Article Archive for August 2008

Science blogging 2008: London - Morning session.
By coracle
Posted in syndicated on 31 August 2008
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Comparing Past & Present Grades
By kelvinthroop
Posted in syndicated on 30 August 2008
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As a result of the annual debate on standards I have been considering how best to compare the grades of current 16 year olds and those achieved by us oldies three decades ago.
When O-levels were introduce in the 1950s they were graded but the important point was whether you passed or failed. Another exam, the [...]

The Current Immaturity of Science Blogging
By Le Canard Noir
Posted in syndicated on 30 August 2008
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Homocysteine: Really Not a Crystal Ball
By dvnutrix
Posted in syndicated on 30 August 2008
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Former Visiting Professor Patrick Holford of Teesside University frequently advocates that everyone should test their homocysteine levels and if it breaches his notion of what is high, they should take his recommended supplements to reduce those levels (at a cost of around £700-1000 pp pa). The findings from recent trials report that although vitamin supplements successfully reduce homocysteine levels, there is no strong evidence of related clinical benefits such as a reduction in major cardiovascular events.

The media’s MMR hoax
By Ben Goldacre
Posted in syndicated on 30 August 2008
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“I don’t believe that”
By Kev
Posted in syndicated on 29 August 2008
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I totally just touched my book
By Ben Goldacre
Posted in syndicated on 29 August 2008
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Retinol and Wrinkles - Evidence Please. Or: Yet Another Media Myth?
By jdc325
Posted in syndicated on 29 August 2008
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Hypothesis: I reckon there are loads of claims made in the press that don’t have adequate (or sometimes any) evidence to support them. As an example, I took a quick look at the mentions of retinol and wrinkles in UK publications over the last two years.
Method: I used a database search to extract articles that [...]

ScienceBlogging 2008 - I’ll Be There
By Martin
Posted in syndicated on 29 August 2008
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For all you crazed fans out there, the women who want me, and the men who want to be me, and the assorted religious fundamentalists/Truthers/Anti-vaccinationists who want to maim/kill/expose/”educate” me, I will be in attendance at Nature’s ScienceBlogging 2008 Conference at the Royal Institute in London tomorrow.

Website: http://network.nature.com/forum/sciblog2008

If you want to track me down, I’ll have a name badge with “Martin” on it, and I’ll look something like the photo of me you can see on the front page, wearing a black shirt and jeans. Do come up and talk to me. I’ll pay you a tenner if you ask for my autograph in front of any hot chicks that happen to be around.

Good ways to approach me at the conference:

read more

The Times, the Pittilo report (and damned sub-editors)
By David Colquhoun
Posted in syndicated on 29 August 2008
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The Times today has done a good job on giving publicity to the case against following the advice of the Pittilo report. It simply makes no sense to have government regulation of acupuncture, herbal medicine, traditional Chinese medicine until such time as there is evidence that they work. It makes even less [...]

Autism?s damaging delusion
By Mike
Posted in syndicated on 29 August 2008
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The latest issue of Communication, the members magazine of the National Autistic Society contains a two page article by Dr. Mike Fitzpatrick, an edited excerpt from his forthcoming book, Defeating autism, a damaging delusion, which is due out in October. Dr Fitzpatrick’s son was diagnosed with autism in 1994. His earlier book, MMR and Autism, was a [...]

The Role of UK Universities in Chiropractic
By Le Canard Noir
Posted in syndicated on 29 August 2008
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Reality bites back
By Kev
Posted in syndicated on 29 August 2008
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John McCain starting to back away from vaccines?
By Kev
Posted in syndicated on 28 August 2008
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Somatosphere: Medical Anthropology, Vasectomania and a Vaccine Against Fatigue
By dvnutrix
Posted in syndicated on 28 August 2008
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Somatosphere is an exciting new blog about medical anthropology. It has a superb item on Ritalin - your grandmother’s helper. It links to an extraordinary article on early C20 anti-fatigue vaccines complete with dubious science. It is well worth reading.

