If Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine is successful, it will be the first ever mRNA vaccine on the market. How is the vaccine made and how does it work?
Biomedicine & Biotech
We're a decade into the "opioid crisis" and some people still cannot understand that prescription pain pills are, at worst, minor contributors. Yet the war against prescription analgesics goes on. This time it's Elizabeth Warren (and colleagues) who just don't get it. The Massachusetts Senator is pushing the DEA to allow partial refills of pills to reduce overdose deaths. What a ridiculous idea.
Gene drive technology is powerful and slightly frightening. But the coronavirus pandemic reminds us that we want to have multiple weapons in the public health arsenal, should we be confronted with another life-threatening microbe.
A new paper claiming that the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus was genetically engineered in a laboratory has several red flags. It should not be taken seriously.
Sometimes studies are full of bad data. Sometimes they are just based on stupid ideas. Here's one that manages to incorporate both flaws. Should elderly people with broken ribs be given Tylenol in pill form or IV for pain? Perhaps a salami sandwich is a better offering ... since this study is full of baloney.
FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn indicated that his agency would be willing to grant emergency authorization to a coronavirus vaccine, even before it completes Phase 3 clinical trials. This is a reckless gamble and could cause an unmitigated public health disaster.
If artificial intelligence can replace some highly specialized medical doctors, is any job safe? It appears the biomedical profession is ripe for an overhaul.
Large pharmaceutical companies are multinational organizations with incentives to distribute their vaccines broadly.
Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin's propaganda machine are working in overdrive.
A very disturbing paper published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases proposes that vaccines can have unexpected side effects. Some are good, such as protecting against unrelated diseases, while some are bad, such as increasing all-cause mortality. This is highly useful and potentially life-saving information that must not be hijacked by anti-vaxxers.
The coronavirus has mutated to become more infectious. Does that mean it will become more or less lethal? And what implication does it have for a vaccine and herd immunity?
It looks like the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has become completely dysfunctional. Meanwhile, some of the CDC guidelines on dealing with coronavirus defy logic and science. In all, this is a living nightmare. Who could have imagined what is now happening to science in this country?