Do Concealed Weapons Keep People Safer?

Today, all 50 U.S. states allow residents to carry concealed weapons in public, and eight states extend this right without requiring a special permit.

Laws allowing people to carry concealed weapons in public places (often called right-to-carry or RTC laws) were passed over the past several decades as gun advocates argued that they would promote safety. The perspective is based on the premise that everyday citizens who carry handguns will be able to fight back against armed criminals. [Read more…]

GMOs: Agricultural improvement or health threat?

dnaAt the grocery store or in the news, you’ve likely come across the controversy over products made with genetically-modified organisms, or GMOs. Scientific advances that use biotechnology to create plants that can resist disease and insects, offer higher yields and include additional nutrients have sparked fear among the public. The worry is that that genetically-modified foods will harm human health and the environment. [Read more…]

The body evidence on curbing gun violence

voteThis is the first post in an occasional series that will provide evidence about issues of interest in upcoming elections. Stay tuned for more data to help inform your vote.

Gun violence is a continuing problem in the United States. So far in 2015, more than 10,000 people have died because of gun-related violence, including nearly 3,000 children and teens.  Personally, whenever I hear about a shooting at a school or church, I’m shocked by the senseless loss of lives. And I wonder what we, as citizens, can do about it? [Read more…]

How effective is medical marijuana?

marijuanaA total of 23 states and the District of Columbia allow the sale of marijuana for medical purposes. Despite these state laws, marijuana is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a prescription medication. Essentially, this means the U.S. government has not approved marijuana as safe and effective. But is it?

[Read more…]

The evidence on self-braking cars

automatic brakingI’ve always imagined a futuristic world where cars could drive themselves, leaving people to read, work or watch movies during their commutes. It turns out we’re getting closer to that day, one step at a time. [Read more…]

New evidence: A link between air pollution and stroke

air pollutionWe’ve had clear evidence for decades that air pollution is bad for your health, specifically your lungs and heart. The data show air pollution increases your risk of asthma, COPD and pneumonia. But a new systematic review unveils another serious risk: stroke. [Read more…]

What we know about chronic fatigue syndrome

chronic fatigue syndromeHave you heard of the disease called chronic fatigue syndrome?  It’s a condition with symptoms that include persistent fatigue (especially after any kind of physical exertion), pain, neurological problems, headaches and decreased cognitive function. [Read more…]

Looking back at the evidence: Low-fat diets

dairy foodsIn the 1970s, heart disease was the leading cause of death in the United States. A group of U.S. Senators wanted to do something about it.

After a series of hearings, Congress voted to enact the first set of Dietary Guidelines for Americans in 1977. Essentially, the guidelines recommended that Americans reduce their intake of saturated fat found in eggs, milk, meats and cheese, and replace those calories with carbohydrates. [Read more…]

Should kids wear seat belts on the school bus?

school busThe town where I live – Ithaca, NY – had six inches of snowfall this week during a school day. The snow storm prompted a vigorous debate among a group of moms about whether children should wear safety belts on school buses. [Read more…]

Evidence-based elections: Voting laws

vote-buttonAs Americans head to the polls today for mid-term elections, many voters will face new laws that change the voting requirements in their state. [Read more…]

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