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

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

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

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

Call for the pass of chemical safety reform

Image Credit: Kristen Seim Jane eats organic foods, avoids plastic containers and switched to plant-based shampoo and cosmetics.  “You have no idea how clean my home is, but I still don’t feel protected,” Jane told me. Like many other expectant mothers, Jane is stressed about protecting her baby’s health. We all have reasons to be worried about man-made chemicals in our environment, even if we … Continue reading Call for the pass of chemical safety reform

Worth the trip: psychedelics as an emerging tool for psychotherapy

As your eyes close, a kaleidoscopic vision of pattern, color, and sense of deep meaning engulfs your entire field of experience. Thirty minutes ago you were given a controlled dose of a highly potent, and highly illegal, hallucinogenic compound—all in the name of science. Months from now, you will say that this was one of the most profound experiences of your life [5]. You have … Continue reading Worth the trip: psychedelics as an emerging tool for psychotherapy

Patenting our genes, killing our startups.

Interest in entrepreneurship and start-up culture seem to be at an all-time high, especially when it comes to the tech industry. But why do so many of the best young graduates choose to work on the next sexting app rather than on an app-based algorithm for clinical patient support? It’s a question that demands an answer, and soon. A key problem seems to be that … Continue reading Patenting our genes, killing our startups.