Questions tagged [medical-science]

Use this tag for questions about the science of medicine and its practices. Use [medications] for questions about the actual cures that people take, and use [alternative-medicine] for claims about cures and practices which are claimed to be alternative to official medical science

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201
votes
1answer
21k views

Is popping your knuckles bad for you?

I pop my knuckles fairly frequently, and I have been told on several occasions that doing so is bad for your joints. Is this true? Have there been any medical studies on this?
157
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4answers
24k views

Does being cold increase your chances of catching the common cold?

"Everyone knows" - a scary statement - that you get "a cold" from being cold. Now it seems to be a fact that you don't, because you get a cold from a (rhino)virus, not from the temperature. But is ...
107
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6answers
14k views

Is alcohol beneficial in small amounts?

It's widely believed that consuming small amounts of alcohol has many health benefits. As a matter of fact, a lot of alcohol might be good for you, as Wired Magazine reports: It’s one of those ...
106
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6answers
15k views

Is smoking weed bad for your health?

Some people believe that smoking marijuana (without any tobacco) is harmful to your health and may cause problems. Examples of things I've heard weed supposedly causes: All the health problems of ...
105
votes
2answers
17k views

Has the cure to cancer been hidden by pharmaceutical companies?

I've heard a theory that given the widespread incidence of cancer, a cancer cure probably already exists but has been hidden by major pharmaceutical companies to maximise revenue from expensive cancer ...
84
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6answers
8k views

Do mobile phones have anything to do with brain cancer?

Is there evidence for a correlation between the use of mobile phones and the occurence of brain cancer? If yes, is there also evidence for causality?
83
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2answers
11k views

Do rusty nail wounds cause tetanus?

My Mother and aunties always asked with alarm how I got even a minor scratch when I was young. If an injury was caused by anything rusty, I was to be transported immediately to the doctor for a "...
83
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1answer
16k views

Are female surgeons less likely to kill you?

A 2017 article in The Times has the following headline: Female surgeons less likely to kill you, study finds The article reports: Patients operated on by a woman are less likely to die within a ...
80
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2answers
12k views

Are there vaccine ingredients which may not be disclosed (“hidden”, “trade secret”, or similar)?

I sometimes encounter people claiming that there are ingredients in vaccines that can be kept secret by the manufacturer. I would be surprised to hear this, because the manufacturers have to conduct ...
80
votes
1answer
16k views

Did the U.S. Army treat a President's cold using chlorine gas?

Several texts on the history of chemical warfare mention the story that in May 1924 the U.S. Army Chemical Warfare Service (CWS) treated President Calvin Coolidge for a severe cold with chlorine. For ...
78
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3answers
9k views

Does Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (EHS) exist?

A recent article from Daily Mail cited the case of a woman claiming to be allergic to Wi-Fi, and that it could even kill her. This claim sounded ridiculous and absurd to me. Quoting parts of the exact ...
76
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3answers
51k views

Is it possible to “die instantly”?

Lots of times, when some great tragedy occurs, one often hears journalists and bystanders alike softening the blow of having some person die by saying something like "at least they died instantly" or "...
73
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2answers
15k views

Were pen cap holes designed to prevent death by suffocation if swallowed?

Someone posted the following trivia on a social media website: Do you know that pen caps have holes so that if someone swallows a cap, then air could still pass through? This started a small ...
72
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6answers
7k views

Does circumcision lead to a net increase in quality of life?

I was recently surprised to learn that many Americans have been circumcised even though their parents had no religious motivation to go through with it. This in strong contrast with my home country ...
72
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1answer
12k views

Are the claims made by Indian Ministers / personalities regarding ancient Indian inventions true?

In the past couple of years, several Indian Ministers / personalities have made claims regarding existence of modern inventions in Ancient India. Prime Minister Modi claimed that genetic science ...
72
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1answer
12k views

Did astronauts or cosmonauts have sex in space?

The Guardian: US and Russian astronauts have had sex in space for separate research programmes on how human beings might survive years in orbit, according to a book published yesterday. Pierre Kohler,...
71
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1answer
19k views

Is food cooked in a microwave oven harmful for the health?

