Archives de Tag: medicine

Rabid for science?

So this Sunday, I’m in bed with a bad cold. Not much to do but drink hot tea and listen to podcasts about viruses! In a recent episode of Skeptically Speaking, Desiree Schell talks with veterinarian Monica Murphy and science writer Bill Wasik about a very old and familiar, but also very uncanny, disease, rabies. It’s Episode 190,
– Rabid
, from the title of their book.

Every topic covered is just fascinating: from the early perception by ancient civilizations of the link between the human disease and the one in dogs, to the PR savvy of Louis Pasteur in using the already rare in his time, but still terrifying rabies to make the case for immunization. Also, the death-defying job of rabies lab research in a time where there was no vaccines and no means to cultivate the virus, except by using infected rats and rabbits that had to be handled with extra care…

And of course, we find interesting insights into human psychology in the course of the program, like the case of pet owners of the 19th Century who didn’t want to believe that their beloved animal could be the vector of a deadly disease! Nothing new under the sun, indeed.

En passant

The Far East gave us acupuncture, we are exporting homeopathy back. The irony? Japanese critics of the latter use the exact same arguments as Western skeptics of the former. You mean that the human body works the same, whatever part … Lire la suite

Things I learned from the internet yesterday

From science blogger and noted atheist P.Z. Myers, I learned that it’s a good idea to not ignore chest pains; and an even better idea to listen to your doctor when she tells you in a VoiceOfDoom™ to get into the hospital right now!

Oh, yeah, and that godless people are a great-hearted bunch, on the whole. Pun gladly intended, of course. Don’t lose time in prayers, go donate blood instead if you can! (Thank you, Cuttlefish.) Another good idea is to give money to medical research. And what more poetical outcome than a science popularizer like PZ reaping the benefits of science when he needs it?

Addendum:

From skeptic blogger, podcaster and video producer Brian Dunning (via Skeptoid), I was reminded that you should always backup your data. Always.

Don’t count on your hard disk too much, or prepare to pay $$$ to data-retrieving professionals.