Steve Jobs and the Limits of Sequencing

The death of Steve Jobs is unfolding as a morality play between mainstream and alternative medicine, with doctors and bloggers blaming Jobs’ untimely demise on his decision to delay surgery while he tried acupuncture and herbal remedies. The reality is that Jobs’ story tells us as much about the limits of conventional science and medicine […]

Avastin and the Power of Hope

This week, an FDA panel unanimously voted to revoke its approval of Avastin (bevacizumab) for breast cancer. The decision evoked cheers from some groups and jeers from others.  At least one group derided the decision as the work of a  “death panel.” Initially hailed as a wonder drug, Avastin is a monoclonal antibody first approved […]

Brooklyn Takes its (Unnecessary) Medicine

Last week, my neighborhood health food store ran out of potassium iodide, a compound that can prevent thyroid cancer in people exposed to high doses of radiation. When I called the store, an employee told me demand has been high “ever since the incident in Japan.” I live in Brooklyn, New York, nearly 7,000 miles […]