A colleague of mine just made a comment about cooking food in a microwave oven. According to him it is considered to be harmful to one's health. Is it true?
70
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3answers
8k views

Is food still safe to eat within 5 seconds after being dropped on the floor (5 second rule)?

Today in the cafeteria my friend dropped a chicken wing on the floor and immediately picked it up and ate it. Afterward he claimed that the chicken wing was still safe to eat if it was consumed within ...
67
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5answers
5k views

Is the placebo effect a purely psychological effect?

The placebo effect plays a crucial role in clinical trials and in our understanding of medicine, but I have always had some difficulty in understanding how exactly it works. Is it a purely ...
67
votes
2answers
16k views

Do we need to brush our teeth?

While everyone is telling us that we should brush our teeth twice a day, the human species has evolved for several million years without any teeth brushing. Apes don't brush their teeth, and they don'...
65
votes
1answer
15k views

If smoking causes lung cancer, why has a decline in smoking not led to a decline in lung cancer?

According to the CDC, smoking prevalence among US adults (18+) has decreased quite a bit over the years: 1974: 37.1% of the population 1980: 33.2 1990: 25.5 2000: 23.3 2010: 19.3 According to cancer....
65
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3answers
5k views

Is acupuncture an effective treatment?

What evidence is there for or against acupuncture being an effective treatment?
64
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2answers
11k views

Is deoxygenated blood blue?

I have encountered many people in my life that believe that your blood is blue until it hits the air and only then it turns red. The blue color of our veins is also explained the same way, as the ...
60
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4answers
6k views

Is there any explanation for a near-death experience?

One idea I used to hear a lot about was that when people are near-death and saved by medical science that they sometimes see "a light at the end of a tunnel" in a vision. Today I read about an ...
60
votes
1answer
8k views

Do teenagers fall asleep and rise up later than kids or adults for biological reasons?

In a TED talk "Why school should start later for teens", Wendy Toxel made an assertion that teenagers naturally fall asleep and rise up a couple of hours later than children OR adults (related to ...
59
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1answer
9k views

Are most cases of polio derived from the polio vaccine?

According to this National Public Radio article: For the first time, the number of children paralyzed by mutant strains of the polio vaccine are greater than the number of children paralyzed by polio ...
57
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3answers
8k views

Does burning your food increase your risk of getting cancer?

About a year ago I heard that burning your food can lead to an increased risk of getting cancer. The explanation was that the burned portion of the food was carcinogenic. The Carbon that would be ...
56
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1answer
11k views

Do hot peppers kill cancer?

While browsing Health.SE, I came across an answer that makes the following claim: A 2007 study by Nottingham University2 found that spicy foods can help kill cancer cells. Capsaicin, which is what ...
56
votes
1answer
8k views

Is squeezing pimples bad for you?

I've always been told, or notice others being told, or hear it in popular media, that squeezing pimples or blackheads is somehow "bad" for you. Certainly, when there is a chance that the skin breaks, ...
55
votes
3answers
8k views

Do we need 8 hours of consecutive sleep a day?

It is said that an adult human needs around 7-9 hours of sleep per day. Do human beings need around 8 hours of consecutive sleep a day? Is it prejudicial to the body and brain that you don't? Or is ...
54
votes
1answer
20k views

Can standing in front of a microwave oven give you cancer?

I was heating up some lunch in the microwave oven at work a few weeks ago, and peered into the window to see if my soup was bubbling yet. At that point a coworker walked into the lunch room and ...
53
votes
8answers
22k views

Can trained humans run faster than all other animals on a marathon distance?

During the athletics world championship, a commentator mentioned casually during the marathon discipline that humans are faster over long distances than all animals. I'm unsure if this can be said ...
52
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2answers
11k views

Is there reliable evidence that depleted uranium from the 1999 NATO bombing is causing cancer in Serbia?

This year is the 20th anniversary of the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia/Serbia. At the moment, Serbian media outlets are focused on claims that depleted uranium in NATO bombs used during the bombardment ...
51
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3answers
9k views

Is the O-type blood used as a universal donor?

