Terra Sigillata

Archives for January, 2008

44 is the peak age of unhappiness

So concludes a paper by Drs Andrew Oswald and David Blanchflower in a paper to appear in the journal, Social Science and Medicine. (full text not yet available). From the UK Telegraph story, the University of Warwick’s Oswald explains: “The first theory is that when you are young you have high aspirations and then in…

Die, you gravy-sucking pigs*

. . .that’s the message from Dr Bertha Madras, deputy director of the White House Office on National Drug Control Policy, to heroin and morphine users whose lives might be saved in the overdose situation by public distribution of “overdose rescue kits” comprised of a $9.50 nasal spray containing Narcan. Narcan is the brand name…

If you read nothing else: Men with prostate cancer should avoid any dietary supplement containing testosterone (or anything that sounds like it) or that offers claims of increased virility, sexual performance, or increased muscle mass. Consumption of a herbal/hormone dietary supplement has been linked to two cases of aggressive prostate cancer as reported in a…

When Duke genetics researcher Dr Marcy C Speer died of breast cancer last August at age 47, a huge void was left in the community of her friends, her university, and her field. As Director of the Center for Human Genetics at Duke University Medical Center, Dr Speer was tremendously successful as a scientist, collaborator,…

This just in from NIH tonight – the new director is a serious, well-credentialed physician-scientist and administrator. What will this mean for NCCAM and the funding process for alternative medicine-related projects? Discuss amongst yourselves: National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director, Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D., has named Josephine P. Briggs, M.D., to be the director of…

Herding cats and framing science

Plenty of e-ink has already been spilled regarding the panel on “Changing Minds Through Science Communication: a panel on Framing Science,” from this past weekend’s NC Science Blogging Conference (see Larry Moran, Rick MacPherson, Molly Keener, and Ryan Somma for examples). The panel was the least “unconference” session of the meeting, beginning with 10 min…

Via Berci Meskó at Science Roll, I learned that the medblogger-formerly-known-as Flea has just given his first detailed interview since shutting down his blog during his pediatric malpractice case. Fellow physician, Orac, had a characteristically complete commentary on the situation that included the admonition not to blog about one’s own ongoing malpractice trial. I also…

From “Lesser Known Wise and Prophetic Words of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.” by liberal writer and California Democratic Party delegate, Deborah White: “Science investigates; religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge which is power; religion gives man wisdom which is control. Science deals mainly with facts; religion deals mainly with values. The two are not…

My brain hurts

. . . but in a good way. I’m working frantically on a project due 31 Jan and then spent much of the weekend at various blogger gatherings associated with the NC Science Blogging Conference, the second annual unconference for those interested in writing about science topics for all audiences. The conference was bracketed by…

My wine co-blogger and dear scientific colleague, Erleichda, and I had hoped to bring you an account of the wines enjoyed at our recent meetup. Erleichda and I have recently had the good fortune of regaining support for our scientific interactions and had a face-to-face conference of the principals for planning and reviewing our collaborative…