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  • Smoking Bed Bugs?

    There are always some interesting questions, sometimes really offbeat such as “is it true that kids are getting high by smoking bed bugs?” I’ve learned in this business to never dismiss anything out of hand, no matter how absurd it sounds.

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  • 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?

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  • Frustration!

    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.

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  • 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: 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?

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  • 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.

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  • Physician’s oath to humanity

    Hippocrates is often regarded as the father of modern medicine in spite of his mistaken belief that illness and health were determined by the ups and downs of the four “humours,” namely black bile, yellow bile, phlegm and blood.

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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: 

An apple a day? Don't let the Environmental Working Group scare you!
There are many environmental groups that raise legitimate and thoughtful questions about chemical issue. The Environmental Working Group is not one of them. This organization is dedicated to raising money through fear-mongering. Read More.

Disposal of Chemical Weapons in Oceans?
Since World War I, the U.S. Armed Forces have routinely discarded conventional explosives, radiological waste and chemical weapons in the oceans. When this was publicly revealed by the Department of Defense in the 1960′s, massive public outrage ensued. Read More.

Smoking Bed Bugs?

Every morning starts with a bit of excitement as I take a look at the emails that have accumulated overnight. Besides the usual junk, there are always some interesting questions, sometimes really offbeat such as “is it true that kids are getting high by smoking bed bugs?” I’ve learned in this business to never dismiss anything out of hand, no matter how absurd it sounds. Read More.

FOLLOW DR. KO: Medical Mission to Haiti – Paul, the patient who couldn’t breathe
Paul was a thin and frail-looking man in his sixties. He walked into Hôpital Bernard-Mevs accompanied by his teenage nephew on my first shift volunteering in Haiti. He was complaining of worsening shortness of breath for the past couple of days. 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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