Author Archives: Stephen Propatier

About Stephen Propatier

Stephen Propatier is a board certified acute care nurse practitioner who specializes in spine and sports medicine. He is a member of the Society for Science Based Medicine. He is adjunct faculty for both Brown University Warren Alpert Medical School and Rhode Island College Graduate School of Nursing.

Is Your Birth Control Contributing to the Spread of HIV?

Recent research about injectable long-acting hormone contraceptive suggests it may be increasing the risk of acquiring human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Research with scary compelling narratives always get media exposure. This research is no different. Science reporting has become a lost art, and it is no … Continue reading

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Post-Holiday Cleansing Diets

Every year the holidays put stress on our health sensibilities. We indulge ourselves, we overeat, drink alcohol and generally take liberty with our bodies. Invariably we can develop a sense of guilt over our excesses. Then there are the traditional New … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Medicine, Consumer Ripoffs, Pseudoscience, Skeptoid Podcast | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Flu Vaccine Failure?

Recently the Centers For Disease Control released an advisory about cases of influenza that appear to have genetically drifted—enough to reduce the effectiveness of the vaccine. If true, why is the CDC still recommending unvaccinated people get a flu shot? What good is the vaccine this year and why does this … Continue reading

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Cryotherapy: What Works and What Doesn’t

A recent email from a fan asks, “What is your take on the benefits or consequences of cryotherapy?” That’s a very broad question since the word cryotherapy is a non-descript term, like “oxygen therapy.” Cryotherapy is a type of proven medical … Continue reading

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Amelia Earhart Mystery Solved?

If you pay attention to recent media reports you may think that the mystery surrounding Amelia Earhart’s last flight has been solved, and that researchers have in fact found wreckage from her flight. Headlines read: “Mystery of Amelia Earhart Solved? Fragment From Missing … Continue reading

Posted in Conspiracy Theories, Skeptoid Podcast, TV & Media, Urban Legends | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

The Heavy Cost Of Weight Loss Supplements

Weight loss is one of the most lucrative areas of commercial chicanery in the United States. Complicated health issues like obesity and weight loss have no easy answers. That fact doesn’t stop the multi-billion dollar weight loss industry from spending millions in marketing … Continue reading

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Ebola and Enterovirus D68, Pandemic or Panic Part II

  Recently, fear of infectious disease has become a constant drumbeat on the Internet and television. This is primarily due to two viral diseases. Disease one is the deadly West African Ebola Virus. Disease two is Enterovirus D68. Mike Rothschild did a nice … Continue reading

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Ebola and Enterovirus D68, Pandemic or Panic Part I

American news media outlets love a good scary story. If a scary story involves deadly diseases and children, you have media gold. Media outlets tap into the primal fear of infectious disease to draw your eyes to their screens. Recently, the … Continue reading

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The Heisenberg Principle of Scientific Knowledge

The Heisenberg uncertainty principle is one of the more misunderstood concepts in particle physics. The uncertainty principle says that we cannot measure the position (x) and the momentum (p) of a particle with absolute precision. The more accurately we know … Continue reading

Posted in Pseudoscience, Science | Tagged , | 33 Comments

Nut Allergies In Schools: Epidemic or Hysteria?

With kids in the United States going back to school, parents are finding an increasing move towards “nut-free” foods in the public school system, as schools strive to eliminate peanuts and tree nuts from snacks and lunches. Many schools proudly state that they are … Continue reading

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