Biomedicine & Biotech

Colon cancer kills more than 50,000 Americans each year. One in 22 men and one in 24 women will be diagnosed with colon cancer in their lifetime. Currently, patients rely on colonoscopies to detect pre-cancerous growths called polyps. But doctors from John Hopkins University have discovered two digestive bacteria that form a film on the colon — months before the polyps appear.    
LSD has long had a reputation for staying in the brain for a comparatively long time, and well after it's no longer in the blood. But a group at the University of North Carolina has figured out what's behind this puzzling property. It turns out that one very simple chemical interaction keeps LSD trapped in serotonin. A great example of structural biology. 
Welcome to the latest "Hypocrisy Alert." Today, we feature Barbra Streisand, who's an outspoken opponent of biotechnology – at least when it applies to genetic food modification. Yet she fails to see the irony of having two cloned dogs. Let us begin ... Cue the music ... Hit it ... 
The curator of Unseen Oceans, a new exhibit at New York's American Museum of Natural History, explained that one of the primary reasons oceanic discovery is accelerating is because of significant advances in technology – like robotics, satellite monitoring, miniaturization and high-definition imaging.
Using data on scientific citations and impact, a group of scientists reflect on what makes for innovative science in the hopes of crafting a formula.
For roughly 1 in every 10,000 people who are exposed to common viruses, like herpes simplex or the flu, encephalitis develops. This potentially deadly disease, an inflammation of the brain, is caused by the viruses ability to invade the brainstem. But why does this happen to a small subset of otherwise healthy children? 
Lack of genetic diversity can have dire consequences: illness, early death, even extinction for some species. A couple of cases in point — dogs and coffee — seem otherwise unrelated. But both can suffer deleterious effects because of uniform gene pools. But in both cases, genetic engineering could help.
In a proof-of-concept study, bioengineers have created a designer cell able to release an effective – and apparently non-addictive – analgesic. And it triggers its release by smelling a volatile component of spearmint.  
Late last year, when Germany unexpectedly voted in favor, European Union member states agreed to a five-year renewal period for glyphosate – instead of the originally proposed 15 years. This illustrates the “Era of Post-Truth” on scientific questions in the EU in general, and in France in particular.
A recent report on expanding the use of science in suspected homicides details the challenges of determining time of death after a long post-mortem interval. Estimating this interval is essential within forensic science dating back to 1894, when body decay stages and decomposition were first defined.
If you think that your dishwasher is sterile, you're wrong. In fact, it's not even that clean. New research finds that both bacteria and fungi are growing in there. And even though it's very unlikely that they'll hurt you, it's still pretty gross. 
On average, across natural habitats all over the world, the western honey bee is the most common pollinator, responsible for 13 percent of flower visits. Researchers also found that 5 percent of the plant species they studied were exclusively visited by the western honey bee.