Episode 171: Dubious Diagnoses

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Laura is joined by Gem, Ashlyn, and Lauren to discuss Morgellons syndrome, adrenal fatigue, Wilson’s temperature syndrome, and candida overgrowth, four medical diagnoses with dubious supporting evidence.

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a podcast that explores the intersection of science and society.

Morgellons Syndrome: Delusional infestation: Epidemiology, clinical presentation, assessment and diagnosis (UpToDate) | The Morgellons Mystery (Psychology Today) | Sir Thomas Browne’s A Letter to a Friend (University of Chigago) | Morgellons (Wikipedia) | Delusional parasitosis (Wikipedia)

Adrenal Fatigue: Treating the Symptoms that are believed to be Adrenal Fatigue (Endocrine Society) | Adrenal fatigue: What causes it? (Mayo Clinic) | Adrenal fatigue (Wikipedia)

Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome: Wilson’s temperature syndrome (Wikipedia) | Wilson’s Disease: Risk Factors, Causes, & Symptoms (Healthline)

Candida Overgrowth: The Candida Overgrowth Problem: Too Much Yeast? No, Too Little Science (SELF) | The Candida Diet: Separating Fact from Fiction (Nutrition Diva) | The Candida Diet: Separating Fact from Fiction (Scientific American) | Invasive Candidiasis (CDC) | Systemic candidiasis (NIH) | The Anti-Candida Diet: 11 Simple Rules to Follow (TheCandidaDiet.com)

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Episode 167: Medical History

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem, Ashlyn, Lauren, and Laura swap tales from medical history, including the story of Ben Carson’s separation of the Binder twins, the legacy of Henrietta Lacks, and the “tainted blood scandal” that led to the formation of Canadian Blood Services.

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a podcast that explores the intersection of science and society.

Ben Carson: The story of the surgery that made Ben Carson famous and its complicated aftermath (The Washington Post) | Separation of craniopagus Siamese twins using cardiopulmonary bypass and hypothermic circulatory arrest (The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery) | Patrick and Benjamin Binder (Wikipedia) | From Vaccines to Creationism, Ben Carson’s Views Perplex Some (The New York Times) | Ben Carson on Creationism, Evolution, and Intelligent Design (Evolution News) | Ben Carson’s Scientific Ignorance (The New Yorker)

Henrietta Lacks: Henrietta Lacks (Wikipedia) | Significant Research Advances Enabled by HeLa Cells (Office of Science Policy) | Cell Lines – an overview (ScienceDirect Topics) | The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot (Goodreads)

The Tainted Blood Scandal: Canadian Red Cross apologises for distributing HIV infected blood (BMJ) | ABCs of eligibility to donating blood (Canadian Blood Services) | Collaboration, Competition, and Coercion: Canadian Federalism and Blood System Governance (Adam David McDonald) | Commission of Inquiry on the Blood System in Canada: Krever Report (Publications du ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux du Québec) | The Krever Commission Recommendations: What They May Mean for Hospital (Longwoods) | The Krever Commission – 10 years later (CMAJ) | Commemoration of the Tainted Blood Tragedy (Canadian Hemophilia Society) | Canada’s Tainted Blood Disaster (CBC Archives) | Unspeakable: the truth about HIV-tainted blood in Canada (The Lancet Infectious Diseases) | Today’s blood system no longer unsafe or “Unspeakable” (Canadian Blood Services) | Royal Commission of Inquiry on the Blood System in Canada (Wikipedia) | Research shows promising development in hunt for HIV vaccine (ABC News)

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Episode 166: The Wellness Industry

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Laura leads Ashlyn, Gem, and Lauren in a discussion of the wellness industry, including a brief detour into QAnon conspiracies, and together the panel tries to figure out what wellness even is, anyway.

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a podcast that explores the intersection of science and society.

Additional Music: In addition to original music by Ian James, this episode also features Cavatina performed by the Mangoré Duo.

