ProPublica.org and This American Life partnered
for a special report on acetaminophen
(also known as paracetamol
), the active ingredient in Tylenol, which is also found in many other over-the-counter medications
. The narrow therapeutic index of acetaminophen means that often, the difference between safe use and overdose can be as small as one gram. From ProPublica.org: "About 150 Americans die a year by accidentally taking too much acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol, federal data from the CDC shows."
On November 22, 2011, TEDxBrussels held an all day event whose theme was: "A Day in the Deep Future
." Speakers were asked to try and contemplate what life will be like for mankind in 50 years
. [more inside]
Meet the Ethical Placebo:
"A provocative new study called 'Placebos Without Deception,'
published on PLoS One today, threatens to make humble sugar pills something they’ve rarely had a chance to be in the history of medicine: a respectable, ethically sound treatment for disease that has been vetted in controlled trials." [Via]
In 2004, Minnesota student Dan Markingson committed suicide while participating in a clinical drug trial
for various mood disorders. Trial sponsors the University of Minnesota and AstraZeneca were cleared of blame by the FDA in 2005. Last week, a group of faculty members at the university wrote an open letter
to the university's Board of Regents requesting further investigation due to "troubling questions" that remain unanswered and a concern over "conflicts of interest" in the Academic Health Center.
Ecstasy's long-term effects revealed.
"Enough time has finally elapsed to start asking if ecstasy damages health in the long term. According to the biggest review ever undertaken
, it causes slight memory difficulties and mild depression, but these rarely translate into problems in the real world. While smaller studies show that some individuals have bigger problems, including weakened immunity and larger memory deficits, so far, for most people, ecstasy seems to be nowhere near as harmful over time as you may have been led to believe." [Via]
Psychoactive Drugs for the Future
Could brain-boosting drugs
become as common as coffee?
UK government group Foresight
have just released their 'Brain Science, Addiction and Drugs Project' in which the aim was to evaluate: "
How can we manage the use of psychoactive substances in the future to best advantage for the individual, the community and society?"
The report can be viewed in its entirety from here. Direct link to the Executive Summary (.pdf) via
Predicting who'll benefit from anti-depressants
From the study's abstract: "There are well-replicated, independent lines of evidence supporting a role for corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) in the pathophysiology of depression." The NY Times has a bit more readable explanation
(reg-free link) of a recent investigation of into whether there is a genetic explanation for why some people get more from their drugs than others.
In terms of our genes
, we humans are all the same -- except
for the ways in which we're different. Pharmacogenomics has for years been touted as the ultimate benefit of the genomics revolution. But to many, this revolution has a troubling side.
argue AIDS is not really caused by HIV but is a production of medical and pharmaceutical conglomerates
. They are willing to argue the point
even though some are HIV positive
. They use "Seven Deadly Deceptions"
such as "The HIV test is unreliable--so don't get tested." to further their cause; and their cause is growing
Dr. Donald Francis
He was portrayed by Mathew Modine in the classic HBO film And the Band Played On
, which told the story of how he discovered the AIDS virus 20 years ago. Earlier in his career he was a key member of the team that wiped out Smallpox (although he couldn't argue a few governments from keeping samples on ice just in case
) and the team that figured out how to contain outbreaks of the flesh eating Ebola virus--that was essentially him, though not his personality, that Dustin Hoffman played in Outbreak
. Now he's the president and chief scientist of Vaxgen, a company that expects to receive positive result from its Phase III human clinical trials of AIDSVAX
shortly after New Year's. If the results are as expected, AIDSVAX will be the first AIDS vaccine to go into production.
Like any other major issue in our age of delusions and self-deceptions, there are doubters and paranoids and conspiracy theorists too. Here is a neat little example of all three bundled up in one, from a publication titled The Aids Mirage
: Donald Francis invents a viral epidemic
. All the stop energy embodied by such efforts are really sad.
This isn't irony. The Department of Justice wants to deny justice to the families who have to deal with kids with autism
I guess if you're a vaccine manufacturer, you don't want people to know that what you're putting in kids is gonna screw their lives up forever, right? That would cost you alot of money
If the Vaccine makers are scared about huge rewards for families harmed by their products, they should have made sure their vaccines didn't cause children to develop autism
Ginkgo supplements don’t help...Um...................um......
A new study suggests ginkgo supplements
do nothing to quickly improve memory in healthy people, a finding that goes against years of well-publicized claims that helped turn the supplements into a multimillion-dollar industry.
Mother of teen suicide pilot sues drug company for $70M.
Mom claims that the acne drug her son was taking caused his depression and subsequent suicide flight. Do you buy it?
Poor Eli Lilly
is going to lose it's Prozac patent protection soon, though not quite yet. via Follow Me Here