Why Garbage Science Gets Published
"Lest anyone think that pseudoscience is the province solely of predatory publishers, however, even the big, top-tier houses fall victim. Springer and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, two leading publishers, in 2014 retracted more than 120 articles that had appeared in conference proceedings after learning that they had been written not by scientists but by a convincing computer text generator called SCIgen. The program—a sort of industrialized version of the Sokal hoax—allows anyone to create a “scientific paper” by simply providing author names. The resulting text and graphics look like a proper scientific paper, but are gibberish. The fact that any were published means that no one peer reviewed the manuscripts."
Wednesday, December 13, 2017
From a quarter century ago:
The controversial question of the relationship between obesity and disease has been considerably clearer after the demonstration in several prospective, epidemiological studies that the subgroup of central, visceral obesity is particularly prone to develop cardiovascular disease, stroke, and non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus. Visceral obesity is associated with multiple central endocrine aberrations. The hypothalamo-adrenal axis is apparently sensitive to stimuli, sex steroid hormone secretion blunted, and hyperandrogenicity is found in women. In addition, there seem to be signs of central dysfunctions in the regulation of hemodynamic factors after stress, and growth hormone secretion appears to be particularly blunted. Several of these endocrine abnormalities are associated with insulin resistance, particularly glycogen synthesis in muscle. Fiber composition with low type I/type II ratio might be secondary to the prevailing hyperinsulinemia, but low capillary density in muscle may well be of importance. In combination with elevated turn-over of free fatty acids (FFA) this will probably provide powerful mechanisms whereby insulin resistance is created. Portal FFA, from the highly lipolytic visceral depots may, in addition, affect hepatic metabolism to induce increased gluconeogenesis, production of very low density lipoproteins as well as to perhaps inhibit clearance of insulin. By these mechanisms a Metabolic Syndrome Visceral adipocytes seem to have a high density of several steroid hormone receptors, directing steroid hormone effects particularly to these depots. The net effect of cortisol is apparently a stimulation of lipid storage, with opposing effects of sex steroid hormones which also facilitate lipid mobilization, regulations most often found at the gene transcription level. Growth hormone inhibits cortisol effects on lipid accumulation, and amplifies the lipid mobilizing effects of steroid hormones. The combined perturbations of hormonal secretions will therefore probably direct triglycerides toward visceral depots. Circulatory and nervous regulatory mechanisms require, however, more attention. The multiple central endocrine and nervous aberrations of visceral obesity suggest neuroendocrine dysregulations, and have features characteristic of the hypothalamic arousal seen after certain types of stress, alcohol intake, and smoking. Such factors can be traced to subjects with visceral fat accumulation. Standardized stress, eliciting a "defeat reaction" in primates is followed by an apparently identical syndrome. This integrated picture of the multiple symptoms of visceral obesity is based on epidemiological, clinical, experimental, cellular, and molecular evidence. The ingredients of positive energy balance, including physical inactivity, stress, smoking, and alcohol consumption are frequent features of modern, urbanized society. Visceral obesity may therefore be an expression of a "Civilization Syndrome."
Obes Res. 1993 May;1(3):206-22.
Colorado is still the least-obese state in the country. But it might not be for much longer.
The obesity rate jumped 10 percent in one year in Colorado
Tuesday, December 12, 2017
"...increasing weight loss and, to a lesser extent, decreasing BMI, led to substantially worse outcomes for non-small cell lung cancer patients independent of other variables."
J Cachexia Sarcopenia Muscle. 2017 Dec 4. doi: 10.1002/jcsm.12253. [Epub ahead of print]
"Overall, science understanding is associated with vaccine and genetic modification food acceptance, but not climate change acceptance."
Pers Soc Psychol Bull. 2017 Nov 1:146167217741314. doi: 10.1177/0146167217741314. [Epub ahead of print]
Not All Skepticism Is Equal: Exploring the Ideological Antecedents of Science Acceptance and Rejection.
Ann Glob Health. 2017 May - Aug;83(3-4):596-604. doi: 10.1016/j.aogh.2017.07.005. Epub 2017 Aug 15.
Litzelman DK1, Gardner A2, Einterz RM3, Owiti P4, Wambui C5, Huskins JC6, Schmitt-Wendholt KM7, Stone GS8, Ayuo PO5, Inui TS9, Umoren RA10.
"Massachusetts, Hawaii, Vermont, Utah and Connecticut rank as the five healthiest states, while West Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi rank the least healthy in America’s Health Rankings, according to the report by the United Health Foundation."
