Health Care

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Category archives for Health Care

A Republican Pound of Cure

On Respectful Insolence, Orac writes “the relationship between health insurance and, well, health is a question that can be addressed scientifically, which puts it right smack dab within the purview of science-based medicine.” Orac contradicts Mitt Romney’s statement that because a 1986 mandate requires hospitals to treat anyone needing emergency treatment, people don’t die for…

Chief Justice John Roberts proved himself an independent thinker last month, siding against his fellow conservatives (and Republican appointees) in upholding the Affordable Care Act of 2010. Roberts agreed that Congress could not force a citizen to buy insurance, but allowed the individual mandate to survive as a tax. In the meantime, the ruling placed…

Cost, Cause & Effect

Cause and effect weave a tangled web, but a new data analysis tool called MIC can help make sense of it all.  The Weizmann Institute writes that “Large data sets with thousands of variables are increasingly common in fields as diverse as genomics, physics, political science, economics and more.”  Evaluating pairs of variables from among…

Endless Questions?

What’s better than an answer to a question? More questions, perhaps? ScienceBloggers have been very quizzical the last few days, beginning with Jason Rosenhouse on EvolutionBlog. After co-authoring Taking Sudoku Seriously with Laura Taalman, Rosenhouse wondered if 17 is really the minimum number of clues needed to solve a Sudoku puzzle. Although no one has…

Imagining the Future

On Universe, Claire L. Evans interviews sci-fi world-builder Ursula K. Le Guin. Their conversation centers on the Google Books Settlement, which seeks to “circumvent existing U.S. copyright law.” While Le Guin hopes her books will become more accessible in the future, she says “the vast and currently chaotic electronic expansion of publishing should not be…

A Booster Shot of Science

Vaccines have guarded health and life for centuries, relegating once devastating diseases to near total obscurity. But many people now take vaccines for granted, and some blame vaccines for autism and other disorders. On Respectful Insolence, Orac reports the downfall of 1998 research which first tied MMR vaccines to the occurrence of autism in children.…

Last month, lawmakers in Ontario, Canada introduced legislation that would award prescription rights to graduates of two naturopathic schools. Should students subject to different educational standards be granted the same powers of prescription? On Terra Sigillata, Abel Pharmboy calls it inconsistent for the naturopathic community to “want the right to prescribe regulated medicines while simultaneously…

Mixed Signals on Mammography

Last month the US government released new guidelines for breast cancer screening mammography, a revision which Orac writes has “shaken my specialty to the core.” For most women, the guidelines now recommend beginning biennial screenings at age fifty, instead of annual screenings at age forty. Around the same time, a study came out which “suggested…

New Embryonic Stem Cell Lines

On Wednesday, the NIH approved thirteen new embryonic stem cell lines for federally-funded research, with ninety-six additional lines still under review. These new approvals come as a direct result of the “Obama administration’s new rules on federal funding for stem cell research, which reversed the Bush policy of prohibiting such funding in most cases.” Read…

The Buzz: Eating Your Words

We often hear that “you are what you eat,” but the relationship between what goes in our bodies and what our bodies make of it is really quite complex. On Respectful Insolence, Orac laments that “diet does not have nearly as large an effect as we had hoped” on the prevention of cancer, and that…