science

Alzheimer’s and the Brain – Vsauce

Very interesting overview of Alzheimer’s Disease, one of the many poorly understood diseases that afflict us. I only knew about the plague thing a few months ago; the association with Down’s Syndrome, chromosome 21 and the basic pathophysiology I did not. Hopefully with this foundation, we can get a better understanding of the disease and find a solution for preventing, delaying the progression or even curing it.

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The New Superbug!

As a pharmacy student, this scares me quite a bit more than it might scare people with less knowledge of medicine. The news of colistin-resistance plasmids appearing in China (due to the feeding of pigs with colistin-laced food) was especially troubling when I first heard it some time ago. Let’s hope more doctors stop prescribing antibiotics needlessly, and more patients take their antibiotics faithfully. Oh, and that farmers stop abusing antibiotics to keep their livestock from falling sick.

The Science of That Dress – SciShow

I see it as white and gold, but as explained above, it’s a matter of perspective. Which I mentioned in my tweet yesterday…

That’s right. I’m on #TeamPerspective. Or #TeamScience. And #TeamEquality. #TeamMutualUnderstanding. #TeamTryingTooHardToLookSmartAndSophisticated

Okay. I’ll stop.

The Science of Anti-Vaccination

This is why science education is so important. Understanding that science is the least biased form of knowledge helps me keep my human biases in decent check. I find comfort in numbers and figures, and replicable experiments that prove theories with a high degree of certainty. Not anecdotes and stories about certain people experiencing certain things that run contrary to a far more rigorous set of experimentations that prove something beyond reasonable doubt.

Aptly, I just had a conversation with my family over breakfast, and the issue of rhino horns used in Traditional Chinese Medicine came up. My parents are still holding on to the belief that rhino horn powder boiled in water are actual cures for headaches and fever, due to their own experiences drinking it.

My view? I might as well collect my hair and nails, grind that into powder and boil it in water to serve them. It’s all keratin, a protein we can’t digest and has absolutely no medicinal properties. There are plenty of amazing treatments in TCM, especially herbs that contain compounds with great medicinal properties. But rhino horns are NOT one of those things.

I’m willing to bet the headaches were normal tension headaches that passed with rest, and the fevers were mild and hydration helped the body recover. Heck, it could even be a placebo effect. And of course, memories from childhood, especially at a more advanced age, will most likely deteriorate. I certainly don’t believe that rhino horn powder has any ‘cooling effect’, especially since the idea of balancing the ‘heat’ in the body is ultimately derived from Taoism, a religion.

So yea, science education people. Ignorance is NOT bliss. Get your facts right. And for everyone’s sake, get vaccinated. It’s not for you, it’s for those who can’t get vaccinated.