medicine

Iceland Has Become The Perfect Genetics Experiment 

A millennium ago, a group settled in Iceland and have stayed there ever since, with few people coming and going. And so their DNA has stayed remarkably homogenous. That’s a major boon for genetics researchers, who today have released the results of sequencing the complete genomes of 2636 Icelanders — the largest such countrywide project ever.


Why Anti-Vaxxers Just 'Know' They're Right

Anti-vaccination beliefs can cause real, substantive harm, as shown by the recent outbreak of measles in the US. These developments are as shocking and distressing as their consequences are predictable. But if the consequences are so predictable, why do the beliefs persist?


Chlorine Treatment Can Accelerate Antibiotic Resistance, Study Says

As anyone who’s ever owned a pet fish or gone to a public swimming pool knows, chlorine is commonly used to disinfect water. Ironically, when it comes to sewage treatment, it may be doing just the opposite.


How Scientists Will Find Your Next Antibiotic In This Pile Of Dirt

Nearly a century after scientists dug up penicillin, researchers are turning once more to the soil for new pharmaceuticals. But this time, they have tiny, powerful technologies on their side. Here’s how scientists are unlocking the secrets of soil microbes and discovering the next generation of medicine.


23AndMe Wants To Turn Its DNA Data Into New Drugs

DNA testing startup 23andMe has been doing brisk business collecting genetic samples from over 800,000 customers. But the company just announced a new plan that will launch it into the big pharma world: 23andMe is going to invent its own pharmaceutical drugs using the data it collects from customer DNA.


Huge Meta-Study Finds Homeopathy Ineffective In Health Treatment

An analysis of over 225 medical studies and 1800 scientific papers has found that homeopathy is ineffective as a health treatment. Its authors urge that “people who choose homeopathy may put their health at risk if they reject or delay treatments.”


How Does The FDA Regulate Mobile Medical Apps?

Last month, the FDA released new guidance regarding the regulation of mobile medical apps, to replace its earlier version from 2011. Since that time, the amount of health and medical apps on the market has exploded, with the release of Apple’s Health app with iOS 8 cementing mobile health as ‘a thing’. Needless to say, it is about time for a regulatory update.


A (Mostly) Scientific Guide To Pot And The Munchies

Everybody knows it: Weed makes you hungry. Smoking a bowl sends you searching for snacks. Hitting a spliff leaves you craving all kinds of candy. Ripping a bong gives you the munchies. We don’t know why. Science is getting close though, especially after this week.


This Unusually Short-Lived Fish Could Hold The Secrets To Getting Old

The turquoise killifish is largely unremarkable except for how fast it ages. In just three months, it goes from a spry, young fish (left) to a decrepit, old one (right). For scientists who study ageing, the turquoise killifish could be the key to their future experiments.


Graphene Could Be Used To Neutralise Cancer Stem Cells

Graphene has a frankly overwhelming array of amazing possible uses, from body armour to seeing through walls. To that list, you can perhaps add the ability to fight cancer too.