Council for the Advancement of Science Writing

CASW Periscope

Ever since Amgen teased the public with claims of a landmark study showing that its new heart drug Repatha significantly reduced the risk of cardiovascular events, anticipation has been building for the day when Amgen would release the data to back up its bravado. That day finally came on Friday, and the wall-to-wall news coverage suggests that... more
GENETIC PRIVACY: GATTACA REVISITED? It’s not a formal part of the cruel, terrifying Trumpcare/Ryancare  bill Congress is considering to repeal-and-replace Obamacare. But last week a... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
If you had been in Salt Lake City last month, savoring your morning coffee, and watching this channel 4 morning show, you might have been treated to this video promising a “revolutionary” treatment that assures “you don’t have to live with back pain.” You’d also be assured that the doctor being interviewed, Dr... more
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed breast cancer screening legislation at the end of a “motorcycle ride for breast cancer” event in June 2016, garnering local and national news coverage. In late February, the New York Department of Financial Services trumpeted this news to reporters: “Governor Cuomo Announces Action To Expand... more
The BMJ asked me to comment on so-called fake health news.  The journal published my editorial today. With the journal’s permission, here is the full text.  (The pollution image did not appear in The BMJ.) Pollution of health news: Time to drain the swamp US President Donald Trump placed the term fake news in the global... more
We have written dozens of stories and reviews on screening for prostate cancer. But once a man is diagnosed he is faced with a complicated — and often intimidating — menu of treatment choices. Left: Howard Wolinsky, Right: Dr. Chris Warlick As a health care journalist, Howard Wolinsky made it his business to understand these choices... more
Sarah Kolbe   As soon as he heard about the Egyptian army doctor who’d invented a machine to cure hepatitis C and HIV, Mohammed Yahia’s BS detector went off. After reading a paper the doctor had written, Yahia, the Cairo-based editor of Nature Middle East, was even more convinced the whole thing was a scam. He published a story on... more
Recent news reports suggest this breakfast could send you to an early grave. This post will help you determine the validity of such claims and whether the supporting research is reliable. One thing that is almost fundamental to living in the modern age is having someone tell you what to eat. Just this past weekend NPR informed us, “Eating... more
March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, and last week many twenty- and thirty-somethings were made aware that their risk for colon cancer is “rising sharply,” “surging,” “soaring,” and even “skyrocketing” – as various media outlets put it in their headlines. Washington Post: Colorectal cancer rates rising sharply among Gen X and millennials... more
VIRAL DISEASES: H7N9 BIRD FLU China is undergoing its worst epidemic of human cases of H7N9 bird flu since the virus’s discovery in 2013, some 460 cases between last October and February of... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]