Monday, September 21, 2015

American Council on Science and Health

US Science Panel Endorses Aspirin for Cancer, Heart Health - For the first time, the official federal health panel has recommended aspirin to protect against colorectal cancer, as well as heart attack and stroke. But the guidance is far from clear-cut, with age restrictions and numerous caveats.

Vitamin D is Vital, But Not a Miracle Supplement - Vitamin D is essential for normal bone growth and development in children, and in adults it's needed for maintenance of bone strength — all because it allows the absorption of calcium from the diet. But now it is also being touted by some as a sort of miracle vitamin, which it isn't.

Cow Virus-Breast Cancer Study Has Some Real Meat - It's known that certain viruses cause cancer. Time to add another to the list? A preliminary study implicates a viral infection in the formation of breast cancer. Yes, it's very early in the process, but the results are intriguing and worthy of our attention.  (Editor's Note: Although I'm not an expert in any way on cancer I've read books and many articles on the subject and I've developed an instinctual feeling on this that may or may not prove to be true.  I've concluded that all cancers are triggered by viruses - or microbes - entering the cells and changing the cell programming, or the cells changing in some way to attack the virus triggering a cascade effect the cells can no longer control through the cell's programming. That, I believe, in conjunction with environmental factors, along with timing and age are responsible for all cancers, but the virus or microbe is the trigger.  I also believe the term cancer has come to be a catchall term that will become more specfic as researchers become more aware of the modes of action for these diseases. Here is an interesting take on this sort of thinking - Can microbes be behind some heart attacks?)
Kids’ Fast-Food Intake Isn’t Alarming, Despite Recent News - American kids are getting 12 percent of their calories every day from fast food, and one third eat fast food offerings daily, according to recent news reports. This may sound troubling from a public-health perspective, but upon closer inspection, these data aren't all that concerning.

Let Them Eat Kale: Bittman Bids Farewell to New York Times - Mark Bittman, formerly a food writer and vegan advocate for The New York Times, recently decided to show the world he's more than just talk, by joining a food start-up. We wish him well in his new career, mainly because once there his views on food will likely be heard by far fewer consumers.

Grading GOP Debaters on Vaccines: Dunce Caps Aplenty - During Wednesday night's GOP debate, one issue that particularly caught the Council's attention involved vaccinations and autism. What a great topic for us to evaluate -- just on the science itself -- while remaining apolitical. We gave out grades to the candidates who weighed in. It wasn't pretty.

Fighting Addiction and ‘War on Drugs’ with Science - If there's anything we could use in the U.S., when it comes to the so-called 'War on Drugs," is a better way to fight it, an ongoing battle that sometimes seems hopeless. But research is underway, with three papers appearing simultaneously focusing on probing the mechanisms of cravings in the brain.

Helping Gluten-Free Lovers Find Online Romance - It's unclear to us why consumers/singles would be attracted to a gluten-free dating site. But hey, when some people are paying 240 percent more for food, it's our guess they won't mind paying a tiny, additional fee for love.

The White Coat Wall of Silence - An article in this month's Annals of Internal Medicine discusses what physicians should do when a colleague acts unethically towards a patient. This dynamic, however, isn't exclusive to medicine. All fields of science must deal with the problem of how to confront a colleague when he or she is wrong.

Not Dead Yet: Military Labs Mislabelling Killer Pathoge - There are lots of folks out there who want to kill Americans — take ISIS for example. But maybe those enemies should relax, because considering the recent snafus at military and other government labs, we may do the job for them.

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