For more than half a century, the sugar industry has used Big Tobacco tactics to suppress sugar/cancer link and to confuse the science

UCSF researchers have published an important paper in PLOS Biology that draws on internal documents from the US sugar industry lobby that shows that the industry deliberately suppressed research on the link between sucrose and bladder cancer and heart disease, and then deliberately sowed misinformation about the health effects of sugar, using tactics straight out of the tobacco industry's cancer-denial playbook. Read the rest

America's private health-care is rationed, but socialized medicine is luxury medicine

To hear America's fearmongering private health-care shills describe it, socialized medicine is a kind of Soviet death march, where rationed care and long waits are imposed on all and sundry; but if that state of affairs sounds familiar, it's because of how neatly it describes America's dysfunctional private care system, where you need to change doctors every time you change employers, where your care is denied and your prescriptions are deemed unnecessary by faceless insurance-company bureaucrats, and where three quarters of your family doctor's overheads are dedicated to filling in insurance forms in triplicate and chasing payment in a kind of LARP of Terry Gilliam's Brazil or a Stalinist hospital in deepest Siberia. Read the rest

How do you train for the most polluted race in the world?

Emily James (previously) writes, "The air in Delhi is so polluted the government’s instruments can't measure it but they are still going to run a half marathon on Sunday!" Read the rest

Help Kate "Hark! A Vagrant" Beaton raise money for her sister's experimental cancer treatments

Kate Beaton (previously) is the creator of the astoundingly great Hark! A Vagrant webcomic) and is a bona fide Canadian culture hero; she is also in the midst of a terrible family crisis and wants our help. Read the rest

Go and get the new shingles vaccine: it works

My grandmother's longtime partner Rusty was a former weightlifter with the sunniest, most reslient disposition of anyone I've known, and the only time I ever saw him reduced to tears was from the pain of a bout of shingles; now a new shingles vaccine called Shingrix has proven almost miraculously effective against the virus (which nearly every person who lives to 80 will suffer from) with a notable lack of downsides. If you're over 50, you should go get it right now. (via Naked Capitalism) Read the rest

Survey: 23 percent of Zurich doctors prescribe homeopathy, but many of them believe it to be a placebo

A survey of 1,500 Zurich canton doctors reported in the Swiss Medical Weekly found that out of the respondents, 23% had prescribed homeopathic "remedies" but only 42% actually believe in homeopathy (a discredited medieval quack remedy that involves giving water to patients that is supposed to "remember" having been in contact with molecules of allegedly helpful compounds that have been diluted out of the dose); 35% of the rest prescribe on the basis that the placebo effect might help their patients. Read the rest

LED onesie to treat babies with jaundice

About 5 to 10 percent of newborns need phototherapy to treat jaundice. Rather than put them in bassinets under special lights while wearing eye protection, a new garment woven with optically-conductive fibers could enable them to be treated and cuddled simultaneously. From Smithsonian:

“Currently, newborn babies need to stay naked under strong blue light, with eye protection, and away from their mothers,” says Luciano Boesel, a textile scientist at the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology. “We wanted to develop a portable textile system that babies could use, so that the treatment could eventually even be performed at home, together with their parents.”

...The new textile is an improvement over previous treatments in that it’s breathable, washable, and can be worn directly next to the baby’s skin, Boesel says. The team found that the weaving process that produced the best result in terms of light penetration is the process that produces satin. In the satin weave, the optical threads don’t cross with the traditional thread very often, which maximizes light available to be emitted over the skin. It also makes the fabric quite soft. The fabric can be sewn into pajamas where the light-emitting part faces in, so no light is shining towards the baby’s eyes, meaning there’s no need for sunglasses.

"POF-yarn weaves: controlling the light out-coupling of wearable phototherapy devices" (Biomedical Optics Express)

Read the rest

Watson for Oncology isn't an AI that fights cancer, it's an unproven mechanical turk that represents the guesses of a small group of doctors

There are 50 hospitals on 5 continents that use Watson for Oncology, an IBM product that charges doctors to ingest their cancer patients' records and then make treatment recommendations and suggest journal articles for further reading. Read the rest

What a lifetime of archery does to the human body

Gary Chynne's left shoulder is bigger than his right: "Medieval archers were sometimes said to look like hunchbacks, their back muscles were so big." [via] Read the rest

This one type of acid reflux drug is linked to doubled incidence of stomach cancer

New research, published in the wonderfully-named journal "Gut," is enough to give you heartburn. Time to switch to Zantac.

