Medical

The Primate Diaries

Category archives for Medical

Is Bisphenol-A Turning Our Kids Nasty?

Researchers from Simon Fraser University, just a stone’s throw from where I sit in Vancouver, have determined that the side effects from this endocrine disruptor can alter children’s behavior: Researchers have just linked prenatal exposure to bisphenol-A – a near-ubiquitous industrial chemical – with subtle, gender-specific alterations in behavior among two year olds. Girls whose…

The Audacity of Nope

Buffalo News / Adam Zyglis “As hypocrisy is said to be the highest compliment to virtue, the art of lying is the strongest acknowledgment of the force of truth.” – William Hazlitt, “On Patronage and Puffing”, 1822

Apparently so. It turns out that in nine states and Washington, D.C. insurance companies are not prohibited from dropping coverage for patients with a history of domestic abuse. The Women’s Law Project documented this in detail in their 2002 Supplement Report entitled “Insurance Discrimination Against Victims of Domestic Violence” (pdf here) and in their 2008…

A “Public Option” Would Be Bad

From McClatchy, DC

Phineas Gage in the Flesh

The only known photograph of famed head case Phineas Gage was discovered last month (on Flickr of all places!). Jack and Beverly Wilgus had the above daguerreotype for thirty years before realizing what it was. As they describe the image’s history at their website: We called it “The Whaler” because we thought the pole he…

In light of the AstroTurf outrage promoted by right-wing organizations, media pundits and lobbying firms over the health care reform legislation, I thought it would be appropriate to remember the reason we need reform in the first place. In this interview with Bill Moyers, Wendell Potter, former head of corporate communications for CIGNA, reveals how…

Mark Hemingway, the Conservative “tough-guy” for the National Review, has just posted a rant against health concerns for the endocrine disruptor Bisphenol A. I’ve seen some estimates that over a billion people have had exposure to BPA and there isn’t proof of anything. So why the big scare? I assume trial lawyers are involved in…

The Feeling of What Happens

The “Revelation” as described by St. John, though likely inspired through the use of hallucinogens (see The Mystery of Manna). The title for this post comes from a terrific book by the neuroscientist Antonio Damasio, but I think it’s appropriate for a discussion on faith, feeling and reason. Francis Collins’ nomination as Director of the…

Sam Harris, Francis Collins and the NIH

Science and religion bicker in the backseat. Collin Purrington / Creative Commons With Francis Collins’ nomination as head of the National Institutes of Health I felt it was appropriate to bring up Sam Harris’ letter to the journal Nature objecting to what he called “high-minded squeamishness” on the part of the editors for their praise…

The Grassroots of Scientific Revolution

Rejection of authority and working-class values inspired the scientific method. As everyone knows, when food is digested it is processed into chyle and turned into blood by the liver. This blood then flows to the lungs where it releases any impurities into the air. Flowing from the lungs into the left ventricle of the heart…