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  • You Asked: What is histaminosis?

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  • The Food Babe and her hero

    The “Food Babe,” a lady who blogs about food issues, is a continuous source of comic relief for the scientifically minded but for many members of the public she is a respected “whistleblower” who protects them from all those nasty food producers.

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  • The end of a debate? Fat chance.

    The bloggers are abuzz about a paper in the Annals of Internal Medicine that after reviewing 72 major studies found no relationship between saturated fat intake and heart disease. The reaction was predictable.

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  • ZZZZZzzzzzz

    Most of us are familiar with insomnia. There are soothing teas, dietary regimes, over-the-counter medications and of course prescription drugs that promise to lull us to sleep. But coffee?

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  • Fearsome Yellow

    Next time you think of welcoming someone home by tying a yellow ribbon around an old oak tree, you might want to think again. According to a widely circulating report the yellow dye could leave a toxic residue on your hands.

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  • Alkaline Water Nonsense

    It is not often that I’m left speechless. But sometimes you run into a situation where words just fail you. Absurd, ridiculous, ludicrous, preposterous, comical, and farcical come to mind.

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New Year's News!!!

We are pleased to announce that we now have an “App” both for Apple and Android devices so that the McGill Office for Science and Society’s nifty and sometimes quirky science can always be at your fingertips. The Apps are free and can be downloaded here:


For Apple devices, you can download the app here.


For Android devices, you can download the app here. 

Latest OSS Blog Articles: 

It looks like there is something to the Atkins diet after all
Who would have guessed that a song by the Guess Who would become a health anthem? “Silent footsteps crowding me, Sudden darkness but I can see, No sugar tonight in my coffee, No sugar tonight in my tea, No sugar to stand beside me, No sugar to run with me.” Not exactly the most brilliant lyrics, but not a bad message.

“No sugar” may be impossible to achieve, but what about just six teaspoons a day? Read More.

You Asked: Is there any benefit to drinking Yerba mate tea?

Yerba Mate, the ad says, has powerful rejuvenating effects. Well, who wouldn’t go for a little rejuvenation? So what is this wonder product? Yerba is a tea brewed from the dried leaves of the Ilex paraguariensis plant, a small shrub that grows in Paraguay, Brazil and other South American countries. The tea is also sometimes known as Paraguay tea.  Read More.


I’ve been having a bad week. First the CBC put a homeopath on The National to serve as a medical expert along with an Internist and a GP. While the other two members of the panel offered up rational medical advice, he praised vitamins (even though numerous studies have shown that they have no benefit for most people) and said stress was the greatest threat to public health. Read More.

Of all the nonsensical worries....
I thought this was a joke, but it turns out that it is very real. Officials in Portland, Oregon drained a reservoir, at considerable expense, because a teenager urinated into the water. This is pathogenophobia and chemophobia run amuck. Read More.

You Asked: Should we worry about plastic pollution?

Plastics are the fabric of modern life. They’re in our cars, our planes, our kitchens, our electronics, our furniture, our bottles, our packaging, our floors and our medical equipment. We are using more and more plastics and unfortunately also discarding more and more. And that’s a problem. Read More. 

Did You Know?

   Increased media attention on beauty and perfection has influenced many to turn to cosmetic surgery.   A recent survey revealed that, if possible, many would consider altering their eye colour. Now, Dr. Gregg Homer, a U.S. Doctor, claims that this will be possible via a new laser procedure. The procedure starts with a computerised scan of the patients' iris so a laser can hit one spot on the iris at a time, to heat up the pigment cells. Once the laser has targeted all the necessary spots, the process repeats itself. The procedure lasts for twenty seconds and ultimately the melanin in brown eyes will be removed resulting in the eyes turning blue. This treatment is irreversible because melanin does not regenerate. Although, Dr. Gregg Homer is fairly confident that his laser treatment is safe, many other eye specialists remain skeptical; some claiming that destroying eye pigment can cause sight problems like glare or double vision


For more interesting facts, please make sure to check out our "Did You Know?" section.

Most Recent Science Links:


School Bans on Chocolate Milk May Backfire
Banning chocolate milk from schools may sound like a good move for kids' health, but efforts to do so haven't turned out that way, a small study found. Bans on chocolate milk in 11 Oregon elementary schools were linked to a big drop in the amount of healthy, fat-free white milk students drank, a team of Cornell University researchers reports. Read More.

Cervical Cancer Vaccine Program in England a Success, Researchers Report
A sharp drop in the number of young women infected with the two strains of human papillomavirus (HPV) most likely to cause cervical cancer occurred in England after the 2008 launch of a national vaccination program there, a new study shows. Read More.



Gluten-free skin and beauty products: Extracting cash from the gullible
Even though yesterday was Easter, and, as unreligious as I am, I was still thinking of taking it easy, there was one target that popped up that I just couldn’t resist. My wife and I were sitting around yesterday reading the Sunday papers and perusing the Internet (as is frequently our wont on Sunday mornings), when I heard a contemptuous harrumph coming from her direction. She then pointed me to an article in our local newspaper entitled Gluten-free beauty products in demand among some customers. Read More.



We Worry About Trace Amounts Of BPA While Playing Russian Roulette With Dietary Supplements
Exactly forty years ago, in a seminal paper, the behavioral economists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky described cognitive errors and pitfalls that affect our ability to gauge the probability of even simple events. These pitfalls affect thinking in many areas, but they are perhaps nowhere more prominent than in thinking about things that may affect our health. Read More.

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