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We have all heard the adage “cleanliness is godliness”, but according to a new study reported in Wired, cleanliness also translates into moral superiority.


Behavioral scientists have found that students who were asked to rate moral situations who use antiseptic gel or who were described as being clean and fresh were much more harsh regarding immorality than those who were left unclean.

Perhaps there is something magic in the cleansing process? The study leaves that question unanswered. But for those who just were told they were clean, they were more condemning too and also felt better about their own moral actions.…

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When you snuggle down in your movie seat to watch your next action flick or romantic comedy with a barrel sized popcorn bucket and gallon of Coke at your side, your movie theater euphoria might be a bit diminished–if the FDA has anything to say about it.


That’s right. First came restaurants being required to post the calorie content of all of their foodstuffs on their menus. Now FDA in an effort to curb the obesity epidemic has announced plans to require movie theaters, airplanes, and any eatery defined as a “chain” (with more than 20 locations) to post their nutritional information for consumers as well, says WSJ.…

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Many have called it legislating from the bench. Others have called it sending us back to the stone age. But as Arthur Caplan puts it in this week’s MSNBC column Judge Royce Lamberth’s ruling preventing the use of federal funding for embryonic stem cell research hasn’t just hobbled stem cell research–it has killed the hopes for recovery of tens of thousands if not millions of Americans.

To read more about Caplan’s view of this landmark court decision, click here.

Summer Johnson, PhD…

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No, I’m not talking about how one feels about oneself when they look in the mirror. I’m talking about the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) who is taking tens of thousands of full body images of travelers going through scanners at major airports. What do they do with all these choice images? That’s right. They keep them.

According to, TSA has hoarded over 35,000 of these checkpoint body scans. And let’s be clear, they don’t need that many for “testing, training, and evaluation purposes.”


What else TSA might do with these images is entirely unclear. Privacy advocates are outraged, but clearly the real problem is the lack of transparency from TSA while American travelers are being examined down to the millimeter without ever knowing their images are being recorded, stored, or potentially used for any reason, innocuous or not.…

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Sometimes parents can over-think things. Then sometimes parents are just crazy. Then sometimes parents name their child “Pop”.

According to the University of Oxford Practical Ethics Blog, a Swedish couple has decided to keep the sex of their toddler a secret as to avoid the pressures placed upon children from having to grow up as one gender or another.


As reported in the Guardian, “We want Pop to grow up more freely and avoid being forced into a specific gender mould from the outset. It’s cruel to bring a child into the world with a blue or pink stamp on their forehead.” Oddly, I didn’t know that we were doing that to babies these days.…

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As shocking as this might sound, those who suffer from body dismorphic disorder (BDD) don’t feel better or improve on any indicators after having plastic surgery according to a recent study in the Annals of Plastic Surgery.

As reported in Booster Shots, 7-8% of cosmetic surgery patients have these disorders, but among these patients, only 2% found that the procedure they received actually made them feel better about how they looked. After surgery they feel just as critical about their appearance as before.

So what is the cure? Not going under the knife, say the authors of the study. But what about giving patients the right to choose whatever procedures they want?…

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It is as though the entire world in one week woke up and realized that direct-to-consumer genetic testing is a big deal and perhaps someone should be paying attention to it.


Just this week alone the GAO released a report saying that most results from at-home genetic tests are mostly bunk and are pretty much impossible to interpret. This was followed on by the Human Genetics Commission in the UK issuing guidelines for how these tests should be provided and to whom.

Then there was the 5-part Newsweek column written by Mary Carmichael called “DNA Dilemma” chronicling her personal decision whether or not to swab her cheek and send her own genetic material off to a DTC genetic testing company.…

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Theresa Brown, R.N. is right to point out on Tara Parker Pope’s Well Blog that most depictions of health care on television are sensationalized, over-dramatized, not particularly realistic characterizations of health care today. But in her story, A Patient is Rescued, Quietly, she goes to far in the other direction.


Brown’s lament about the understaffing of the nursing profession and the lack of praise for the nurse today is also true, but her melodramatic story about how thanks to the lack of patients on her floor that day she was able to spend enough time on her critically ill patient to be able to save his life.…

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So, FDA has lifted a hold on the first ever clinical trial testing cells derived from human embyonic stem cells. The study- based in California and sponsored by the biotechnology company Geron (view press release here)- will administer cells derived f...

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So, FDA has lifted a hold on the first ever clinical trial testing cells derived from human embyonic stem cells. The study- based in California and sponsored by the biotechnology company Geron (view press release here)- will administer cells derived f...

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