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Those people that did not get exposed

Many blog posts on here have to do with a methodological flaw or otherwise a critique about peer  reviewed and published studies. This, in a way, is the result of science’s attempts to falsify and tests its  own hypotheses so that scientific progress can be made. I have to say that more often than we would  hope, it is made very easy for us to criticize studies. A good example is last week’s post about the cancer  cluster (link), which had quite a number of serious flaws. While work on ‘dirty electricity (also covered  here: 1,2) is usually riddled with methodological errors and problematic inferences.  So this time a study I really liked! Note that this is not the first one; this has happened before (here, and  here, for example). This study combines a simple design, easy interpretation, and potentially has a large  impact. It is really sad therefore, that I did not think of it first….     Electrohypersensitivity (EHS) is ...

July 2015

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The Story that wasn’t one....

I was asked last week by Sense about Science to comment on a paper that was recently published in  something called Jacobs Journal of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine.   It was about a paper by Busby and de Messieres entitled ‘Cancer near Trawsfynydd Nuclear Power Station  in Wales, UK: A Cross-Sectional Cohort Study” and, according to the Daily Mail, proves that living close to  a nuclear power station, or more specifically downwind from one, is associated with massively increased  cancer risks. The strongest risk found for female breast cancer with a five times higher risk than expected. So that’s quite serious….if it is true of course.
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June 2015

Alcohol Abuse in the Midsomer Constituency

It’s holiday period now, so instead of some difficult discussion about epidemiological problems,  confounding or, like two weeks ago the picking apart of a not very good study that made it into national  newspapers (well…tabloids), this new post falls in the category “hey, did you know this ?!”  I was aware that constantly watching movies was probably not the best way of spending your life. If we  limit ourselves to health then I assumed that this was primarily the result of being a couch potato and,  well, if you are watching television by definition you cannot do something else…something healthier or,  well, something more useful (although I am sure there must be something beneficial to “zoning out” for a  bit)...... 

August 2015

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                    Can low and moderate risks ever be trusted?

A relatively short post this month, and it is also dealing with something we all know. However, sometimes  it is important to reiterate all the stuff everybody already knows. So that they remember them, and you  know…everybody actually knows them.  So welcome to the wonderful world of residual confounding. 

September 2015

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                        Medically unexplained symptoms,

                              electricity, and the general population

A relatively short post this month, and it is also dealing with something we all know. However, sometimes  it is important to reiterate all the stuff everybody already knows. So that they remember them, and you  know…everybody actually knows them.  So welcome to the wonderful world of residual confounding. 

October 2015

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                                  09/11 Great News! The first “Fun Police”

      Guest Blog has now been published.

 

The Fun Police is expanding rapidly. Indeed, there is now an actual guest editor. Dr. Igor  Burstyn has written a very entertaining post about flowers.   “Flowers” I hear you say ?!? It is indeed about flowers. Or is it..............

November 2015

 15/12 The Christmas Spirit.

The Fun Police on Religion...  I thought it would be a bad idea to write about causes of obesity - It  seems to get people angry. And given that it is December and we should  all be happy (at least, that’s what the Coca Cola commercial wants us to  believe), I thought I’d give that contentious topic a miss this year. Instead, let’s talk about religion! 
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February 2016

 10/02 Experts. Can’t live with them, can’t live

without them. 

We were interested in what is going on in the heads of experts in occupational exposure assessment and occupational hygiene, and we used the most novel tool we have at our disposal of getting that information - we asked them....
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December 2015

 31/03 Having a closer look at the novel ‘Nanny

State Index’ 

Today is a big day! Indeed, today is the day a novel metric has been  launched – the Nanny State Index……  I will let that sink in for a bit... 
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March 2016

‘Bending Science’ & the Dirty

Electricity Industry

In principle the scientific method has a pretty relatively robust  system based on peer-review to ensure that any problems in  scientific papers are addressed before the paper is published.  This methodology is not without its problems, but...... 
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May 2016

 How not to die when watching

television

Sometime last week the British, and probably international,  newspapers were full of stories about these new scientific data  proving that binge watching (i.e. watching more than one  episode of a series at a time, suppose) is detrimental to your  health. Pretty serious stuff...
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August 2016

 Slinging mud at El Diablo

The paper is entitled “Is there Evidence of Adverse Health Effects Near US Nuclear Installations? Infant Mortality in Coastal Communities near The Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Station in California, 1989-2012”. That is quite a mouth full, but in summary the study looks at whether there is a correlation between living on a coastal side close to the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Station and the number of children dying in that area.

October 2016

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Epidemiology: a canine intervention Dear Human Scientists,    I am 2.5 year old bull terrier named Dino the 6th  Burstyn and I perused with great interest your  article  on “Understanding how dogs encourage and motivate  walking: cross-sectional findings  from RESIDE”.  ... 

January 2017

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Being Boris Johnson My attempt at a Neoliberal, free-market essay. It was  for a cash prize, so give me a break... 

April 2017

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