Category Archives: Biotechnology

Yet another nail in Tamiflu™

Tamiflu™ (generic name: Oseltamivir) has been promoted for years as a miracle drug for treating influenza (including swine flu) and other viral nasties. The US gov’t has spent gazillions of tax dollars stockpiling it. But…. Continue reading

Groundbreaking stem cell research? Might need a step back

Not yet clear whether this groundbreaking research which was published in Nature was too much wishful hopes and thinking, “just one of those things”, or a bit more deliberate. On the good news front, though, the possible flaws were pretty quickly discovered, the original author is stepping back, and it’s all being carefully re-reviewed.

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Junk DNA, Junk DNA. Paging Rosalind Russell…

[NY Times]

I Had My DNA Picture Taken, With Varying Results

…..

“I’m a healthy 28-year-old woman, but some nasty diseases run in my family: coronary heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer’s and breast cancer. So I decided to read the tea leaves of my DNA….”
– and it turned out that three labs gave conflicting results…

more: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/31/science/i-had-my-dna-picture-taken-with-varying-results.html

‘Green energy’ via press release and tax money

In the latest “green energy” news, another gov’t facility has issued a press release announcing their Big Step forward. In this case, they’re claiming a major breakthrough in rapid conversion of algae into fuel oil and other hydrocarbons.

To be fair to them, they’re reasonably cautious in their statements. Of course, they’re calling for more funding. Oh, and they’ve got a commercial partner who’s participating courtesy of gov’t (taxpayer) grants…

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Remember that “Swine flu” (A/H1N1) scare five years ago?

Some researchers analyzed the news coverage in the UK. To the surprise of, well, absolutely no one, people with connections to the drug industry were way more worried publicly, and were solidly promoting the use of anti-viral and other meds. This despite the fact that the effectiveness of these treatments is, to be charitable, very questionable.
To be fair, of course, many experts are, indeed, working in their industries of choice. Just like, for example, aeronautical experts are going to be found at Boeing. But they really should ID their affiliations and reporters need to keep them in mind: Continue reading

Seems that latest push for more and more statins… had some flaws

There have been lots and lots of studies over the past decades that prove that statins are effective in changing the cholesterol levels in blood. What’s not at all so clear is whether this actually makes any difference to most patients in helping to reduce death rates from heart disease.

[NY Times]

Risk Calculator for Cholesterol Appears Flawed

Last week, the nation’s leading heart organizations released a sweeping new set of guidelines for lowering cholesterol, along with an online calculator meant to help doctors assess risks and treatment options. But, in a major embarrassment to the health groups, the calculator appears to greatly overestimate risk, so much so that it could mistakenly suggest that millions more people are candidates for statin drugs.

more info at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/18/health/risk-calculator-for-cholesterol-appears-flawed.html

‘World’ (i.e., thousands of activists in real world of billions) marches against abundance of affordable food made with technology (aka GMO food)

In “‘No Monsanto!': World marches against GMO food”, RT.com reports: Continue reading