Thursday, October 29, 2015

American Council on Science and Health

MSG (Column A) is No Health Threat (Column B)
Who hasn't heard of the so-called "Chinese Restaurant Syndrome" featuring symptoms such as headaches, flushing, sweating and heart palpitations tied to MSG consumption? Yet despite the supposed connection studies of MSG have not been able to establish a causal connection. Read more.

Puerto Rico has a proposal on the table to, in effect, use the fallout from violent crime to boost its country's standard of living, and to, in turn, reduce crime. Lemons, meet lemonade. But is this smart or simply macabre? Read more.

The genome editing technique known as CRISPR-Cas9 is changing many fields in biology with its precision and simplicity. Bioagriculture is no different, but many have feared the GMO label would slow its incorporation to this field. However, researchers are finding ways around it, but that might not be a good thing. Read more.

Yale researchers analyzed groundwater from wells in several fracking-dense PA counties where Marcellus shale drilling is taking place. In the largest study of its kind they found no association between fracking and well water contamination. Read more.

For many years, nutritionists and many doctors have stressed the importance of Omega-3 fatty acids as being a vital part of a healthy lifestyle, should you be overpaying for it? Read more.

An internal study of operating room procedures at Massachusetts General Hospital, one of the nation's most preeminent healthcare institutions, determined that some mistake or adverse event occurred in nearly half of all surgeries performed during an eight-month period. Read more.

We've written repeatedly about dietary supplements — which contain ingredients that range from ineffective to dangerous. But now Oregon has noticed, and the state is suing General Nutrition Centers for selling supplements containing ingredients that haven't been approved for sale in the U.S. Read more.

Chest pain is one of the most common complaints involving those who visit the ER. Meanwhile, healthcare costs associated with ruling out a heart attack are exorbitant. But a new blood test could provide a more accurate diagnosis in less time, while potentially saving billions of dollars. Read more.

A new vaccine against malaria, a scourge especially in sub-Saharan Africa, shows that a series of three shots offers about 50 percent protection. It's one small-to-medium sized step toward a truly protective malaria vaccine, which would amount to saving many thousands of lives in the near term. Read more.

The European Medicines Agency has recommended a novel drug therapy for patients with metastatic melanoma. What's interesting is that this drug has been derived from the herpes simplex virus. The FDA is scheduled to give its evaluation of the drug this week.
Read more.

A new study purports to link some pesticides with obesity. Really? This sloppy study, based on both dietary and pesticide exposure while utilizing statistical manipulations and ad-hoc, exposure-intensity criteria, should be relegated to the junkpile of anti-pesticide zealotry. Read more.

A CDC report card shows that doctors are prescribing antibiotics for flu patients at an alarmingly high rate, a trend that contributes to the spread of antibiotic resistance. However, physicians shouldn't shoulder all the blame, as pushy patients need to be held accountable, too. Read more.
Atrial Fibrillation, or A-Fib, is a heart disease affecting millions of Americans. But researchers are looking to treat this condition with botox, one of the world's most potent and lethal toxins. A recent study examines whether the facial-treatment drug can also suppress heart arrhythmia. Read more.

New York City has criminalized K2, or "synthetic marijuana." While this is the right thing to do, the effect will be short-lived since five psychoactive chemicals that give the dangerous street drug its properties can, and eventually will, be easily tweaked to skirt the law. Read more.

Don't Lose Sleep Over Technology, 'Cause Actually We're Not
Ubiquitous technology has frequently been blamed for preventing Americans from getting a good night’s sleep. However, researchers studying isolated tribes in far-flung parts of the world found they, like those of us in the modern world, sleep roughly the same amount of time. Read more.

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