Despite the yuck factor, bacteria that colonize our bodies are proving to be an effective source of medical treatments including a new antibiotic derived from a vaginal microbe.
In a subtle comment, a critic of biotech pointedly identified the number of companies a researcher has founded to underscore their wrong-minded participation in our capitalist economy. But it’s naive to believe that because someone operates on the cutting edge of biotech he or she should also eschew capitalism or ignore the ways science is funded.
One woman seeks out her genetic risk for familial breast cancer and finds she has a potentially lethal mutation for another disease. A prominent health policymaker publicly declares he will end acute treatment for disease at 75, and preventative screening measures long beforehand. How does a healthcare system accommodate both?
There is no scientific evidence for a GMO-celiac disease link. It’s also clear that non-celiac gluten allergies are wildly overstated. But that doesn’t mean that people are imagining stomach problems. Here’s what’s going on and what can be done about it.
One side benefit of Bt corn is its ability to reduce mycotoxin contamination, which could provide health and economic benefits in both wealthier and less developed countries.
Crops are failing in the first year of the neonicotinoid ban, anti-neonic scientists are tainted by conflicts of interest, the EU’s own science on bee mortality does not raise alarm-bells and the European Commission admits that the moratorium would have no significant benefit for bee populations.
GMO debate is sometimes a proxy for questions about corporate control of agriculture, particularly in Africa. As in most cases, the real story is more nuanced.
The European-based IUCN Taskforce on Systemic Pesticides consists of activist scientists that exploit the weaknesses in the peer review process, in this case to mount a fear campaign against a widely used class of agricultural chemicals known as neonics. Who are these scientists are how do they work behind the scenes, manipulating governments and the media?
A few simple mutations seem to protect some people against alcohol abuse. But mostly the relationship between genes and alcohol’s effects is very complicated. And it’s not clear that light drinking is healthful, either.
Calls for increased regulation do not account for the robust review already in place. The safety of GM food and crops is not in question in the scientific community. The current regulatory program ensures their safety both in the farm field and for consumers.