Surgery Museum Makes You Grateful for Modern Healthcare

November 2, 2009

Old hemorrhoid tools, trepanation devices and bone saws. Your comfy, reclining dentist’s chair doesn’t look so bad anymore.

Shattering Myths About Squalene in Vaccines

October 29, 2009

Fears about the adjuvant squalene and myths about its link to Gulf War Syndrome have kept some from getting their H1N1 vaccines. But the real truth is the substance is simply not present in any vaccine administered in the United States.

Wired Readers Respond to ‘Epidemic of Fear’

October 29, 2009

Wired receives more reader responses to “An Epidemic of Fear” than any other story in memory. Writer Amy Wallace responds to the hundreds of messages (470 and counting) that weigh in on the issues.

DIY Botox: Site Offers Injectable Drug Without Prescription (With How-To Video)

October 27, 2009

Give yourself a Botox treatment? Wired.com looks into a site that seems to offer clients the drugs and tutorials to do just that. Video how-to demos show how to inject the drug, derived from botulinum toxin, into one’s own face.

Timeline Covers Decade of Vaccine Panic

October 26, 2009

Learning about the autism-and-vaccines issue has been likened to becoming an expert on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Here’s a 14-point chronology of recent events to get you started.

DIY Laser Market Exploding, Cosmetic Surgeons Vexed

October 23, 2009

The market for at-home laser hair removers and other cosmetic devices is growing by leaps and bounds. It’s DIY body modification gone mainstream.

Task Force on the Study of Biotech Competitiveness

October 20, 2009

Earlier today, Gov. Charlie Crist released the final report and recommendations from the state’s Task Force on the Study of …Click Here to Read More

The Misinformants: Prominent Voices in the Anti-Vaccine Crusade

October 19, 2009

From Jim Carrey and Jenny McCarthy to Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Joe Lieberman, well-known figures wield their celebrity power to speak out against vaccines.

The rise of epigenomics: Methylated spirits

October 15, 2009

The human genome gets more and more complicated

IT WAS, James Watson claimed, something even a monkey could do. Sequencing the human genome, that is. In truth, Dr Watson, co-discoverer of the double-helical structure of DNA back in the 1950s, had a point. Though a technical tour-de-force, the Human Genome Project was actually the sum of millions of small, repetitive actions by cleverly programmed robots. When it was complete, so the story went, humanity’s genes—the DNA code for all human proteins—would be laid bare and all would be light.

It didn’t quite work out like that. Knowing the protein-coding genes has been useful. It has provided a lexicon of proteins, including many previously unknown ones. What is needed, though, is a proper dictionary—an explanation of what the proteins mean as well as what they are. For that, you need to know how the genes’ activities are regulated in the 220 or so different types of cell a human body is made from. And that is the purpose of the American government’s Roadmap Epigenome Programme, results from which are published this week in Nature by Ryan Lister and Mattia Pelizzola of the Salk Institute in California, and their colleagues. …

The Nobel science prizes: Winning ways

October 8, 2009

Prizes for optical fibres, charge-coupled devices, ribosomes and telomeres

HOW do you look through a window that is 100km thick? That, in essence, was the question facing Charles Kao in 1966. For working out the answer, Dr Kao has been awarded part of this year’s Nobel prize for physics. Besides being thick, the window was narrow: it was an optical fibre. Dr Kao’s prize is a belated recognition of his contribution to the telecommunications revolution of the past few decades. But better late than never.

The rest of the physics prize goes almost as belatedly to Willard Boyle and George Smith who, in 1969, ushered the charge-coupled device (CCD) into being, paving the way for the digital camera. The chemistry prize went to Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, Thomas Steitz and Ada Yonath for working out the structure of ribosomes—the parts of living cells that translate genetic information into proteins. And the physiology prize went to Elizabeth Blackburn, Carol Greider and Jack Szostak for their work on telomeres, the DNA caps that stop the ends of chromosomes either unravelling or sticking to one another. …