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rampant

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Naprapathy: a lot of it looks just like quackery to me

The chiropractor Oakley Smith had graduated under D D Palmer in 1899. Smith was a former Iowa medical student who also had investigated Andrew Still’s osteopathy in Kirksville, before going to Palmer in Davenport. Eventually, Smith came to reject the Palmer concept of vertebral subluxation and developed his own concept of “the connective tissue doctrine” […]

Read the rest here: Naprapathy: a lot of it looks just like quackery to me

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

How turn a negative trial into a positive one? Simple, just cheat!

Sipjeondaebo-tang is an East Asian herbal supplement containing Angelica root (Angelicae Gigantis Radix), the rhizome of Cnidium officinale Makino (Cnidii Rhizoma), Radix Paeoniae, Rehmannia glutinosa root (Rehmanniae Radix Preparata), Ginseng root (Ginseng Radix Alba), Atractylodes lancea root (Atractylodis Rhizoma Alba), the dried sclerotia of Poria cocos (Poria cocos Sclerotium), Licorice root (Glycyrrhizae Radix), Astragalus root […]

Read the rest here: How turn a negative trial into a positive one? Simple, just cheat!

Monday, 19 February 2018

My open letter to ‘Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association’

I was reliably informed that the ‘Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association’ (AACMA) are currently – that is AFTER having retracted the falsehoods they previously issued about me – distributing a document which contains the following passage: It is noted that Mr Ernst derives income from editing a journal called Focus on Alternative and Complementary Medicine […]

Read the rest here: My open letter to ‘Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association’

Saturday, 17 February 2018

2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #7

A chronological listing of news articles posted on the Skeptical Science Facebook page during the past week. 

Editor's Pick

Vast bioenergy plantations could stave off climate change—and radically reshape the planet

Poplar Tree Plantation in Oregon

A poplar tree farm in Oregon is a fast-growing bioenergy source.

On a sunny day this past October, three dozen people file into a modest, mint-green classroom at Montana State University (MSU) in Bozeman to glimpse a vision of the future. Some are scientists, but most are people with some connection to the land: extension agents who work with farmers, and environmentalists representing organizations such as The Nature Conservancy. They all know that climate change will reshape the region in the coming decades, but that's not what they've come to discuss. They are here to talk about the equally profound impacts of trying to stop it.

Paul Stoy, an ecologist at MSU, paces in front of whiteboards in a powder blue shirt and jeans as he describes how a landscape already dominated by agriculture could be transformed yet again by a different green revolution: vast plantations of crops, sown to sop up carbon dioxide (CO2) from the sky. "We have this new energy economy that's necessary to avoid dangerous climate change, but how is that going to look on the ground?" he asks.

In 2015, the Paris climate agreement established a goal of limiting global warming to "well below" 2°C. In the most recent report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, researchers surveyed possible road maps for reaching that goal and found something unsettling. In most model scenarios, simply cutting emissions isn't enough. To limit warming, humanity also needs negative emissions technologies (NETs) that, by the end of the century, would remove more CO2from the atmosphere than humans emit. The technologies would buy time for society to rein in carbon emissions, says Naomi Vaughan, a climate change scientist at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, U.K. "They allow you to emit more CO2 and take it back at a later date."

Vast bioenergy plantations could stave off climate change—and radically reshape the planet by Julia Rosen, Science, Feb 15, 2018


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A new RCT of craniosacral therapy … for once, I am really embarrassed

Cranio-sacral therapy is firstly implausible, and secondly it lacks evidence of effectiveness (see for instance here, here, here and here). Yet, some researchers are nevertheless not deterred to test it in clinical trials. While this fact alone might be seen as embarrassing, the study below is a particular and personal embarrassment to me, in fact, […]

Read the rest here: A new RCT of craniosacral therapy … for once, I am really embarrassed

Friday, 16 February 2018

This RCT of a Chinese herbal mixture makes a mockery of science and medical ethics

Difficulties breastfeeding? Some say that Chinese herbal medicine offers a solution. This Chinese multi-centre RCT included 588 mothers considering breastfeeding. The intervention group received the Chinese herbal mixture Zengru Gao, while the control group received no therapy. The primary outcomes were the percentages of fully and partially breastfeeding mothers, and a secondary outcome was baby’s […]

Read the rest here: This RCT of a Chinese herbal mixture makes a mockery of science and medical ethics

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Fascinating news from the ‘Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine’

The Royal London Homeopathic Hospital, recently re-named as the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine (RLHIM), has been one of the most influential homeopathic hospitals in the world. It was founded in 1849 by Dr Frederick Foster Hervey Quin. In 1895, a new and larger hospital was opened on its present site in Great Ormond […]

Read the rest here: Fascinating news from the ‘Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine’

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Cupping for athletes: rubbish trials, rubbish review, rubbish journal

The authors of this systematic review aimed to summarize the evidence of clinical trials on cupping for athletes. Randomized controlled trials on cupping therapy with no restriction regarding the technique, or co-interventions, were included, if they measured the effects of cupping compared with any other intervention on health and performance outcomes in professionals, semi-professionals, and […]

Read the rest here: Cupping for athletes: rubbish trials, rubbish review, rubbish journal

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Kratom: a ‘herbal drug’ with the potental to do more harm than good

Rapidly rising in popularity, kratom is hailed by some as a readily available pain remedy that is safer than traditional opioids, an effective addiction withdrawal aid and a pleasurable recreational tonic. But kratom also is assailed as a dangerous and unregulated drug that can be purchased on the Internet, a habit-forming substance that authorities say […]

Read the rest here: Kratom: a ‘herbal drug’ with the potental to do more harm than good

Monday, 12 February 2018

More uncomfortable thoughts on ‘integrative medicine’

Doctor Jonas is an important figure head of US ‘Integrative Medicine’. As we discussed in a recent post, he pointed out that many US hospital doctors fail to answer the following questions relating to their chronically ill patients: “What matters most for this patient? What is the person’s lifestyle like – their nutrition, movement and […]

Read the rest here: More uncomfortable thoughts on ‘integrative medicine’

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Emunctorology? No, it’s not a spelling mistake; it’s an alternative therapy!

It is not often that I come across an alternative therapy that I have never before heard of. And when I do, I am naturally interested. Emunctorology is such a term – even my spell-check flags it up as a misprint, but trust me, it isn’t. The term, my dictionary tells me, comes from the […]

Read the rest here: Emunctorology? No, it’s not a spelling mistake; it’s an alternative therapy!

Saturday, 10 February 2018

2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #6

A chronological listing of news articles posted on the Skeptical Science Facebook page during the past week. 

Editor's Pick

Tesla is building a 'virtual power plant' using people's homes

Solar Panel Isntallation 

South Australia is working with Tesla to install solar power systems on residents homes. Image: REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

The state government of South Australia announced Sunday that it had struck a deal with Tesla to install as many as 50,000 solar-power systems on homes, at no cost to residents.

The system would include both solar panels and Tesla Powerwall batteries, and would become part of a decentralized electric grid managed by software. The system would be funded in part by revenues from electricity, which would not belong to the owners of the homes where the systems were installed.

A pilot version of the program has already begun, and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation spoke to one early recipient whose electric bills had declined substantially. One projection suggested energy bills for participating households would drop by 30%. 

Tesla is building a 'virtual power plant' using people's homes by David Z. Morris, Fortune/World Economic Forum


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