FSM Friends news & articles
Timothy Caulfield: The multivitamin industry rakes in billions of dollars. But science says we’re not getting healthier: “Despite evidence that, in general, there are no clear health benefits, people take supplements … because they believe they work, are safe and are part of a healthy lifestyle. How can there be such a massive disconnect between the scientific reality and public perception?”
Alkaline diets: Good for your health or just another fad? If you really want to invest in your health, the one thing you can do is that money that you would have spent on alkaline waters or alkaline diet books, go and spend that on vegetables and fruit.
The mice with human tumours – growing pains for a popular cancer model: One of the ways to determine how a cancer will respond to treatment is to create a PDX model, an acronym for Patient Derived Xenograft. In English, this means injecting cancer cells from a person into a mouse to study the resultant tumour and its response to treatment. ‘They also allow researchers to explore the vast variety of human tumours. PDXFinder, a catalogue launched earlier this year, lists more than 1,900 types of PDX mouse. But… as many as 10,000 PDXs have been created.
‘PDX models are not perfect, however — and scientists are beginning to recognize their shortcomings and complexities. The tumours can diverge from the original sample, for example, and the models cannot be used to test immunotherapies. Now, biologists are scrutinizing PDX mice and looking for creative ways to cope with the challenges. “Every model is artificial in some way,” says Jeffrey Moscow, head of the investigational drug branch at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland. “The real question is how predictive are these models going to turn out to be.” ‘
Great moments in Health and Science
Clean Water. The history and future of drinking water, from the Roman Empire to desalination: Not a single moment or invention per se, clean and easily available water has come to be from a series of important advancements, several pre-dating even the Roman Empire.
Today’s abused health concept
The Hygiene hypothesis – what it is, and why the anti-vaccine religion abuses it: The hygiene hypothesis postulates that lack of exposure to particular bacteria early in life may cause increased prevalence of allergies and autoimmune disorders. While being at least plausible, the hygiene hypothesis is abused by anti-vaccinators who claim it as evidence that their preferred ‘natural’ choices are better.
Thanks to Science
MPs urged to ignore ‘Merchants of Doubt’ on fluoride: Now we can fluoridate our water to reduce the burden of dental disease… unless supporters of the “Rethink Fluoride” campaign have anything to say about it. Daniel Ryan, president of Making Sense of Fluoride (an incorporated society of doctors, academics and students), has urged New Zealand MP’s to ignore the misinformation spread by the campaign, which cites nonexistent ‘new evidence’ in to the dangers of water fluoridation. Making Sense of Fluoride website: http://msof.nz/