Friday, February 27, 2009
"There's every reason to think SSRIs blunt your ability to fall and stay in love," said Helen Fisher, a Rutgers University biological anthropologist who has pioneered the modern science of love." A reason, maybe, but is there any evidence? Read more in Wired.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
"A dynamic new school of thought is emerging that wants to kick down the walls of recent philosophy and place experimentation back at its centre. It has a name to delight an advertising executive: x-phi. It has blogs and books devoted to it, and boasts an expanding body of researchers in elite universities. It even has an icon: an armchair in flames. If philosophy ever can be, x-phi is trendy. But, increasingly, it is also attracting hostility." Dave Edmonds and Nigel Warburton examine experimental philosophy in The Prospect.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
The New York Times reports here.
"A showdown is looming in a Florida courtroom over an issue that has long bedeviled business: How much internal information can a company be forced to make public simply because it has become a defendant in a lawsuit?" Read more in BusinessWeek about Astra Zeneca's Seroquel.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
"Following years of pressure, medical device maker Medtronic Inc. will begin disclosing how much money it gives physicians in various consulting and other payments, though the reporting threshold is far less than currently proposed legislation." MPR reports.
Monday, February 23, 2009
The highest paid employee at Columbia University? A dermatologist, at $4,332,759 a year. At Cornell? A fertility specialist, at $3,149,376. Maybe this is why doctors are getting out of the disease business and into the enhancement business. Read more in the Times.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Friday, February 20, 2009
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Minnesota Public Radio announced yesterday that Medtronic has received FDA approval for a new OCD treatment. The treatment, so to speak, consists of a small device that is implanted under the skin which delivers a steady series of electrical pulses to one's brain, intended to "block abnormal brain signals".
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Addendum: Schwitzer follows up on his Health News Blog, including this comment on Frank Cerra's editorial in The Minnesota Daily.
"How does he know the effort was misrepresented? He never attended one of the task force meetings. Whom does he refer to as the 'few who seem to want to influence the outcome outside of the process'? That’s a pretty vague broad-brushed attack against anyone who comments.
But his emphasis on the faculty’s thinking and the faculty’s voice is most troubling of all.That shows the lack of a grasp for the importance of public input on the school’s conflict of interest policy – the very point of my guest column."
Monday, February 16, 2009
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Curious to know why? Read more of the article that Merrill Goozner calls "one of the most irresponsibly inaccurate pieces of medical reporting I’ve ever read."
Friday, February 13, 2009
"Want a daughter with blond hair, green eyes and pale skin? A Los Angeles clinic says it will soon help couples select both gender and physical traits in a baby when they undergo a form of fertility treatment. The clinic, Fertility Institutes, says it has received "half a dozen" requests for the service, which is based on a procedure called pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, or PGD." The Wall Street Journal reports.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Monday, February 09, 2009
"Created to treat schizophrenia, Zyprexa wound up being used on misbehaving kids. How the pharmaceutical industry turned a flawed and dangerous drug into a $16 billion bonanza." Ben Wallace-Wells reports in Rolling Stone. (Print this one out and read it carefully.)
Sunday, February 08, 2009
Saturday, February 07, 2009
"To the casual observer, Robert Holding seemed a kindly milkman who was attentive to his elderly customers as he delivered their daily pints.
To the less casual observer – specifically, a surveillance team from Lancashire police – Holding, 72, turned out to be a drug dealer who was supplying cannabis from his milk float to an elderly clientele.
His customers, who smoked the resin to relieve their aches and pains, would leave notes with their empty milk bottles to say how much of the drug they required. His reputation as a drug dealer spread rapidly among 17 of his customers in Burnley, Lancashire.
When detectives searched Holding's home last July they were astonished to find wraps of cannabis resin stashed among the eggs in his milk crates."
The Guardian reports.
"The woeful inadequacy of our nation’s transplant policy is due to its reliance on 'altruism.' According to the guiding narrative of the transplant establishment, organs should be a 'gift of life,' an act of selfless generosity. It’s a beautiful sentiment, no question. In fact, I, myself, am a poster girl for altruism. In 2006, I received a kidney from a (formerly) casual friend who heard secondhand about my need for a transplant. In her act, there was everything for me to gain, and, frankly, not much for her. My glorious donor was moved by empathy and altruism as purely as anyone could ever be.
Yet, it is lethally obvious that altruism is not a valid basis for transplant policy. If we keep thinking of organs solely as gifts, there will never be enough of them. We need to encourage more living and posthumous donation through rewards, say, tax credits or lifetime health insurance."
More on organ markets from Sally Satel here.
Friday, February 06, 2009
Stimulants for everyone? Martha Farah of the University of Pennsylvania defends the cosmetic neurology manifesto she and her colleagues produced for Nature on the WBUR public radio show, On Point. Among her critics is Tom Murray of the Hastings Center. Listen online here. Or download the mp3 file here. Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, or here.
Thursday, February 05, 2009
"Robert Rudolph knew he was about to end his lucrative career at Eli Lilly & Co., but he had to say something.
Why, he asked management, was the Indianapolis pharmaceutical company marketing its antipsychotic drug Zyprexa to elderly people when the drug was not approved for that group?
Why had the company violated privacy rules by culling patient lists at doctors' offices?
Why was the company counting drug samples as sales, which would boost the stock price?
He went on for about 10 minutes during a sales meeting in 2002. The other 25 Lilly sales representatives stared at him, stunned.
'I'd just been wrestling with this stuff for so long," he said in a telephone interview today. 'I was put in a position of breaking the law, in my view, or quitting.'"
Read more in The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
Monday, February 02, 2009
"In November 1984, Jeffrey Masson filed a libel suit against writer Janet Malcolm and the New Yorker, claiming that Malcolm had intentionally misquoted him in a profile she wrote for the magazine about his former career as a Freud scholar and administrator of the Freud archives. Over the next twelve years the case moved up and down the federal judicial ladder, at one point reaching the U.S. Supreme Court. Had a successful Freudian scholar actually called himself an intellectual gigolo and the greatest analyst who ever lived? Or had a respected writer for the New Yorker knowingly placed false, self-damning words in her subject's mouth?"
Kathy Roberts Forde will be discussing her new book, Literary Journalism on Trial: Masson v. New Yorker and the First Amendment, on Thursday, February 5 at 4:00 p.m. at the University of Minnesota Bookstore in Coffman Memorial Union.