Everyone gets gas. And (almost) everyone could stand to live without it. But figuring out what drives gas is a difficult endeavor—even for doctors. A multitude of foods can initiate gassiness, to varying degrees, depending on the individual. But a new gadget might someday help. In a paper in the journal Nature Electronics, a pair of researchers just introduced an electronic pill that can measure the different types of gas in a person's intestines.
Ask Jodi Sherman to identify a culprit in global climate change, and you'll get an unexpected answer. The anesthesiologist from Yale University doesn't name the usual suspects—carbon dioxide, like the kind that spews out of our cars, or methane, the gas packed into every cow burp. Instead, she points a finger at anesthesia, the tool most essential to her trade. “And it's just being released into the atmosphere with no control,” she says.
Hacking the human body is all the rage these days. A few years back, scientists made waves by developing a technique (dubbed CRISPR) that literally cuts DNA at specific locations to edit out the genes that lead to disease. The implications for this are as enormous as they are diverse. However, the approach is far from perfect. And you'd really rather not have any errors when messing with something as permanent as the human genome.
Before any medication, vaccine, or other drug therapy reaches human use, it goes through extensive testing in the lab—often in animals, and typically in mice. This step in the evaluation process is extremely important. The way a drug affects a cluster of cells in a Petri dish often has little to do with the way it will behave inside a living organism, where multiple organ systems are at play.
Earlier this year, the US Air Force Office of Special Investigations reported that a cold case of nearly 14 years had finally been cracked. In 2015, a woman who was attacked by her Air Force instructor in 2000 had been able to describe a family portrait she noticed in his home. The instructor denied that it had ever hung on his wall—until the prosecution projected a photo of his family sitting on their living room sofa with the portrait visible behind them.
We all hear about how bad red meat is for both the planet's health and our own. Planet-wise, there's no argument: The detrimental effects of greenhouse gases from livestock production on the earth's atmosphere can't be overlooked. So, for the month of October, members of the PopSci staff are abstaining from all forms of red meat (#NoRedOctober) for the sake of the environment, and, by extension, for our own good. We have to live here, after all. It's in our best interest to minimize the cow farts.