Smart Jane Test of Vaginal Health: Clever Marketing, Questionable Science

Gonorrhea. The SmartJane test is not the way to diagnose this. The uBiome company’s SmartJane test claims to use state-of-the-art DNA sequencing technology, machine learning, artificial intelligence, statistical genetics, algorithms, and other proprietary innovations so women can assess their own vaginal health. Customers collect samples with vaginal swabs and mail them in for processing. They

For Peat’s Sake! Naturopath Promotes Peat Bras and Tampons

This ND recommends peat therapy, including peat baths, peat tampons, and peat bras, for a variety of conditions including infertility and HPV infections. The evidence is lacking. Last week I reviewed the major naturopathy textbook. It mentioned a therapy I was not familiar with: peat therapy. I wanted to know more about the rationale for

Why Do Things That Are Unlikely to Harm Us Get the Most Attention?

We are very bad at assessing risk, often giving the most attention to the things that are least likely to harm us. Geoffrey Kabat’s new book teaches us how to think more clearly about scientific studies of environmental health risks. Sharks get a lot of bad press and inspire a lot of fear, but in

Chiropractic Gynecologist Offers Dangerous Treatments and Misinformation

Over a year ago I wrote about escharotic treatments for cervical dysplasia. It is offered not by MD gynecologists but by chiropractors and naturopaths, along with inconsistent and unproven diet recommendations and supplements. A corrosive agent similar to “black salve” is applied repeatedly to the cervix; it works by destroying tissue. There are no controlled studies

Misguided Naturopath Claims To Have Cured Cervical Dysplasia

George Papanicolaou, who originated the cervical dysplasia test that bears his name (the Pap smear) Naturopath Kate Whimster has written a case study of a patient with cervical dysplasia who was allegedly treated successfully with naturopathic treatment. She says: In many cases conventional treatment can be invasive, ineffective, or can put patients at risk for future complications.

Cunnilingus, Michael Douglas’s Cancer, and the HPV Vaccine

A vaccine to prevent cancer Conservative Christians are calling for banning oral and anal sex between consenting adults, claiming that the practices allow for the spread of disease. Radio host Brian Fischer says that a rise in head, neck and throat cancers “among millennials” is a direct result of the influence of “Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky.”

Kudos to a Journalist

Many SBM readers will remember the late, great Barry Beyerstein,  a luminary of the skeptical movement and author of a classic article that has been cited many times on SBM, an explanation of why bogus therapies seem to work. One of his greatest personal accomplishments is not as well known: he produced an exceptional daughter, Lindsay Beyerstein, a freelance writer,

HPV Vaccine for Boys

A recent announcement is likely to generate a lot of controversy. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the CDC has recommended that boys and young men be vaccinated against human papillomavirus (HPV). Previously the guidelines said boys “could” be given the HPV vaccine. Now they have recommended that boys age 11 to 12 “should” be