Category: Basic Science

Leaky Brain, Leaky Gut: Are They Real?

First there was leaky gut; now there’s leaky brain. These questionable concepts are being promoted by practitioners of so-called “functional medicine.”

/ November 20, 2018

Molecular Phylogenetics: A New Way to Tell the Story of Evolution

The new science of molecular phylogenetics tells the story of evolution with no need to consult the fossil record. It has produced some surprises, including a whole new domain of life, the archaea.

/ November 13, 2018

Wrong About Polio: A Review of Suzanne Humphries, MD and Roman Bystrianyk’s “Dissolving Illusions” Part 1 (the long version)

This is a longer version of my post on Friday, November 9th, 2018. It is a lengthy discussion of why Suzanne Humphries, MD and Roman Bystrianyk's book Dissolving Illusions misrepresents the dangers of polio, one in a series of posts that should comprehensively show the problems with their claims. It covers far more than just polio, but is worthwhile for those interested...

/ November 10, 2018

A Call for Caution on Antioxidant Supplementation

Antioxidants have gotten a lot of press here on SBM; this post digs a little deeper into the basic science of antioxidants, and the importance of understanding more than just one part of a complex biological system before you interfere with it.

/ October 23, 2018

A right to science

Unless forced to do so, the state and federal governments will continue to base law and policy on bad science. Maybe it's time for a constitutional amendment guaranteeing a "right to science."

/ October 11, 2018

Reporting on the edge: Authority, dog whistles, and the politics of the unknown

Beatrice Golomb, MD, has appeared in the news arguing "mysterious symptoms" experienced by Cuban diplomats are due to electromagnetic radiation. Though quoted by The New York Times and published in a peer-reviewed journal, are her opinions credible?

/ September 28, 2018

Are generic drugs equivalent to brand-name drugs?

Generic drugs cost a fraction of brand-name drugs. What gives us confidence they are equivalent? Science.

/ May 31, 2018

Cell phones and cancer: random chance in clinical trials

The full results of the National Toxicology Program's study of cell phones and cancer are finally in. They are somewhat complicated, but ultimately do not support the idea that cell phones can cause cancer.

/ April 1, 2018

Macular Degeneration, Genes, and Grandma’s Vitamins: To test or not to test?

Is genetic testing necessary to optimize treatment for patients with a potentially blinding eye disease? The stakes are high and the answer depends on which of the two feuding, financially-conflicted groups you believe. In the end, the best evidence wins!

/ March 30, 2018

Rigor Mortis: What’s Wrong with Medical Science and How to Fix It

Medical research has been plagued by less-than-rigorous practices and a culture that rewards quantity over quality. In a new book, Richard Harris identifies the problems, proposes solutions, and offers hope.

/ January 2, 2018