Monday, December 11, 2017
The extra cost of comorbidity: multiple illnesses and the economic burden of non-communicable diseases
BMC Med. 2017 Dec 8;15(1):216. doi: 10.1186/s12916-017-0978-2.
The extra cost of comorbidity: multiple illnesses and the economic burden of non-communicable diseases.
Saturday, December 9, 2017
The day of an Academic Pathologist. Finally revealed.
From the University of South Alabama Department of Pathology
From the University of South Alabama Department of Pathology
Friday, December 8, 2017
"...because of continuing endemic prejudice in United States society and its healthcare system and the distrust this engenders..."
Camb Q Healthc Ethics. 2018 Jan;27(1):36-51. doi: 10.1017/S096318011700038X.
"...six out of every 10 Bahamians have not one, not two, but three risk factors that can lead to a non-communicable disease such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke or cancer."
PLoS One. 2017 Dec 6;12(12):e0187779. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0187779. eCollection 2017.
Adv Exp Med Biol. 2017;1031:323-346. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-67144-4_19.
Thursday, December 7, 2017
"As a remedy for these mix-ups, Dr Bucshon is sponsoring the Prostate Cancer Misdiagnosis Elimination Act of 2017, which calls for Medicare to reimburse labs $200 for DNA testing that compares and matches the patient's biopsy tissue with cells from the inside the cheek that are taken with a cotton swab to ensure both came from the same person."
Friday, December 1, 2017
"Under medical marijuana, I believe it should be like any other drug," Adams said Friday in Indianapolis. "We need to let the FDA vet it, study it, vet it. The FDA has actually approved cannabidiol oil and some derivatives of marijuana, Marijuana is not one substance. It's actually over 100 different substances, some of which benefit, some of which are harmful."
Thursday, November 30, 2017
Patrick J. Deneen
The ship of liberalism is in dangerous waters not because it hasn’t yet realized its potential but because it overwhelmingly has. Our political battles are likely to continue to be shaped by the dominant narrative to which we have all become accustomed—conservative against progressive, right against left. And all the while, the logic of liberalism will inexorably continue to unfold, impelling the ship toward the inevitable iceberg while its passengers bicker not over the arrangement of the deck chairs but over which end of the ship will stay above water when the iceberg strikes.
What is needed today is not better theory, but better practice. When Tocqueville visited America in the early 1830s, he marveled at Americans’ political do-it-yourself spirit. Unlike his French compatriots, who for centuries had acquiesced in a centralized aristocratic order, Americans would readily gather in local settings to solve problems. In the process, they learned the “arts of association.” They were largely indifferent to the distant central government, which then exercised relatively few powers. Local township government, Tocqueville wrote, was the “schoolhouse of democracy,” and he praised the commitment of citizens to securing the goods of common life not only for the ends they achieved but for the habits and practices they fostered and the beneficial changes they wrought on citizens themselves. The greatest benefit of civic participation, he argued, was not its effects in the world, but those on the relations among people engaged in civic life: “When the members of a community are forced to attend to public affairs, they are necessarily drawn from the circle of their own interests and snatched at times from self-observation. As soon as a man begins to treat of public affairs in public, he begins to perceive that he is not so independent of his fellow men as he had at first imagined, and that in order to obtain their support he must often lend them his cooperation.”9
Wednesday, November 29, 2017
As I explain in my new book, How to Regulate, sound regulation requires thinking like a doctor. When addressing some “disease” that reduces social welfare, policymakers should catalog the available “remedies” for the problem, consider the implementation difficulties and “side effects” of each, and select the remedy that offers the greatest net benefit.
If we followed that approach in deciding what to do about the way Internet Service Providers (ISPs) manage traffic on their networks, we would conclude that FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is exactly right: The FCC should reverse its order classifying ISPs as common carriers (Title II classification) and leave matters of non-neutral network management to antitrust, the residual regulator of practices that may injure competition.
Tuesday, November 28, 2017
J Med Ethics. 2017 Aug 20. pii: medethics-2016-103778. doi: 10.1136/medethics-2016-103778. [Epub ahead of print]
Psychol Res. 2017 Nov 7. doi: 10.1007/s00426-017-0937-8. [Epub ahead of print]
Morality and soap in engineers and social scientists: the Macbeth effect interacts with professions.
"In summary, our results indicate that the increased hepatic PTPR-γ level observed in obesity is sufficient to cause insulin resistance and hence unveil PTPR-γ as a new target for anti-T2DM therapy,” the authors continue. “Our data suggest that means aimed at decreasing hepatic PTPR-γ expression/activity should improve T2DM. This goal could be achieved by development of specific PTPR-γ inhibitors."