SF writer Peter Watts needs help diagnosing mysterious, debilitating illness

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Blue writes, "Peter Watts has be stricken with debilitating pain, loss of range of motion and motor control. Watts' doctors remain baffled despite a battery of tests, and Watts has reached out to his fans to ask for their theories and ideas as to what might be causing his illness." Read the rest

Novum Pharma's $240, semi-useless acne cream now costs $10,000/tube

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The cost of Aloquin -- an acne cream based on iodoquinol and aloe, whose component ingredients cost virtually nothing -- was raised by 128% this week by manufacturer Novum Pharma, who now charge $9,561 for a 60g tube. Read the rest

DIY Epipen: the $30 Epipencil

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Mylan, the company with a monopoly on FDA-improved epinephrine auto-injectors ("epipens") has quintupled the price of their life-saving technology since 2004, to $600/unit (and they have the be thrown out and replaced every year); for this, Mylan CEO Heather Bresch (daughter of US senator Joe Manchin, who secured her initial job interview through political connections while he was Governor of West Virginia, moving her laterally from her gig as an aerobics instructor) received a 671% raise , bringing her compensation up to $18,931,068. Read the rest

Clinton medical info released after pneumonia, doc says 'fit to serve.' On Oz, Trump weighs in at 267 lbs.

Hillary Clinton at the DNC in Philadelphia, 2016. REUTERS
Today was health record day in the 2016 US presidential campaign news cycle. After an embarrassing round of press involving Hillary Clinton's pneumonia diagnosis, the Democratic nominee's team released some medical reports. Dr. Lisa Bardack says "she is in excellent mental condition," and is “healthy and fit to serve as president.”

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Cancer now beats heart disease as top cause of death in 22 U.S. states

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A new report out today from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says cancer is now the leading cause of death in California and 21 other states, surpassing heart disease.

Back in the early 2000s, only Alaska and Minnesota lost more lives to cancer than heart disease. And back in the 1950s, heart disease deaths were overall 2.5 times the number of cancer deaths.

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Mylan CEO raises price of EpiPens over 400% in 9 years, is rewarded with 671% raise

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The head of the pharmaceutical company that makes EpiPens raised the price of the life-saving device by over 400%. She was rewarded with a 671% raise. Read the rest

5 years after Texas GOP's attack on women's reproductive health, TX leads developed world in maternal mortality

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Remember when Texas governor Rick Perry and the GOP state government led an unprecedented assault on women's reproductive health in the name of preventing abortions, using dirty tricks to pass an unconstitutional law that led to a boom in unsafe home abortions and a black market for day-after pills, while ending Planned Parenthood's vital cancer-screening program, before defunding Planned Parenthood altogether? Read the rest

Inside the "sweatshop" terminally ill Britons must call to get benefits

An anonymous phone-bank worker at Britain's Department of Work and Pensions describes the cruel system under which call are handled, designed to purge the faintest hint of sympathy and to likewise deny callers access to basic, vital information without which their benefits will not be approved, or can be terminated. The DWP is who you call if you've been widowed and need help caring for your children, or when you get a cancer diagnosis, or when your organs fail. Read the rest

'Play like a girl' should be a term of respect

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Longtime Boing Boing video collaborator Eric Mittleman shares with us a new project he's been working with, The Youth Baller Network, which you can subscribe to here.

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Your microbial nation: how bacteria went from menace to superfood

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British science writer Ed Yong's new book I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life is a history of gut flora and bacteria, which first entered our consciousness as a scourge to be eliminated and has lately become something between a cure-all (see the universe of "probiotic" food supplements) and a superfood (think of the fecal transplants that have shown such promise in treating a variety of debilitating and dangerous health conditions). Read the rest

Mysterious medical research consortium: we should own volunteers' clinical trial data for 5 years

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The "International Consortium of Investigators for Fairness in Trial Data Sharing" -- a group that appears to have just been formed, backed by 282 researcher in 33 countries -- has objected to a plan to limit exclusivity over clinical trial data derived from medical volunteers, insisting instead that the fair thing to do is to lock up this uncopyrightable, factual data for up to five years. Read the rest

Your medical data: misappropriated by health-tech companies, off-limits to you

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Backchannel's package on medical data and the health-tech industry profiles three people who were able to shake loose their own data and make real improvements in their lives with it: Marie Moe, who discovered that the reason she was having terrifying cardiac episodes was out-of-date firmware on her pacemaker; Steven Keating, who created a website with exquisitely detailed data on his brain tumor, including a gene-sequence that had to be run a second time because the first scan wasn't approved for "commercial" use, which included publishing it on his own site; and Annie Kuehl, whose advocacy eventually revealed the fact that doctors had suspected all along that her sick baby had a rare genetic disorder, which she only learned about after years of agonizing victim-blaming and terrifying seizures. Read the rest

Study confirms a physical correlate to PTSD: "brown dust" in the brain

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Since WWI, doctors have speculated that PTSD's underlying cause was some sort of physical damage caused by blast-waves from bombs, which literally shook loose something important in the brains of sufferers. Read the rest

Siberian heat wave unleashes deadly 'zombie anthrax' outbreak

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At least 90 people have been hospitalized from an anthrax outbreak in Russia, including 50 children. Eight are confirmed as infected with anthrax. Doctors believe at least 6 patients have the more virulent intestinal form of the disease, which killed one boy, age 12. Authorities say it's the first fatal anthrax outbreak in Russia in more than 75 years.

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Zika hits the US military: 33 service members now have virus, says Pentagon

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Pentagon officials told reporters today that at least 33 active-duty American service members, one of whom is a pregnant woman, have Zika.

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Flossing is bullshit

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The Associated Press filed Freedom of Information requests with the US government to find the evidence behind the Surgeon General's admonition to floss regularly for dental health and found that there was no good evidentiary basis for flossing. Read the rest

New logo for the Rio Olympics

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On Reddit, Nephelus notes the shambolic and rather menacing state of the forthcoming Olympics in Rio. In honor of Zika, the disease that will spread like crazy once the tourists show up, they created this striking new logo. Read the rest

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