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Archives for September, 2012

Working to End HIV

Could HIV soon follow in the footsteps of smallpox and polio?  On The Pump Handle, Sara Gorman says that recent research has “allowed political figures such as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to proclaim that the phenomenon of a generation without HIV/AIDS is within reach.”  But no vaccine has proven effective at curtailing HIV infection,…

Is Non-Organic a No-Brainer?

A Stanford University analysis of over 200 nutritional studies found little evidence that organic food is better for you than conventional food. But health is affected by more than vitamins and minerals; for example by the chemical chlorpyrifos, which was banned for indoor use but continues to be sprinkled on our food crops. In California’s…

Tomorrow’s Tide

On a pilgrimage to Glacier National Park, Ethan Siegel notes “the hike to Grinnell Glacier is nearly a mile longer than it was when the trail was first constructed.” Worldwide, nearly 90% of glaciers are shrinking, and “glacial melt is contributing noticeably to the overall sea level of our planet.” The park itself will be…

All Arms on Deck

On The Pump Handle, Anthony Robbins discusses his tenure at NIOSH, the World Health Organization’s drive to vaccinate people around the world, and the fallout of the CIA’s decision to use a vaccination program as a subterfuge for spying operations in Pakistan.  Robbins writes, “WHO had hoped to complete global polio elimination by 2005, but…

Animal Bodies Rearranged

On Pharyngula, PZ Myers considers a computer model which posits that bones are simply exoskeletons turned inside-out. Myers writes “We know from the homology of the patterning molecules involved that vertebrates and invertebrates are upside-down relative to each other, so at some point an ancestor flipped.” Such major differences in body plan arise during embryonic…