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.
This might sound like sacrilege, but it's not hard to understand why over half of all people in the U.S. avoid getting the flu shot every year. It's a real pain—let's just start there. Lots of people hate needles or are outright afraid of them, and that's reasonable enough. Very few people want a stranger to poke them in the arm with something sharp. Sometimes you even get fatigue, or aches in your muscles. Then, to add insult to injury, you sometimes end up coming down with the flu anyway. What was even the point? And they want you to do this every year? Voluntarily?