11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

Posted on 03/5/2014 by |News, Culture, Sights and Sounds | Comments

11 ThingsNews, discoveries and … fun 1. The latest food fad, this one in Milwaukee: Mac and Cheese-Stuffed Bacon Weave Taco. (Learn more at Gothamist) 2. The latest quest for the fountain of youth: A DNA sequencing company called Human Longevity. (Learn more at NY Times) 3. Saturated fats (butter, bacon, beef) make your belly bigger, while other fats (fish, nuts, olive oil) help build muscle. (Learn more at AARP) 4. Stethoscopes are germier than doctors’ hands. (Learn more at NBC News) …

11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

Posted on 02/19/2014 by |News, Culture, Sights and Sounds | Comments

11 ThingsNews, discoveries and … fun 1. The mission of India’s Mangalyaan spacecraft to Mars cost a lot less than the blockbuster movie Gravity. (Learn more at NY Times) 2. Babette March, the first Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover model in 1964, is now a 72-year-old artist and innkeeper in Halfway, Ore.  (Learn more at AARP) 3. Facebook offers 50 ways to describe your gender. (Learn more at Future Tense) 4. DNA testing might solve mysteries of Mona Lisa’s smile. (Learn more at Mail Online) 5. …

Home DNA Tests: Are They Safe?

Posted on 11/26/2013 by |News, Culture, Sights and Sounds | Comments

Bulletin Today | Personal HealthThe promise of genetic medicine is vast. In the future, cancer therapies will better target a specific tumor; couples will better understand their reproductive risks; and once the genetic components of myriad diseases are better understood, potential cures may be just around the corner. But experts at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and elsewhere worry that our ability to learn about our genome has outrun the medical community’s ability to usefully interpret the results. “It’s not enough to understand …

Court: Nobody Can Patent Your Genes … What Does That Mean?

Posted on 06/13/2013 by |News, Culture, Sights and Sounds | Comments

Bulletin Today | PoliticsSC: “A naturally occurring DNA segment is a product of nature and is not patent eligible merely because it has been isolated” Woo Hoo!!! — Francis S. Collins (@NIHDirector) June 13, 2013   That tweet came from the director of the National Institutes of Health, Francis S. Collins. Why is Collins so giddy? Because the Supreme Court ruled June 13 that nobody can patent your genes. (Read full decision .pdf) Collins and others at NIH, like Eric Green, M.D., the …

How Private Is Your Genetic Code? Less So Than You May Think

Posted on 10/11/2012 by |Brooklyn, NY | Comments

Bulletin TodayAnyone who’s watched more than a few episodes of Law & Order knows how easy it is to unwittingly get a sample of someone’s DNA — a discarded coffee cup, a used Kleenex, a few stray hairs and you’re good to go. In Dick Wolf’s world, such samples are used to catch the bad guys (or exonerate the good guys), but in real life, genetic code can reveal a variety of information, including what diseases may lurk in someone’s future. This type of genetic testing — known as whole genome sequencing — has many useful applications. But a report released today by the presidential bioethics commission reveals that many legal issues surrounding genetic privacy have yet to be addressed.

Omega-3 Supplements Can Slow Aging Process by Protecting DNA

Posted on 10/3/2012 by |Brooklyn, NY | Comments

Bulletin Today | Personal HealthAdd this to the approximately 8 billion benefits of omega-3 fatty acids: They could help preserve DNA segments known as telomeres, whose degradation is a key marker of aging. Shorter telomeres are associated with age-related decline, cancer and a higher risk of death (in one study of people over 60, those with shorter telomeres were three times more likely to die from heart disease and eight times more likely to die from an infectious disease). But according to Ohio State University scientists, taking omega-3 fatty acid supplements (such as fish oil pills) can help lengthen telomeres in middle-aged and older adults.