Less of the Same: Rebooting the antibiotic pipeline

by Francesca Tomasi figures by Aparna Nathan Too Much of a Good Thing? Ninety years ago, Alexander Fleming happened upon the chemical compound penicillin and sparked a medical revolution. It was a serendipitous occasion – Fleming had been growing plates of bacteria in his lab when he noticed some mold growing on one of them. Just some classic contamination, he probably thought, ready to discard … Continue reading Less of the Same: Rebooting the antibiotic pipeline

GDPR and the Challenges of Digital Memory

by Kiran Wattamwar Have you noticed the wave of privacy policy updates flooding your inbox from nearly any website you’ve interacted with? Whether it’s Facebook, YouTube, or Twitter, social media platforms and other web-based services are updating their policies to meet the new requirements established by the General Data Protection Directive (GDPR), aimed to strengthen consumer privacy on the Internet. The GDPR follows the 1995 … Continue reading GDPR and the Challenges of Digital Memory

Conservation spending proven to make a difference

The world is currently experiencing its sixth mass extinction event. Species are disappearing at an estimated 1000x the expected normal rate of extinction (roughly 5 species per year). Conservation efforts around the world are trying to reduce the rate of biodiversity loss, but they are hindered by the lack of hard evidence linking conservation spending to biodiversity improvements. A team led by University of Oxford researchers … Continue reading Conservation spending proven to make a difference

Hold Artificial Intelligence Accountable

by Chamith Fonseka figures by Rebecca Senft The concept of artificial intelligence (AI) tends to evoke images of self-aware computers and robots – Knight Rider, Wall-E, the Terminator – but for the most part, this technology is, for now, restricted to fiction and film. In that time, however, artificial intelligence has already become embedded in everyday life, playing a role in everything from online shopping … Continue reading Hold Artificial Intelligence Accountable

Self-driving Cars: The technology, risks and possibilities

by Tim Menke figures by Neal Akatsuka Imagine getting into your car in the morning, sipping your coffee and sitting back to relax while your car drives you to work. Then you remember to call a friend who you have not spoken to in a while, or you have a look at the amazing photos from your latest vacation. It is, of course, not a … Continue reading Self-driving Cars: The technology, risks and possibilities

Mixed Emotions on the March for Science and the Consequences of Getting it Wrong

by Dana Boebinger figures by Tito Adhikary I’ve had many conversations over the past several weeks – with scientists and non-scientists alike – about the possible outcomes of this weekend’s March for Science. Some people are excited about this opportunity to make a strong show of support for scientific research and evidence-based policymaking. Others don’t think a march is necessary. But in the days leading … Continue reading Mixed Emotions on the March for Science and the Consequences of Getting it Wrong

Scientists: Why they should run for office and why we should vote for them

by Garrett Dunlap figures by Daniel Utter Two. Two is the number of current members of Congress that hold PhDs in a STEM field. Representative Bill Foster of Illinois holds a PhD in physics and Representative Jerry McNerney of California holds a PhD in math. In comparison, this is dwarfed by the number of congressmembers with law degrees (222) and those holding just high school … Continue reading Scientists: Why they should run for office and why we should vote for them

Make the FDA Great Again? Trump and the future of the drug approval process

Update: Since the writing of this article, Donald Trump has picked Scott Gottleib as FDA commissioner. -SITN editorial staff by Linda Honaker figures by Rebecca Clements Donald Trump will soon pick a new commissioner for the Federal Drug Administration (FDA). The choice will likely be someone who will try to make the administration’s drug approval requirements less rigorous in order to get drugs on the … Continue reading Make the FDA Great Again? Trump and the future of the drug approval process

21st Century Cures and You: A Guide to Understanding the 21st Century Cures Act

by Chris Rota figures by Dan Utter In the twilight of the Obama administration, a rare event of compromise between Democrats and Republicans resulted in the successful passage of the 21st Century Cures Act. While the law has a number of implications for healthcare, especially in the area of mental health, its greatest effects are likely to be seen in the area of biomedical research. … Continue reading 21st Century Cures and You: A Guide to Understanding the 21st Century Cures Act

Drugs, data, and public policy: What can science teach lawmakers about the opioid crisis?

by Christopher Gerry figures by Michael Gerhardt One of the sad ironies of modern medicine is that painkillers, licit and illicit alike, have brought addiction, suffering, and death to communities across the United States. The prevalence of opioid abuse in particular has skyrocketed over the past few years and shows few signs of abating. In 2014, the most recent year for which the Centers for … Continue reading Drugs, data, and public policy: What can science teach lawmakers about the opioid crisis?