Autism biomed quackery is unfortunately all too commonly inflicted upon autistic children. Fortunately, there are moles seeking to expose it.
Clint Paddison is an Australian comedian with a science degree who developed rheumatoid arthritis at age 31. He now claims to have controlled it with a diet he developed to alter the gut microbiome. How plausible is his story, and does his "Paddison Program" work? Answer: Not very and almost certainly no.
Violent rhetoric has always been part of the antivaccine movement.Leaders of the antivax movement, like Del Bigtree, use apocalyptic and violent rhetoric, and then deny that they've done so. Unfortunately, it seems to be getting worse, and I fear violence.
Chad Hermann and Todd Wolynn published a study about antivaxers that basically confirmed a lot of what we know about how they use Facebook to harass their perceived enemies. More important is the work they're doing provide a way for those targeted by antivaxers for harassment to light signal fires to attract reinforcements.
A new study by Jeremy Snyder and Tim Caulfield shows how much money is raised by GoFundMe and other crowdfunding sources to support quackery. It's a lot of money, which is unsurprising to Orac, given that he's been writing about how crowdfunding is "baked into" the business model of cancer quacks since he discovered Stanislaw Burzynski a decade ago.
J. B. Handley and Orac go way back (to 2005), when Orac first encountered Handley's brand of blustering, arrogantly ignorant antivaccine pseudoscience. Lately, Handley's been blogging over at Medium. A couple of weeks ago, Medium kicked him off its platform for violating its TOS. Schadenfreude ensues.
Facebook has become a hub from which antivaxers spread misinformation. A recent study looks at what they're saying and how FB pages facilitate the spread of antivaccine misinformation.
One of the most common criticisms launched at defenders of science-based medicine by believers in pseudoscience and quackery is that we are “pharma shills.” The assumption, or so it would seem, is that no one would defend science, reason, and medicine unless he were paid off by pharmaceutical, chemical, and/or agricultural companies. The further assumption is that, in contrast to our greedy grasping selves, they are not motivated by such base concerns as money. That is their self-image, that of pure-hearted warriors against evil, the evil being big pharma, big agriculture, big chemical, and whatever other demons they can dream …
This is not what I wanted to write about for my first post of 2014, but unfortunately it’s necessary—so necessary, in fact, that I felt the obligation to crosspost it to my not-so-super-secret other blog in order to get this information out to as wide a readership as possible. I’ve always had a bit of a love-hate relationship with Facebook. On the one hand, I like easily how it lets me stay in contact with family and friends across the country, people whom I would rarely see more than once or twice a year, if even that. On the other …
Dying of cancer can be a horrible way to go, but as a cancer specialist I sometimes forget that there are diseases that are equally, if not more, horrible. One that always comes to mind is amyotropic lateral sclerosis (ALS), more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. It is a motor neuron disease whose clinical course is characterized by progressive weakness, muscle atrophy and spasticity, with ultimate progression to respiratory muscles leading to difficulty breathing and speaking (dysarthria) and to the muscles controlling swallowing. The rate of clinical course is variable, often beginning with muscle twitching in an arm or …