A link between PPIs and a higher stomach cancer risk has previously been identified by academics – but never in a study that first eliminates a bacteria suspected of fuelling the illness’s development. ... During this period, 3,271 people took PPIs for an average of almost three years, while 21,729 participants took H2 blockers. A total of 153 people developed stomach cancer, none of whom tested positive for H plyori but all had long-standing problems with stomach inflammation, the study found.

While H2 blockers were found to have no link to a higher risk of stomach cancer, PPIs was found connected to an increased risk of more than double.

PPIs include Nexium and Prilosec. Noted, though, is the correlation between PPI prescription and guts that are already in trouble town:

"The most plausible explanation for the totality of evidence on this is that those who are given PPIs, and especially those who continue on them long-term, tend to be sicker in a variety of ways than those for whom they are not prescribed."

Read the rest

Reminder: Obamacare Open Enrollment begins today and runs to Dec 15

Get insured, folks: just because the Trump administration is doing everything it can to take away healthcare from millions of Americans (including refusing to tell anyone that enrollment is open!), doesn't mean you have to go along with it. Pass it on! Read the rest

Look at this banana pose.

Just look at it.

(Thanks, Mom!) Read the rest

Anatomy of the human head in the style of a London tube-map

Jonathan Simmonds, an MD in Boston, MA, created these Map Anatomy illustrations that represent a detailed, functional diagram of the human head's anatomy in the style of a London tubemap; you can buy downloads and posters from his Etsy store, but act quickly, because Transport for London are notorious, humourless assholes about this kind of thing! (via Reddit) Read the rest

The Sackler Family: best known for philanthropy, they made billions promoting Oxycontin

Purdue cynically created the American opiod epidemic through a combination of bribing medical professionals to overprescribe Oxycontin, publishing junk science, and aggressively lobbying regulators at every level to turn a blind eye to the destruction of the lives of millions of patient; while the company settled a record-setting criminal case, the name of the secretive family of billionaires who run Purdue and profited from the Oxy epidemic is best known for philanthropy, not profiteering: the Sackler family. Read the rest

Syndaver: A $95K animatronic cadaver that's replacing med-school corpses

The Syndaver is a super-realistic robotic human corpse simulator with replaceable viscera that med students can dissect again and again, freeing them to use the donated bodies of people who willed their remains to science for med school pranks, like sneaking them into the alumni dinner in a tuxedo. Read the rest

The US has quit UNESCO, the UN agency that protects world heritage sites and teaches poor children to read

UNESCO is about as good as it gets in the world of UN Specialized Agencies, responsible for designating and protecting world heritage sites, running literacy for the poorest people on Earth, supporting potable water programs, protecting fragile and endangered ecosystems, running disaster preparedness plans for all to use, protecting indigenous knowledge, protecting the free press, and digitizing the world's libraries. Read the rest

Here's what hospital food looks like in Japan

Give birth in one of Japan's excellent state-funded hospitals and here's what you'll eat: Omuraisu, macaroni salad, chicken soup, squid rings, fruit, green tea; Salmon with mushroom sauce, soba noodles, rice, eggplant and beef, broccoli, hijiki salad; Sea bream, pasta salad, chicken meatballs, pickled daikon, rice, miso soup, chawan mushi, green tea; Chicken fingers with shredded cabbage salad, bitter melon stir fry, agedashi tofu, carrot salad, rice, miso soup; Mackerel, konbu salad, natto, spinach salad, miso soup, rice, milk, green tea; Mushroom pasta, potato salad, broccoli and bacon salad, chicken soup, fruit, bread, green tea; Cod, shredded cabbage salad, pasta salad, sweet potato and peas, rice, green tea; Salmon, tofu, spinach salad, natto, miso soup, rice, milk;Chicken with mushroom sauce, braised pumpkin and pork, daikon carrot salad, rice, miso soup, chawan mushi; Fried fish with tartar sauce, braised mountain potatoes, hijiki salad, spinach and carrot stir fry, rice, green tea, and more. (via Naked Capitalism) Read the rest

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