Synthetic biology is like genetic engineering on steroids. Using cutting-edge computational design, synthetic biology aims to design novel biological molecules -- or even entire metabolic systems. Here's a plan to use this new technology to develop a world-changing treatment for Celiac disease.
Biomedicine & Biotech
Anyone who believes that vaccines cause autism shouldn't be in a position of authority. The fundamental problem with someone making such a claim is not that s/he is wrong. Instead, it reveals someone who's conspiratorially minded and lacks critical thinking skills. That's not the sort of person who should be in charge of anything important.
Many Americans hold beliefs about the flu vaccine that are at odds with the best available scientific evidence. For example, a recent study found that 43 percent of Americans believe that the seasonal flu vaccine can give us the flu. Scientific research strongly suggests that this is not true. Because most modern flu shots do not contain a live virus, the shot itself simply cannot get us sick.
People who sign up for golf tips probably aren't looking for bad health advice. Yet, that's exactly what they got – as well as an unhealthy dose of conspiracy theory – in a recent newsletter sent out by Golf Game Tips.
A recent and thorough investigation of the scientific literature found no evidence that chiropractic care can prevent or stop the disease in its early stages. The researchers urged chiropractors to “cease such activities until, if ever, new evidence emerges.” It’s doubtful that chiropractors will follow this advice.
Plants can be turned into fuels and chemicals, but much of their stored value is lost in the woody component that's hard to break down. A sea creature, among others, has found a way to get at that additional value. It provides both something we can use – and a reminder about the power of nature and evolution.
The brain has evolved a method of protecting itself called the blood-brain barrier. But the BBB can backfire when it prevents drugs to treat brain diseases – for example, a malignant brain tumor – from reaching the site of the disease. Science has come up with some clever methods for defeating the brain's own defenses.
Ours is a culture that prioritizes instant gratification, and is instinctually reflexive about taking a pill or other fix immediately to end pain. When, actually, it is pain that can in a number of conditions be our greatest gift.
Genetic manipulation can be a force for good, but some voices raise concerns. Not about the unintended consequences, but about their possible, darker uses, as weapons.
Sen. Warren, who has taken flak for claiming Native American ancestry, just released the results of a genetic test that definitively proves ... well, nothing. The U.S. Senator from Massachusetts might be 1/32nd Native American. Or 1/1024th. Nobody really knows.
A new study in Nature Sustainability confirms what we've been saying for a long time: Organic farms produce fewer crops and are worse for the environment. Don't build more of them.
GM crop adoption has been facilitated in developing countries through the development of biosafety frameworks, allowing for thorough risk assessments to be completed. Significant benefits from these crops have come in the domain of socio-economics.