• Genome editingHeritable Genome Editing Not Yet Ready to Be Tried Safely and Effectively in Humans

    Human embryos whose genomes have been edited should not be used to create a pregnancy until it is established that precise genomic changes can be made reliably without introducing undesired changes — a criterion that has not yet been met by any genome editing technology, says a new scientific report.

  • Disaster casualtiesUniform Framework for Quantifying Disaster-Related Deaths, Illness

    To more accurately quantify disaster-related deaths, injuries, and illnesses, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other agencies supporting disaster response should adopt a uniform national framework of data collection approaches and methods for distinguishing direct from indirect disaster deaths, says a new congressionally mandated report from the National Academies of Sciences.

  • GunsGunshot Injuries in California Drop, but Percentage of Firearm Death Goes Up

    Gun-violence research experts say that despite a significant drop in firearm injuries in recent years in California, there has been a substantial increase in the state’s overall death rate among those wounded by firearms. “We found that the number of nonfatal firearm injuries in California decreased over an 11-year period, primarily due to a drop in firearm assaults,” said Sarabeth Spitzer, lead author and a UC Davis research intern at the time of the study. “However, the lethality of those and other firearm injuries did not go down. In fact, it went up.”

  • CybersecurityNew Technique to Prevent Medical Imaging Cyberthreats

    Complex medical devices such as CT (computed tomography), MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and ultrasound machines are controlled by instructions sent from a host PC. Abnormal or anomalous instructions introduce many potentially harmful threats to patients, such as radiation overexposure, manipulation of device components or functional manipulation of medical images. Researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev have developed a new artificial intelligence technique that will protect medical devices from malicious operating instructions in a cyberattack as well as other human and system errors.

  • The Russia connectionName Your Poison: Some of the Exotic Toxins Which Fell Kremlin Foes

    The poisoning last Thursday by Kremlin operatives of Alexey Navalny, one of the leaders of the Russian opposition (he is now fighting for his life in a German hospital) is reminiscent of dozens of other such poisonings of opponents and critics of the Russian (and, before that, Soviet) regimes. Poisoning has been the Russian secret services’ preferred method of dealing with irritating critics, and these services have at their disposal a large and sophisticated laboratory — alternatively known as Laboratory 1, Laboratory 12, and Kamera (which means “The Cell” in Russian) – where ever more exotic toxins are being developed for use against regime opponents and critics.

  • AnthraxFirst Oral Anthrax Vaccine for Livestock, Wildlife

    Anthrax, a disease caused by a bacterium called Bacillus anthracis, contaminates surface soil and grasses, where it may be ingested or inhaled by livestock or grazing wildlife. This is especially common in the western Texas Hill Country, where each year the disease kills livestock and wildlife. There may soon be a new weapon in the centuries-old battle against anthrax in wildlife.

  • The Russia connectionKremlin Refuses to Have Navalny Flown to Germany for Treatment, or have German Doctors Examine Him in Russia

    The Kremlin says it will not allow opposition leader Aleksei Navalny, who is in a coma in a Siberian hospital with suspected poisoning, to be flown to Germany for treatment because of “medical reasons.” The attending physician at the Omsk hospital’s ICU said Navalny suffers from “metabolic disorder,” and that there was no need for foreign specialists to examine him. Navalny’s wife was not allowed to see him. Navalny’s personal physician said that “they are waiting three days so that there are no traces of poison left in the body, and in Europe it will no longer be possible to identify this toxic substance.” Other medical experts agree with her, and also support her assertion that “metabolic disorder” is not a diagnosis but a condition which, among other things, can be caused by poisoning.

  • Public healthData Omission in Key EPA Insecticide Study Shows Need for Reviewing Industry Studies

    For nearly fifty years, a statistical omission tantamount to data falsification sat undiscovered in a critical study at the heart of regulating one of the most controversial and widely used pesticides in America. Chlorpyrifos, an insecticide created in the late 1960s by the Dow Chemical Co., has been linked to serious health problems, especially in children. It has been the subject of many lawsuits and banned in Europe and California. The EPA itself nearly banned the chemical, but in 2017 the Trump administration backtracked and rejected EPA’s own recommendation to take chlorpyrifos off the market. The EPA plans to reconsider the chemical’s use by 2022.

  • Nuclear threatsNuclear Threats Are Increasing – Here’s How the U.S. Should Prepare for a Nuclear Event

    By Cham Dallas

    On the 75th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, some may like to think the threat from nuclear weapons has receded. But there are clear signs of a growing nuclear arms race and that the U.S. is not very well-prepared for nuclear and radiological events. Despite the gloomy prospects of health outcomes of any large-scale nuclear event common in the minds of many, there are a number of concrete steps the U.S. and other countries can take to prepare. It’s our obligation to respond.

  • China syndromeChina’s Campaign Forcibly to Reduce Uighur Births May Amount to Genocide: Reports

    Four years ago, China has launched a broad campaign to reduce birth rates among Uighurs, Kazakhs, and other Turkic Muslim populations in Xinjiang province in western China. The Chinese authorities have implemented various population control measures in Xinjiang, including mandatory pregnancy checks and forced insertion of intrauterine devices. Officials and armed police conducted night raids to look for hidden children and pregnant women, fining and detaining parents of three or more children and forcing abortions and sterilizations on women.

  • CyberbiosecurityPreventing Cyberbiosecurity Threats and Protecting Vulnerable Countries

    AI can automate the manipulation of medical datasets, expanding a cyberattack’s impact through health and biotech industries. Cyber- and biosecurity threats can erode trust in technology. Eroded trust in technology is dangerous at any time but especially during a global pandemic such as COVID-19.

  • First respondersGear Treated with “Forever Chemicals” Poses Risk to Firefighters

    Firefighters face occupational hazards on a daily basis. Now, new research shows they face additional risk just by gearing up. Fabric used for firefighter turnout gear tested positive for the presence of per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS), according to a new study.

  • Public healthResearch Integrity: Why We Should Trust Registered Clinical Trials

    In a time when we have to rely on clinical trials for COVID-19 drugs and vaccines, a new study brings good news about the credibility of registered clinical trials.

  • Food securityBreakthrough for Foot-and-Mouth Disease Vaccine

    When it comes to livestock, foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is probably the most devastating picornavirus on the planet. FMD is a serious and economically devastating livestock disease. Foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV), the virus causing FMD, is extremely contagious and afflicts animals with cloven hooves like cows, pigs, sheep and deer.

  • Water securityOilfield Water Can Safely Be Reused for Irrigation in California

    Reusing low-saline oilfield water mixed with surface water to irrigate farms in the Cawelo Water District of California does not pose major health risks, as some opponents of the practice have feared, a new study finds.