Here is a recap of the stories that appeared last week at Science-Based Medicine, a multi-author skeptical blog that separates the science from the woo in medicine.
Cell phones and cancer again, or: Oh, no! My cell phone's going to give me cancer! (revisited) (David Gorski) New studies show no correlation between cell phone use and brain cancer; and the kind of radiation emitted by cell phones is not the kind known to cause cancer.
Another wrinkle to the USPSTF mammogram guidelines kerfuffle: What about African-American women? (David Gorski) African-American women tend to have more aggressive breast cancer at a younger age; the new mammography guidelines may not be applicable to them.
Acupuncture, the P-Value Fallacy, and Honesty (Kimball Atwood) Common misunderstandings of what statistical terminology really means can lead to false conclusions, particularly with reference to P-values, confidence intervals, and the Bayes factor.
The One True Cause of All Disease (Harriet Hall) Alternative medicine proponents claim that conventional medicine treats symptoms, not causes; but their concept of cause is seriously flawed – at least 69 "one true causes" of all disease have been identified.
Communicating with the Locked-In (Steven Novella) While imagination-based bogus "facilitated communication" is being used with locked-in patients like Rom Houben in Belgium, reality-based science is making progress in brain-machine interface technology that has a chance to actually help such patients.
Are the benefits of breastfeeding oversold? (Amy Tuteur) A passionate advocate of breastfeeding dispassionately examines the actual scientific evidence for its benefits and finds there are only small medical advantages. Advocates have overstated the benefits of breastfeeding and distorted the risks of not breastfeeding, particularly in regard to longterm benefits.
Measles (Mark Crislip) The H1N1 pandemic is fading fast; now it's time to start worrying about the next epidemic, which Dr. Crislip predicts will be a measles epidemic thanks to irrational fears and falling vaccination rates.