medicine

The Scientific Activist

Category archives for medicine

Have you gotten your H1N1 flu shot yet? If not, it’s still not too late. Due in part to the successes of the public health campaign against H1N1 influenza, people have begun adopting a rather casual attitude toward it. This is problematic, because due to an extent to initial shortages of vaccine, a very large…

Multivitamins Don’t Work!

This isn’t really anything new, but Emily Anthes has a nice summary in Slate today of what we currently know about the effectiveness of nutritional supplements–namely that they don’t consistently show any clear benefits except in a few very specific situations: Vitamins–with their promise to bridge the gap between the nutrients our bodies need and…

Yesterday, the influential AMA (American Medical Association) announced that it would cease its opposition to the concept of medical marijuana and instead advocate for a change in federal classification of the drug. From the LA Times: The American Medical Assn. on Tuesday urged the federal government to reconsider its classification of marijuana as a dangerous…

I recently had the pleasure of writing an op-ed piece about health care reform for my hometown newspaper, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and it ran in the paper today. You can check it out online here. I grew up reading the Star-Telegram, so this was an exciting opportunity. My article discusses the need for robust…

A Tale of Two Health Care Systems

Mike Dunford tells a compelling story today at The Questionable Authority: Yesterday, I took the kids to the doctor for their school physicals. I wouldn’t normally subject you to an account of the day-to-day minutia of my personal life, but given the current debate about how we should handle health care in the United States,…

Although I’ve only written a bit about the recent outbreak of influenza A H1N1 (swine flu), I’d encourage you to take a look at this post by Kent Newsome that discusses where to find reliable information on this topic. This post is particularly nice, because it gives concrete examples of some of the useful things…

On Wednesday, the CDC reported that influenza A H1N1 viruses from 13 patients with confirmed diagnoses of swine flu had been tested for resistance to a variety of antiviral drugs. The good news was that all of the isolates were susceptible to the antiviral drugs oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza). However, all 13 were resistant…

Yesterday, the Institute of Medicine released a report entitled “Conflict of Interest in Medical Research, Education, and Practice“. As far as I can tell, the full report is only available for a fairly substantial charge, but these are some of the main recommendations summed up in the report’s press release: All academic medical centers, journals,…

Further to the points I wrote about in my previous post on the CIA torture memos, Mike Dunford of The Questionable Authority has previously raised another important issue: the complicity of medical professionals in CIA torture: Reading these memos, it’s very clear that there are quite a few CIA employees who are allegedly medical professionals.…

Measles: Not a Trivial Illness

The Lay Scientist has a new guest post up from British physician “DeeTee” about measles, a horrible disease that until recently had been virtually eradicated from the developed world. Unfortunately, despite the fact that measles is totally preventable with proper vaccination, the misguided campaigning of anti-vaccination fanatics has caused measles to once again raise its…