Tag Archives: health

Not Getting Vaccinated Causes Autism

Vaccination matters to all of us. It is the first line of defence against bugs that could kill millions. Vaccination and autism have a fraught relationship. Now there is good news. In 1998 a paper in The Lancet linked autism to vaccination. It was later proved to be a fraud. But now some parents refuse […]

Designer Genes Getting CRISPR and CRISPR

Heads up! A new technology is transforming gene editing. It gets my vote for top science news of last year. It will affect us all more than we can imagine. And the most surprising news may be its inventor. Many things can change the code of DNA. Chemicals, X-rays, ultraviolet, cosmic rays, and mistakes during […]

Let’s Feed Our Genes

New science is using genetic analysis to discover more of who we are. We now know most of our cells are bacteria. Until recently we knew little about what they do. Mostly we get rid of them as best we can. This turns out to be a major oops. In a previous post I reviewed […]

Polishing an Anticancer Apple

Here’s a great DNA-detective story. It involves gene surgery in plants that will soon be saving lives. And it has a surprise ending. Many people owe their lives to the humble Himalayan mayapple. Its leaves contain a substance (podophyllotoxin) that inhibits cell growth. Would be great for stopping cancer but it is too toxic. However, […]

Science of Cancer Care

Good news for patients who need cancer radiotherapy about ways to devise more-effective and less-harmful cancer treatments using radiation. Also, good news for radiobiology researchers who design experiments to better understand and measure what is actually going on when radiation is used to kill cells. Both flow from a definitive book published by Canadian biophysicist […]

The Value of Good Science

Danish political scientist Bjorn Lomborg makes a high-profile case against spending on Ebola. It may be good politics, but is it good science? Why should we care? One reason is that scientific thinking on Ebola could save lots of lives and staggering amounts of money. Science is a driver of our economy. Science is why […]

I’m from Missouri…Show Me!

Finding new drugs these days is largely done with quantum mechanics. Fifty years ago it was more like what the Brits (and the indie rock band Arctic Monkeys) call suck-it-and-see. So thousands of Americans don’t know that they have arms and legs and normal lives thanks to the courage of a Canadian—and American—physician. She says […]

Be Careful What You Wish For

Here is a story that can save you money. It might even save your life. If we could see all of the organisms that surround us, we would see microbes, billions of them, many kinds of viruses, bacteria, fungi and archaea. Most of them do nothing to us. Some  could help us. Others, if they […]