Wellness, Defined: Frequently asked questions (World Health Organization) | Twenty-first century health promotion: the public health revolution meets the wellness revolution (Health Promotion International, Oxford Academic) | The dark side of the wellness industry (New Statesman) | What is Wellness? (Global Wellness Institute)

Apps and Plans: Why The Wellness Industry is So Utterly Broken (In Fitness and in Health) | Public Health and Online Misinformation: Challenges and Recommendations (Annual Review of Public Health) | The Truth Behind Weight Loss Ads (FTC Consumer Information) | Tons of Weight-Loss Ads Show Fake Before/After Photos: Report (Women’s Health) | The History of Dieting (Skyterra Wellness) | Is Fasting Healthy? (WebMD) | “Find Your Fit”: Wearable technology and the cultural politics of disability (Journal of New Media and Society)

QAnon and the Wellness Industry: How Instagram Aesthetics Repackage QAnon (The Atlantic) | How COVID-19 Guided Wellness Influencers to QAnon (Bitch Media) | This yoga instructor is fighting the rise of QAnon in the wellness community (CBC Radio) | New Agers and Wellness Influencers Are Falling for Far-Right COVID Conspiracies (Vice)

Police Officers and Domestic Violence: Police Domestic Violence: Data Shows 40 Percent of Cops Abuse Family (Fatherly)

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Episode 163: Limitless

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn, Laura, Lauren, and Gem discuss people who push their bodies to the limit, including saturation divers, ultramarathoners, mountaineers, and stratospheric skydivers.

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a podcast that explores the intersection of science and society.

Additional Music: “Friends” by Dragon Sound, “Such Great Heights” by The Postal Service

Saturation Diving: The Weird, Dangerous, Isolated Life of the Saturation Diver (Atlas Obscura) | Nutritional considerations during prolonged exposure to a confined, hyperbaric, hyperoxic environment: recommendations for saturation divers (Extreme Physiology & Medicine) | What It’s Like to be a Saturation Diver (ScubaDiving.com) | High Pressure Diving Nervous Syndrome (NCBI Bookshelf) | Saturation diving (Wikipedia) | SEALAB (Wikipedia) | Saturation diving; physiology and pathophysiology (PubMed)

Ultramarathons: 120 Minutes Over 26.2 Miles: A Statistical Approach (FloTrack.org) | The new Vaporfly NEXT% (Nike) | Eliud Kipchoge Two-Hour Nike Shoes (Runner’s World Inside Look) | What happens to your body during an ultramarathon (Washington Post) | Why ultramarathons are easier than you think (RedBull.com) | Eliud Kipchoge Marathon Strategy (Runner’s World) | The sub-2 hour marathon attempt: The pacing strategy (The Science of Sport) | Craziest Ultramarathon Races (Men’s Journal) | Barkley Marathons (Wikipedia) | Nike Vaporfly Shoes Controversy (NPR) | LZR Racer (Wikipedia)

Such Great Heights: 14 Fast Facts about Mount Everest (The Explorer’s Passage) | There Are Over 200 Bodies on Mount Everest, And They’re Used as Landmarks (Smithsonian Magazine) | Climbing Mount Everest, explained (National Geographic) | Edmund Hillary (Wikipedia) | Tenzing Norgay (Wikipedia) | Tourism, Waste, and the Effects of Climate Change on Everest (National Geographic) | The Problem (Mount Everest Biogas Project) | Reinhold Messner (Wikipedia) | Peter Habeler (Wikipedia) | Mountaineering (Wikipedia) | Interview with Climbers About Reaching Mount Everest Summit Without Oxygen (National Geographic) | Norton Couloir (Wikipedia) | Astronauts Hail Skydiver Felix Baumgartner’s Record-Breaking Supersonic Jump (Space) | Alan Eustace Jumps From Stratosphere, Breaking Felix Baumgartner’s World Record (The New York Times) | Space diving (Wikipedia) | Red Bull Stratos (Wikipedia) | World’s Highest Skydive! Daredevil Felix Baumgartner Makes Record-Breaking Supersonic ‘Space Jump’ (Space) | Skydiving From the Edge of Space (The Atlantic) | All About Stratosphere Jumps (Skydive Taft) | Ask the Captain: Highest altitudes for planes (USA Today) | The Composition of the Stratosphere (Encyklopedia klimatologiczna) | Helium shortage: Why the world’s supply is drying up (CNBC)

