Anaximperator blog

Blogging against alternative cancer treatments

Category Archives: How science works

Alternative Medicine: Does Belief Exonerate? Philosophy of Science for Beginners

Right from the start of this blog, purveyors and proponents of alternative medicine have posted comments or sent us emails explaining why we are wrong in thinking alternative medicine is dangerous and that we have no right to say it is deceptive.

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Every Picture Has A Story

Wellcome Images in the UK is one of the world’s richest and most unique collections of images, with themes ranging from medical and social history to contemporary healthcare and biomedical science.
lung cancer cell

Lung cancer cell, Wellcome Images Awards 2009

All the images can be viewed on the Wellcome Images website. The Biomedical Collection holds over 40 000 high-quality images from the clinical and biomedical sciences. Selected from the UK’s leading teaching hospitals and research institutions, it covers disease, surgery, general healthcare, sciences from genetics to neuroscience including the full range of imaging techniques.

The annual Wellcome Images Awards reward contributors for their outstanding work. This year, nineteen extraordinary images have been chosen by a panel of judges based on the ability of the picture to communicate the wonder and fascination of science.

The selected images are now on display on the Image Awards website, which explains the stories behind the pictures: how the images were created, what they add to scientific understanding and why the judges picked them out as the best images this year.

Embryonic mouse head

Embryonic mouse head. Wellcome Images Award 2009

There were also two special awards, one given to the makers of animations showing the intricate structure of a mouse’s head during development and the other for the unique capture of sensory nerve endings, both showing an astonishing level of detail and accuracy that has previously not been possible with conventional microscopy techniques.

You can click here to view the winning images of 2009 (on the website, click Awards 2009, then click the link given in the text)

See also:
How it’s made – the art of science
See this: images of cancer

Alternative Medicine and Why It Seems To Work

PlacebosVery rarely have alternative treatments or medication been able to show any therapeutic value. Yet countless people swear by it and are convinced they can’t do without.

The mysterious placebo effect has everything to do with this. But what is it and how does it work? Harriet Hall explains.

Updates on See This! Images, Photos and Videos of Cancer

La FornarinaThe See This! page has just been updated.

New videos have been added to the section on apoptosis.

There also is a new section, titled Signs of cancer.

Just click here!

How it’s made – the Art of Science: Photos of Cancer Cells

B0006522 Breast cancer cellThere is a fascinating post on the science update blog of Cancer Research UK. It shows impressive images of cancer cells, made with the use of electron microscopy technique. Making images like these is a real labour of love and the post explains in detail how it’s done.

The Science Game

crossword puzzleThere is a wonderful post by Val Jones on Science-Based Medicine, in which she explains what science is about and how we acquire scientific knowledge. To do this, she uses the “Game of 20 Questions” as an analogy.

It reminds me of the beautiful metaphor of the crossword puzzle, used by Susan Haack to clarify the process of acquiring knowledge in her book Defending Science.

New on See This! Images, Photos and Videos of Cancer


New images on See This!

Left is a microscopic image of rectal cancer. You can click here for the macro image of the same cancer. It is the second image on the page.

Now see this page! Images, Photos and Videos of Cancer

B0006422 Breast cancer cellsAlternative therapists often want us to believe that cancer is a relatively simple disease that can easily be cured, even when it is deemed “terminal,” as long as the patients do exactly what their alternative therapists tell them.

Beat the Enemy by Knowing Him

However, cancer is neither simple nor easy to cure and it should never be underestimated. It will stop at nothing, unless we make it stop and science provides us with the knowledge to do so. Even with metastasized cancer, progress is being made, albeit slow.

Because one image says more than a thousand words, we have added a new page to this blog with images related to cancer. Consider yourself warned: some of them are not for the faint-hearted.