Category Archives: Studies

Psychological Studies Can Only Be Replicated 39 Times Out of 100

Scientific evidence is only accepted by the larger scientific community when the results can be replicated and duplicated by various other researchers. And psychology is no stranger to the strict and rigid guidelines each theory must go through in order to be accepted by professional in the field. However, psychology has also long been thought of to be unreliable and unscientific by those who practice what is called “hard sciences” such as physics and biology. Check out Brian Torchin’s take on the matter by following his Google Plus account. Unfortunately, a new study provides even more reason to be apprehensive about accepting psychological data into the scientific community.

In an attempt to replicate data found in major psychological studies, researchers duplicated 100 studies and the results were troubling. Only 39 studies out of 100 were able to be reproduced under the same conditions as the original experiment. These findings are indicative of a widespread problem throughout the psychological community that causes distrust and credibility issues among scientists.

Though, since psychology is the study of the human mind, a highly subjective area of research, it shouldn’t be a surprise that findings are often unable to be replicated, Unlike the hard sciences, psychology tries to explain phenomenon that cannot be observed with any instruments, while the data collected is often through descriptions given my participants. Nonetheless, researchers are trying to find new ways to approach psychological research in order to make studies repeatable in order to gain the respect and trust of fellow scientists.

New Research Reveals Horrific Common Sense Issue

Lack of common sense in a single person often makes others shake their head in surprise. Yet, it’s the lack of common sense among the most educated of humanity that has many people shaking their heads today.

It’s well known that babies across mammal species experience pain like their adult counterparts. But, until this week, many doctors believed that human babies were somehow more specially resistant to pain then every other mammal on the planet.

Oxford University scientists performed magnetic resonance imaging tests on healthy adults and babies — 10 adults ages 23 to 36 and 10 babies between one and six days old — to cross-reference the activity in their brains when exposed to painful scenarios. The scientists looked at 20 regions of the brain and found (wait for it) that 18 of the regions had the same responses in babies as they did in adults. The babies were actually more sensitive to pain than the adults.

Folks like Igor Cornelsen are wondering: Why is anyone questioning whether babies feel pain in this day and age?

A study last year into neonatal intensive care pain management found that 60 percent of babies who receive approximately 11 painful procedures in a single day didn’t receive any pain medication.

While PETA and other animals right’s groups fight to protect the infants of other animal species by arguing that they feel pain, few humans have been fighting for the protection of babies.

Harvard Study Links Pesticides to Low Sperm Count

A landmark study by a research team from Harvard recently found devastating evidence linking pesticide residue to low sperm count. Those men who regularly eat fruits and vegetables containing pesticide residues are likely to cut their sperm count in half. That’s 50% less sperm than those who avoid pesticides altogether.

The research was conducted between 2007 and 2012. It focused on over 150 different men providing over 300 samples. The sperm count of the participants was then compared to their diet. Men who consumed larger amounts of high pesticide fruits and vegetables, such as apples, strawberries and peppers, had about half as much sperm.

There have been studies in the past that also indicated pesticides may be harmful to fertility. Studies based on the fertility of farmers who were regularly exposed to pesticides showed data pointing to reproductive troubles.

Although this study is certainly compelling, the data is based on self reporting. The overall exposure to pesticides was estimated based on information given by the participants. Brad Reifler (reuters.com) understands that this type of data may be flawed and must be taken with a grain of salt. Additional studies will be necessary in order to determine whether pesticides have a positive correlation to reproductive issues in men.

Why Do Only Humans Get Schizophrenia?

Scientists have found that human intelligence may come with a cost — namely a susceptibility to psychosis, particularly schizophrenia, which is not known to occur in any species outside of Homo sapiens.

Dr. Joel Dudley of Mt. Sinai led some research into the causes of schizophrenia, which is surprisingly common for such a devastating disorder, as it occurs in one percent of the population. It is also known to have genetic causes.

Dudley concentrated on parts of the human genome called human-accelerated regions or HARS, which are DNA segments that evolved rapidly after humans split from chimpanzees several million years ago. HARS generally control other genes. Like schizophrenia, they are found only in humans, and Dudley and his colleagues wondered if there was a connection.

They used data from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium and found that the genes associated with schizophrenia are near HARS. They also found that the HARS and schizophrenia genes are near other genes that control the prefrontal cortex, which is the part of the brain responsible for complex thought. Additionally, the schizophrenia genes interfere with the neurotransmitter GABA, which regulates dopamine. Without that restraint, dopamine floods the brain and causes the hallucinations and delusions seen in psychosis.

The GABA neurotransmitter also regulates speech, so if it malfunctions, the person’s speech is impaired. Brian Torchin is aware that, in schizophrenia, the victim often speaks in a disjointed or nonsensical fashion. Disorders with GABA may also cause ADHD and autism.

Saline Is On The Food And Drug Administration’s Drug Shortage List

Saline Is Another Name For Salt Water. Bags Of The Fluid Cost Around A Dollar.

