News and Views

Cancer cells are smart.  Very smart.  They can evade the immune system using several different methods that shield them from detection.  Thanks to the brilliance of scientists such as Jeff Bluestone, Jim Allison and Carl June, the rapidly flourishing field of cancer immunotherapy is providing an avenue for the immune system to overcome cancer's subversion.  Revising features of immune cells enables the immune system to recognize cancer cells for what they are – and destroy them. 

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A fascinating presentation is taking place Wednesday in Stockholm, and the subject is the neurological brain damage suffered by Muhammad Ali over the course of his legendary boxing career.

From current news reports alone, there's little doubt that this scientific study will receive widespread – even global – attention once the details of the research are made available. That's because of what we already know about this intriguing research – specifically, the correlation being made between the boxer's deteriorating speech patterns to the head trauma Ali suffered year after year inside the ring. 

In its attempt to show how head blows early in his career led to Ali's brain damage and slurred speech of his later years, the research team devised an interesting metric called "...

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently reversed a 2014 U.S. District Court ruling that affirmed patients had a reasonable expectation of privacy with respect to their prescription records and mandated a court order be required before allowing federal agents the ability to obtain such data. With this decision, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) does not need to meet the standard of seeking a warrant based on probable cause and, instead, can routinely access such information.

This result is highly unfavorable to patient privacy rights and could significantly alter or impede their care— to be further addressed momentarily.

Basically, a program was created in 2009 as a means to...

In college, I had a brilliant psychology professor who never ceased to challenge us. One day he made each of us answer a series of questions that went something like this:

Professor: Why are you here?

Students: To learn.

Professor: Why?

Students: So we can graduate. 

Professor: Why?

Student: So we can get the job of our dreams.

Professor: Why do you want your dream job?

Students: Because it will make me happy.

Professor: Why do you want to be happy?

... crickets ...

The question stumped all of us. That's because the answer simply doesn't exist; and therein lies the point our professor was trying to make. One does not ...

The scientists that I know are the most creative, innovative, detail oriented, critical thinkers around. They are smart - not because they learned a lot in school or from books - but because they can think outside the box and problem solve on their feet. 

Something that scientists are not known for is our communication skills. One of the main reasons for this is our reliance on jargon - specific words that are difficult for non-experts to understand.

Using jargon becomes so routine that, over time, it is not recognizable as jargon anymore. At some point, scientists stop realizing that non-scientists may not know what an 'exosome' is or that Caenorhabditis elegans are worms. The language gets so embedded, it's hard to tell what is scientific and what is...

Here at ACSH, we're used to conspiracy theories. There are very few that we have neither heard nor debunked.

For instance, there is no conspiracy between the FDA and Big Pharma to suppress a cure for cancer. Likewise, there is no conspiracy to promote an influenza vaccine in place of a "pneumonia vaccine" (which doesn't exist). Glyphosate isn't poisoning people and microcephaly isn't caused by Monsanto, despite the...

There is zero doubt that the harms associated with smoking are considerable.  Thanks to public health efforts, smoking cigarettes is recognized as one of the biggest contributors to death and disability globally.  This is why when tools become available to reduce or eliminate cigarette use we should embrace it versus shooting it down with false fears.

We have been very vocal about our support for e-cigarette (in all its variety) use as a safer alternative to combustible cigarettes and a new article published in the journal, Addictive Behaviors, lends further credence to our advocacy.  The study included two years of data (2014 and 2015) from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS).  For...

With the recent doubling down of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) urging breastfeeding at all costs despite no country meeting their standards, has the latest reversal of the "normal birth" campaign in the United Kingdom (UK) due to deleterious outcomes taught us anything? Value-laden ideology should not drive health policy.

Recently, I wrote about the misguided, alarmist efforts of the self-proclaimed Global Breastfeeding Collective composed of the WHO and UNICEF (see here). As a result of every country in the world not meeting the “breastfeeding standards” they set forth, instead of partaking in...

If the oceans continue to warm, a new study released today postulates that the size of fish gills will face new limits, with many species subsequently shrinking in size as compared today's population due to the intake of less oxygen in warmer water. 

Meanwhile, the author of an earlier study on the subject published five months ago in the same journal, Global Change Biology, disagrees with this latest theory, saying she's "not at all impressed or convinced" by the attempt to undercut her argument that no evidence of this prediction exists.

The new study, produced by researchers from the University of British Columbia, say fish size will shrink by 20 to 30 percent if the current warming...

In certain areas of the country, "tick checks" are an everyday activity - especially for the kind of ticks that carry diseases like Lyme disease. However, even if ticks are found and removed, it is not simple or easy to recognize if that tick left Lyme disease behind. 

Now, new research published in Science Translational Medicine may lead to a new test that takes the guessing game out of diagnosing Lyme disease. Even better, it could distinguish Lyme disease from other tick-borne illnesses that share many of the same symptoms. 

Lyme disease is caused by a bacterial infection with Borrelia burgdorferi, which is passed through the bite of the deer tick. The tick must be attached for 36-48 hours or more...