Just saying ‘No’: citrus juice then, Covid-19 vaccines now

When almost any new medical treatment has been proved effective, many people resist using it. Here’s one of many examples. This one is juicy. Andrew J.T. George wrote about it, in The Conversation: How the British defeated Napoleon with citrus fruit Everyone knows that Britain’s conclusive victory over Napoleon was at Waterloo. The story of that day […]

Spell-Checking: Randomized Controlled Trial of Pagan Spells

Randomized controlled trials of pagan spells are rarely reported in the medical literature. Here is a new addition to the world’s collection: “Testing the Pagan Prescription: Using a Randomized Controlled Trial to Investigate Pagan Spell-Casting as a Form of Noncontact Healing,” Charmaine Sonnex, Chris A. Roe, and Elizabeth C. Roxburgh, The Journal of Alternative and […]

Natesto®. What Else? (drug-naming study)

If you’re a manufacturer of medicines, thinking up a suitably snappy name for (2S)-1-[(2S)-6-amino-2-{[(1S)-1-carboxy-3-phenylpropyl]amino}hexanoyl]pyrrolidine-2-carboxylic acid [generic name Lisinopril] might not be an easy task. And, according to a recent paper in the journal Names : A Journal of Onomastics, Volume 66, Issue 2, 2018, picking the ‘wrong’ name can make a huge difference to your […]

The Paper Clip: Its Various Uses in Medicine

“The Paper Clip Nasal Dilator” is one of several studies featured in the article “The Paper Clip in Medicine,” which is one of the articles in the special Medical Surprises issue of the Annals of Improbable Research, which is one of the 143 issues published so far! Subscribe to the magazine, and a new batch of fresh-cooked improbable research […]

Human Placentophagy – some Q.s and A.s

The existence of possible benefits or detriments brought about by eating human placentas (placentophagy) is hotly debated. Here are some topical viewpoints in the form of Questions and Answers Q. Should human placenta-based products [see photo*] come with ‘use by / best before’ dates? A.  Yes, they should, says Emily Woodley (Cardiff Metropolitan University).   […]

Underplayed redundancy in placebo effect research (on cheap vs costly fake medicine)

A celebrated 2015 research paper makes much the same discovery as a paper that won an Ig Nobel Prize for medicine years earlier. The discovery is about the power of pricing fake medicines. The new paper makes only an indirect, beery allusion to the earlier, Ig Nobel Prize-winning research. That 2008 Ig Nobel Prize for medicine […]