Money and Drugs: The Problems with Funding in Science

This is a companion piece for my previous post on philanthropists in risky research funding. Private donors can be a blessing for research, but if you're interested in the sorry state of money in biomedical research, here's a more in-depth dive.

What do flu shots and erectile dysfunction have in common?

The answer: cancer therapy. Tumor removal is an invasive and stressful process for the body. After surgery, it's common for some straggling cancer cells to be left behind. With one's system in such a vulnerable state, the body's immune system often can't keep these rogue cells from spreading and causing the cancer to come back. …

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Mother Nature, the ultimate drug designer: why are we still using cheap synthetic compounds?

“I did not invent penicillin. Nature did that. I only discovered it by accident.” - Alexander Fleming Natural products – chemicals produced by organisms in nature – have been the basis of medicine for centuries. Aspirin is based on a chemical in willow tree bark. Morphine comes from the opium plant. Penicillin was discovered in a mold. Nature …

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How the media screws up climate change, Part 1: Sketchy Sources

Sorry for the hiatus -- turns out working a full-time job and writing a blog consistently is actually pretty difficult! (It doesn't help that I can't drink coffee at my desk, working in a virus lab and all. Being a Seattleite this is my own personal hell.) I want to talk about something I mentioned …

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Toasters and autism: basics of scientific method

Last week, I published a post talking about data manipulation and the importance of controls during an experiment. It turns out, this is a hugely complex subject, so I wanted to follow that whole train wreck with something a little simpler. Here are a few more examples of scientific method. My hope is that these will …

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