Public Health

 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

While the developed world has levels of scientific and technical capacity that allow crop pests to be effectively managed, poorer nations, where food production is incredibly important, are caught in a tug-of-war between modern agriculture and an activist culture that tells them not to trust science.

As a result, not only are crop pests not effectively managed, with the disastrous drops in yields that brings, but no one can even be sure what crop pests there are.


You don't need to show kids a frying egg in a pan to get the message across about drugs; just show them this statistic. 

Heroin and cocaine addicts in Spain have a fatality rate that is 14.3 times higher than for the general population, and that is among people seeking treatment. For those who never seek treatment, it is probably far worse. Even users of cocaine alone have a 5.1 times higher fatality rate.


We have a biological clock related to sleep cycles and a new paper says we have weight loss cycles related to behavior; people are going to gain weight on the weekend so if they lose more during the week, that weight loss cycle will result in better health.

Dr. Brian Wansink of the marketing department at Cornell University, in collaboration with researchers from the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and Tampere University of Technology, looked into the impact that the seven-days-a-week human cycle has on weight.

A new review doesn't add any value to supplements but at least it shows that people who spend money on supplements are more inclined to be developing a healthier lifestyle overall.

The review by  Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) consultant Annette Dickinson, Ph.D., and CRN's senior vice president, scientific and regulatory affairs, Duffy MacKay, N.D., only covered 20 articles, and those were all surveys anyway, so it's no surprise they found what they set out to find, that "overall, the evidence suggests that users of dietary supplements are seeking wellness and are consciously adopting a variety of lifestyle habits that they consider to contribute to healthy living."