Terra Sigillata

Archives for April, 2007

Yes, the decimal point matters

This sad story harkens back to my days as a pharmacy prof when students would argue for points on an incorrect pharmaceutical calculations exam by saying, “well, only the decimal point was off.” A pharmacy erroneously made a drug 10 times more potent than intended, which killed three people who received it at an Oregon…

By now you have already heard that my ScienceBlogs colleague, Shelley Batts of Retrospectacle, has been threatened with legal action if she did not remove published figures from a blog post. Shelley had a nifty post on a recent paper in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture detailing how treatment with naturally-occuring…

A proprietary extract of black cohosh (Actea racemosa) sold in the US and Europe as Remifemin has long been purported as an alternative to hormone replacement therapy in menopause and perimenopause. Several trials have questioned the efficacy of this herb (one discussed on this blog) and the NIH has been concerned about sporadic reports of…

Perversion of good science

More Canadian press leads me to put up another post on dichloroacetate (DCA), the inhibitor of mitochondrial aerobic glycolysis that is being promoted as a freely-available cancer “cure.” Like many compounds tested in animal models of human cancer, DCA treatment reduces the size of human lung tumors grown in rats, but is far from a…

If you’ve been to Aspen, Colorado, for a scientific conference you have no doubt made the bike ride down valley to the venerable Woody Creek Tavern for margaritas and such. (The ride back to town is a wee bit more challenging, by the way.) The Aspen Times now reports that the Tavern is up for…

In the comment thread of my recent post about Herbalife, the multilevel supplement marketing company, I brought up the company’s association with Dr Louis Ignarro who shared the 1998 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the discovery of nitric oxide as a signaling molecule in the cardiovascular system. My medblogging colleague, Orac, reminded me…

Even when I’m not blogging (like this week, for example), I tend to be doing things behind the scenes related to the blog such as responding to reader mail. In looking for sources to respond to a reader about herbal multilevel marketing firms, I came across an interesting site that tracks media stories and legal…

EPA agrees to cut lead in kids’ products The lawsuit also followed the death of 4-year-old Jarnell Brown of Minneapolis, who died last year from acute lead poisoning by swallowing part of a heart-shaped charm bracelet distributed by Reebok International Ltd. The child’s death was ruled accidental, but Reebok recalled 300,000 of the silver-colored, Chinese-made…

Great science, great literature

The weekend version of the Wall Street Journal (sorry, sub reqd) included John Gribbins’ list of influential science books that also make for good literature. Gribbin trained originally as an astrophysicist and recently finished writing his 100th book. The list:

Despite living in a state with a heavy military economy, the closest I’ve come to knowing the sacrifices of Iraq War service personnel is through my ScienceBlogs colleague, Mike Dunford, of The Questionable Authority. While his wife is delpoyed in Iraq, Mike is in grad school looking after their two kids. The latest slap in…