Silent spreaders, telehealth, p-hacks, and more…

FSM News and Articles

As schools return, tests must find ‘silent spreaders’: Some 5,000 to 10,000 of us are [testing] each day with very few tests being positive, which is good news. However, the population tested is self selecting and … does not represent “sentinel” testing where selected populations within our community are chosen by epidemiologists to be tested to provide the whole of community data we require to safely reopen our society as we all want.


Antioxidants: Antioxidants are substances capable of neutralising free radicals in the body that can cause damage to cells and tissues.While this is true, it is also important to remember that free radicals have a positive role in the body as well: killing bacteria, eliminating virus-infected cells and killing cancers. Which is why it is important to ingest antioxidants in an appropriate manner. In other words, by eating a healthy and balanced diet and not by consuming handfuls of supplements. Supplementing antioxidants has not been proven to improve health. It is much better to get the good stuff we need through our diet.

Should you take a vitamin D supplement for COVID-19? While some studies have correlated vitamin D deficiency with higher risk of contracting COVID-19, there’s no evidence that supplementation is a helpful strategy.

China is promoting coronavirus treatments based on unproven traditional medicines: “Criticism of China’s own support for TCM treatments for COVID-19 is unlikely to gain a foothold inside the country. In late April, a doctor at a hospital in Hubei province was censured and demoted from his administrative positions after posting online that China’s recommendations on COVID-19 treatments, particularly TCM remedies, were not science-based. The doctor told Nature that he could not be interviewed on the topic.”

Coronavirus has boosted telehealth care in mental health, so let’s keep it up: “Unfortunately, the pandemic’s spatial isolation converted quickly into social isolation, and this created stress and anxiety for many. All of this means that after the pandemic, there will be a surge in demand for mental health services.”

Great Moments in Health and Science 

The development of heart valve replacement:  The replacement of defective heart valves with mechanical or biological valves is an incredible surgical advancement, made all the more impressive by the operation taking place inside an organ that is essential for life.

Today’s Abused Health Concept

The p-hackers toolkit: “Provocative, p-hacked data can be the “shiny thing” that gets undeserved attention from the public, the press, and Wall Street. Of even greater concern, compelling but dubiously-obtained results may be prematurely accepted into clinical practice. And within the CAM world, charlatans can use sloppy research to promote worthless and irrational treatments.” To understand p-hacking one needs a basic understanding of the null hypothesis, statistical testing, and p-values.