently claiming the ability to treat over one hundred different ailments.

This movement which appears to be a 'you have it - we treat it' type of philosophy, makes us question the validity of these claims and wonder about evidence is to back these statements up? We are not alone.

A paper published last year analyzed the content of websites of 11 chiropractic associations and colleges (listed at the end of this article) and 80 private clinics in Canada,...