In biology classes at school I was taught that O can be a donor to all blood types (given matching Rh group and other details), and AB can receive transfusion from any type. Quick googling seems to ...
50
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2answers
13k views

Is Reiki scientifically valid/proven?

Reiki is a form of alternative medicine which has its origins in Japan. Palm healing and auras are central aspects of Reiki. The practice of Reiki is getting more common, however, I was not able to ...
50
votes
3answers
26k views

Russian scientist injects himself with 3.5 million-year-old bacteria, says he is now stronger and hasn't gotten ill in 2 years

I have found several articles regarding a Russian scientist, Anatoli Brouchkov: Anatoli Brouchkov is a soft-spoken guy with silver hair, and when he lets out a reserved chuckle, his eyes light up ...
50
votes
2answers
15k views

Does the “sugar high” exist at all?

I've heard numerous times that eating1 a high quantity of sugar will give you a "sugar high" or "sugar buzz" The high one gets after consuming large amounts of sugar. Also called a "sugar rush." ...
50
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2answers
3k views

Is it harmful to your eyes to read in dim light?

Is there any scientific backing to the claim that reading in dim light damages your eyes? Related to: Does watching television damage the eyes?
49
votes
2answers
4k views

Do people need to drink 8 glasses of water a day?

Since I was a kid, I can't remember how many times I've heard that a healthy person needs to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. There are definitely plenty of reasons to remain well-hydrated. ...
48
votes
3answers
38k views

Does regularly drinking from a plastic container cause cancer?

I drink water from my plastic cup regularly and a friend commented that it could cause cancer. He also added that I should not heat food in plastic containers or wrappings in the microwave as that ...
48
votes
1answer
8k views

During pregnancy, do babies send stem cells to their mothers to repair organ damage?

This picture is floating around the facebooks with no attribution to an original source (not even a source of the image): The image says: During pregnancy, if a mother suffers organ damage, the ...
46
votes
1answer
18k views

Was superglue invented to seal bullet injuries in Vietnam?

I cut myself recently and used superglue to seal the wound. I thought it was normal but when I tell people that act like I'm crazy. Then I tell them this story: Superglue was invented during the ...
46
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2answers
4k views

Has most peer-reviewed research on homeopathy given positive results?

I was surprised by the following claim from NaturalNews: Most clinical research conducted on homeopathic medicines that has been published in peer-review journals have shown positive clinical ...
46
votes
3answers
3k views

Is breakfast the most important meal of the day?

This question is not about nutrition. I am not asking whether the kinds of foods that people typically have during breakfast (esp. cereals) are healthier than other foods. The claim is often made ...
45
votes
2answers
12k views

Do studies show that viruses are contagious?

An acquaintance of mine has been very adamant that viruses can't be caught and continues to link me things like this Ickonic video, where Jaymie Icke interviews Dr. Andrew Kaufman M.D. who claims: I ...
44
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1answer
2k views

Are many allergies caused by too much hygiene?

One hears it once in a while that many allergies are due to people overly concerned with hygiene. The rationale is that growing up in a near-sterile environment will leave your immune system confused ...
42
votes
2answers
4k views

Is the number of childhood vaccines correlated with infant mortality?

Related Just how inaccurate are vaccine myths? Is it dangerous to have several vaccines at the same time? I was passed along an article reporting that a new study found that despite having the ...
42
votes
2answers
39k views

Do condoms have large enough holes for HIV to pass through?

Some people say that holes in latex are large enough for the AIDS-causing HIV and chlamydia to pass through, so that condoms do not protect against these STDs. Others dispute this statement and ...
42
votes
4answers
21k views

Do we lose most of our body heat through our heads?

If you didn't grow up in a tropical climate, you probably heard something like this as a child... Put on a hat before you go out because you lose the most heat through your head. Some say that ...
42
votes
2answers
4k views

Is it dangerous to have several vaccines at the same time?

As a parent, I often hear people say that they think it's bad for their children to have several vaccines in one go. Some parents pay for some vaccines to be given separately, and I wondered if there ...

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