Biomedicine & Biotech

23andMe was selling home DNA testing kits that gave genetic information to consumers. Four years ago the Food and Drug Administration told the company to stop selling kits that perform disease detection. But now the agency has changed its tune.
One in 10 have a major depressive disorder during their lives, which makes depression the most common mental illness. Women are twice as likely as men to suffer from depression. Depression has both a genetic component and it's connected to environmental factors. But the genetic component has been difficult to determine.
ACSH's Dr. Jamie Wells attended the Congressional Luncheon hosted by the Center for Excellence in Education, in support of STEM – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – education. Both Sen. Joe Lieberman and Sen. Ted Cruz had prominent roles in the Washington, DC gathering.
Most motorists, as they glide their cars carefully around the bloody remains, find highway carcasses repulsive. But a team of microbiologists and chemists from the University of Oklahoma hope that roadkill will prove to be a biomedical gold mine.
Reputations are funny – they take years to build but seconds to destroy. Cargill, a company that provides all manner of agricultural products and services, ruined its reputation with farmers and science writers by announcing a partnership with the thoroughly wretched Non-GMO Project, an anti-biotech organization.
Dr. Norm Borlaug, a member of our Founder's Circle, was a big believer in advancing an evidence-based, pro-science approach to food production. The Nobel Laureate also saw the need for debunking the fear-inducing myths that a generation of environmental groups began creating in the 1960s. 
People often think that pheromones play a role in who we find attractive or how we choose a mate. Although researchers keep addressing the question, the scientific evidence for the presence of pheromones in humans is lacking. Here, yet another study has failed to uncover any proof of their existence. 
It may seem strange that many important, scientific questions are being answered using the roundworm, which is roughly the size of the next comma in this sentence. But it is, indeed, an incredibly powerful experimental system. 
So are baldness and height related? After studying the genetic material of more than 22,500 adult, bald men, German researchers determined that "short men have an increased risk of becoming bald prematurely."
Terms like "autosomal recessive" and "dominant" are frequently tossed around, and you've probably heard them. But what does any of that really mean regarding the traits that children inherit from their parents? 
Body fat is more than just a storage depot for our excess calories. Along with the production of hormones such as leptin, adipose tissue is also the source of microRNAs that help regulate metabolism. Lack of these miRNAs can lead to at least some of the metabolic problems often associated with obesity.
An amazing new technology that uses silk to deliver vaccines just got a nice boost – to the tune of $6M – from Bill and Melinda Gates. Maybe with novel approaches like this, we'll finally see polio eradicated once and for all.