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February 28, 2007

Notes and News February 28

  • Parrot's Oratory Stuns Scientists (BBC)  This light-hearted story has an olfactory connection in that N'kisi the parrot seems to know and communicate somewhat intelligently about aromatherapy.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has published a report this month which quotes alarming statistics from the National Vital Statistic System indicating that nearly all poisoning deaths in the United States are attributed to drugs, rising 62.5% during the 5-year period of study, 1999-2004.  The study includes both prescription and illegal drugs and ranks these types of poisoning deaths second only to motor-vehicle crashes.  Other substances, including alcohol, unspecified chemicals and organic solvents rate way down the list with only an appreciable increase of 1.3%.   This is certainly more alarming than the lavender/tea tree/gynecomastia frenzy that spread throughout the media like wildfire.  We've previously posted two excellent industry papers debunking the original research published by the NEJM here and here
  • Another somewhat related article in Scientific American helps us understand that scientific research can be flawed, with some suggestions for improvement.  One of the primary reasons, the article states, "is a lack of coordination by researchers and biases such as tending to only publish results that mesh with what they expected or hoped to find."  In the lavender/tea tree/gynecomastia controversy, certainly involving essential oil experts in the study would have presented a different outcome.

Posted by Blogmistress on February 28, 2007 in Notes and News | Permalink


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