Activewear, pangolins, repurposing, and more…

FSM News and Articles

The Therapeutic Goods Administration must do better: “Almost 2 years after complaints about numerous hangover products were submitted to the TGA they have finally published one outcome. The TGA agreed there was insufficient evidence to support claims related to hangover relief.”

FSM Friends’ News and Articles

Another broken meditation study: Like research into acupuncture and homeopathy, research efforts into effects of meditation are fraught with poor study design, bias and vague conclusions.


Antibacterial activewear? The claim is just as absurd as it sounds: In the growing list of companies trying to capitalise on the COVID-19 pandemic, Lorna Jane released a line of ‘antiviral’ activewear. As we all know, the primary method of transmission of a respiratory virus is through your gym shorts… except it’s not. They since backpedaled on the claim, saying the activewear is merely antibacterial – though whether fabric impregnated with antibacterial particles will make any difference to your health remains to be demonstrated. They might smell a bit less though. The TGA have investigated and fined Lorna Jane $40,000 for the false claims:

Conservation ‘game-changer’ – China removes pangolin scales from traditional medicine list: The search for the origin of the COVID-19 virus has led to the examination of various bat species and pangolins, as animal that looks like a cross between an armadillo and an anteater. Pangolins are critically endangered and their removal from traditional Chinese medicines is a reprieve for their various species.  Did COVID-19 originate in pangolins? The evidence so far says no. But with the majority of emerging human diseases coming from other animal species, the less contact humans have with exotic species, the better. Better for humans, and better for pangolins.

The Psychology of Bullshit: “The opposite of bullshit receptivity—bullshit detection—seems to require active, deliberate reflection and analysis, rather than accepting things based on gut feeling. This requires considerable cognitive effort on our part, whereas bullshit receptivity may reflect a kind of cognitive laziness or, less pejoratively, a trap into which it’s all too easy for us to fall.”

Great Moments in Health and Science 

The Invention of the Slit Lamp? Essentially a microscope able to examine the eye for disease and injury, it is used not only by eye specialists, but also in emergency departments as anyone who has had a foreign body caught in their eye may know

Today’s Abused Health Concept

Chiropractors still making claims about Coronavirus (We have a list). Immune to Science: “Ken McLeod and Mal Vickers complain about chiropractors’ pseudomedical claims, including immunity and COVID-19, and discover that … shock horror … they’re still at it, but regulators are not.” These chiropractors are flouting directions by both regulators and by chiropractic professional bodies. Yet there is no incentive for them to clean up their act, as there is so little enforcement. “The above complaints follow[s] 174 specific complaints about chiropractors submitted in the decade before 1 March 2020. In that time, only one specific complaint was resolved successfully, with the practitioner surrendering registration.”

Thanks to Science

 We can repurpose old medicines. BCG vaccine for coronavirus – Can it work? Or is this a shot in the dark? Studies across the globe – including in Australia – are investigating how an old vaccine for tuberculosis could provide non-specific protection against SARS-CoV-2. This is the test of observational and experimental studies that show that BCG can improve the function of the nonspecific (termed ‘innate’) arm of the immune system. In Australia, participants are limited to healthcare workers, a population at high of being exposed to the virus.