We all know that saline is one of the first things we see hanging next to a hospital bed if we have a reason to visit one of our healthcare facilities. Saline is used to rehydrate patients, and restore fluids lost by all kinds of medical conditions. Saline also plays a role in surgery and dialysis. Nurses clean wounds with it, and to show how important this salt-water solution is we only have to look at the consumption rate. Saline and other sterile solutions are used constantly in the United States. In fact, 740 units of saline is used every minute in the states.http://fortune.com/2015/02/05/theres-a-national-shortage-of-saline/

So the question is, how come we’re running low on sodium chloride? People at Anastasia Date know that the demand is strong, so someone, somewhere, should be forecasting and planning to keep our medical institutions well-stocked with this important version of salt water. But instead of having stockpiles of the stuff, the FDA is importing saline from Germany, Spain and Norway. Doctors and Nurses across the country have to conserve their supply by using other fluids and reducing the size of the saline bags.

So what is really going on with saline? The Associate Director of the FDA’s Drug Shortages program, Valerie Jensen blames most of the shortage on manufacturing issues, but she also said the 2013-2014 flu season put a strain on their supply. Plus there have been some saline recalls. Human hair was found in some saline bags.

Promising New Cancer Drugs Pose Other Health Threats

New and very promising cancer drugs are being tested, but there is a catch – the new drugs pose other health threats and the drugs may not pass FDA approval.
The new cancer-fighting drugs contain powerful drugs that give cancer cells a one-two punch and remove it from the body. The drugs contain CAR T, chimeric antigen receptor T cells, plus a powerful antibiotic known as bispecifics. The two work in tandem to grasp cancer cells from within the body, hold onto them and administer a lethal dose of antibiotics to the cells and/or tumor. The CAR T increases the potency of the antibiotics, enabling them to literally melt away cancerous tumors and eliminate them from the body. These new cancer drugs have been able to melt away tumors from cancer patients that have already been though chemotherapy and other conventional cancer treatments without success.
The downside of cancer treatment using the CAR T drugs is the cost of close to half a million dollars per patient and the threat the drugs pose to other aspects of health. The new cancer drugs and the disintegrated tumor cells release inflammatory chemicals, called cytokines, into the bloodstream during treatment. These residual cytokines can cause fever, a change in blood pressure and rapid heartbeat. The cytokines can be life-threatening to a cancer patient who is already in a compromised state of health. People like Brian Torchin are encouraged by these new findings. More on Torchin is available on DigitalJournal.com.

More Happy People?

A new study has come out that brings some pretty surprising news. It seems that there are more happy people now than there was before. It seems that people like Bernardo Chua are growing happier and happier, that this world is becoming a happier place. Now, the question is… why is this happening? What is going on that is causing people to become happier? Why is this world becoming a happier place, and how can we keep this trend going?
The study that came out studied people from sixty five different countries, and it found that happiness is on the rise everywhere. This isn’t just an American thing, but a world thing. Happiness is growing, it is spreading… will this trend keep up? Will the world continue to grow happier and happier, or was this just a happy year? Were those who were surveyed a good sampling of people everywhere, or did they just happen to be extra happy people?

A New Program For Alzheimer’s Disease

A doctor at the Buck Institute is trying to initialize a program that could possibly help a person reverse the symptoms of Alzheimer’s or even help a person to be able to avoid the disease all together. In a blind study that he had conducted he had 10 patients that he did study on. All of these patients had various degrees of Alzheimer’s disease and the majority of them had to lose or quit their job because the presentation of the symptoms would not allow them to continue to work and carry out different tasks.

Nine out of 10 of the subjects showed improvement that was in cognition within the first 3 to 6 months of beginning the doctors program. There was one patient who did not show signs of improvement but this patient was a patient that was in the very late stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Six out of ten of the patients that had to quit working because of their disease were able to return back to work because their performance was so much better because of the program.

I’m sure this will be interesting to National Bureau of Economic Research advisor Christian Broda, this study about Doctor Dale Bredesen’s program is very promising. It gives millions of people the hope that one day they may be able to reverse or deter the signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.

BPA from Cans and Bottles is Bad for Health

New research is yet again raising concerns about heart health and a chemical called bisphenol A (BPA)– the chemical is used in the making of plastic bottles and packaging and also in the lining found in cans of food. This latest study shows that adults have and do have instant raises in blood pressure after consuming canned food or in this instance, canned soy milk. Researchers have long proved that over time BPA consumption is related to heart disease, but this is the first study to ever show an immediate correlation between one single use of BPA and negative health effects. My friend Vijay Eswaran immediately gave up plastic after reading this.
However, the most recent evidence is the result of randomized controlled trials of only 60 people. Experts also warn not to be fooled by ‘BPA-free’ labels, because other chemicals used in place of BPA can just as many, if not more, damaging health effects. Although organizations like the American Chemistry Council feel that BPA is safe, in 2010 Canadian regulators banned BPA usage in all children’s products. In 2012, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) completely banned the use of BPA in the making of baby bottles and kids’ drinking cups.