Recent Posts

medicine Tag

It’s not just zombies that rise from the dead—science news stories can also come back to haunt the reader. Take “Death of the stethoscope,” which surfaced in my RSS feed in the middle of 2015. As a former stethoscope user, the clickbait headline immediately intrigued me. No...

I'd like to stretch the coincidence theme once more on the blog, so bear with me as I wander through some random but connected happenings from my own world of science communications. Thalidomide. What do you think of when you hear the name of this drug? What images...

Brendan Borell has written a scathing attack on the WHO, published in Slate last week. Because of the basics of the story, I thought I knew what I was in for: someone is advocating the use of a cheap “natural” remedy instead of a well-understood synthetic drug. They’re anecdotally reporting extreme efficacy and no drawbacks. Meanwhile, medical authorities are tearing out their hair and imploring people to stick to the stuff that works.

That’s how stories about herbal medicine typically go in my world. But this isn’t quite one of them.

“Although the tea itself has traditionally been used in treatment, not prevention, in China, a randomized controlled trial on this farm showed that workers who drank it regularly reduced their risk of suffering from multiple episodes of malaria by one-third.”

Randomized controlled trial you say?

“Soon afterward, a researcher named Patrick Ogwang with the Ugandan Ministry of Health documented a decline of malaria incidence among almost 300 workers drinking the tea, and followed up with the randomized controlled trial demonstrating