COVID-19: from treatment to prevention

by Apurva Govande figures by Tal Scully COVID-19, the disease caused by the newly discovered virus SARS-CoV-2, is a national emergency. We need a vaccine to prevent severe outcomes of disease, to successfully combat future outbreaks of this virus, and to ensure that businesses and schools can safely reopen. Until one is available, healthcare professionals can mitigate symptoms while deploying existing drugs that may show … Continue reading COVID-19: from treatment to prevention

Better Late than Never: COVID-19 testing across the United States

by Kayla Davisfigures by Jovana Andrejevic With COVID-19 cases showing up across much of the United States, many people are increasingly curious if they have contracted the disease. Although the COVID-19 infection rate continues to rise, tests are still hard to find and nearly impossible to come by in certain areas of the country. It’s important to understand how widespread the COVID-19 infection rate is … Continue reading Better Late than Never: COVID-19 testing across the United States

Should We Help NASA “Shoot for the Moon” Again?

by Christopher Rota figures by Hannah Zucker When the first Apollo program astronauts set foot on the Moon in 1969, their footsteps inspired a generation.  This opened a new realm of possibility for what humans can achieve with the necessary motivation and resources. Now, just over 50 years later, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has put the wheels in motion to lay down a fresh … Continue reading Should We Help NASA “Shoot for the Moon” Again?

Is it Smoky in Here? The importance of the Clean Air Act in the 21st century

by Felix Barber figures by Hannah Zucker We live in exceptional times, with extreme weather events in recent memory including devastating wildfires in California, flooding and polar conditions in the Midwest USA, and extreme rainfall in the wake of hurricane Harvey. Such events are predicted to only become more common with global climate change. In the US, the Clean Air Act (CAA) is a major … Continue reading Is it Smoky in Here? The importance of the Clean Air Act in the 21st century

Health Data Privacy: Updating HIPAA to match today’s technology challenges

by Jordan Harrod figures by Dan Utter In the modern era, maintaining the privacy of your personal information has become more challenging than ever. Cyberattacks and social media have resulted in the average person sharing more information than ever before, in ways that they may not be aware of. One area of data privacy that isn’t discussed often, however, is health data. In the past, … Continue reading Health Data Privacy: Updating HIPAA to match today’s technology challenges

Genetic editing of human embryos in the United States ignites debate

In December 2018, a Chinese researcher, He Jiankui, shocked the world when he revealed the birth of the world’s first genetically edited babies. While it is clear that Jiankui egregiously violated university regulations and ethical standards, his announcement has since ignited a heated international dialogue about the permissibility of human embryonic gene editing. Currently, there are scientists in the United States working in university laboratories, … Continue reading Genetic editing of human embryos in the United States ignites debate

China’s Genetically Edited babies: What really happened?

A Chinese researcher, He Jiankui, shocked the world two weeks ago when he revealed that the world’s first genetically edited babies had been born. Jiankui claimed to have edited embryos before implanting them into the mother as part of an otherwise routine in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedure. Since his bold announcement via YouTube, the scientific community at-large – both in the United States and in … Continue reading China’s Genetically Edited babies: What really happened?

Understanding Ownership and Privacy of Genetic Data

by Julian Segert figures by Aparna Nathan In Mountain View, California, near the headquarters of Facebook and Google, lies 23andMe, a company that set out to make genetic testing approachable and affordable for the general public. The company started with the goal of providing risk assessments for genetic diseases, but has recently gained more popularity by offering insights into geographical ancestry. 23andMe is unique among … Continue reading Understanding Ownership and Privacy of Genetic Data

Next Generation Forensics: Changing the role DNA plays in the justice system

by Mary May figures by Rebecca Clements As anyone who has watched an episode of CSI can attest, catching a killer is only a DNA sample away. Due to advances in DNA testing technology and its omnipresence in forensics (as portrayed on TV and in pop culture), the public has come to expect and trust genetic testing as evidence in criminal trials. As these methods … Continue reading Next Generation Forensics: Changing the role DNA plays in the justice system