Features

How Big Science Failed to Unlock the Mysteries of the Human Brain | MIT Technology Review | Aug. 25, 2021

Large, expensive efforts to map the brain started a decade ago but have largely fallen short. It’s a good reminder of just how complex this organ is.

An investigational Drug Offers Hope to Patients with a Rare Neuromuscular Disease | Leaps.org | Aug. 26, 2021

A drug made from repurposed medicines may help individuals with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease.

How Does Covid-19 Affect the Brain? A Troubling Picture Emerges. | National Geographic | Aug. 18, 2021
Researchers find that people who only suffered mild infections can be plagued with life-altering and sometimes debilitating cognitive deficits.

An At-Home COVID Treatment Could Be Available by the End of 2021 | Fortune | May 7, 2021

An antiviral pill may be crucial to ending the pandemic. 

This Spit Test Promises to Tell Couples Their Risk of Passing on Common Diseases | MIT Technology Review | April 21, 2021
Orchid is offering polygenic risk scores for schizophrenia, diabetes, even cancer.  But is the consumer test for couples and their future children ahead of the science?

Everything You Need to Know About Blood Tests During Pregnancy | New York Times | May 14, 2019

They can reveal valuable health information about you and your baby, but some come with more considerations than others.

Patient Advocates and Scientists Launch Push to Lift Ban on ‘Three-Parent IVF’ STAT | April 16, 2019

They say the procedure could be used to help avoid severe mitochondrial disease. 

Dissecting Brains to Find the Biological Answers to the Mysteries of Mental Disorders |The Washington Post | April 9, 2019 

The Lieber Institute for Brain Development in Baltimore has one of the biggest repositories of post-mortem brains.

IVF Often Doesn’t Work. Could an Algorithm Help? The Wall Street Journal | April 4, 2019

Researchers and startups are studying whether artificial intelligence can do a better job of choosing embryos that lead to pregnancy.

We’re Already Designing Babies  | OneZero | Feb. 27, 2019 

Expanded genetic testing of embryos represents a new era of family planning. But how far should the technology go?

Can Manufacturers Keep Up with Growing Demand for Gene Therapies? STAT | Nov. 5, 2018

Thousands of sickle cell and hemophilia patients are waiting for gene therapies.

The Next Brain Implant Is a Real Live Wire | Neo.Life | Oct. 25, 2018

No more metal: Living electrodes promise safer, better ways to fix injuries and disease and grow new links between man and machine.

Bioengineered Ovaries Can Survive in Mice. Humans Could Be Next. | Neo.Life | Sept. 20, 2018

Lab-made ovaries could boost fertility and fine-tune hormone levels.

6 Extra Years of Fertility | Neo.Life | July 19, 2018

Freezing ovarian tissue is classified as experimental. Maybe it shouldn’t be.

Why Siri Won't Listen to Millions of People with Disabilities Scientific American | May 27, 2016

Speech-recognition technology promises to make many tasks faster and easier. But more than nine million people with voice disorders can't use this technology. 

What Do You Do When You Have One of the Rarest Diseases Around? The Washington Post | Feb. 16, 2016

New DNA tests are revealing more rare-disease patients than scientists knew existed. But for one patient and her family, a long sought-after diagnosis raises more questions than answers.

Is Thyroid Cancer the ‘Good’ Cancer? It Doesn’t Feel that Way When You Get It The Washington Post | Sept. 8, 2015

Thyroid cancer has one of the highest survival rates of all cancers. But these statistics don't tell the whole story of a patient's quality of life after diagnosis and treatment.

This Is Your Brain on Fencing: How Certain Sports May Aid the Aging Brain  The Washington Post | April 7, 2015 

How we speak is a key part of first impressions, and disorders that impair speech lead to poorer quality of life

Tuberculosis Remains a Threat Despite City’s Eradication Efforts The Baltimore Sun | May 11, 2014 

Years of accumulating budget cuts have taken a toll on Baltimore's tuberculosis control program at a time when drug-resistant cases of TB are on the rise.

