Public Health

A cookbook editor in the New York Times says I am wrong on the gluten-free fad and that, if it makes people feel better to buy gluten-free, to leave them alone. 

Well, well, well, look at the New York Times embracing libertarianism and food choice when it comes to fads their demographic happens to embrace. Like with sugar and GMOs, they want science and reason to stay out of it, because those are weird fetishes of a large chunk of their readership, while we are constantly told how stupid people are if they don't accept global warming. Right?
Last week, the USDA released its annual Pesticide Data Program (PDP) report about pesticide residues on food.

This release comes from extensive sampling of crops entering the market during 2012.

Researchers say they have cleared up one aspect of how our bowels move that has mystified scientists for, well, forever. 

It isn't all unknown. Segmentation motor activity in the gut that enables absorption of nutrients was described in the late 1800s. But now gastroenterologist Jan Huizinga and a team have learned that of the two types of movement, segmentation motion occurs when not one but two sets of pacemakers interact with each other to create a specific rhythm.

They then work together with nerves and muscle to generate the movement that allows for nutrient absorption. The other type of movement moves the food along.


Periodontal disease occurs in 13 percent of humans today. Why are humans even susceptible to periodontal disease, when most animals do not get periodontal disease? Is it human behavior or something else that contributes to chronic inflammatory disease in humans?

It can't be modern living or dental hygiene. The inflammatory disease-causing bacteria has been found in a Medieval German population, by analyzing the dental calculus - plaque - from teeth preserved for 1,000 years.


 Wherever he is, Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim a/k/a Paracelsus must be doing the Foxtrot in his grave. Because somehow a bunch of dopes have managed to “correct” something he got absolutely right 600 years ago. You know what it is.

 Unfortunately, the dopes are not so dopey when it comes to spreading their message: Because a chemical is toxic or carcinogenic in high doses (usually in rodent experiments) that it poses a danger to humans at miniscule doses. Therefore we should be scared of any chemical that they tell us is dangerous, regardless of the exposure. And their list is endless.

If we want to see worldwide trends in public health, look to the South Pacific archipelago of Samoa and American Samoa.

About 75 percent of the U.S. territory's adult population is obese, the highest rate in the world. Rates of type 2 diabetes top 20 percent and a recent study found that the elevated obesity rates are now even present in newborns.

This obesity epidemic began there a few decades ago. Brown University epidemiologist Stephen McGarvey has investigated the obvious question: How did all this happen?


Tularemia, also called "rabbit fever",  is, unlike anthrax or smallpox, the bioweapon you are least likely to know about.

But it is common in the northeastern United States and because it has been weaponized in various parts of the world could be a significant risk to biosecurity.

At the Annual Biophysical Society Meeting in San Francisco, Geoffrey K. Feld, a Postdoctoral researcher in the Physical&Life Sciences Directorate at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), described the team's work to uncover the secrets of the bacterium Francisella tularensis, which causes tularemia.


Hospitals use disinfectants but they don't all kill the human papillomavirus (HPV), according to a new paper. Non-sexual transmission of the virus is exceedingly rare but hospitals need to be cautious so changes should be made, say researchers from Penn State College of Medicine and Brigham Young University.


When is a smoker not a smoker?

When they live in California and simply choose to self-identify as a non-smoker. Who are we to criticize the self-identify of people in a state where boys can just declare they are female and use a girl's restroom?

Smoking has plummeted in the last few decades- health statistics, rampant sin taxes and billions of dollars in anti-smoking campaigns will do that - but University of California, San Diego School of Medicine scholars wonder about people who say they use cigarettes but didn't consider themselves to be "smokers" in  the 2011 California Longitudinal Smokers Survey.


Many people in their school years like Manga comics. They predate the American kind by about 150 years, are generally more complex and even older American adults got an introduction to it in cartoon versions of "Astro Boy."

In recent decades, they have grown in popularity so it was only a matter of time before someone came up with the idea of social engineering using them. A recent pilot program in Brooklyn used minority students and found that exposure to Manga promoting fruit intake significantly improved healthy snack selection. Conclusion: we can solve obesity by using a Transportation-Imagery Model