Something Nice: Whoops! We forgot to actually say the name of the show that Ashlyn recommended (or maybe I accidentally cut it out)! It’s called Taskmaster.

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Episode 162: Nutrition Myths

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Laura leads the panel on a discussion of several nutrition myths that just won’t die. Topics include expiry dates, nightshades, and pink salt.

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a podcast that explores the intersection of science and society.

Expiry Dates: Expiration Dates Don’t Mean What You Think (Adam Ruins Everything) | This man ate ‘expired’ food for a year. Here’s why expiration dates are practically meaningless. (The Washington Post) | Is Your Food Expired? Don’t Be So Quick to Toss It (TIME) | Date labelling on pre-packaged foods (Canadian Food Inspection Agency)

Nightshades: Are Nightshades Bad for You? Not If You’re Healthy (Vice) | What are dietary lectins and should you avoid eating them? (Mayo Clinic) | Solanaceae (Wikipedia)

Pink Salt: Stabilization of iodine in salt and other feed materials (Wisconsin) | An Analysis of the Mineral Composition of Pink Salt Available in Australia (Nutrition Research Australia) | Chemical Composition of Table Salt (ThoughtCo) | Sodium: Dietary Reference Intakes for Adequacy (NCBI Bookshelf)

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Episode 158: Public Health History

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn, Gem, Laura, and Lauren discuss the history of several public health initiatives: handwashing, toothbrushing, and nutrient fortification of food.

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a podcast that explores the intersection of science and society.

Updated: During his segment, Gem mistakenly said “postpartum examination” when he meant to say “postmortem examination”. This has been corrected.

Handwashing: Hand washing (Wikipedia) | When and How to Wash Your Hands (CDC) | Ignaz Semmelweis (Wikipedia) | Daily Deaths, 2018 (Statistics Canada) | Pregnancy Mortality Surveillance System (Maternal and Infant Health, CDC)

Oral Hygiene: Monkeys may have better dental hygiene than you (Science, AAAS) | Miswak (Wikipedia) | Efficiency of traditional chewing stick (miswak) as an oral hygiene aid among Muslim school children in Lucknow: A cross-sectional study (NIH) | The evolution of the toothbrush | Who invented the toothbrush? (HISTORY)

Nutrient Fortification: Overview of Food Fortification in the United States and Canada (NCBI Bookshelf) | A brief history of food fortification (Baking Business) | History of U.S. Iodine Fortification and Supplementation (NIH) | Iodine (Wikipedia) | Fortification and Health: Challenges and Opportunities (Advances in Nutrition, Oxford Academic) | Rationale and Plan for Vitamin D Food Fortification: A Review and Guidance Paper (NIH)

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Episode 155: COVID Quacks

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn, Lauren, Gem, and Laura discuss the charlatans and snake oil salesmen trying to profit off of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a podcast that delves into issues of science, critical thinking, and secular humanism.