Fisking the Antivaxxers
By jaycueaitch
Posted in syndicated on 28 August 2008
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I’ve just been looking at this new blog. The author is yet another JABS poster who has been banned for not toeing the antivax line.
JABS is starting to function like a religious cult. There are clear tenets of faith which must not be questioned (vaccines are bad, beware of the Monkey-viruses etc), a leader whose word [...]

Skeptics? Circle
By dvnutrix
Posted in syndicated on 28 August 2008
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Ranaban of Reduce to Common Sense has posted The Skeptic Games which is a digest of sceptical blogging over the last two weeks.
Evolving Mind’s post on the topic of You Aren’t What You Eat is particularly relevant to this blog.
I once had a relative tell me that a your diet is responsible for [...]

I suppose that arsenic, mercury and lead are natural…
By coracle
Posted in syndicated on 27 August 2008
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The Media Think You Are Morons
By jdc325
Posted in syndicated on 27 August 2008
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Recently, I wrote about the media covering stories about science, health and academic papers without providing references. I wrote to several newspapers and the BBC to complain about this. What I’ve found is that not only do the media not bother to give references to the academic work they are writing about, but they don’t [...]

Robotic exo-skeleton lets paraplegics walk
By Frank the SciencePunk
Posted in syndicated on 27 August 2008
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ReWalk claims to be the ‘world’s first commerically-viable upright walking tool’.  Strapped to the legs of a patient, this walking wheelchair uses proprioceptors and a computer to translate upper body movements into walking.  Neat.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQRQs-N-ZIM

BBC article

University abandons homeopathy degree
By David Colquhoun
Posted in syndicated on 27 August 2008
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The first major victory in the battle for the integrity of universities seems to have been won. This email was sent by Kate Chatfield who is module leader for the “BSc” in homeopathic medicine at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN).

from Kate Chatfield…
Dear All,
It’s a sad day for us here at UCLan because we [...]

Busy day at the Trib for vaccines
By Sullivan
Posted in syndicated on 27 August 2008
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Placebo effect in autism
By Mike
Posted in syndicated on 26 August 2008
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PLACEBO EFFECT
By happy coincidence I have just read a very interesting article on the placebo effect in New Scientist and listened to  two radio broadcasts on the same subject from Ben Goldacre. There are also discussions of both broadcasts here and here on Ben’s Badscience blog.
Placebo effect is often used disparagingly with reference to the anecdotal [...]

You and Yours on Which? Investigation into Food Intolerance Tests
By dvnutrix
Posted in syndicated on 26 August 2008
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Radio 4’s You and Yours ran an intereresting segment about the Which? investigation into food intolerance testing. Dr Mike Walters of Cambridge Nutritional Sciences participated and attempted to defend the scientific basis for the IgG food intolerance test. However, he argued that the IgG food intolerance test is not diagnostic of food intolerance. Oddly enough, YorkTest have also made similar statements. Somebody should send Allergy UK and Patrick Holford the memo about this.

Exam Results Still Mean Something
By kelvinthroop
Posted in syndicated on 26 August 2008
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Well, last week the GCSE results came out and they became the usual political football. Despite my previously stated views on  the Twenty First Century Science syllabus, I am not among those who consider the GCSEs to be meaningless.
I would agree that a Grade C now is not the same as a Grade C 30 [...]

Miscellanea: The Perfect Computer Backup System is Still Lacking
By Grey
Posted in syndicated on 26 August 2008
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Update on Which?, YorkTest and Selective Quoting in Google Sponsored Links
By dvnutrix
Posted in syndicated on 26 August 2008
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As an interesting update to our recent discussion of the Which? investigation into food intolerance tests, YorkTest seems to have withdrawn its Google sponsored ads that had so egregiously quote-mined and distorted the results of the investigation. However, this incident speaks volumes about the state of transparency in the relationship between YorkTest and the customers that it has and the customers that they are attempting to attract.

Renaissance for t’other blog
By Paul Wilson
Posted in syndicated on 26 August 2008
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Making your own reality - part 2
By apgaylard
Posted in syndicated on 26 August 2008
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I sent in a comment to the Zeus Information Service about a recent interview of Dana Ullman they are carrying. They asked Mr Ullman to contact me directly, and he has sent me a very gracious reply. Shame that it’s just plain nonsense.