"It is true, and thus the question of whether it is sad or happy has no meaning whatever."
Bernhard Schlink

Science is best when discussed: leave your thoughts and ideas in the comments!!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Sunscreen, Morons, Et Cetera. 

British researchers have formulated what they hope will be the Next Generation of Sunblocks - creams that will not only help prevent burns and skin cancer, but also help heal sunburns. The cream contains a chelating agent which corrals excess iron - released by sun-damaged cells, which causes oxidative damage - as well as traditional sunblock ingredients. This sounds good in theory, but I can't help but wonder how good an idea putting a chelator all over yourself could possibly be. Also, didn't I read recently about a rise in rickets due to over-sunblocking kids?

Speaking of over-parenting, MSNBC is reporting on how pushy/hypercompetetive parents are demanding that pediatricians put their kids on stimulants to get an edge in school. This isn't really news and it really isn't surprising, but it is slightly infuriating. These parents are clearly only concerned with how they look, in the eyes of their peers - having the valedictorian kid who got in to Harvard (or Yale, or whatever the Family School is) is more important than said kid's health now or later on. The problem is, it's really hard for doctors to keep saying no; these are the kinds of parents who'll sue for such things.

Maybe the mom's just don't hear the doctors' warnings: it seems that hormone replacement therapy including progestin is associated with accelerated hearing loss. This is a small study, and I would argue that it may not be too well controlled, but this could be a very interesting finding. Does progesterone affect calcium and potassium levels?

A formerly vegetative patient, who claims to have been aware but unable to respond while in that state, was studied by fMRI, and doctors claim she was able to respond to them with her thoughts. I'd like to buy this study a lot more than I do, but it just strikes me as a bit dubious.

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