Links: Researchers are tracking another pandemic, too—of coronavirus misinformation (Science, AAAS)

Alex Jones: Alex Jones: 5 most disturbing and ridiculous conspiracy theories (CNBC) | The Pandemic’s Shameless Profiteers (The New Republic) | Alex Jones’s Bogus Coronavirus Cures (The New Yorker) | Alex Jones ordered to stop selling fake coronavirus cures (Quartz) | “Aurum Potable”: the “Drinkable Gold of the Alchemists” (The BMJ) | Medical uses of silver (Wikipedia) | Argyria (Wikipedia)

Vitamin C and Garlic: In Vitro and In Vivo Immunomodulator Activities of Allium sativum L. (Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine) | Garlic: a review of potential therapeutic effects (Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine) | Vitamin C and Immune Function (Nutrients) | Immunomodulation and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Garlic Compounds (Journal of Immunology Research) | Vitamin C for preventing and treating the common cold (Cochrane Library) | Garlic for the common cold (Cochrane) | Antimicrobial properties of hydrophobic compounds in garlic: Allicin, vinyldithiin, ajoene and diallyl polysulfides (Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine)

Herbal Cures: Medical experts warn against claims by Winnipeg acupuncturist advertising ‘coronavirus prevention tea’ (CBC News) | Coronavirus: Scams, hoaxes, fake sites, and myths (Radio Canada International) | Superfoods for COVID-19 Prevention (Cooking with Yoshiko) | Richmond Chinese medicine stores advertising ‘coronavirus prevention tea’ (Richmond News) | Misrepresenting traditional knowledge during COVID-19 is dangerous (High Country News) | COVID-19 Herbal Resource Hub (Red Moon Herbs) | Coronavirus: Herbal remedies in India and other claims fact-checked (BBC News) | Coronavirus ‘cures’ and prevention techniques are popping up all over the world. So we asked the experts what actually works (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Hydroxychloroquine: Some Patients Need the Drug That Trump Keeps Pushing (The Atlantic) | Doctors worry unproven Covid-19 drug will do more harm than good (STAT) | Hydroxychloroquine For COVID-19: Cure-All Or Flim-Flam? (Forbes) | FDA approves hydroxychloroquine new drug application to address COVID-19 related shortage (Healio Rheumatology) | Potential of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 causes fears of shortages among people with systemic lupus erythematosus (Nature Medicine) | Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine Can Have Serious Side Effects (National Capital Poison Center) | Trump’s support of hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 could slow cure (USA Today) | Fearing coronavirus, Arizona man dies after taking a form of chloroquine used in aquariums (CNN) | Does Trump Benefit Financially by Promoting Hydroxychloroquine as COVID-19 Treatment? (Snopes)

Ashlyn’s Patreon: Noble & Whimsical is creating art from glass, vinyl and creativity (Patreon)

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Episode 153: “The Game Changers”

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem, Laura, Ashlyn, and Lauren are joined by Dave Bonwick to discuss The Game Changers, a Netflix documentary that advocates for the healthfulness of a vegan diet.

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a podcast that delves into issues of science, critical thinking, and secular humanism.

Links: The Game Changers (Netflix)

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Episode 152: SandwichCast!

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Laura leads Ashlyn, Lauren, and Gem in a discussion of the history and science of sandwiches, then everyone attempts (and fails!) to define what, exactly, makes something a sandwich.

On this episode: Ashlyn maintains that open-faced sandwiches do not exist, Gem argues that soup in a bread bowl is in fact a sandwich, Ashlyn and Laura dispute whether pie qualifies as a casserole or a dumpling, and Lauren opines that once a sandwich is put in the Snackmaster sandwich maker, it ceases to be a sandwich entirely.

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a podcast that delves into issues of science, critical thinking, and secular humanism.

