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February 09, 2015

"Why The CDC And FDA Are Telling You Two Different Things About Flu Drugs"


The discrepancy between the CDC’s assertion that the flu drugs can prevent complications, hospitalizations and perhaps deaths, and the FDA’s insistence that the drugs have only been shown to cut the amount of time that symptoms persist comes down to how they weigh the evidence. The FDA requires randomized clinical trials, the gold standard of evidence in medicine, while the CDC also relies on non-randomized reports. 

"Tackling Cancer With a New Paradigm"

This sounds very promising.

The drugs Chen refers to are a group of immune modulation agents called PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors. These are antibodies that allow the immune system to attack tumors by blocking a pathway that paralyzes the immune response, and they’ve achieved dramatic clinical trial results for melanoma.

See also "Merck's PD-1 star Keytruda shines at ASH, but lags behind Bristol-Myers' rival".

UPDATE: See also "Harnessing The Immune System To Fight Cancer".

February 05, 2015

"General Relativity’s Big Year?"

Long-time readers here know the drill: give the points and bet on Big Al.

February 03, 2015

"Acceptance Of Evolution Is Far Higher Than Acceptance Of Other Biology"

Please tell me again who the "anti-science" party is.

. .  . in areas other than evolution and climate change, Democrats are much farther from the science consensus than Republicans are - of 55 politicians in Congress who wanted to put warning labels on GMOs, 53 were Democrats. That is real anti-science belief that correlates with a political party. The most anti-vaccine hotbeds of the most anti-vaccine state, California, are all 80 percent Democratic so that also correlates to political party if evolution and global warming belief does.

February 02, 2015


Find out which scientists saved the most lives. Jenner and Borlaug are near the top, but they don't lead the list.

February 01, 2015

"Soft Football, Hard Science"

Daniel Engber at Slate, nicely done:

That’s the lesson of #deflategate and the egghead-meathead nexus it revealed. Football-talk could use a bit more science. But science-talk could use a bit more football.

January 31, 2015

"Research explains why so many people are obsessed with sports"

Piece argues that it's all about the hormones.

January 29, 2015

"Why don’t women know what men find attractive?"

Good question.

Studies have shown that straight women overestimate the importance of thinness in heterosexual men’s perception of female beauty. That is to say, women think men prefer ladies much thinner . . . than they actually do.

Related: "Why Do So Many Women Wear So Much Makeup?"

The female participants thought the models looked better with slightly more makeup than the male participants did. However, all of the participants thought male observers would want the models to be wearing more makeup than female observers would.

They were wrong—men and women preferred the same amount. And that amount was less than the models had actually applied.

"Fickle Sun Changed Europe's Climate for 1,000 Years"

"Variations in the sun’s output may explain some of the natural changes in Europe’s climate during the past 1,000 years, including the deadly, cold winters of the 16th and 18th centuries. Earth scientists recently discovered that as solar output dipped, so did temperatures in the North Atlantic, which then may have cooled the climate in Europe."

January 27, 2015

"15 Ways The World Will Be Awesome In 2050"

The long run--fingers crossed--could be very, very good.

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