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Tue, 06 Jun 2023
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Heavy cell phone use tied to poor sperm quality

Spending hours on a cell phone each day may affect the quality of a man's sperm, preliminary research suggests.


10 Myths About Canadian Health Care, Busted

2008 is shaping up to be the election year that we finally get to have the Great American Healthcare Debate again. Harry and Louise are back with a vengeance. Conservatives are rumbling around the talk show circuit bellowing about the socialist threat to the (literal) American body politic. And, as usual, Canada is once again getting dragged into the fracas, shoved around by both sides as either an exemplar or a warning -- and, along the way, getting coated with the obfuscating dust of so many willful misconceptions that the actual facts about How Canada Does It are completely lost in the melee.

I'm both a health-care-card-carrying Canadian resident and an uninsured American citizen who regularly sees doctors on both sides of the border. As such, I'm in a unique position to address the pros and cons of both systems first-hand. If we're going to have this conversation, it would be great if we could start out (for once) with actual facts, instead of ideological posturing, wishful thinking, hearsay, and random guessing about how things get done up here.

To that end, here's the first of a two-part series aimed at busting the common myths Americans routinely tell each other about Canadian health care. When the right-wing hysterics drag out these hoary old bogeymen, this time, we need to be armed and ready to blast them into straw. Because, mostly, straw is all they're made of.


New Way to Kill Viruses: Shake Them to Death

Scientists may one day be able to destroy viruses in the same way that opera singers presumably shatter wine glasses. New research mathematically determined the frequencies at which simple viruses could be shaken to death.


Brain Circuitry That Drives Drug-seeking Compulsion Identified

In experiments with rats, researchers have identified the change in brain circuitry that drives development of a compulsion to seek drugs, even when that compulsion is self-destructive. The researchers demonstrated the function of the circuitry by selectively switching off drug-seeking in the animals. They said their findings show the key role of the brain region, known as the striatum, which is a region activated by reward.

The researchers drew on previous studies indicating that when drug-seeking transforms from a goal-directed behavior to a compulsion, control over that behavior shifts from the ventral to dorsal region of the striatum. In their experiments, the researchers first trained rats to press a lever to obtain cocaine, which also activated a signal light. The researchers manipulated the schedule of cocaine-receiving and lever-pressing so that it would induce compulsive lever-pressing in the rats to obtain cocaine.


Vitamin A And Zinc Supplement May Help Protect Children From Malaria, Study Suggests

Could a simple vitamin A and zinc supplement help protect young children from malaria? A randomized double blind trial would suggest the answer is yes.

Jean-Bosco Ouedraogo of the Institut de Recherche en Sciences de la Santé (IRSS) in Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso, and colleagues explain that vitamin A and zinc play a critical role in the normal function of the immune system, and may even play a synergistic role for reducing the risk of infection including malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum.


Court: Mom Can't Sue Over Circumcision

St. Paul, Minn. - The Minnesota Court of Appeals has ruled that a mother who didn't like the way her baby's circumcision looked cannot sue a Fridley hospital for medical malpractice.


Make-Believe Science Again Tries to Debunk Autism-MMR Link

The measles vaccine doesn't cause long-lasting measles infection or raise abnormal immune responses in kids with autism, a new study confirms.

Comment: Again, another faulty study tries to debunk the MMR-autism link. Anyone can spot the make-believe science by simply noticing that they never compare an unvaccinated population to a vaccinated one. This is Science 101: having a control group which does not receive the medication. It is never done with the vaccines. UPI reporter, Dan Olmsted called this The Amish Elephant:
A specter is haunting the medical and journalism establishments of the United States: Where are the unvaccinated people with autism?

That is just about the only way to explain what now appears to be a collective resistance to considering that question. And like all unanswered questions, this raises another one: Why?

What is the problem with quickly and firmly establishing that the autism rate is about the same everywhere and for everybody in the United States, vaccinated or unvaccinated? Wouldn't that stop all the scientifically illiterate chatter by parents who believe vaccinations made their children autistic? Wouldn't it put to rest concerns that -- despite the removal of a mercury-containing preservative in most U.S. vaccines -- hundreds of millions of children in the developing world are possibly at risk if that preservative is in fact linked to autism?

Calling this issue The Amish Elephant reflects reporting earlier this year in Age of Autism that the largely unvaccinated Amish may have a relatively low rate of autism. That apparent dissimilarity is, in effect, a proverbial elephant in the living room -- studiously ignored by people who don't want to deal with it and don't believe they will have to.
And as Dr. Richard Halvorsen, author of The Truth About Vaccines, notes:
"One vaccine expert disclosed to me that we will probably never be able to test the safety of vaccines while we bundle so many of them together and administer them at the same time.

"This means it's almost impossible to distinguish the side effects of one from another."
One has to wonder why we need a vaccine for three mild diseases that almost never have any serious side affects and in which the CDC itself reports that outbreaks occur in 100% vaccinated populations (CDC, Morbidity and Mortality Report, Oct 4, 1984).


Big pharma attacks: FDA launches attack on bioidentical hormones for women

The Food and Drug Administration has launched a misguided attack on estriol despite overwhelming evidence it is safe and effective for women in menopause, according to Erika Schwartz MD.



The Truth Behind Wyeth's Campaign Against BHRT Patients

Wyeth petitioned the FDA to impose far-reaching restrictions on physicians' ability to prescribe and pharmacists' ability to prepare and dispense bioidentical hormones.


Tainted pills hit U.S. mainland

The first warning sign came when a sharp-eyed worker sorting pills noticed that the odd blue flecks dotting the finished drug capsules matched the paint on the factory doors.

After the flecks were spotted again on the capsules, a blood-pressure medication called diltiazem, the plant began placing covers over drugs in carts in its manufacturing areas.

But the factory owner, Canadian drug maker Biovail Corp., never tried to find out whether past shipments of the drug were contaminated - or prevent future contamination, according to U.S. regulators.