Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

The Bitter Pill

The MINDD Foundation is Built on Shaky Ground

By John McLennan

A forum held at The University of NSW, but not endorsed by it, has highlighted the spurious credibility that university settings give to groups making unsubstantiated health claims.

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Diet Gurus Ignore the Weight of Evidence in Guidelines

By Rosemary Stanton

Diet gurus are blaming Australia’s obesity problem on government dietary guidelines they claim are unhealthy, when the real issue is that too few people follow them.

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What Is the Point of Veterinary Acupuncture?

By Tanya Stephens

While some misguided people try ineffective “therapies”, at least they can seek out other treatments if they don’t work. Not so the hapless pet.

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Why No Man Should Take a PSA Blood Test for Early Stage Prostate Cancer Without Reading This

By Ian Haines

Men with early-stage abnormalities of the prostate who are monitored for any progression of the cancer live just as long as men who opted for complete removal of the prostate and now live with the immediate consequences.

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Breast Cancer + Alternative Medicine = Lower Survival

By Pallave Dasari

The internet allows greater broadcasting of false information about cancer cures, which means that women are treating their breast cancer with alternative therapies known to be the direct cause of preventable deaths.

In Australia, one-in-eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Medical specialists from surgery, oncology and radiotherapy together determine the best evidence-based medicine to attack the cancer effectively. Usually this involves a combination of medical interventions with strong clinical evidence of reducing and curing breast cancer. These medical advances have drastically reduced the death rate from breast cancer from 37% in 1982 to 19% in 2012.

Follow the Money

By Loretta Marron

The Chinese government is behind efforts to promote Traditional Chinese Medicine despite its lack of evidence.

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TGA Endorses Pseudoscience for Complementary Meds

By Ken Harvey

We are about to be exposed to hundreds of approved “remedies” that are ineffective at best and potentially dangerous.

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Functional Medicine: New Name, Old Ideas

By Jesse W. Luke

An extensive review of integrative medicine by the Australian Ministry of Health found that many of its practices aren’t supported by evidence. Now it’s going by a new name.

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Prevention or Pretension?

By Benson Riddle

When the great Dutch scholar Erasmus famously wrote that “prevention is better than cure” around 500 years ago, he didn’t exactly have orthomolecular medicine and high colonics in mind.

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Protecting Your Health in a Post-Truth World

By Rob Morrison

As scientific literacy declines and “post-truth” and “alternative facts” take centre stage, how can you ensure that you get proper health treatments that will actually do some good?

“Post-truth” is a term coined in 2010 to describe a political culture in which appeals to emotion defeat factual evidence in debate. It has now gone mainstream, selected in 2016 by The Oxford English Dictionary as the word of the year. One year later, “alternative fact” entered the lexicon as US President Donald Trump’s advisers fabricated stories about his inauguration that were easily falsified by well-documented and even photographic evidence.