Here is a recap of the stories that appeared last week at Science-Based Medicine, a multi-author skeptical blog that separates the science from the woo in medicine.
The fall of Andrew Wakefield(David Gorski) Andrew Wakefield’s MMR/autism research paper was retracted by the Lancet, he was found guilty of grossly unethical behavior by the British General Medical Council, and his new paper was withdrawn from another journal. Now he has resigned from his position at Thoughtful House, where autistic children are still being studied and treated with very questionable methods. Unsinkable, he plans to “move on to a new phase of leadership in the autism community.”
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Retroviruses: Jumping the Gun (Harriet Hall) A preliminary report linking CFS with a retrovirus was contradicted by two subsequent studies that failed to find the virus. Some patients and doctors have prematurely and unwisely rushed into testing for the virus and proposing anti-retroviral treatments.
Homeopathy Gets a Reality Check in the UK (Steven Novella) The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee has determined that homeopathy doesn’t work and that the NHS should not pay for it. Their report embodies the core principles of science-based medicine.
Why You Can’t Depend On The Press for Science Reporting (Val Jones) Dr. Jones was interviewed for an article on energy medicine, but not a single word of what she said made it into the article, which was full of pseudoscientific arguments, unquestioningly accepted energy medicine, and included no mention of dissenting opinions.
Changing Climate, Changing Infections(Mark Crislip) When weather changes, the incidence and distribution of infectious diseases change. Dr. Crislip describes changes that have already occurred and predicts more changes that can be expected with global warming.