The anti-retroviral drug Truvada; Author- Jeffrey Beall’s own work, from Wikimedia Commons

A Successful Pill for Preventing HIV?

A recent study has delighted many by claims that taking the pill Truvada prevents HIV infection. The study is one of the first to test the pill in a real-world setting involving 600 individuals at risk of getting HIV in San Francisco, CA. Although promising, the applicability of the pill to other settings still warrants further analyses. The study is convincing for its testing on … Continue reading A Successful Pill for Preventing HIV?

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Same Science, Different Policies: Regulating Genetically Modified Foods in the U.S. and Europe

by Jessica Lau figures by Krissy Lyon Summary: Government regulations for genetically modified foods vary, from relatively relaxed policies in the U.S. that focus on the final food product to strict rules in the European Union that consider the genetic engineering process used to make the food. Despite these differences, the common goal of these regulations is to ensure the safety of the food supply. … Continue reading Same Science, Different Policies: Regulating Genetically Modified Foods in the U.S. and Europe

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Feeding the World One Genetically Modified Tomato at a Time: A Scientific Perspective

by Christopher Gerry figures by Kristen Seim Summary: The human population has grown at a breakneck pace and threatens to further exacerbate a problem that has worsened in recent years: chronic hunger. Genetically modified crops could help to relieve this problem by providing increased yields and being more resistant to environmental stressors. In particular, the increasing prevalence of drought has prompted the development of crops … Continue reading Feeding the World One Genetically Modified Tomato at a Time: A Scientific Perspective

This is not the face of a health hazard, sorry Daily Mail
Credit: By Dion75e (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

What’s the skinny on the dangers of skinny jeans?

 Skinny jeans have been blamed for many things, from the downfall of American men to #Bendgate, but hardly ever for medical issues. A recently published case study, however, attempts to slap a health warning on the use of skinny jeans. With a title worthy of a Daily Mail article – “Fashion victim: rhabdomyolysis and bilateral peroneal and tibial neuropathies as a result of squatting in … Continue reading What’s the skinny on the dangers of skinny jeans?

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Memoirs of a Toxin: The lasting human impact on mercury in the environment

Presented by Hannah Horowitz Mercury is a potent neurotoxin. For thousands of years, humans have altered mercury cycling in the environment by introducing massive amounts of mercury to surface water, soils, and air, through mining and burning coal. Once in the surface environment, mercury can threaten human and wildlife health, is transported globally through the air, and continues to have an impact for hundreds of … Continue reading Memoirs of a Toxin: The lasting human impact on mercury in the environment

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As good as it gets? Peer review and its discontents

In February, the journal Nature and its sister publications announced a new policy for their peer review process (the evaluation of submitted articles by experts in the field). The journal normally operates on the basis of single-blind peer review–anonymous reviewers see the authors’ names and affiliations. The new policy will allow authors the option to remain anonymous to the experts reviewing their work. Will this … Continue reading As good as it gets? Peer review and its discontents

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Thrills and Spills: The Keystone XL Pipeline

Turning on the tap for a clean glass of water is a luxury many Americans take for granted. Though TransCanada Corporation promises minimal spillage and environmental impact through improved safety features in its plans to install a 1169-mile-long, 36-inch-wide pipe through the grasslands of Canada and the United States, risking this natural resource is one of the many considerations President Obama examined before vetoing the … Continue reading Thrills and Spills: The Keystone XL Pipeline