John Montagu, Fourth Earl of Sandwich: Warfare on the Mediterranean in the Age of Sail: A History, 1571–1866, by David S.T. Blackmore (Google Books) | A Tour to London, Or, New Observations on England and Its Inhabitants, by Pierre Jean Grosley (Google Books) | Earl of Sandwich (Wikipedia) | John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich (Wikipedia) | The Story of the Sandwich (History) | History of the Sandwich (PBS Food) | Trencher (Wikipedia) | Meze (Wikipedia) | Poker Night in Napa (Food & Wine)

Biphasic Sleep: Biphasic and polyphasic sleep (Wikipedia)

Processed Meat and Cancer: International Agency for Research on Cancer, IARC (MSDS HyperGlossary) | This is the only known thing that is not a carcinogen (Business Insider) | List of IARC Group 1 Agents (Wikipedia) | Bacon, salami and sausages: how does processed meat cause cancer and how much matters? (Cancer Research UK) | Processed meat and cancer – what you need to know (Cancer Research UK) | Red meat, processed meat and cancer (Cancer Council NSW) | Q&A on the carcinogenicity of the consumption of red meat and processed meat (WHO)

The History and Science of Bread: Wheat (Wikipedia) | Bread (Wikipedia) | History of bread (Wikipedia) | Bread in culture (Wikipedia) | Bread (History Magazine) | Science of Bread: Bread Science 101 (Exploratorium) | Science of bread making (Baking Industry Research Trust) | Bread Baking Clinic: Under-Kneading & Over-Kneading (The Kitchn)

Cultural History of Sandwiches: Important Sandwiches That Changed America Forever (Thrillist) | The History of Five Uniquely American Sandwiches |(Smithsonian Magazine) | To Evade Pre-Prohibition Drinking Laws, New Yorkers Created the World’s Worst Sandwich (Gastro Obscura) | Raines Law (St. Louis Public Library) | Who Invented the Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich? (National Peanut Board) | The Curious History of Vietnam’s Bánh Mì Sandwich

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Episode 151: July at Christmas

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn, Lauren, Laura, and Gem escape winter briefly to talk about summery things: sunscreen, butterflies, the summer solstice, and whether drinking hot tea can really cool you down.

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a podcast that delves into issues of science, critical thinking, and secular humanism.

Note: Additional music this episode by Tim Minchin and Rajaton.

Christmas in July: Christmas in July (Wikipedia)

Sunscreen: Ask the Expert: Does a High SPF Protect My Skin Better? (The Skin Cancer Foundation) | Vitamin D Fact Sheet (MS Society) | UV Radiation (The Skin Cancer Foundation) | The science of sunscreen (Harvard Health) | Safety of Oxybenzone: Putting Numbers Into Perspective (JAMA Dermatology) | Five Common Sunscreen Myths You Need To Stop Believing (Forbes)

Butterflies: Butterfly (Wikipedia) | Mud-puddling (Wikipedia) | Butterflies remember a mountain that hasn’t existed for millennia (Gizmodo) | What happens in a chrysalis? (WSU Ask Dr. Universe)

Summer Soltice Festivals: Indigenous Day Live | National Indigenous Peoples Day (Wikipedia) | Dragon Boat Festival (Wikipedia) | Willkakuti (Wikipedia) | Willkakuti Winter Solstice (Aymara New Year) | Tirgan (Wikipedia) | Day of Private Reflection (Wikipedia)

Thermoregulation: Thermoregulation in humans (Wikipedia) | Waste heat (Wikipedia) | Thermoregulation (Healthline)

Pseudoscientific Articles on Temperature and Food: 7 Food And Drinks Scientifically Proven To Warm You Up (Tastemade) | Foods That Produce Heat In The Body (NDTV) | 8 Foods That Help Cool You Down (HuffPost)

Scientific Articles on Temperature and Food: A Hot Drink on a Hot Day Can Cool You Down (Smithsonian) | What are the effects of alcohol on the brain? (Scientific American) | Ayurveda (Wikipedia) | Ginger (WebMD) | Going nuts for coconut oil (Dietitian at Home)

Dwarf Mistletoe: Thermogenesis-triggered seed dispersal in dwarf mistletoe (Nature Communications)

What Are You Enjoying?: All-Star Superman, by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely | Amazon Warehouse Reports Show Worker Injuries (The Atlantic) | The Bell Curve (Shaun) | Overcooked (Nintendo Switch)

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