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-woo in medicine.
Eric Merola and Ralph Moss try to exhume the rotting corpse of Laetrile in a new movie (David Gorski)
Eric Merola has found a new hero to worship. After two movies promoting the infamous Burzynski, he is making a new movie about Laetrile promoter Ralph Moss, who alleges that Laetrile was an effective anti-cancer drug that was suppressed. There was nothing to suppress: testing showed it didn’t work.
Depression Re-examined: A New Way to Look at an Old Puzzle (Harriet Hall)
Jonathan Rottenberg proposes an evolutionary explanation for depressive illnesses. Rather than a defect in brain chemicals, thoughts, or childhood experiences, he suggests it is not a defect at all, but a survival trait that has become maladaptive in the modern environment. His thought-provoking insights are based on recent animal and human research studies.
Open Data (Steven Novella)
The Public Library of Science (PLOS) has announced that all articles published in a PLOS journal must submit their original data so anyone can access and analyze it for themselves. This experiment in open access to data sets an example that print journals should follow. Complete transparency facilitates the self-corrective scientific process.
The Diet Fix (Scott Gavura)
Yoni Freedhoff’s new book The Diet Fix explains why diets fail and proposes a 10-day plan to get the best out of any diet. He debunks common myths and is adamant that there is no one perfect diet for everyone. He recommends behaviors and skills to support a life-long approach to healthy living and sustainable weight loss.
Measles gets a helping hand (John Snyder)
The measles vaccine was successful in eliminating measles in the United States and is making great progress in other countries, but enlarging pockets of under-immunization threaten to derail those efforts. Antiscientific parental vaccine refusal was largely responsible for the 189 cases of measles in the US in 2013 (the highest rate in 17 years). Unvaccinated travellers bring measles into the US and it spreads to other unimmunized people. The problem is even worse in the UK.