Like many of you out there we peruse the list of one-liner news stories provided to us by a number of RSS feeds. Here's what we clicked on today.
Bush: A Champion of Inhibiting Science
He did it before and he'll do it again. Ask out President for anything and he will say 'yes'. But ask him to allow federal spending on the hottest field in scientific research and he will dust that veto card off quicker than you can say 'Christian Right.'
For only the second time in his two terms, Dubya is poised to block a Senate-supported bill that would lighten up on embryonic stem cell research restrictions.
I am so curious to know whether this vendetta against embryonic stem cell research is Dubya's personal opinion or urging by his party? When the leaders of virtually every major scientific institution and academy, including the guy he picked to head the NIH, agree that more federal monies should be spent, how much guts (or stupidity) do you have to have to say 'Eh, what do they know.'
Imclone Gets Theirs
Imclone, a company that has based the majority of its earning potential on one chemotherapeutic agent, Erbitux, presented disappointing study data with regard to treating metastatic and nonsurgical pancreatic CA.
The stock was down more than 7% on those results.
"We still consider pancreatic cancer to be of the utmost priority, and we intend to pursue additional evaluations with Erbitux including a pilot study of Erbitux and bevacizumab with or without gemcitabine, as well as our pipeline agents, to improve the outcome for patients with pancreatic cancer," stated Eric K. Rowinsky, chief medical officer and senior vice president at ImClone.
StopPagingMe.com always ragged on Imclone's prospects as a viable investment since Erbitux seemed to be their one and only earner - without any evidence of a viable pipeline. This might be the beginning of the end for the company that put Martha Stewart in the clink.
Add Chocolate to the List of Foods That Heal?
Every day there is a new story about some food that is either helpful or harmful. For some reason, the media selects these small and often clinically irrelevant studies because it relates to food. Today, the healing food du jour was cocoa. An article in the Archives of Internal Medicine reported that those patients who ate chocolate for at least 2 weeks experienced a drop in blood pressure that was significant compared with those who did not.
If this is what you need to go ahead and eat that KitKat, then justify away. But don't think that you are doing a good thing. For every millimeter of mercury that you drop in blood pressure you will have an equal rise in blood sugar, fat grams, and likelihood of developing Type 2 DM - not to mention waste size and fold number.
Smoking Out Dementia
So, if you trust the RSS feeds, chocolate is good for you in the middle of life when you're battling hypertension but how are you going to stave off the pill-rolling tremors, masked faces and dementia of Parkinson's Disease (PD)?
Easy - smoke up Johnny!
The big brains at Duke University studied relatives of Parkinson's patients and discovered that those who smoked regularly and drank coffee were less likely to develop PD then their squarer relations.
Coffee we are not really too concerned about, but giving positive reinforcement to smoking to avoid PD is like supporting guns to avoid stabbings. While not based on any scientific evidence one has to be curious whether long-term smokers who make it to a Parkinsonian age without developing other significant (smoking-related) diseases might be genetically superior in some fashion?
In case you missed it, Larry Birkhead is the dad. And was anyone else as disturbed as we were by that picture of him with his arms raised in a 'V' like Johnny Drama? What exactly did he win that he should be celebrating? 'See America? I am the father of a tragic, deceased, diet-pill-model's daughter. And I will spend the rest of my days chasing money in courts. I am the champion."?
Do we have to give you the link? It's just so sad.
This piece was originally posted on StopPagingMe.com.
Follow Jordan Safirstein, MD on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@cardiacconsult