News + Explainers

Could Skin Patches Be the Future of Covid Vaccines? | Smithsonian Magazine | Oct. 29, 2021
They might survive longer storage times and pose a better option for people afraid of needles.

How the Kidney of a Pig Might Offer Hope for Those in Need of Transplants | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | Oct. 21, 2021
Pioneering research builds on groundwork laid in Pittsburgh.

States Are Toughening Up Privacy Laws for At-Home DNA Tests | WIRED | Oct. 21, 2021
California’s SB 41 is the latest to tighten regulations on the sensitive data collected by companies like 23andMe or Ancestry.

Everything to Know About Merck’s COVID Antiviral Pill | Fortune | Oct. 5, 2021 

Your questions about molnupiravir answered. 

The Intriguing Next Chapter for the Tech in Covid Vaccines | The Boston Globe | Oct. 1, 2021
Vaccine opponents often express fears about synthetic mRNA. Will future applications of the technology make those concerns fade away?

Neurograins’ Could be the Next Brain-Computer Interfaces | WIRED | Sept. 13, 2021
Dozens of microchips scattered over the cortical surface might allow researchers to listen in on thousands of neurons at the same time.

Could a Spritz in the Nose Stop Covid's Spread? | The Boston Globe | Aug. 26, 2021

Scientists are readying human trials of a nasal spray that might prove more effective than a shot in the arm.

Six Important Things to Know About Breakthrough Infections | Smithsonian Magazine | Aug. 10, 2021

As the Delta variant likely drives more cases of Covid-19 in vaccinated individuals, experts weigh in with helpful information.

Scientists CRISPR Patients’ Own Immune Cells in Bid to Shrink Hard-to-Treat GI Tumors | STAT | June 15, 2021

Doctors at the University of Minnesota have so far treated two patients with the approach.

A Universal Coronavirus Vaccine to Prevent the Next Pandemic (podcast) | Scientific American | June 9, 2021

A pan-coronavirus vaccine could be “one vaccine to rule them all,” and so far it has shown strong results in mice, hamsters, monkeys, horses and even sharks.

Scientists CRISPR Patients’ Own Immune Cells in Bid to Shrink Hard-to-Treat GI Tumors | STAT | June 15, 2021

Doctors at the University of Minnesota have so far treated two patients with the approach.

U.S. Researcher Says He’s Ready to Start Four Pregnancies with ‘Three-Parent’ Embryos STAT | April 18, 2019

But the procedure is currently prohibited in the U.S.

First Baby Monkey Born Using Sperm from Frozen, Immature Testicles | Scientific American | March 21, 2019

Researchers hope that the procedure could be used to restore fertility to human boys undergoing cancer treatment

Pregnancy Reported in the First Known Trial of 'Three-Person IVF' for Infertility | STAT | Jan. 24, 2019

The controversial procedure, which uses DNA from three people, is banned in the U.S.

 

Should You Send Your Kid's DNA to 23andMe? | The Washington Post | Dec. 19, 2018

Consumer genetic testing companies are now marketing DNA tests to children. But experts say parents should think carefully before sending their child's spit through the mail.

New Spinal Cord Therapy Helps Paralyzed People Walk Again | National Geographic | Oct. 31, 2018

Three men regained leg movements after using a new type of treatment, the latest in a suite of results involving electrical stimulation. 

Who Says You Need Permission to Study Yourself? | Neo.Life | Sept. 27, 2018

A Swedish student can’t finish her PhD because an ethics committee says she needed their approval first.

 

 A Tiny Human Esophagus Was Grown in the Lab — Here's Why   | National Geographic | Sept. 20, 2018

Miniature versions of the organ that guides food to the stomach could help scientists treat a variety of medical ailments.

How Tuberculosis Shaped Victorian Fashion Smithsonian Magazine | May 10, 2016

The deadly disease influenced fashion trends in some surprising ways during and after the Victorian era.