Date these comments!

June 6, 2012

from a prestigious general science journal:

“Important elements in both Senate and the House are showing increasing dissatisfaction over Congress’s decade-long honeymoon with medical research….critics are dissatisfied…with the NIH’s procedures for supervising the use of money by its research grantees….NIH officials..argued, rather, that the most productive method in financing research is to pick good people with good projects and let them carry out their work without encumbering them…its growth has been phenomenal….[NIH director}: nor do we believe that most scientific groups in the country have an asking and a selling price for their product which is research activity…we get a realistic appraisal of what they need to do the job..the supervisory function properly belongs to the universities and other institutions where the research takes place….closing remarks of the report are:…Congress has been overzealous in appropriating money for health research”.

Okay, people, ballpark the date this was published!

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began sending warning letters to sellers of so called “bio-identical hormone replacement therapy” today according to an AP report. Apparently the claims for alleviating menopausal symptoms are

not supported by medical evidence and are considered false and misleading.

Needless to say, these “compounded” products are being sold without FDA approval. It’s all a conspiracy man! Dang FDA is a tool of BigPharma trying to keep cheap and effective remedies from the public. Noted tool of TheMan(BigPharmaDivision) Abel Pharmboy has a recent post in which he touches on “cosmeceutical” marketing of drugs and the FDA’s authority to regulate cosmetics under

their regulatory authority is in part ordered by the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act of 1938 (and subsequent legislation).

This reminds me of the glory days of the quack remedy / patent medicine era and today, from the mouldering archives, we take up a Case Report published by A. B. Hirsch, M.D. [“Mrs. Winslow’s Soothing Syrup. American Medical Journal, 1884, 12(11):504-506] which is available from Google Books here. A footnote indicates that this Abstract was read before the Philadelphia County Medical Society on Sept 17, 1884. Ahh, Mrs. Winslow’s . Used for over 60 years by mothers for their teething children. Read the rest of this entry »

First, I’ll tip the hat to Shelley at Retrospectacle for starting a “tour of the vaults” with the classic LSD in elephants study. Today, I’m reaching way back for “A study of trial and error reactions in mammals” by G. V. Hamilton, Journal of Animal Behavior, 1911 Jan-Feb 1(1):33-66. This study is worth reading because it provides an often hilarious insight into the conduct of science at the turn of the past century but also because this study is a root (perhaps the taproot) of a relatively current subfield on spatial working memory and spatial search. Read the rest of this entry »