The Cochrane Collaboration is a critically important source in evidence-based medicine, and a useful tool in providing analytical evidence that can debunk pseudoscientific beliefs. Cochrane’s goal is to organize research data and publications in an logical way that helps physicians and researchers make appropriate decisions about a proposed new therapy, medication or clinical idea. Cochrane Reviews are:
…are systematic reviews of primary research in human health care and health policy, and are internationally recognised as the highest standard in evidence-based health care. They investigate the effects of interventions for prevention, treatment and rehabilitation. They also assess the accuracy of a diagnostic test for a given condition in a specific patient group and setting.
Each systematic review addresses a clearly formulated question; for example: Can antibiotics help in alleviating the symptoms of a sore throat?All the existing primary research on a topic that meets certain criteria is searched for and collated, and then assessed using stringent guidelines, to establish whether or not there is conclusive evidence about a specific treatment. The reviews are updated regularly, ensuring that treatment decisions can be based on the most up-to-date and reliable evidence.Continue reading “The importance of Cochrane Reviews to evidence based medicine”
Recently, documents have been uncovered that have provided evidence that during the Civil War, Union paleontologists found a lost valley in Virginia where dinosaurs still survived 65.5 million years after the last one died. In a typical move, the Federal Government took over the project and had the Union Army attempt to train the dinosaurs to fight against the South. The dinosaurs rebelled, killed the Union soldiers and helped the South win the war. Continue reading “Dinosaurs assist the Confederacy in the Civil War”
(Updated to add more information about the anti-vaccination lunatics weighing in.)
When I write postings here, I never search google for information or sources, I always go to trusted locations for my information. For example, if I read a news article on some interesting subject, I check with the original source, usually at PubMed, for medical articles, and the original abstract (at least) for other science articles. I click on nearly every outlink in postings that I read, to confirm whether the information presented is accurate. A google search is practically useless, especially for medical articles, because the amount of cruft and junk science makes it a challenge to sort. Continue reading “LeRoy neurological illness mystery–junk science–update”
In light of the measles outbreak at the Super Bowl, Purdue University has taken a very aggressive step in requiring that their students provide documentation that they have received their measles vaccinations. Purdue is a state university in Indiana, and as such, is covered by state immunization regulations for public school students. Of course, standard immunization covers measles. If the student doesn’t comply, “a hold will be placed on their academic records and they will not be able to register for classes.” That’s tough! Continue reading “Purdue warns students without measles immunization”
When I write postings here, I never search google for information or sources, I always go to trusted locations for my information. For example, if I read a news article on some interesting subject, I check with the original source, usually at PubMed, for medical articles, and the original abstract (at least) for other science articles. I click on nearly every outlink in postings that I read, to confirm whether the information presented is accurate. A google search is practically useless, especially for medical articles, because the amount of cruft and junk science makes it a challenge to sort.
WordPress blogs (which I use) tells the user if a blog posting was searched on google (or Yahoo…does anyone use that anymore?) Apparently, my postings about the LeRoy (NY) neurological show up on google (but not that far up the list, so people must be digging), and I was kind of surprised. This led me to do something that I just vowed I wouldn’t do, I googled it. Continue reading “LeRoy teenage neurological illness mystery–junk science everywhere”
New Scientist, a popular science magazine, published an article entitled, “Most fish in the sea evolved on land.” It doesn’t describe anything new and exciting, except bad science journalism. If you read the title, you’d think “wow, fish evolved on land.” Well, they didn’t, and the article makes that clear. The article states that fish evolved in freshwater and radiate out to saltwater environments, mainly because freshwater environments are more stable, at least, with regards to the water. Continue reading “Most fish in the sea evolved on land–but not really”
I’ve published a few postsover the past month about a group of teenagers and one adult who are experiencing some neurological symptoms in LeRoy, NY, a small town outside of Rochester, NY. Those symptoms seem to mimic Tourette Syndrome (TS), a neuropsychiatric disorder that is characterized by multiple physical or motor tics plus at least one vocal tic. It is probably inherited, although a gene for it has not been identified. Since most of the teenagers who exhibit the symptoms attend LeRoy High School, the New York State Department of Health has carefully examined the school for any environmental issues, and have found none. Erin Brokovich, of the eponymous movie, has gotten involved and has postulated that a train wreck over 40 years ago spilled toxic chemicals, such as arsenic and trichloroethylene, which may be the cause. Continue reading “The newest cause for the LeRoy neurological issues”