The Daily Dose: WHO gives Traditional Chinese Medicine its stamp of approval and some disagree

WHO-TCM-NOPE: The World Health Organization recently included a chapter regarding Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in its newest version of the International Classification of Diseases. It essentially represents the organization’s stamp of approval. The journal Nature voiced their skepticism of the inclusion in a recent Commentary by stating, “TCM is based on unsubstantiated theories about meridians and qi. Most Western-trained doctors and medical researchers regard TCM practices with scepticism: there is no substantial evidence that most of them work, and some signs that a few do harm.” It also cited the pressures TCM puts on certain endangered animal populations.

New but is it improved?: Now that Bristol-Myers Squibb’s takeover of Celgene is done and dusted, the company has unveiled the changes made to its R&D operation. Understandably, members of Celgene now occupy important positions within Bristol-Myers. According to Fierce Biotech, “The Big Pharma is dividing the group up into early- and late-phase development, handing Celgene’s Rupert Vessey responsibility for the former and hiring Novartis’ Samit Hirawat to run the latter.

Bacteria can live almost anywhere: Researchers believe they have found traces of ancient bacteria that once lived in the Dead Sea, an environment almost entirely devoid of life except for archaea. According to a study published in Geology in March but discussed in SciAm recently, scientists analyzed samples of gypsum known to be 12,000 – 120,000 years old. “Entombed within them, they discovered wax esters—energy-rich molecules that small organisms create and store when food becomes scarce. Because archaea cannot produce these molecules, and multicellular organisms are very unlikely to survive such hostile conditions, the team concludes that ancient bacteria must have produced the compounds.”

Let’s just stop with the plastic: There are disgustingly large amounts of plastics and microplastics in the ocean. It’s time the world transitioned away from its use. Like yesterday. That’s our public service announcement.

IMAGE SOURCE: Creative Commons

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