Genetic engineering, despite its numerous contributions to our health and welfare, continues to face opposition, and sometimes from unexpected sources. The most recent "boogeymen" are genetically modified mosquitoes, which are a critical innovation for protecting us from some very nasty viral diseases. Dr. Henry Miller explains.
Biomedicine & Biotech
New York Times journalist Eric Lipton, who defended the indefensible by offering support to a group of virulent anti-vaxxers and scam artists known as Moms Across America, is a scourge on public health. The national newspaper recently demoted Jonathan Weisman, a deputy editor based in Washington, DC, for displaying poor judgment. Lipton should face the same fate.
Using an AI algorithm researchers can use electrocardiograms to tell us our gender and age. Have they found a Magic 8-ball of health?
It is such an ancient debate: Does our fate rest in our hands, or in the stars? Scientists in the fate camp present some new data tying behavior to genetic expression. Should those who believe in free-will concede defeat? Let's find out.
Some migraine sufferers are easily treated with triptans or opioids. Other migraine sufferers, however, aren't so lucky. Perhaps immunotherapy will provide relief. Several companies are working on injections of anti-migraine antibodies.
Can diseases be treated by modifying the genes of people with genetically-based disorders? Dr. Chris Gerry discusses CRISPR, a technology that edits the DNA in the human body. It has worked in a small number of cases. Does this mean that we have an immediate revolution in medicine on our hands? Or will it be just an esoteric experiment that will fail to live up to expectations? Maybe some of both.
Thanks to a backlash by scientists and journalists, it is no longer acceptable in polite society to be an anti-vaxxer. Not so for anti-GMOers. So we've curated a list of the best anti-anti-GMO memes on the web.
A new, anti-5G "documentary" was created by people who are also "paranormal consultants." That's right, today's real-life Ghostbusters are afraid of iPhones.
Expert societies, especially the infectious disease pharmacists, should consider making recommendations regarding off-label use of antibiotics. These recommendations should be based on clinical, microbiological, and pharmacodynamic/pharmacokinetic data.
Given the uncertainty and risk of wrong interpretation, should you have your telomeres measured? Maybe, if the results motivate healthy lifestyle changes. For now, a surer bet for healthy aging would be to spend the money on exercise programs and nutritious foods instead.
Biomedical scientists today stand in a position not dissimilar to that of our ancient ancestors. A thousand years from now, we will be viewed as naïve and of limited means. Yet, it's quite possible that historians of science will look back at the 20th and 21st centuries as periods in which great marvels were accomplished. If there's ever a list called The Seven Wonders of the Biotech World this is what should be on it.
Identifying the cause of an infectious disease is time-consuming and not always easy. So a company called Karius has developed a blood test that analyzes cell-free DNA to identify more than a thousand pathogens.