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Strength in Numbers: genetic sequencing of large populations is shaping the future of medicine

by Ryan L. Collins figures by Brad Wierbowski Thanks to modern genetics, “precision medicine” is slowly becoming a reality: doctors can perform genetic tests to determine your risk for dozens of diseases, like stroke or liver disease, and can prescribe treatments or therapies tailored to your individual genetic makeup. Yet before doctors can provide you with precision medicine in practice, they first need to understand … Continue reading Strength in Numbers: genetic sequencing of large populations is shaping the future of medicine

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The right reasons for mistrusting science

by Samantha Wong figures by Daniel Utter “Global warming is based on faulty science and manipulated data which is proven by the emails that were leaked.” Alarming words from the most powerful man in the USA, don’t you think? Unfortunately, a Pew Research report revealed that the American public has increasingly echoed this sort of scientific mistrust over the last 5 years. Some part of … Continue reading The right reasons for mistrusting science

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Metal On Mars

A recent NASA mission has discovered that the atmosphere on Mars has many similarities to that of Earth. Metal atoms, contained in dust particles, float down from the solar system and become trapped in the atmosphere of a planet. Energetic particles, for example from the Sun, can then rip electrons from the metal atoms, forming ions. Historically, we haven’t known what happens to these ions. Depending on the specifics of the planet in … Continue reading Metal On Mars

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Genetically engineered viruses: a medicine of the future

A medical team at Johns Hopkins University genetically engineered a common cold virus to deposit a gene when injected into the human eye. This gene codes for a protein that binds to VEGF, another protein whose activity in old age contributes to vision loss (a disease called AMD or wet AMD). This small clinical study’s preliminary results show that just one small dose is potent enough to improve a patient’s vision loss. Continue reading Genetically engineered viruses: a medicine of the future

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Radio Waves from Outer Space Continue to Baffle Astronomers

Something in outer space is shouting at us, but astronomers are still trying to figure out the source of this cosmic “noise.” A telescope in Australia recently detected a flood of radio waves, akin to the waves that allow you to listen to the radio in your car, coming from an otherwise unremarkable area of the sky. These millisecond-long pulses of electromagnetic radiation are called fast radio bursts … Continue reading Radio Waves from Outer Space Continue to Baffle Astronomers

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One in a Million: The Battle Against Antibiotic Resistance

Antibiotic resistance is an important public health problem. In this lecture, we will learn about what antibiotic resistance is and how it arises. Ultimately, antibiotic resistance occurs through a process of natural selection and evolution. In complex organisms such as humans, evolution takes place in thousands to millions of years. However, bacteria grow very quickly, have relatively high mutation rates, and outnumber us by the … Continue reading One in a Million: The Battle Against Antibiotic Resistance