Cleveland Clinic disgraces itself

the fking Cleveland Clinic is practicing quackery for profit and if it kills you that’s your tough shit…

logo-science-based-medicineby Steven Novella at Science-Based Medicine novella-steve-science-based-medicine_(1)

The infiltration of pseudoscience and simply bad medicine into mainstream medicine continues. Hospitals are an easy breech point because they are run by administrators who may have more talent and interest in marketing than in science. Many hospitals in my area, for example, proudly display their integrative centers, offering nutrition advice and massage alongside more dubious offerings, such as reflexology and reiki.

So-called alternative treatments are tempting because they are often not covered by insurance, and so patients will have to pay cash for them, and they are often inexpensive to run so they are a nice cash cow for hospitals.

The Wall Street Journal reports another, more serious, chapter in this infiltration the opening of Chinese herbal clinics, specifically in the Cleveland Clinic. The article itself is reasonably balanced, and lacks the gushing anecdotes that most such pieces have, but could certainly have been more hard-hitting in terms of the serious problems with herbal medicine.

see more at

Sharp Rise In MERS Cases May Mean The Virus Is Evolving NPR

OSTERHOLM MichaelMERS should be on the front pages, lead every news report… (Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome)

Total cases jumped 100%+ in two weeks… mortality 42% or worse, no vaccine (though 5 major pharmas are working on one)

“It took us over a year to get the first hundred cases of this viral infection,” Dr. Michael Osterholm tells NPR. “Now in just the last two weeks, we’ve had a hundred cases. … There’s a major change occurring that cannot just be attributed to better case detection. Something’s happening…

“When humans readily transmit [a virus] to humans, that’s what will cause a worldwide outbreak,” Osterholm says. “We are very concerned that … with what we’ve seen over the last two weeks … we may be at that point now.”

“It’s time for the world to wake up and demand that the Middle East do the kind of job that we need done to stop this transmission [of MERS],” he says, “and to protect the rest of the world.”

The spike in cases, especially among health care workers, could be a signal that the virus has reached a tipping point and could be ready to spread out of the region, says Osterholm, who directs the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota (CIDRAP).


H5N1 tweaks that boost airborne spread could kill half the planet

(Ed note: CIDRAP buried the lead – if modified h5n1 escaped the result could well be catastrophic. And my alarmist headline doesn’t do justice to just how horrendous the event could be. There are better ways to do this work and ways that don’t involve creating Frankenstein variants.)

From CIDRAP News Study: H5N1 tweaks that boost airborne spread

Filed Under: Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) Biosecurity Issues Dual-Use Research Robert Roos | News Editor | CIDRAP News

Apr 14, 2014

Influenza Virion CDC 1

Image: Transmission electron micrograph shows the ultrastructural details of an influenza virus particle. CDC / Erskine Palmer, PhD, & M.L. Martin

In a controversial study published 2 years ago Dutch scientists described a lab-modified strain of H5N1 influenza virus that was capable of airborne transmission among ferrets. Now the same researchers say they have identified five specific mutations that gave the virus this ability, a claim that is renewing debate about the risks of conducting and publishing such experiments.

Writing in Cell, the scientists said they identified two combinations of five mutations that affected specific characteristics of the virus and collectively enabled it to spread by air. They assert that the findings will help in the effort to detect early warning signs of flu strains that could cause a pandemic.

But other experts question the scientific value of the findings and argue that they are not worth the risks involved in conducting such experiments and publishing the full details. They assert that the research poses a risk of either accidental or intentional release of dangerous viruses.

Building on 2012 study

The new study builds on a US-government funded study that was published in June 2012 in Science. In that case, Ron Fouchier, PhD, of Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands and colleagues described how they used a combination of genetic engineering and serial infection of ferrets to create a mutant H5N1 virus that could spread among the animals without direct contact. Continue reading

Canada vastly underestimated the tar sands’ cancer-causing toxins

“Our study shows that emissions of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons estimated in environmental impact assessments conducted to approve developments in the Athabasca oil sands region are likely too low. This finding implies that environmental concentrations in exposure-relevant media, such as air, water, and food, estimated using those emissions may also be too low. The potential therefore exists that estimation of future risk to humans and wildlife because of surface mining activity in the Athabasca oil sands region has been underestimated.”
PNAS [Proceedings of
the National Academy of Science

The way Canadian Harper government has behaved one could fairly assume the underestimation was deliberate and that the authors of this research exposing the danger will face retaliation. It takes guts to be a scientist.

2009 H1N1 Flu Pandemic Deaths > 400,000

… much worse than previously thought, and 400,000 is probably way low cuz of poor info from Africa and S and SE Asia…

…median age about 40…

…the death rate in Mexico was estimated at 5.2 per 100,000 population, versus 0.4 per 100,000 in Australia, 0.3 in France, and 2.8 in the United States…

…Osterholm noted that the mean age of people who died in the H1N1 outbreak was 40, at a time when life expectancy was 79 years… a flu death in a person who has a number of co-morbidities (other diseases) at age 78 is very different than that of a young, pregnant woman otherwise healthy at age 22… One should be dealing with years of life lost…


Eben Alexander Westminster Town Hall Nature of Consciousness

Eben-Alexander small edged from Wikipedia “Alexander is the author of the 2012 autobiographical book Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeons Journey into the Afterlife, in which he asserts that his out of body and near death experience (NDE) while in a meningitis-induced coma in 2008 proves that consciousness is independent of the brain, that death is an illusion, and that an eternity of perfect splendor awaits us beyond the grave complete with angels, clouds, and departed relatives, but also including butterflies and a beautiful girl in peasant dress who Alexander finds out later was his departed sister. According to him, the current understanding of the mind now lies broken at our feet for What happened to me destroyed it, and I intend to spend the rest of my life investigating the true nature of consciousness and making the fact that we are more, much more, than our physical brains as clear as I can, both to my fellow scientists and to people at large.

MPR recorded this and then put it on their website in a way few people could audit… I found a way to play it and record it and post it here so others can now get at it and listen. 52 minutes.

Zombie Endocrine Disruptors Threaten Life

Many U.S. ranchers implant cattle with the synthetic androgen trenbolone acetate to beef them up, but concerns have been raised that its metabolites leach into streams and ponds, disrupting endocrine systems of aquatic life. Sunlight was though to permanently degrade such metabolites but a study shows that the degradation products can revert at night, zombielike, back into the endocrine-disrupting metabolites. The same could be true of metabolites of other hormones that make their way into the environment.