Regulating genetic testing, understanding probabilities, and knowing the future

Should we regulate people’s access to their own genome data?.

An image from the NIH that I guess has something to do with DNA and people…Credit: Jane Ades , NHGRI

More on the issue of regulating personal genetic testing, by Ars Technica‘s John Timmer.

The headline is a bit misleading, since […Read More]

Virology institute working on curing cancer

More recent freelance work for the Institute of Human Virology (IHV).

Interestingly, this time both articles were on cancer! What do viruses have to do with cancer? Well, as Dr. Robert Gallo, Head of the IHV mentioned, it wasn’t long ago that no one thought cancers had infectious causes, but now 20-25% of all cancers are thought to be associated with viruses.

As a result, on of the institute’s projects involves the search for an infectious cause of lung cancer.

The other article is about using a new […Read More]

1950s Video of Immune System in Action

Great video of a Neutrophil cell, a type of immune cell, relentlessly chasing down a bacterium while pushing aside red blood cells. I found it fascinating to see our immune system in action.

The video was apparently taken from a 16-mm movie made in the 1950s by the late David Rogers at Vanderbilt University.

The Lancet retracts paper linking MMR vaccines and autism

The Lancet retracts paper linking MMR vaccines and autism.

Important news for anyone who cares about our public health – shortly after the British General Medical Council concluded its ethics investigation of doctor Andrew Wakefield, the medical journal The Lancet formally retracted his controversial 1998 paper that purported to show a link between the MMR vaccine (for measles, mumps, and rubella) and autism. Ars Technica gives a detailed take at the link above, though the news has been featured in most large news outlets.

Not only has the paper been in disrepute for a while, with partial retraction and […Read More]

Photo Gallery of Cool New Science Images

Small artery in Kidney Credit: Donald W. Pottle Schepens Eye Research Institute

As I’ve previously noted, I like cool, preferably scientific, images. I really enjoyed taking pretty microscope pictures as a graduate student, and I’ve been enjoying working on the Megapixels section of Popular Science and the Bull’s-Eye section of Science Illustrated, as well as for the various photo galleries I created […Read More]

A couple of new articles

Did some more freelance work for Discovery, the newsletter of the Institute for Human Virology. I always enjoy talking to their scientists about their research, and this time I wrote about science that involved some broader issues outside of science and medicine as well.

The two articles in the Fall newsletter are about the testing of a Lassa fever vaccine in immunocompromised animals, and some of difficulties the researchers have had in getting it commercialized, and about a study of HIV conspiracy beliefs, which can affect the treatment of people with HIV. Some of their statistics […Read More]

Wellcome Awards: The Most Stunning Medical Images of 2009 | Popular Science

Aspirin crystals: M I Walker, Wellcome Images

Wellcome Awards: The Most Stunning Medical Images of 2009 | Popular Science. Another gallery that I made for, with the best medical images from this year’s Wellcome Awards. A stunning collection of images which features, among other things, aspirin, cancer cells, skin, bone, and intestine, that all look unexpectedly artistic. Follow the link to check them out.

Drinking Alcohol May Make Head Injuries Less Harmful | Popular Science

Having a little alcohol in your blood could be a life-saver

Having a little alcohol in your blood could be a life-saver

Drinking Alcohol May Make Head Injuries Less Harmful | Popular Science.

Another of my news items for, apparently a little alcohol in the blood could help survive head injuries. Alcohol in the blood probably contributed to some of those head injuries in the first place, so somewhat mixed blessings I guess…