Jan 20, 2011
Science news snippets from the net meanderings of David Bradley
- Fighting malaria without DDT = FAIL – Review suggests DDT essential in fight against malaria, despite claims for green approaches. A new research paper exposes allegedly false claims and misrepresentations of science by United Nations environmental organizations to stop successful uses of DDT and other public health insecticides in malaria programs.
- Adverse drug reactions are not an argument against modern medicine – The number of preventable adverse events from medical treatments is far too high. And even the idiosyncratic events — freak accidents, basically — mean we must always consider the rare but possible harms of the therapies we use. But as Harriet Hall has pointed out, we cannot look at drug harms in isolation: the variable perpetually ignored by critics of mainstream medicine is the benefits associated with those drugs, which can make the risks seem quite acceptable. Both expected benefits and possible harms need to be incorporated into our decision-making process.
- Colony collapse disorder – There’s a buzz in the world of honeybees. Well, actually, there isn’t a buzz, and that’s the problem, there have been reports across the globe of colony collapse disorder. In Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) a hive fails to thrive but the beekeepers don’t find the carcasses of their yellow and black striped friends.
- Sciencebase twitter favourites – I recently discovered the benefits of the little gold star and have implemented a feed box on Sciencebase to display the tweets to which I give such a star (i.e. the ones I favourite). This is the actual feed for the favourites if you wish to subscribe to them).
- Chemophobia is scaring Americans to death – ACSH compiled this resource book to teach legislators, industry, media, customers and parents about the true risk or lack thereof related to chemical exposure and employ in everyday items. The paper, authored by Jon Entine, a scholar using the American Enterprise Institute and respected science journalist, is really a response to the growing level of chemophobia — the irrational fear of chemicals — among the American public.
- A perfect economic storm could have science on the rocks – A potentially unprecedented change in venture capital and in the funding of the science sector is on the cards as a consequence of today's economic climate and the austerity measures that are being introduced by many governments around the world, including the G7.