I wish we’d talked about this earlier…

Dr. Signout, over at, well, Signout, wrote an interesting piece the other day. It’s a piece that everyone should read and think about while they can, because you never know when you may need to think about this.

One of the most dramatic procedures in any hospital is the CPR, also known as a “code blue”, or simply a “code”. This is the choreographed chaos that takes place when someone’s cardiopulmonary status deteriorates to the point that only immediate and violent intervention will prevent their death. To put it more dramatically, the object of a code is often to forestall or even reverse death. Health care providers hold a range of opinions about whether or not family members should be allowed to witness a code. Current ACLS guidelines take a reasonable, evidence-based approach:

[I]n the absence of data documenting harm and in light of data suggesting that it may be helpful, offering select family members the opportunity to be present during a resuscitation seems reasonable and desirable (assuming that the patient, if an adult, has not raised a prior objection. Parents and other family members seldom ask if they can be present unless encouraged to do so by healthcare providers. Resuscitation team members should be sensitive to the presence of family members during resuscitative efforts, assigning a team member to the family to answer questions, clarify information, and otherwise offer comfort.

Some would argue that doctors have never given up their death-grip on paternalism, but I have argued otherwise. In the case of codes, however, paternalism may still hold sway, at least in a certain way.
Continue reading “I wish we’d talked about this earlier…”

Detoxification: New Environmental Concerns Necessitate Action

As PalMD has pointed out, millions of Americans use detoxification to improve their optimal health and well being. But the wisdom of detoxification has an underbelly, one not discussed in the MSM: what happens to those toxins after detoxification?

Unfortunately, those toxins do not just disappear. They are exuded from your body and circulate in your immediate environment, placing your family members and animal companions at risk. The toxins then magnify in their bodies, and if they detoxify, you can be retoxinated. This is what is called the deretoxification trap.

An additional problem is that some toxins escape down the drain, where they poison water systems. Even worse, your pets, which do not have good detoxification therapies, may absorb and keep the very toxins you have exuded.

Technology and changes in behavior can minimize the risk from deretoxification. First, after detoxification, you should hold your breath when urinating or evacuating. During these periods, toxins are most likely to leave your body in an aerosolized form and either be reabsorbed or accumulate in the tissues of others. It is very important to never urinate or evacuate near individuals with compromised immune systems, or those sensitive to toxins.

Second, you should avoid perspiration, because toxins are exuded at their greatest rate when sweating. Avoid saunas and vigorous exercise, as perspiration may occur near your orifices, thus allowing toxins to reenter your body.

Pregnancy raises difficult deretoxification challenges. I recommend that you do not detoxify in the last month of pregnancy, or any time during breast feeding. It’s best to keep your toxins deep inside your body during this critical period of development.

Technology offers new opportunities to end the deretoxification trap. Denialism blog is happy to announce that we have partnered with Mike Adams, a leader in the vibrational nutrition field, to create special filtering masks to help those who have difficulty holding their breath during long periods of urination or evacuation.

We are also developing a magnetic filter to help trap toxins in your waste water. This filter, which employs extra strong magnets (offering the derivative benefit of better blood flow for those who spend long periods in the bathroom), collects toxins and allows you to recycle them at your local toxin reclamation site.

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Teach the (right) controversy

So, McCain’s picked a running mate. We don’t know much about her, but she has advocated “teaching the controversy” when it comes to Creationism. I’m sure her views will become more clear over the next several weeks, and we’ll let them speak for themselves. I’m simply interested in the idea of “teaching the controversy” (TTC).

First of all, I agree with the idea. A current events or social science class should delve into the details of the creationist cults and their assault on science. But I have a feeling that when theocrats talk about “teaching the controversy”, that’s not what they mean.

What they mean is “teach our creation myth alongside real science in biology classes”. Why should one theocratic cult’s myths be dragged into a science class? I have no idea. I thought that Dover pretty much dealt with this, but the cdesign proponentsists are always looking for a wedge, and “teaching the controversy” is just such a wedge.

So why not teach it in bio?

Because first of all, TTC is almost always code for teaching creation myths as being equally valid as evolution. Of course the fact that one is religious mythology and one is science is often left out. In a social science class, the Dover decision could be discussed, etc. In biology class, the scientific method and our understanding of life is the proper focus. To perhaps give a paragraph to creation myths would be interesting. I always loved the first section of each chapter of my science books where they would give a brief history of the topic. For example, an intro to biology could start with:

As long as humans have walked and thought, they have pondered their origins. For over a million years, these ponderings were limited to superstition. In the last two centuries, with the development of modern scientific method, we have gained a remarkable understanding of life in a remarkably short time. Genetics, cladistics, and molecular biology have worked together to give us a clear picture of the development and evolution of life on Earth.

Or we could just skip that and say “Shut up. Goddidit.”

Get ready—flu season is closer than you think

Last year’s flu season was bad. Hopefully this year’s will be better (for us, not for the virus). The CDC is changing the recommendations a bit to improve the population’s coverage, and I’m hoping I won’t be quite as busy this winter.

Last year, I provided you with weekly flu activity updates. I’ll probably do that again, but I think we need to kick off the season with an influenza primer. Get ready for some science! (BTW, for a more extensive look at influenza biology, see Effect Measure.)

Continue reading “Get ready—flu season is closer than you think”

Hello? Disco Institute? Are you reading?

Perhaps I have delusions of grandeur, but after all, this is the (checking) 15th ranked science blog on teh intertubes. But despite my high profile, I’ve heard no responses to my challenge to the Creationism Cults.

Creation “science” to this point has been based on bizarre teleologic arguments and arguments from ignorance. I was kind enough to give them a real experiment to do.

If Creationism is true, the Deluge occurred at a know recent time and very small founder populations of animals are responsible for all life on Earth. Therefore, genomic analysis (mitochodrial, Y-chromosome, etc.) should be consistent with this hypothesis (if Creationsism is true).

C’mon! Where are you guys? Get to work!

A million? A MILLION??

Well, here at ScienceBlogs, we’re heading for another milestone. Sometime in the next few weeks, we will have our millionth comment. If the past is any guide, there will be some celebratory swag, and hopefully, mini-meet-ups. We may have a little Michigan gathering of sciblings, readers, and others who may be interested. This would likely happen in mid-September, and I’d like to gauge the level of interest. Please either leave a comment or drop me an email to let me know if you might be interested in having a beer and chatting with various local or visiting science bloggers in Michigan, so I can get a feel for what to expect.

Galileo to Get Statue at Vatican

Today’s Journal reports on the delicate task of creating a monument to Galileo Galilei at the Vatican. But there’s still some opposition. Check this out from the very end of the article:

On the other side of the barricades, meanwhile, some Roman Catholics think the church has already done more than enough to make up with Galileo.

Atila Sinke Guimarães, a conservative Catholic writer, dismisses the church’s mistreatment of Galileo as a “black legend.”

The scientist, he says, got what he deserved. “The Inquisition was very moderate with him. He wasn’t tortured.”

Goodbye to old friends, and welcome new sciblings

First, as most ScienceBlogs readers know, Carl Zimmer of “The Loom” has moved over to Discover’s blogs. He’s a terrific science writer and you must change your feed, if you haven’t yet. Now, the Deep Sea News folks have some breaking news.

As for “welcomes”, Blake Stacey, of Science after Sunclipse, has joined us, which is just terrific, especially since here as Sb, he isn’t using that horrible black background which is apparently abhorred by “older readers”.

The other wonderful edition is “Built on Facts”, a physics blog that even I can usually understand.

Plus ça change