Melissa Farina

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Viruses discovered a century ago may be our best defense against a threat that could kill 10 million people a year by 2050

Antibiotic resistance — the phenomenon in which bacteria stop responding to certain antibiotics — is a growing threat around the world.<p>It's expected to kill 10 million people annually by 2050.<p>And it hasn't been easy to develop new drugs in order to stay ahead of the problem. Many major …

The Case for Letting Fevers Run Their Course

Numerous studies over the past few years have shown that taking fever reducers hurts your body’s ability to recover from an illness.<p>Fever isn’t an …

The U.S. FDA Just Approved a Treatment That Reprograms Cells to Fight Cancer

A Historic Action<p>In a decision that will forever change cancer research and treatment, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a …

In the hunt for new antibiotics, scientists hit pay dirt

Scientists have discovered a new kind of antibiotic — buried in dirt. Tests in animals show that it is effective against drug-resistant bacteria, and it could lead to desperately needed treatments for deadly antibiotic-resistant infections.<p>Almost our entire arsenal of antibiotics was discovered in …

Microbiology

Craig Venter's ‘Digital-to-Biological Converter’ Is Real

Right now, it prints proteins. In the far future, it could print human babies on Mars.<p>Craig Venter thinks that sending living organisms to other galaxies on spaceships is "definitely" science fiction. It's much more realistic, he thinks, to print them on-site using digital representations of their …

Craig Venter Mapped The Genome. Now He's Trying To Decode Death

<b>THE WORLD’S MOST EXTREME</b> physical exam starts in the world’s plushest exam room, complete with a couch, a private bathroom and a teeming fruit plate. It will be my home for an entire day. First come the blood tests, vial after vial. Then two 35-minute sessions in an MRI tube, where REM and U2 try …

Genetics

Can we teach girls confidence in the classroom? A lesson from East Asia

That afternoon, a teacher and I left the fifth-grade classroom with so much zest. The discussion had been dynamic and the students’ enthusiasm was …

World Economy

Scientists Have Discovered a New Trigger For Killing Cancer Cells

Activate those cell assassins.<p>Scientists have found a new way of triggering the death of cancer cells, using the body's own cell-clearing function. …

Could a diet tailored to your DNA save your life?

The kitchen of the future, says one leading scientist, is likely to be equipped with dispensers to deliver your personalised prescription of nutritional supplements. A daily dose might be squirted into your morning coffee. Or perhaps, says Jeffrey Blumberg, professor of nutrition science and policy …

Holistic Medicine

5 Surprising Ways Your Genes Can Affect Your Sleep

How can some people get by on little sleep, while others struggle? Here's what the science says.<p>How can some people get by on six hours of sleep, while others struggle with anything less than nine? Why does depression often go hand in hand with poor sleep? And why is good sleep so critical to …

Sleep

Engineers 3D Print Tissue That Mimics How The Human Liver Functions

Engineers at the University of California, San Diego say they have successfully 3D printed life-like liver tissue that simulates how the human liver functions and is structured. The researchers say the tissue could be used as a platform for drug screening.<p>In the case of Federal Drug Administration …

3D Printing

Decoding the Dark Matter of the Human Genome

In 1994, researchers from Harvard and Stanford published a paper in which they described three mice: one was yellow and fat, one mottled and fat, and the last one was brown and lean. An ordinary image, except for one thing: despite being so different, all three mice were genetically identical.<p>If …

Scientists Successfully Transplanted 3D Printed Human Body Parts Into Rats

Scientists are inching closer to printing a solution for the overwhelming number of people who need organ transplants, more than 123,000 in the US alone, as well as those who have lost body parts such as ears.<p>Bioprinting—the process of using 3D printers to create biological tissue—has been around …

Scientists Are Allowed To Genetically Modify Human Embryos

UK agency has given approval to use CRISPR to modify embryos, a world-first<p>Scientists in the UK have gotten the go-ahead from a government agency to begin modifying human embryos — the fertilized egg that begets all human beings — using the increasingly popular gene-editing technique known as …

Genetics

Why Eradicating Earth’s Mosquitoes To Fight Disease Is Probably a Bad Idea

Hint: no one knows for sure what the consequences would be.<p>The Zika virus has been spreading across dozens of major countries, blazing a trail of tragedies and fear. On Saturday, officials with the World Health Organization announced that they feared the outbreak could be a larger threat to global …

Public Health

Why Are Scientists SO Excited About This New Cancer Drug?

It’s shown impressive results in clinical trials to treat leukemia<p>Every year, more than 14,000 Americans are diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), a cancer that starts in the bone marrow and creates a lot of white blood cells that stick around in the body too long. It often doesn’t …

21 Very Important Kitten Pictures You Need To See

Kitten content is the best content.

Could just two people repopulate Earth?

The last man on Earth is a common trope in fiction – but what if it actually happened? How many people would it take to save our species?<p><i>This story is featured in BBC Future’s “Best of 2016” collection. Discover more of our picks.</i><p>The alien predators arrived by boat. Within two years, everyone was …

Durham University

Light-Based Brain Treatments May Soon Be Used On Humans

Researchers are set to start clinical trials for optogenetics<p>Since the mid-2000s, scientists have been experimenting with and perfecting optogenetics, a light-based technique that could treat neurological disorders from Parkinson’s to depression. Since the experiments have been fairly invasive, …

A study of over 200,000 twins is starting to reveal the links between cancer and our genes

The study, published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that cancers of various types run in families.<p>Overall, researchers found that about 33 percent of the population's variance in cancer risk was due to genetics, but the figure ranged widely for different types of …

How black and white cats get their patchy fur - and why it could help explain health defects

Research suggests distinctive piebald patterns on cats, horses and mice are caused by cells dividing too slowly in the womb<p>Black and white cats get their distinctive colouring because of the way their cells develop in the womb, research suggests.<p>Scientists said cats with a two-tone coat do not have …

This physicist has a groundbreaking idea about why life exists

Why does life exist?<p>Popular hypotheses credit a primordial soup, a bolt of lightning, and a colossal stroke of luck.<p>But if a provocative new theory is correct, luck may have little to do with it. Instead, according to the physicist proposing the idea, the origin and subsequent evolution of life …

Physics

Year in review: Breakthrough gene editor sparks ethics debate

A revolutionary gene-editing technology made headlines this year as much for the ethical and societal issues it raised as for the scientific …

Protein modeling and the Siamese cat [Discovering Biology in a Digital World]

“<i>By night all cats are gray</i>” – Miguel Cervantes in Don Quixote I’ve always liked Siamese cats. Students do, too. “Why Siamese cats wear masks” is …

Mutations

Top 10 Science Stories of 2015

It’s been a busy year for scientists: medical breakthroughs; newly discovered human ancestors; genes and neurons; Earth’s troubled species; and …

Four elements earn permanent seats on the periodic table

The seventh row of the periodic table is officially full.<p>On December 30, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry announced that a …

7 Lessons I'll Teach My Daughter Someday

<i>Written by Nicole Xiques</i><p>I don't think anything can truly prepare you to be a mother, or a parent for that matter. There isn't a set of instructions that shows you how to love, protect, and guide your children in this world. All you have are the experiences life taught you and an immeasurable amount …

The Desktop Gene Machine

All I want for Christmas is an organism I can make my own<p>The momentum of developments in bioengineering has left life scientists breathless. CRISPR, the gene editing tech that has been adopted almost universally among biotech labs, has been stealing all the headlines with talk of designer babies. …

Genetic Engineering

Apocalypse bug invades Europe

Late last week researchers at the Technical University of Denmark announced they had found the feared ‘invulnerability’ gene among E. coli bacteria …