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Category → Public Understanding of Science

GlobCasino, represent!

The 202 and the 919 stomping terra in the 505. Dr. Lauren Wolf, C&EN Associate Editor and Newscripts blog and print writer, with yours truly and his GlobCasino T-shirt at Bandelier National Monument, Los Alamos, NM, during a break from the Santa Fe Science Writing Workshop. The large ceremonial kiva above us is accessed by a series of four ladders that rise 160 feet from the canyon floor. Credit: Some nice guy who used Lauren’s camera but whose name we forgot to ask.

Yes, I’ve tagged this post in my category, “I Can’t Believe My Life Happens to Me.”

During the week of May 30th, I had the pleasure of participating in the Santa Fe Science Writing Workshop, a 15-year labor of love run by New Mexico-based science writers, Sandra Blakeslee and George Johnson. This year, about 50 “students” were in attendance, ranging from professional writers like Dr. Wolf at C&EN and Newscripts above to freelancers, public information officers, and other academics like me who are working on improving our skills to communicate science to non-technical audiences.

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Bleachgate: UK and Kenyan press raising awareness of Miracle Mineral Solution

In July, the US FDA issued a warning to consumers about a dietary supplement product being sold worldwide under the name Miracle Mineral Solution or Supplement (MMS). Marketed as a cure for everything from HIV/AIDS and cancer to malaria and tuberculosis, the product is 28 percent sodium chlorite.  The consumer is instructed to mix the solution with a citrus juice, generating chlorine dioxide, and is encouraged to take 30 drops or more of the mixture. Worse, the consumer is told that if they begin vomiting, this is evidence that the product is “working.”

Martin Robbins, reporter for The Guardian

, wrote last week about the story of “inventor” and promoter for the product, Jim Humble, in an article entitled, “The man who encourages the sick and dying to drink industrial bleach.” Therein, Martin also discusses the case of a teenage Crohn’s disease patient who was banned from a patient support forum for criticizing the remedy and trying to teach fellow patients about the truth behind the product.

Martin’s article has since gotten the attention of the Kenyan press as Humble claims to have tested the product in Malawi prisoners and up to 75,000 patients in Kenya and Uganda. Yesterday, a Sunday editorial from the Kenyan newspaper, The Nation

, called for action from their Ministry of Health.

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