In DepthINTERVIEW

A challenge to pseudoscience

Science  04 Jul 2014:
Vol. 345, Issue 6192, pp. 16
DOI: 10.1126/science.345.6192.16

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Summary

Earlier this year, Egypt's military announced a series of medical breakthroughs: a device that could detect a variety of viral infections without even touching a patient, and another device that clears a patient's blood of viruses. Treatment of Egyptian patients with the devices was due to begin 30 June. As Science went to press, the military had announced that treatment would be delayed until further experiments were complete. Whereas the Western scientific community has ridiculed the devices as pseudoscience, Egyptian academics have been largely silent. The country's military regime has been handing down harsh punishments for those with dissenting voices, most recently 7-year prison sentences for three journalists. But one Egyptian scientist, Islam Hussein, has been speaking out with videos in Arabic that have garnered hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube—a large number considering they are 80-minute PowerPoint presentations explaining the scientific problems with the miracle cures. Science interviewed Hussein about these "breakthrough" devices.