Genewize http://www.genewize.com/is a new company offering “100% Product Personalization from Your Personal DNA Assessment.” They analyze your DNA to identify certain selected SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms) and use the data to tweak the ingredients of the nutritional products they want to sell you (containing everything from vitamins to spinach powder).… read more "Genewize – Not Wise, Not as Advertised"
Sandra Quincy writes from Australia to tell us about her successful anti-quackery activities “down under.” I thought that you might be interested in the success that I have had with getting a magnetic product removed from sale in Australia. It all started when a Century Mail booklet fell out of… read more "Australian Mum Singlehandedly Defeats Sex Magnet Advertiser"
This article about insurance payments for Reiki appeared on a Reiki website: http://www.reiki.org/reikinews/Insurancpayments.htm A major concern among Reiki practitioners has been the inability to bill client’s insurance companies for treatments. However, today there are avenues available to the practitioner. A nurse who practices Reiki and wishes to bill an insurance company… read more "Your Insurance Rates Just Went Up"
We frequently criticize the media for gullible reporting of pseudoscience and inaccurate reporting of real science. But sometimes they exceed our fondest hopes and get it spectacularly right. On December 25, 2008, the Wall Street Journal gave us all a Christmas present: they printed an article by Steve Salerno that… read more "The Wall Street Journal Debunks the Myth of Alternative Medicine"
Millions of people take Gingko biloba because they think it keeps them smart. A recent study suggests they might be smarter to save their money ($107 million was spent on gingko in 2007 in the US alone). Gingko has been touted for everything from altitude sickness to tinnitus, but the main… read more "Gingko Isn’t Smart"
Periodically the mail brings us a pamphlet from our local community college listing their continuing education offerings. Along with the usual computer, drawing, cooking, and photography classes they include some less conventional subjects. I’m not even going to comment; I’m just going to list a few of them and let… read more "Weird Offerings at Community College"
You’ve gotta love an astronomer who can reduce the history of the universe to 10 words, who tells us what he would weigh at the surface of the Sun and then feels obligated to add a footnote saying he would weigh more if his wife had just baked cookies. Phil… read more "Death from the Skies! – New Book by Phil Plait"
John’s cholesterol is high but he doesn’t like taking prescription drugs. Should he take red yeast as a “natural” alternative? Evidence shows that it is effective in lowering cholesterol. In 1994, the Diet Supplement Health and Education Act was passed, allowing the fiction that “natural” medicines are really “foods” and… read more "Red Yeast for Cholesterol: It Works, BUT…"
Chiropractor Ryan Alter of Delray Beach, Florida, was featured on TV as a miracle worker who cures migraines and other health problems with “a cutting edge technique” only offered by 250 practitioners around the world: Atlas orthogonal. You can see the video clips at http://www.alterchiropractic.com/ His machine looks like a… read more "Hole-in-One Chiropractor"
Anion strips in sanitary napkins? Just another far-fetched marketing gimmick. The pseudoscientific claims on that website are ludicrous. “In certain types of environment (such as the mountainous area), the inhabitants are free from troubles of inflammation and generally live longer. This is obviously related to the fact that the air… read more "Anion strips in sanitary napkins?"