Author Topic: Podcast Topic suggestions  (Read 37877 times)

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Online Dan I

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Re: Podcast Topic suggestions
« Reply #510 on: August 01, 2014, 12:07:03 PM »
I think you guys (well mostly :steve: being a doctor and all that fancy stuff) should do a segment on the Ebola situation. Mostly about the sheer panic some people seem to be experiencing with the transport of these two doctors back to the U.S.

Read any story on it and it's full of people claiming that this is how the world ends. That these two are basically patient zero and that they expect a full scale viral apocalypse.

Plus you can work in the conspiracy theories about how this a deliberate plot to infect the population pursuant to any number of population bomb conspiracies about how "They" want to reduce the population of the planet by X percent (usually a very LARGE percent).

Might be good to get some logical, rational discussion of WHY we aren't inevitably signing the death warrant of the human race by bringing these people back for treatment at Emory and the CDC.

Offline so_

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Re: Podcast Topic suggestions
« Reply #511 on: August 03, 2014, 04:34:00 AM »
I'm sure you're already going to talk about the QDrive, Cannae Drive, emDrive that made the rounds this week due to the NASA testing, I did note that it last made the rounds in 2011 on BoingBoing, JREF Forums, etc, so you may have discussed this in the past as well.

Offline oranmiko

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Re: Podcast Topic suggestions
« Reply #512 on: August 07, 2014, 04:26:56 AM »
Would it be possible to review this article in the Irish Times:

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/science/mind-and-matter-tensions-between-the-body-and-the-soul-1.1885134

This science opinion writer William Reville is always delving into the religion/spirituality vs science debate (from a very religiously sympathetic point of view). In this article I'm just not sure what position he's advocating. Is it reasonable to deny materialism while simultaneously claiming the mind is an emergent property of the brain?
"I used to hate writing assignments, but now I enjoy them. I realized that the purpose of writing is to inflate weak ideas, obscure poor reasoning, and inhibit clarity. With a little practice, writing can be an intimidating and impenetrable fog!" - Calvin & Hobbes

Offline lofgren

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Re: Podcast Topic suggestions
« Reply #513 on: August 13, 2014, 10:52:02 PM »
I was listening to the Yale Cancer Beat radio show not too long ago. There was a researcher talking about a recent medical trial for a new drug to treat breast cancer. She said that before the trial even began they were nearly positive it would be effective, and sure enough the trial bore out that prediction like gangbusters.

Then she said something that was really interesting to me. She said that the trial may well have failed if it had been conducted a decade or two ago. The reason is that they did not know enough about the different types of breast cancer until very recently, and lacked the resources to properly screen for patients who were very likely to respond to this treatment. Because the patients who respond well to the treatment are rare, it is very possible that they could have been lost in the noise – or even that the trial, by random chance, did not include any responders at all. The drug would have been tossed on the dustbin and forgotten even though it had the potential to save many lives.

The way that this intersects with pseudoscience is by the following:
  • It's a common meme in the altmed community that some super secret drug trial was performed in the '70s or (insert credible decade here), but the results were deliberately twisted. While that is still a far-fetched claim, is it possible that there are other drugs, especially "natural" remedies, that may be beneficial to some patients but due to those patients' distribution in the general population they were not targeted by previous trials?
  • My own personal investment in this information is in the field of mental health, where the biological underpinnings of depression, schizophrenia, and other disorders are often very poorly understood and can only be identified clinically. In addition symptoms often have a natural cycle and it can be difficult to gauge subtle differences in their severity. Is it possible that there are drugs that seemed to work before but whose pursuit were abandoned following "more rigorous testing," because those whose biological susceptibility to the drug were not properly identified based on clinical standards? For example if you give one hundred depressed people a drug and ten of them get better, it could be that they just happened to get better while on the drug and the drug is ineffective against depression – or it could be that their depression has an unusual biological cause that is uniquely responsive to that drug.
  • We've all heard about how they cure cancer in mice every few weeks. Of course those cures either fail to of benefit to humans or result i far less effective treatments years down the line after much tinkering. Is it possible that some of those "dead ends" might have, like this treatment, been just as effective for some people with some types of cancer, but we just didn't know how to spot them at the time?

