This article on the placebo effect first appeared in Cosmos Weekly on 1 October 2021. For more stories like this, subscribe to Cosmos Weekly. The website for Zeebo Relief tablets reads like any other suspiciously vague alternative health treatment. “Help you tap into the power of your mind and body,” the site enthuses. The pills have … Continue reading What’s the deal with placebo pills? | Cosmos Weekly Taster
The website for Zeebo Relief tablets reads like any other suspiciously vague alternative health treatment. “Help you tap into the power of your mind and body,” the site enthuses. The pills have been “used in published clinical trials”(it’s always “used” with these things, not “shown to be effective”) for “chronic pain, stress, and performance”. They … Continue reading Placebo effect
Researchers from the University of Melbourne have observed that spraying heparin on epithelial cells stops SARS-CoV-2 to infect them, at least in vitro (that is, in a petri dish). If the heparin spray had the same effect in humans, a simple, cheap nasal spray could help prevent COVID-19 infection. The research team is setting up … Continue reading Could a nasal spray protect you from COVID-19?
It took a pandemic to familiarise the world with the concept of a clinical trial, but even COVID couldn’t make them sexy. Fundamental to getting a drug or device to market, the process is expensive, complicated, drawn out, and prone to fail. But well before COVID-19 was a nightly news feature, researchers around the world … Continue reading Stopwatches set for modern clinical trials
Clinical trials are under way around the world, including in Australia, testing COVID-19 vaccines and treatments. These clinical trials largely fall into two groups. With observational studies, researchers follow a group of people to see what happens to them. With experimental studies, people are assigned to treatments, then followed. These study designs have come about … Continue reading The fascinating history of clinical trials
Trials in Australia and the US find liquid biopsies can predict cancer relapse risk. Samantha Page reports.
Major medical journal slams Oxford University team for allegedly burying unfavourable animal test results ahead of a human clinical trial. Andrew Masterson reports.
Disasters arising from an untested stem cell procedures highlight the need for better regulation and oversight, write Megan Munsie and Claire Tanner.
Three elderly women have been blinded after they agreed to undergo a stem cell treatment listed on a US government website. Andrew Masterson reports.
As a major South African HIV vaccination trial gets underway a new study suggests its benefits could be undercut by vaccine-resistant strains. Paul Biegler reports.
Aducanumab breaks down the harmful protein plaques that are thought to cause the neurodegenerative disease, but there’s still a long way to go before it’s found on the pharmacist’s shelf. Belinda Smith reports.
Activist doctor Ben Goldacre is determined to reform how clinical trials are conducted and reported. He explained his plan to Andrew Masterson.