Public Health

Stem-cell research holds promise for the treatment of a broad range of diseases and conditions, from spinal cord injury to autism. But more work is needed to turn this research into safe and effective therapies.

In these austere and difficult times, it must be my duty, I think, to alert my fellow citizens to a possible source of additional income which almost anyone can plug into: become a charlatan, and chances are that your economic hardship is a memory from the past. To achieve this aim, I [with my tongue firmly lodged in my cheek] suggest a fairly straight forward step by step approach.

1. Find an attractive therapy and give it a fantastic name

Based on a recent and fascinating scientific report from Switzerland, you might start to hear demands to eliminate mild mustard from our diet. The Swiss Federal Food Safety and VeterinaryOffice (FSVO) recently reported that mild mustard contains the chemical bisphenol F (BPF). Remarkably, BPF is not a contaminant introduced from packaging or other sources, but apparently isproduced from a component naturally present in mustard seeds when the seeds are processed to make mustard.

As suggested by the name, BPF is chemically very similar to the well-known substance bisphenol A (BPA) and both have been shown to be weakly estrogenic.

Teenagers with easy access to drugs and alcohol in the home are more likely to drink and do drugs in their early and late 20s, according to an analysis of survey results  from around 15,000 participants in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health over the course of three waves - when the survey participants were, on average, 16, 22 and 29 years old.

According to Cliff Broman, professor of sociology
at Michigan State University, the effects were more significant among Caucasians and males, which may be odd defiance of stereotype or a confounder, since Hispanic and Asian participants generally had drugs and alcohol more easily available to them in the home during adolescence. 

Several weeks ago, I wrote about the European Commission’s (EC) proposed scientific criteria to identify endocrine disrupting chemicals and highlighted what I, along with many others, believe are its numerous shortcomings. 

Crystal Hefner, wife of Playboy entrepreneur Hugh Hefner, recently elected to have her breast implants removed because she believed that they “were slowly poisoning her.” This was after she read Internet comments from people who shared similar symptoms and said implants were the problem, and after she believed she had chronic Lyme disease.

Science is not on her side. Not even close.

Habitual cycling, whether as transportation to work or as a recreational activity, has been associated with lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes (T2D), according to an epidemiology paper in PLOS Medicine, which affirms that Type 2 diabetes is a lifestyle disease, brought on by too many calories and not enough exercise.

The cohort analysis, conducted by Martin Rasmussen of the University of Southern Denmark, and colleagues, included 24,623 men and 27,890 women from Denmark, recruited between the ages of 50 and 65, and compared the association between self-reported recreational and commuter cycling habits with
type 2 diabetes

The New York Times (NYT) article is discussing a recent publication in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives related to “Project TENDR”, which stands for “Targeting Environmental Neuro-Developmental Risks”. In the NYT piece, statements of the Project TENDR group presented in the published paper are summarized and it is pointed out that this publication comes at the same time as the signing into law of the overhaul of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

Current federal agricultural subsidies focus on financing production of food commodities, a large portion of which are converted into high-fat meat and dairy products, refined grains, high-calorie juices and soft drinks (sweetened with corn sweeteners), and processed and packaged foods.

Karen R. Siegel, Ph.D., of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, and coauthors used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2001 to 2006 to calculate an individual-level "subsidy score" for consumption of subsidized food commodities as a percentage of total calorie intake.

The study, which relied on a single day of 24-hour dietary recall, included 10,308 participants, about half of whom were men, with an average age of about 40.

On June 15 the EU Commission (EC) issued its highly anticipated “scientific criteria” for identifying Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs). Now that the dust has settled, and stakeholders around the globe have had a chance to offer their thoughts, the time is ripe to explore to the heart of the criteria – what the EC selected (and what it didn’t select), and the potential impact their choices will have on consumers, industry and the global regulatory arena.