Category Archives: Cloudy Media

The Truth Squad with Cloudy Media Blog

Logo_X-Files_2_-_I_want_to_believe14 years after we’ve last been fascinated by Mulder and Scully’s investigations of paranormal activities on prime time, the duo went back to work at the FBI’s X-Files in a 6-episode mini-season.  This season was just enough to whet fans’ appetites with fond memories of their favorite stories (Eve, anyone?) and infuriate us with a cliffhanger ending.  But it was the bookended storyline linking episodes 1 and 6, that made my scientist blood boil (FYI–just a saying, tissues would be incinerated long before blood could boil).

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It takes two to make a thing go right, or wrong

women powerAt the same time we have Hillary, 4 female astronauts graduating from the NASA space program, Samantha Bee on late night tv,  and actual dialogue about gender gaps in salary and management,  it’s still been a rough start to 2016 for women.   Continue reading It takes two to make a thing go right, or wrong

Charlie Sheen has HIV…so what?

Credit: Mike Mozart
Photo credit: Mike Mozart.  By the way, Sheen has HIV, not AIDS.

In a blitz of media frenzy, Charlie Sheen recently announced he is HIV positive.  So, should we care?

Before saying anything else, absolutely and unequivocally: YES!  Raising awareness for disease is always a good thing.  Remember that ALS ice bucket challenge?  Even a disease like HIV, which for the general public is a has-been, benefits from media attention.  To the medical and scientific community, HIV is so much more.  HIV remains the number 1 infectious disease killer and top-funded research area.  Despite not yet having an effective vaccine (the Holy Grail of infectious disease if there ever was one), we’ve made enormous progress in understanding this unwieldy virus.

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Tom Brady–poster child for pseudoscience?

tombradyI have to admit, it hurts me a little–ok A LOT–to write this piece.  I’ve probably done a bit more research than was needed because I was hesitant to come to the realization that I’ve lost respect for one of my favorite athletes.  This feeling doesn’t take away 4 championships from a franchise with arguably the best NFL coach of all time, but it does still hurt.

Because Tom Brady may just be the newest poster child for pseudoscience.  What an idiot.

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For the sake of my (soon-to-arrive) baby niece, go get your flu shot

Colorized electron micrograph of influenza. Credit: National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID)
Colorized electron micrograph of influenza. Credit: National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID)

It’s that time of year again.  The sequences are in, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have made their recommendations, and the vaccine has been prepared.  As an immunologist, I’m sad to say that I know far too many people who decide to forgo their flu shots each year.  When I ask why, I’ve gotten a variety of answers including:

“I never get the flu”  
“I once got flu from the shot”
“The flu shot never works, it’s just a guess”

And my all-time favorite:
“My body is stronger than the flu”

I’d like to set the record straight since each of these statements is ultimately and ridiculously flawed.

Continue reading For the sake of my (soon-to-arrive) baby niece, go get your flu shot

Your brain is messing with your mind, or is it the other way around?

dress-color-illusionSo, we’ve all seen this stupid dress.  It’s beaten us over the head with the white & gold or blue & black debate that I won’t belabor anymore now, we’re over it.  But the truth is, this was a great optical illusion, probably the best I’ve ever encountered.  Unlike all of the colored circles and squares, lines and zig zags that make up most of the illusions out there, this is a dress.  It’s something that someone could wear out on the town.  How often have you turned to a girlfriend and remarked, “wow, I really love that white & gold dress,” just to be rebuffed, “thanks, but it’s black & blue”? Could we really interpret colors differently out in the real world?

 

 

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How MMR helps your immunity remember

measles rash
measles rash

For many years, we’ve known that measles virus infection messes with your immune system.  During infection, you are at greater risk of infections caused by other pathogens because measles thwarts the proper immune attack.  At the same time, your body makes a long-lasting response to the measles virus. This is often known as the “measles paradox”.

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