Medicine

Pharyngula

Category archives for Medicine

Peter Doherty explains the likely outcomes of the Zika virus pandemic. What we are seeing in the Americas is a classic “virgin soil” epidemic. Enormous numbers of people and mosquitoes are being infected, the virus is transmitting at a very high level, and there may be as many as 4×106 cases. Apart from affected neonates,…

A few days ago, David Bowie died of cancer. This morning I learned that the actor Alan Rickman has died of cancer. You all know the rule of threes, right? It has been satisfied, because in his state of the union address Barack Obama announced that he was going to kill American biological research, with…

A Marxist perspective on cancer

Sadly, a young man in England has been diagnosed with stage IV cancer — and he really is an atheist in a metaphorical foxhole, and it hasn’t changed his opinion of religion. Between now and last Wednesday I’ve worried about various things, but one thought that stands out is religion. Before I go into more…

Dr Oz has seen the error of his ways!

He has announced that Dr. Mehmet Oz is changing the direction of his show! No more quackery for him! The entire upcoming season of The Dr. Oz Show — which kicks off Monday, September 14 — will focus on the mind-body connection and feature a partnership with former U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher, MD. In…

Tom Harkin is a toxin in the bloodstream of American science. Watch this report on his legacy: billions of dollars swirling down the drain of alternative medicine.

The paper leaves no room for ambiguity. Note that there’s nothing at all wrong with this — the use of fetal tissue in these kinds of experiments, and many more, is ubiquitous, and it is not obtained by magic, but by the ethical donation of fetal material from abortions and miscarriages and stillbirths. I don’t…

You may have seen the hype. GAME-CHANGING CURE FOR ALZHEIMER: THE NEW DRUG, NEW BREAKTHROUGH. Next Best Thing To Alzheimer’s Cure: Solanezumab May Delay Onset Of Dementia By 30%. Have scientists found a drug to stop Alzheimer’s disease? I’m going to have to pop your balloon. Someone knowledgeable actually looked at the study.

It’s the same old story

Denialists claiming to be pro-science. Politicians insisting on a balanced treatment. A population ignorant of the science indignantly rejecting a clear and well-established, evidence-based conclusion. I’m not talking about creationism, although it’s exactly the same story. It’s the anti-vax position now. That dishonest weasel, Chris Christie, is now talking about respecting the choice of anti-vax…

On the importance of luck

That paper that proposed that most cancers were due to bad luck, that is, that they were a consequence of biological factors that could not be controlled, has been surprisingly controversial. I thought it was a fairly unsurprising paper that confirmed what we already suspected, but wow, the furious pushback has been something to behold.…

Cancer: bad genes or bad luck?

If there is one cause of cancer, it would be genetic damage to somatic cells. So all we have to do to cure cancer is prevent all genetic damage! That’s not a very useful prescription, unfortunately; it’s rather like saying that all we have to do to prevent accidental deaths is prohibit all potential causes…