Posts in health
Immunotherapy for Cancer

Immunotherapy is a cancer treatment that enhances the body’s ability to fight cancer cells by boosting its immune system. Significant research advances have recently raised immunotherapy’s profile as a cancer treatment, and dramatic responses seen in some patients have led many to view this approach as the future of cancer therapeutics. It’s important to note, however, that success rates remain modest, and the approach is still very much a work in progress. Scientists are now working to understand why efficacy varies from patient to patient, and how quality of life and life expectancy can be improved for more patients using this approach.

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biomedicine, healthBecky Hazen
Concussions and Brain Health

Concussions have been in the medical lexicon for thousands of years, but their mechanisms of action and long-term health effects are still poorly understood. There is currently no evidence-based treatment for concussions other than rest and their medical management is largely guided by individual expert opinion, which varies considerably. But an emerging body of systematic research, bolstered by increasingly vocal testimony from athletes and other groups at high risk for concussions, is starting to paint a clearer picture of how these injuries work and their potentially serious, lasting consequences.

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Gene Drives

For many years now, scientists have been able to alter genes inside microbial, plant, and animal cells to change organisms’ traits, creating, for example, plants that produce their own protective insecticides and fish that grow to maturity almost twice as fast as normal. But while it has become practically routine for scientists to genetically alter individual organisms, a new set of advances promises something much more ambitious: the ability to propagate new genetic traits into entire populations over just a few generations. 

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Lead in U.S. Drinking Water

Drinking water is tightly regulated in the United States and, for the most part, is remarkably safe. Recent contamination episodes in Flint, Michigan, and elsewhere, however, have highlighted the fragility of this public health success story and the serious health risks lead poses in significant portions of the U.S. drinking water supply. Exposure to lead, even at low levels, has adverse health effects for people – especially children, pregnant women, and their developing fetuses. While these risks are widely known, lead continues to pervade the tap water of many American communities. 

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environment, healthBecky Hazen