A canna’ change the laws of physics

Scotty, The Naked Time, stardate 1704.3, Episode 7

Posts Tagged ‘leptospirosis’

Editing reality

Posted by apgaylard on August 28, 2010

I really hope that this is the last post I write about the homeoprophylaxis campaign against Leptospirosis in Cuba during 2007 – 2008 (Bracho et al, 2010).  Deep down I know that this uncontrolled, un-randomised poorly-reported trial published in a terrible pseudojournal, dealing with a highly variable disease which is amenable to personal protective measures, a real vaccine and antibiotic treatment is going to get thrown at me again and again.

Homeopathic propagandists will not worry that real medicines were also used in the treatment region, a media campaign raised awareness of the disease and the homeopaths intervened at the peak of a multi-year problem.  Neither will it bother them that the net outcome was a return to the same infection rate as the rest of Cuba or the Intervention Region in 2004, or that the paper was rejected by proper journals.

However, before I move on I think that the accompanying guest editorial by Roniger and Jacobs (2010) deserves some additional scrutiny. It’s entitled, “Prophylaxis against Leptospirosis using a nosode: Can this large cohort study serve as a model for future replications?” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in homeopathy, Leptospirosis, Logical Fallacies | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

Here Is the News

Posted by apgaylard on August 12, 2010

These days scientific papers are often accompanied by a press release.  It gives the journal or institution at which the work was done a chance to highlight what they think the main message from the work is.  Some might even see it as applying some PR spin.  The recent paper on a trial of homeopathy on a Leptospirosis outbreak in Cuba (Bracho et al, 2010) has its own accompanying press release.  It’s from the Faculty of Homeopathy, the representative body for the UK’s medically qualified homeopaths, whose stated aim is to promote, “… the academic and scientific development of homeopathy. It ensures the highest standards in the education, training and practice of homeopathy”.

It’s instructive to see what message the UK medical homeopath’s representative body is trying to get into the minds of press and public.

First it’s no surprise that they welcome this apparently successful trial with open arms.  Homeopathy, is the journal of The Faculty of Homeopathy.  The paper appears to confirm the view of The Faculty and provide some justification for its work.  So what message do they want people to take away from this publication?  Is it an accurate reflection of the work?  Let’s have a look and see: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in homeopathy, Science Journalism | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

Much ado about nothing

Posted by apgaylard on August 8, 2010

So, the much-trailed* paper on the homeopathic intervention in an outbreak of Leptospirosis in Cuba during 2007 has finally been published (Bracho et al, 2010) along with a very useful companion editorial (Roniger and Jacobs, 2010).

The editorial claims that, “the size of the population treated and the dramatic decrease in disease incidence compared to previous years make it difficult to dismiss these results as spurious or occurring by chance.”

Before finding it quite easy to dismiss these results, some background information on Leptospirosis is in order. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in homeopathy, Leptospirosis, The Memory of Water | Tagged: , , | 30 Comments »

 
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