Health Magnet.

LiveScience notices something odd that’ll have some hard-minded skeptics practicing their eyebrow raises. Medical magnets – one of the old staples of alternative medicine pseudoscience, have gotten a strange boost from a study that shows these magnets really can do something:

In a tightly controlled study—a rarity in the world of alternative medicine—Thomas Skalak of the University of Virginia found that static magnets reduced swelling by up to 50 percent in the tiny hind paws of rats. Skalak published his results in the November issue of the American Journal of Physiology.

One of Skalak’s points was that rats would be immune from the placebo effect, since they wouldn’t know how to test if the magnet they were wearing was real or fake – a weakness in creating a blind study with human subjects.