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FSM Friends’ News and Articles

Plexus – MLM strikes again: Now that we are in the midst of a pandemic, multilevel marketing schemes have been quick to take advantage of public fears and are offering bogus products alleged to prevent or treat COVID-19.

Today’s Abused Health Concept  

Edzard Ernst tackles chiropractic: A review on Edzard Ernst’s book ‘Not All That It’s Cracked Up to Be. Ernst reviews the evidence and history of Chiropractic, and more importantly, reviews the studies that Chiropractors rely on.  “He addresses what he sees as “a scandalous amount of misinformation”, and tries to set the record straight. Rather than advising against chiropractic, he asks readers to make up their own minds and make reasonable decisions based on the evidence. [Spinal manipulation therapy] SMT itself is suspect. Ernst describes the studies chiropractors have relied on to demonstrate the effectiveness of SMT and shows how they are all flawed in various ways. None of the studies controlled for placebo effects. For acute low back pain, the average patient can expect a 50/50 chance of up to a 20% improvement in pain and function, but more than 50% will report harms such as increased pain and muscle stiffness… One analysis showed that 31-66% of patients using chiropractic for back or neck pain also took opioids, a sad commentary on the effectiveness of chiropractic. Chiropractic is said to be hugely popular, but the evidence shows that its popularity is variable and usually modest (he cites the numbers), and it is illegal in 12 countries (Argentina, Austria, Colombia, Egypt, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Lebanon, Republic of Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, and Ukraine). This book is an excellent, comprehensive reference for all things chiropractic. It provides solid facts to correct widespread misinformation. It provides evidence that should answer any question a reader might come up with. It doesn’t tell readers what to think, but it provides the tools to help them think clearly for themselves.”

Great Moments in Health and Science 

The development of the frozen section – ProHealth Minute: frozen section procedure: Frozen sections allow masses and cancers removed by surgeons to be examined and diagnosed rapidly by a pathologist under the microscope whilst the operation is still taking place. In this way, surgeons can be sure the whole mass has been removed, as well as initiate different post-operative treatments depending on the diagnosis.

Thanks to Science

Australia’s just signed up for a shot at 9 COVID-19 vaccines: Here’s what to expect: we can use new technologies to develop more effective, cheaper and safer vaccines. Australia has joined the international COVAX initiative, which supports the development of multiple SARS-CoV-2 vaccines. Among these are vaccines made from live, attenuated viruses, subunit vaccines consisting of protein with an immune stimulating adjuvant, and vaccines comprised of genetic material (DNA or RNA). These technologies would not be as far developed if it were not for basic research conducted across the world, including Australia.