Emma Yasinski

I am a freelance science and medical journalist, fascinated by how the scientific process leads to incredible discoveries, but also can lead to publication bias leaning toward positive findings and minimizing negatives. With a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience from Lafayette College and a Master’s in Science and Medical Journalism from Boston University, I’ve written about clinical trial transparency, organ donation, and basic molecular biology for publications like The Scientist, The Atlantic, Undark.org, Kaiser Health News, and more. At MedShadow, I research and write about the sometimes unexpected ways that medicines can affect us, and what we can do if and when it does.

On TikTok, influencers are taking spoonfuls of a gel-like substance out of a jar called sea moss. While they may scrunch their faces and suggest the flavor is less-than-enticing, many claim the supplement has worked wonders for their skin, energy, or digestion. @healthyholisticheals this could of saved me energy & time better now than never tho 😎 Free shipping on all orders if you’re wanting to start your #seamoss journey 🔥 #immunebooster #guthealth #skincare ♬ original sound – Music table But others have warned that it can cause problems. @drjencaudle The Dangers of Sea Moss #seamoss #seamossbenefits #seamossbynadia #seamossgel #fyp…

Read More

A lot of us say that our dogs make us happy. During Covid, one study even suggested that owning a dog helped stave off depression, but dogs can be more than just good company. They can help you manage chronic diseases from epilepsy to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). As Christine Henry, a licensed psychologist in Texas, explains, a client she worked with “came from a domestic violence situation. Even though she was safe, she had trouble sleeping at night and rarely left the home. Once she had a service dog, she was able to leave the home, and later was…

Read More

Alzheimer’s disease is scary. While pharmaceutical treatments exist, their effectiveness is minimal at best, and with the headlines about fraud in one of the early studies on the nature of the disease, you may be feeling like dementia is more mysterious than ever, or that there is nothing you can do about it.  MedShadow’s Medical Advisory Board Member, George Grossberg, MD, works with people who have Alzheimer’s and their families at the St. Louis School of Medicine in Missouri. He explains that, while we may not have effective drugs, we do know a lot about the lifestyle factors such as…

Read More

Recently we’ve had to familiarize ourselves with yet another virus, monkeypox. As of Sept 14, 2022, the CDC has reported nearly 23,000 cases of Monkeypox in the US. Rochelle Walensky MD, MPH, director of the CDC,  told reporters on Sept 15, “over the last several weeks, we’ve been pleased to see a decline in the growth of new cases here and abroad. There are areas of the US where the rate of rise in new cases is still increasing.” At the June 10 teleconference, Raj Punjabi, MD, senior director for Global Health Security and Biodefense, emphasized, “We have the tools…

Read More

Patients tell MedShadow time and time again that physical activity, low impactor intense, makes a huge difference in their health and quality of life. It can help them control pain associated with conditions like Lupus or even limit feelings of depression. Sometimes it helps reduce the side effects of any treatments they need to take long term. The most recent U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Physical Activity Guidelines outlined the ideal amounts of time that each person should aim to exercise per week based on current research, but it focused more heavily than its previous edition on two…

Read More

The FDA has now authorized several COVID-19 vaccines. Both of the first two authorized vaccines rely on an immunity-building strategy that hasn’t been used in any other vaccine. As many of us start rolling up our sleeves to get a shot, here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions. What is mRNA? Why does it matter? All previous vaccines have been based on weakened virus molecules or proteins from the disease (pathogen) that our immune systems can easily overcome while learning to recognize it. The new vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer — the first two to make…

Read More

Madeline Shonka told MedShadow it took her years to get an accurate lupus diagnosis. Even then, she had to go through trial and error with many different combinations of medications for treatment, all the while trying to decipher the best lifestyle changes to manage her condition. For example, she eventually discovered that making time for light exercise had a huge positive impact on her quality of life. Jill Dehlin, an RN who suffers from migraines, told MedShadow that tracking her symptoms helped immensely. “I recommend to everyone that I speak with to keep a journal or diary and keep track…

Read More

DEET (N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide) got a bad reputation in the 1980s and 1990s when reports circulated suggesting that the active ingredient in many bug sprays caused seizures, brain swelling, and death. Since then, researchers have assured the public that the chemical is safe and lowers the risk of contracting insect-borne infections such as Lyme disease, West Nile Virus, and Zika. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have reviewed case reports and clinical trials and state that, as long as it’s used according to the directions, DEET is both safe and effective. While DEET is one…

Read More

The primary cause of acne is clogged pores. Your pores can be clogged by bacteria, dead-skin cells or sebum, an oily substance secreted by your skin. The clogs cause redness and inflammation, which can be painful. Some doctors and patients believe that our diets can be the root cause of certain types of acne, but, for the most part, our lifestyles and hygiene are not to blame. Many women experience hormonal acne, which flares up at specific times during their menstrual cycles, or because of hormonal conditions, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), a disorder that affects many women. What…

Read More

There’s a shortage of the weight-loss drug Wegovy (semaglutide) and compounding pharmacies have been stepping in to manufacture their own versions and fill the gap. Unfortunately, not all compounding pharmacies are the same, and some specialists fear that patients are getting dangerous or inappropriate versions of the drug.  MedShadow reached out to Dan Lynch, PharmD, Director of Regulatory Services at Symphony Pharmacy, to discuss what compounding pharmacies are and if your healthcare provider prescribes a compounded a drug, how to make sure you’re working with a reputable pharmacy that will provide safe compounded medicines. MedShadow: To start off, what is…

Read More