Author Archives: Kristen V. Brown

A ‘Superbug’ Fungus Is Spreading Across the US

Over the past nine months, the number of US cases of an emerging, multi-drug resistant fungus has ballooned from 7 to more than 122. What’s more, the fungus, Candida auris, seems to be spreading, according to a field report the Centers for Disease Control released Thursday.

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These Mice Gave Birth Using 3D-Printed Ovaries

Fertility has become a major target for regenerative medicine. What if, the thinking goes, science and medicine could be used to simply restore fertility to women who for one reason or another no longer have it? In mice, scientists have now done just t… Continue reading

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A Controversial Ebola Vaccine May Get Its First Real World Test in Congo

In December, the headlines were euphoric: After a deadly West African Ebola epidemic two years ago, scientists had not only developed a vaccine, but it appeared to be 100 percent effective. That effectiveness was quickly disputed—but now, as a new Ebola outbreak is rattling the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the…

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The Body Is Not a Computer—Stop Thinking of It as One

When former DARPA chief Regina Dugan announced on stage last month that Facebook planned to build a brain computer interface to allow users to send their thoughts directly to the social network without a keyboard intermediary, it had all the Silicon Valley swagger of Facebook circa “move fast and break things.” With…

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This Synthetic Bone Implant Could Replace Painful Marrow Transplants

Thanks to advances in medicine, bone marrow transplants are no longer the last resorts they one were. Every year, thousands of marrow transplants are performed, a common treatment for ailments from bone marrow disease to leukemia. But because they first require a patient undergo radiation to kill off any existing bone…

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Anti-Vaxxers Are Responsible for Minnesota’s Horrible Measles Outbreak 

The state of Minnesota is dealing with its largest outbreak of measles in Minnesota in nearly 30 years, with 41 confirmed cases reported since April. And most of the cases have occurred among a community of Somali immigrants, which the state health department says have been “targeted” by members of the…

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Self-Driving Cars Feel Like Death Traps–Can We Be Convinced Otherwise?

Since we’re all friends here on the internet, I’ll let you in on a little secret: I hate driving. I drive too slowly, lurch violently when I change lanes, and the thought of having to merge onto a speeding California highway makes my heart speed up a little even as I write this. I’m no good at driving and never have…

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House Republicans Vote to Destroy Health Care for Millions

The fate of America’s healthcare system on Thursday came down to four votes: 217 House Republicans to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with the latest version of the much-maligned American Health Care Act, while 213 votes against it. After public outcry against the bill, in the end, twenty Republicans…

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CRISPR Could Transform the Way We Diagnose Disease

The gene editing tool CRISPR could one day mean that we can simply edit away disease, blight and undesirable genetic traits. Now, it’s also gaining traction in another realm of medical technology: diagnosing disease.

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Congress Just Rejected Trump’s Plans to Slash the NIH Budget

In what feels like rare good news from Washington, on Sunday night Congress struck a deal to boost funding to the National Institutes of Health by $2 billion over the next five months, effectively rejecting President Trump’s plan to slash the agency’s budget for the current fiscal year.

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Congress Just Rejected Trump’s Plans to Slash the NIH Budget

In what feels like rare good news from Washington, on Sunday night Congress struck a deal to boost funding to the National Institutes of Health by $2 billion over the next five months, effectively rejecting President Trump’s plan to slash the agency’s budget for the current fiscal year.

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China Is Racing Ahead of the US in the Quest to Cure Cancer With CRISPR

On Friday, a team of Chinese scientists used the cutting-edge gene-editing technique CRISPR-Cas9 on humans for the second time in history, injecting a cancer patient with modified human genes in hopes of vanquishing the disease.Read more… Continue reading

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DARPA Wants to Hack Your Brain to Make You Learn Faster

If the brain is just a bunch of wires and circuits, it stands to reason that those components can simply be re-wired in order to create a better, smarter us. At least, that’s the theory behind a new project from the military’s secretive DARPA research branch announced on Wednesday, which aims to enhance human…

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Leaked Documents Reveal the NSA Spying on Scientists to Find ‘Nefarious’ Genetic Research

A new document made public this week via Edward Snowden’s leak of NSA documents reveals a fascinating aim of signals intelligence program: The agency, it turns out, monitored international scientific developments in hopes of detecting “nefarious” genetic engineering projects more than a decade ago.

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Facebook Literally Wants to Read Your Thoughts

At Facebook’s annual developer conference, F8, on Wednesday, the group unveiled what may be Facebook’s most ambitious—and creepiest—proposal yet. Facebook wants to build its own “brain-to-computer interface” that would allow us to send thoughts straight to a computer.

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Las Vegas Is Installing Drug Needle Vending Machines

Needle exchange programs are generally considered a huge success. In New York state, the programs have been credited with virtually eradicating the transmission of AIDS through contaminated needles. Now, in an effort to further crack down on disease transmission via shared needles, Las Vegas has become the first city…

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23andMe Is Selling Your Data, But Not How You Think

Embedded in our genetic code is all kinds of sensitive data that could be compromising in the wrong hands. Without genetic privacy protections, the information stored in our genes might be used to discriminate against us or send us targeted ads. For these reasons, some have said we should skip out on consumer DNA…

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A New Flavor of CRISPR Could Tackle Some of the Worst Genetic Diseases

Most of the time, when people talk about the cutting edge gene editing technology CRISPR, they are actually talking about CRISPR-Cas9. CRISPR, you see, is just one half of the genome editing tool, the programming that instructs where a DNA edit will actually be made. The other part consists of proteins that actually…

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How One Scientist Plans to Hunt for the Loch Ness Monster Using DNA 

UFOs. Big Foot. The Loch Ness monster. All mythologies that have propagated to explain the unexplained, the things modern science can’t quite justify or illuminate.

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You Could Get Sick if You Follow Gwyneth Paltrow’s Cookbook Recipes

If your culinary philosophy includes the belief that no kitchen is complete without a bamboo matcha whisk or a box of gluten-free pancake mix, then Gwyneth Paltrow is probably the lifestyle guru for you. Along with promoting sex-dust smoothies and $66 jade vagina eggs, Gwyn is of course an avid home cook with a…

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