Saturday, August 27, 2016

American Council on Science and Health

The Age Of Stupid - When, exactly, was the Age of Stupid? Was it when people practiced human sacrifice to placate the brutal gods they worshiped? Was it when people believed the Earth was flat and everything else in the universe revolved around them? But one thing's for certain: If we behave like sheep we're going to get fleeced.

At 3AM, SIDS Guidelines Are Tough To Follow - Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is when an infant under 1 year dies, for the most part, when sleeping. There are a handful of recommendations given to new parents to prevent it, mostly regarding the baby's sleeping environment. A new study shows that, although these recommendations are (mostly) adhered to at bedtime, it's a different story as the night wears on.

Political Correctness Protests Over Preventing Zika, and More Media Links to Us - Some of the top health stories making news over the last 48 hours.

Bungee Jumping and the Art of Risk Assessment - Why would someone want to expose themself to serious injury or death just for a few thrill-inducing minutes jumping off a bridge and bouncing around uncontrollably? Here's a closer look at the health consequences of this edge-of the-envelope activity. On its face it seems quite risky, but how risky is it? Maybe not as much as you think. But that depends on how you define risk.

Zebrafish Research On The Rise, But Infections Call Data Into Question -  Zebrafish have become important for behavioral studies, but infections could be skewing results.

Why Use The ICU If It Doesn’t Improve Mortality? - A recent study led to an obvious question: Why have greater utilization of a hospital's Intensive Care Unit and invasive procedures if it doesn't improve mortality?

Musseling In’ in Salt Marshes Good for Ecosystem - Severe droughts can wreak havoc on coastal marshes, which typically provide habitats for many species, like amphibians and birds. But Univ. of Florida researchers suggest one factor that can help these areas recover more quickly is the presence of mussels clumped on the roots of marsh grasses.

UNICEF Breastfeeding Recommendations Paint With Too Broad A Brush - The recent UNICEF report "From The First Hour of Life" looks at the present state of infant feeding, with particular focus on the benefits of breastfeeding. It highlights the barriers that exist and provides recommendations to overcome them. However, much of the data used to support these recommendations appear unrepresentative of a global population. (Part 1 of 2 articles.)

How to Make the World’s Best Key Lime Pie - Think you've had good Key Lime Pie? Think again. Here's Dr. Josh Bloom's secret recipe, revealed for the first time ever. (My Take - Sorry Josh....there's no such thing as a good Key Lime Pie.  But I do agree about the home made crust.   RK)

How Safe Are Tattoos? - Two generations ago, tattoos were relatively scarce, but their presence has increased from 5% in 2003 to 12% in 2016, and half of those with tattoos have more than one, all without really knowing the safety and regulation of the inks used for tattoos and permanent makeup.

Five Myths About Lower Back Pain - Lower back pain is the greatest source of global disability, ahead of nearly 300 other conditions, leading to huge levels of healthcare costs and suffering. And the effects go far beyond pain, weakness and stiffness – they also have a huge impact the social and family lives of sufferers.

Standing With Giants: In Memoriam to Dr. Elizabeth M. Whelan - Standing with Giants is a collection of essays written to honor Dr.  Elizabeth M. Whelan, who co-founded the American Council on Science  and Health (ACSH) in 1978, and acknowledge both the broad spectrum  of issues she tackled and her important imprint on public health. 

Soon You'll Be Able to Eat Food AND Its Packaging - We’re all familiar with those shiny plastic films that keep our meats fresh, or at least fresher, and also enclose breads, cheeses and even fresh vegetables. But researchers say they can make them better; and edible, too!

Do Men With More Muscle Need More Protein? - Muscle requires more energy, there is no secret about it. For that reason, the same calorie intake combined with more muscle will reduce fat. But do more of those calories need to be in protein? Bodybuilders swear by it, but is it real or a myth? Or are their requirements exceptional?

Exercise Could Save Your Liver - Obesity and excess body fat — especially the type around the middle — can lead to excess fat within the liver. When this occurs, it can diminish the liver's ability to function, and if continued long enough can lead to liver failure. But exercise (and it doesn't have to be extreme) can turn this problem around, at least in Chinese adults.

RIP Dr. D.A. Henderson, ACSH Trustee Who Helped End Smallpox - In 1966, Dr. Donald Henderson, M.D., M.P.H spearheaded the World  Health Organization’s war on smallpox virus and by 1977 science had won. Thanks to him and fellow ACSH scientific advisor Dr. William H. Foege, the smallpox vaccine was added to the measles program in West Africa during the 1970s and the disease was eradicated.

ACSH in WSJ: Patent Judges Should Be Scientists, Too - In the Wall Street Journal, ACSH Senior Fellow Alex Berezow has a    piece discussing how biotech innovation has been stifled (and will  continue to be) unless we modernize the patent enforcement  system.

Post-Menopausal Women & Alzheimer’s: Is Estrogen Replacement the Answer? - Since women have a higher incidence of dementia than men, the  effects of estrogen replacement on cognitive function is a topic of  ongoing research. A recent study tried to find out if taking hormone  therapy at different stages of menopause would improve metabolic  risk factors of Alzheimer’s Dementia and prevent cognitive  decline.

Breastfeeding Versus Breast Milk - In Part 2 of our analysis of UNICEF's "From The First Hour Of Life"  report, we look at the scientific data presented that offers support for,  and against, the proposed benefits of breastfeeding and breast  milk.

Organic Farms Yield 20% Fewer Crops than Conventional Farms - Organic farming produces 20% fewer crops. An inefficient food production system is, by definition, not sustainable. Let's also underscore this point by noting that “if all US wheat production were grown organically, an additional 12.4 million hectares (30.6 million acres) would be needed to match 2014 production levels.” Extrapolate that out to the rest of the globe, and one can easily see how organic farming cannot feed the world.

Animal Protein Vs Plant Protein: Do We Have to Choose? - The importance of protein for muscle-building and cell functions was discovered in the 1830's, but there is still some controversy regarding what's considered an ideal source of protein for overall health. A recent study in the Journal of American Medical Association directly compared animal protein with plant protein, and it produced some interesting results.

I’ve Had More Exposure To Agent Orange Than Anyone: Here’s What I Know - In 1972, the National Academy of Sciences asked me to investigate the persistence of Agent Orange and other defoliants used during the Vietnam War. For seven months, I walked in the chemical in my bare feet. Now at age 83, the bottom line is that I am a very healthy guinea pig after huge and nearly continuous exposure to herbicides.

Falsification: Was Karl Popper Wrong About Science? - An analysis of 70 papers shows that most scientific research does not advance by "falsification," as philosopher Karl Popper made famous. Ironically, falsification has itself been falsified. 

EPA Doublethink On Particulate Matter And Mortality - It's often the case that we don’t have time to carefully evaluate everything in life. We often take shortcuts. If a reputable authority takes a position, it is convenient and usually safe to just accept their reasoning. It's not so simple in the case of air pollution, more regulations, and saving lives.

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