cancer

Like the word "chemical," the word "pesticide" has been hijacked and then unfairly demonized.

Scientists use the word pesticide to refer to "any chemical, generally used in an agricultural setting, that can be used to kill another unwanted organism." Pesticides can be natural or synthetic, and they can be used to kill plants (herbicides), insects (insecticides), fungi (fungicides), or rodents (rodenticides).

Society uses the word pesticide pejoratively, assuming that anything that can kill another organism can also kill humans. This is almost never true. It is biologically impossible for some pesticides, such as Bt toxin, to harm humans....

We've officially gone full circle. There was a time when people feared that artificial sweeteners caused cancer. (They don't.) Now, researchers claim that artificial sweeteners prevent cancer. Do they?

It's biologically plausible. Cancer cells undergo what is known as the Warburg effect. Typically, our body cells generate energy through a process known as aerobic respiration, but cancer cells ramp up fermentation, instead. Just like a muscle doing vigorous exercise, cancer gobbles up glucose (a sugar) and spits out lactic acid. Hypothetically, depriving a cancer cell of sugar could remove an important fuel source.

A team of researchers conducted a cohort study that examined the self-...

Complementary medicine (CM) runs the gamut in its healing claims from offering authentic stress relieving massage and well-meaning, but expensive placebo to outright spurious declarations. Due to superior marketing efforts often targeted to the most vulnerable and the lucrative nature of the multibillion-dollar industry, academic centers have even jumped on board allowing extensions of their facilities to include CM wellness centers as another avenue for patient and financial pipelines. Typically armed with anecdotes, buzzwords like “revolutionary” and “world-renowned,” or thinly veiled and weak “studies” to support their assertions, CM therapies are often not vetted by meaningful scientific rigor or evidence. So, a team of researchers decided to apply some by investigating CM’s impact...

polio glioblastoma

June 2018 and scientists have successfully used Polio to increase life expectancy in brain tumor patients. Researchers publishing in the New England Journal of Medicine trailed the new technique, which takes advantage of the disease's 'cytotoxic effect,' in patients with recurrent ...

Flight attendants have roughly five times the exposure to radiation, in this case, cosmic radiation, then workers at nuclear energy plants. [1] A study in Environmental Health looked at the subsequent cancer risk for flight attendants –  and spoiler alert, the results are mixed.

Where is the source of the radiation?

Cosmic rays refer to radiation from the sun and outside our galaxy. They are the primary source of radiation from air travel. But before you worry, consider a bit more information. Cosmic rays have been present forever, and their intensity is stable, at least over the last few million years. As these particles enter our atmosphere, they collide with other atoms (from nitrogen, oxygen and carbon dioxide) creating even more particles, a process...

Humans, it seems, are susceptible to DSS -- "do something syndrome."

Described by economist John Maynard Keynes as a desire for action over inaction, it partially explains why politicians insist on passing thousands of new laws every single year. It even explains why goalkeepers dive left or right during a soccer penalty kick, when remaining in the middle of the goal is a better decision. Doing something is preferable to not doing something.

That human urge also applies to our healthcare. A sick patient expects the doctor to do something, even if nothing useful can be done. This point has been underscored by new research scheduled to be published in the Journal of...

The individuals, academic labs, and "cancer-for-hire" environmental groups have "done" their job splendidly in misleading and confusing the American public about which causes of cancer are real and which are false. For example, the shameless internet supplement peddler Joe Mercola claims that aspartame causes cancer (it doesn't) but this misinformation has nonetheless been firmly embedded in our consciousness. The same holds true for many other chemicals, in which claims of cancer risk are either exaggerated or even made up entirely.

The obvious harm from these phony scares is that people will throw up their hands and say that "everything...

A recently published story in the BMJ  links the risk of breast cancer and all cancers to consumption of what are termed "ultra-processed" foods. These are foods that have been described thus:

Ultra-processed products are made from processed substances extracted or refined from whole foods – e.g. oils, hydrogenated oils and fats, flours and starches, variants of sugar, and cheap parts or remnants of animal foods – with little or no whole foods. Products include burgers, frozen pasta, pizza and pasta dishes, nuggets and sticks, crisps, biscuits, confectionery, cereal bars, carbonated and other sugared drinks, and various snack products. Most are made, advertised, and sold by...

One of the top trending Google searches at the time of this writing was "asparagine," one of the roughly 20 amino acids that make up the proteins in our bodies and in our food.

Why was this rather boring molecule that biology majors are forced to memorize grabbing international headlines? Because, according to the media, it causes cancer. And where can you find asparagine? It can be found in any food that contains protein -- which is a lot of foods -- including asparagus, the vegetable after which it was named.

Thus, asparagus causes cancer.

Think I'm joking? I'm not. This headline is from The Times of London:

This...

One of the many problems with academia is that it allows nutcases to flourish.

Consider Columbia University. It employs both Dr. Oz, "America's Quack," and Mark Bittman, a former organic food warrior for the New York Times who was once described as a "scourge on science." UC-Berkeley has Joel Moskowitz on staff, a "wi-fi truther" who thinks that...