by Christopher Gerry Weathering over fifty years’ worth of damning scientific evidence, asbestos, a known carcinogen, appears as resistant to American legislation as it is to fire, electricity, and heat. Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous substance with properties that make it an attractive material for use in construction and manufacturing. An overwhelming amount of evidence, however, has linked ingestion or inhalation of microscopic asbestos … Continue reading When Politics Trumps Science: Why asbestos is still legal in the USA
by Cory Gerlach figures by Tito Adhikary There are currently more than 85,000 chemicals in the US that make up the products in our daily lives and few, besides medications and pesticides, have been assessed thoroughly for safety. In fact, the federal government has had relatively little oversight over most chemicals in commerce (Figure 1). As a result, nearly all of the chemicals in our cosmetics, … Continue reading New Toxic Substances Control Act: An End to the Wild West for Chemical Safety?
A now five-month-old boy was the first child to be born via spindle nuclear transfer, a controversial fertilization procedure that incorporates genetic material from three different people. Most of our genes are located in the DNA found in a cell’s nucleus, but a few reside in tiny compartments called mitochondria. While rare, mutations in mitochondrial DNA can result in devastating disorders that often cannot … Continue reading It’s a boy! Baby is born with DNA from three “parents”
The National Institutes of Health recently announced that it expects to lift a ban on research involving animal embryos that have been injected with human stem cells. Embryonic stem cells are already lightning rods for controversy, but part-human “chimeras” are saddled with their own set of ethical dilemmas. Some worry, for example, that chimeras could develop human-like brains that might afford the animal a rudimentary … Continue reading Beyond mythology: NIH plans to lift ban on chimera research