It seems like a very interesting topic and the statement that this drug would never have been pursued in the past seems very provocative. I would love to hear the panel's thoughts on the matter.

Thank you.

Offline clemo35

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Re: Podcast Topic suggestions
« Reply #514 on: August 14, 2014, 02:52:30 PM »
I just read a sad story that is a grim reminder of one of the concepts brought up on SGU from time to time, namely, "The dose makes the poison". 

Apparently a young football player in Florida was cramping up so he drank ridiculous amounts of water and Gatorade, and sadly passed away from over-hydration.  I have read on various skeptic blogs about the dihydrogen monoxide dangers parody of the fears of vaccine ingredients, or when discussing the food babe.  Well, here's an example of it playing out in real life. 

Here is a link to the story.

http://www.wtsp.com/story/news/local/2014/08/12/teen-athlete-dies-from-drinking-too-much-water/13982207/?hpt=us_bn8

I have to warn you though.  The news story linked is almost as horribly written as this post. 


Online Sawyer

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Re: Podcast Topic suggestions
« Reply #515 on: August 14, 2014, 11:06:13 PM »
I just read a sad story that is a grim reminder of one of the concepts brought up on SGU from time to time, namely, "The dose makes the poison". 

Apparently a young football player in Florida was cramping up so he drank ridiculous amounts of water and Gatorade, and sadly passed away from over-hydration.  I have read on various skeptic blogs about the dihydrogen monoxide dangers parody of the fears of vaccine ingredients, or when discussing the food babe.  Well, here's an example of it playing out in real life. 

Here is a link to the story.

http://www.wtsp.com/story/news/local/2014/08/12/teen-athlete-dies-from-drinking-too-much-water/13982207/?hpt=us_bn8

I have to warn you though.  The news story linked is almost as horribly written as this post.


Did he have a puncture in his peritoneal cavity?  Otherwise I don't know how it's even physically possible to get 4 gallons of liquid into the stomach without throwing up.

Offline monkey_vs_bird

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Link between abortion and breast cancer
« Reply #516 on: August 21, 2014, 04:28:23 PM »
The headline reads: "Fred Nile draws link between abortion and breast cancer" http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/fred-nile-draws-link-between-abortion-and-breast-cancer-20140821-106ori.html

Has anyone else heard of this tactic by the anti-abortionists? The article explains that these claims have been rejected by multiple health agencies but they fail to mention why which I believe is the most important point considering they quoted statements of his that could sound factual to the laymen:
Quote
reviewed 36 recent peer-reviewed studies and found that, on average an induced abortion increases the risk of breast cancer by 44 per cent. Two abortions increase the risk by 76 per cent and three, by 89 per cent.

Could we get some insight into the history of how these claims came about? I assume this is just meta-analysis and statistics creating a correlation which we all know is not causation but I'd rather have some facts to back up my argument.

PS: I've sent in a couple of unrelated emails but this is my first post so be gentle.

Online Sawyer

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Re: Podcast Topic suggestions
« Reply #517 on: August 21, 2014, 05:40:31 PM »
The headline reads: "Fred Nile draws link between abortion and breast cancer" http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/fred-nile-draws-link-between-abortion-and-breast-cancer-20140821-106ori.html

Has anyone else heard of this tactic by the anti-abortionists? The article explains that these claims have been rejected by multiple health agencies but they fail to mention why which I believe is the most important point considering they quoted statements of his that could sound factual to the laymen:
Quote
reviewed 36 recent peer-reviewed studies and found that, on average an induced abortion increases the risk of breast cancer by 44 per cent. Two abortions increase the risk by 76 per cent and three, by 89 per cent.

Could we get some insight into the history of how these claims came about? I assume this is just meta-analysis and statistics creating a correlation which we all know is not causation but I'd rather have some facts to back up my argument.

PS: I've sent in a couple of unrelated emails but this is my first post so be gentle.


