Suspension losses confirmed

“On most roads, and especially on rough ones, a 32 mm Compass tire will be faster than a 26 mm Compass tire. But a 42 mm Schwalbe Marathon will be slower than both, even though it’s wider—because it’s so stiff that its casing absorbs way more energy.” Jan Heine concludes that higher tire pressures do not result in faster speeds.

David McCoy on The Lancet Commission

“In contrast to the easy cross-border flow of capital, commodities and profits, the Commission notes the lack of freedom for ordinary people to migrate in pursuit of a safe and secure life, and it deplores the plight of undocumented migrants who are denied essential health care in spite of international treaties that are supposed to guarantee universal rights and entitlements.” After correctly identifying the undemocratic and unequal distribution of power as an underlying cause of health inequities, David McCoy sees The Lancet-UiO Commission on Global Governance For Health Commissioners falling disappointingly short in its recommendations.

Why smart people are stupid

“When people face an uncertain situation, they don’t carefully evaluate the information or look up relevant statistics. Instead, their decisions depend on a long list of mental shortcuts, which often lead them to make foolish decisions. These shortcuts aren’t a faster way of doing the math; they’re a way of skipping the math altogether.” Jonah Lehrer contemplates the size of your bias blind spot.

In cancer science, many discoveries don’t hold up

“‘We went through the paper line by line, figure by figure,’ said Begley. ‘I explained that we re-did their experiment 50 times and never got their result. He said they’d done it six times and got this result once, but put it in the paper because it made the best story. It’s very disillusioning.’” Sharon Begley talks to former head of global cancer research at Amgen, Glenn Begley.

Seeing terror risk, US asks journals to cut flu study facts

“Ever since the tightening of security after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, scientists have worried that a scientific development would pit the need for safety against the need to share information. Now, it seems, that day has come.” Denise Grady and William Broad report on moves by the US government to effectively censor influenza research.

Bicycle weight and commuting time: randomised trial

“Evidence based cycling is not high on the bicycle salesman’s agenda. No one will tell you how much more efficient one bicycle is over another; they just say it is better.” Steel or carbon? Jeremy Groves buys a new bike in the hope of saving up to five minutes on his daily commute…

With thanks to Lutz Meißner

Ban homeopathy from NHS, say doctors

“Tom Dolphin, a member of the BMA’s junior doctors’ committee, backed the motion. He said he had previously described homeopathy as witchcraft, but now wanted to apologise to witches for making that link.” The British Medical Association calls for an effective end to the funding of homeopathic remedies by the NHS.

1.3 million reasons to re-invent the syringe

“25 years ago I read a newspaper article which said that one day syringes would be one of the major causes for the transmission of AIDS. I thought this was unacceptable so I decided to do something about it.” Marc Koska’s K1 syringe improves on an old design.

Hans Rosling on HIV: new facts and stunning data visuals

“When we look at the pattern, one thing comes out very clearly. People say HIV is very high in Africa. I would say, HIV is very different in Africa.” Using Gapminder World, Hans Rosling empowers you to think more clearly about the the ways in which HIV impacts on Africa and the wider world.