In the latest issue of PLOS ONE, Hall and her colleagues note that knowing if a person is genetically predisposed to respond favorably to a sham form of treatment could prove invaluable in clinical trials designed to test the effectiveness of drugs and other therapies. After all, if everyone in your placebo group is hardwired to respond favorably to any treatment — even to a sugar pill — it could seriously skew experimental results. Conversely, if the entire placebo group is genetically predisposed to not respond to placebos, it could cast the prospective therapy in a disproportionately favorable light. … [Read more...] about Researchers may have just identified a genetic basis for the placebo effect
But we’ve seen this before. Pharmaceutical companies have been reluctant to invest much into the male contraceptive market and few techniques have moved past initial phases of testing. That’s partially because the bar for side effects is very low. While women’s birth control causes a litany of side effects for many women, regulators view those side effects as acceptable because they’re a trade-off for preventing another potentially dangerous medical condition: pregnancy. Men, though, aren’t subject to any physical risk from pregnancy. Not to mention the daunting mathematical reality facing men: Whereas women typically produce just one egg a month, men produce millions and millions of sperm—and all it takes is just one to result in pregnancy. … [Read more...] about Is Genetics the Answer to Birth Control For Dudes?
“Here is a functional protein that we know has an effect in the organism, and it is [found and preserved] among many different species, so it is likely that a mutation that destroys the protein is, on average, not good for you,”release. “Otherwise, evolutionary mechanisms would have destroyed that protein a long time ago.” … [Read more...] about CRISPR Baby Mutation Linked to Higher Risk of Early Death
Genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, have found themselves at the center of a social firestorm in recent years. While many extol the virtues of genetic modification, even citing them as a solution to hunger and malnutrition, some critics have expressed concern about the potential health and ecology risks posed by GMO crops. Now, that debate looks to intensify, as genetically-modified animals could be on the way to restaurants and stores near you. … [Read more...] about Genetically modified salmon could arrive in U.S. restaurants by next year
In April 2016, the USDA gave the first free pass to a CRISPR crop, clearing white-button mushroom that had been edited to not brown as quickly. In its letter to the scientist who developed the engineered mushroom crop, the USDA wrote that because the new mushroom “does not contain any introduced genetic material” it wasn’t even subject to the agency’s GMO regulations. … [Read more...] about Why CRISPR-Edited Food May Be in Supermarkets Sooner Than You Think