There was a good discussion of this back in SGU #349.

I have no idea why, but for some reason it was stuck in my head that an SGU episode had a segment on Avengers Power Band promotions and abortion science.  If it wasn't for the Avengers movie I would not have been able to find when the episode aired.   :-\


Offline Thordale

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Re: Podcast Topic suggestions
« Reply #518 on: August 24, 2014, 11:37:09 AM »
I have a suggestion for the panel.

Please can you do a WHOLE podcast without using the word "Awesome".

That would be, well.............  very good.

And I bet you a packet of Tunnocks Teacakes that you can't do this.



PS. Please do not replace the word with "Epic" as that is equally bad and over-used.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2014, 11:43:35 AM by Thordale »

Offline Soldier of FORTRAN

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Re: Podcast Topic suggestions
« Reply #519 on: September 01, 2014, 05:24:36 PM »
This is interesting (and new):

Pilot randomized trial demonstrating reversal of obesity-related abnormalities in reward system responsivity to food cues with a behavioral intervention

Quote
Objectives:  Obesity is associated with hyperactivation of the reward system for high-calorie (HC) versus low-calorie (LC) food cues, which encourages unhealthy food selection and overeating. However, the extent to which this hyperactivation can be reversed is uncertain, and to date there has been no demonstration of changes by behavioral intervention.


Subjects and methods:  We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to measure changes in activation of the striatum for food images at baseline and 6 months in a pilot study of 13 overweight or obese adults randomized to a control group or a novel weight-loss intervention.


Results:  Compared to controls, intervention participants achieved significant weight loss (−6.3±1.0 kg versus +2.1±1.1 kg, P<0.001) and had increased activation for LC food images with a composition consistent with that recommended in the behavioral intervention at 6 months versus baseline in the right ventral putamen (P=0.04), decreased activation for HC images of typically consumed foods in the left dorsal putamen (P=0.01). There was also a large significant shift in relative activation favoring LC versus HC foods in both regions (P<0.04).


Conclusions:  This study provides the first demonstration of a positive shift in activation of the reward system toward healthy versus unhealthy food cues in a behavioral intervention, suggesting new avenues to enhance behavioral treatments of obesity.
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Offline Soldier of FORTRAN

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Re: Podcast Topic suggestions
« Reply #520 on: September 08, 2014, 10:37:27 PM »
NASA submarine to explore oceans in space

Quote
US space agency NASA is developing a space submarine to explore ocean waters on Titan, one of Saturn’s moons.

Titan is the only other body in the solar system besides earth with liquid oceans on its surface.

An initial proposal was to send a boat to explore the seas of Titan.

“If you only explored our ocean with a boat, you would miss out on a heck of a lot of stuff,” Steven Oleson from NASA’s Glenn Research Centre told science magazine New Scientist.

NASA now plans to send both the boat and submarine to study seas on Titan.

The space submarine, part of NASA’s Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC), should be able to communicate from beneath the waves.

“The Titan submarine would serve as a pathfinder for even more exotic future subsurface exploration of oceans in space,” Oleson added.


!!!
Every soup ladled to the hungry, every blanket draped over the cold signifies, in the final sense, a theft from my gigantic paycheck.

Offline surferjeff

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Re: Podcast Topic suggestions
« Reply #521 on: September 08, 2014, 11:45:11 PM »
The last mention of fasting I could find in the podcast was in episode #134 in 2008.  Since that, a lot of research has been published about intermittent fasting.  I'd like to hear what you think of the new research.

Offline Soldier of FORTRAN

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Re: Podcast Topic suggestions
« Reply #522 on: September 15, 2014, 09:43:13 AM »
Should there be a law against the news lying? 
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Offline Soldier of FORTRAN

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Re: Podcast Topic suggestions
« Reply #523 on: September 16, 2014, 03:59:12 PM »
Most of the press coverage I see pertains to infighting.  I'd like to see Skeptic Solidarity become a thing. 
Every soup ladled to the hungry, every blanket draped over the cold signifies, in the final sense, a theft from my gigantic paycheck.

 

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