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Commentary COVID-19

Debunked: RFK Jr. Claims COVID is ‘Ethnically Targeted’

Recent statements from 2024 Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. have drawn great public attention. Speaking at a press event in New York City, he claimed that COVID-19 “disproportionately attacks certain races,” particularly Caucasians and Black people, with Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese being seemingly more immune. Kennedy attributed these disparities to genetic variations of […]

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Oncology

How AI Is Revealing New Targets for Cancer Drugs

Introduction Targeted drug therapy has proven to be a highly advantageous approach to cancer treatments, presenting high efficiency and low patient drug resistance.  Yet, there are drawbacks to the use of targeted drug therapy for cancer, including a lack of identified druggable genomic targets that extend across the patient population. Artificial intelligence algorithms can help […]

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Public Health

Animal Tranquilizer ‘Xylazine’ Is Making the Fentanyl Crisis Even Worse

In recent years, the devastating impact of the fentanyl crisis has been felt by many Americans. The opioid epidemic, led by this potent synthetic drug, has claimed thousands of lives and shows no signs of abating. But now, a new threat lurks in the shadows, poised to exacerbate an already dire situation — a veterinary […]

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Biomedical Research Genetics

First CRISPR-based Gene Therapy Could be Approved in 2023

CRISPR-based gene therapies have yet to be approved by the FDA, despite their relative affordability and ease when compared to traditional gene therapies. This may change in 2023, as CRISPR Therapeutics and Vertex Pharmaceuticals announced that their biologics licensing applications (BLAs) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) were completed, including a request for […]

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COVID-19 Public Health

COVID Disease Severity Lower Than Ever, Most People Infected Unaware of Status

As the omicron BA.5 subvariant has become dominant, many countries are heading into their third wave of Omicron cases. Japan reports its largest-ever surge in cases, recording over 200,000 new cases in one day. Though omicron BA.5 has become the most dominant subvariant of COVID (accounting for 88% of new cases in the US) and […]

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Genetics

Antisense Therapy Explained: How Blocking mRNA Can Treat Genetic Disorders

Antisense therapy has proven to be effective at treating previously untreated genetic disorders including Duchenne muscular dystrophy and familial hypercholesterolemia. The therapy has also demonstrated promising results in Phase III clinical trials for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). What is antisense therapy, and how are antisense oligonucleotides used to treat genetic disorders? Background Genetic Disorders and […]

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Cardiology

Neural Network Outperforms Physicians at Predicting Cardiac Arrest Risk

Intro A study published by researchers from Johns Hopkins University highlights new artificial intelligence tools that could help physicians preemptively identify cardiac arrest in patients with the use of artificial intelligence. This new technology could change the way healthcare professionals approach preventative cardiac care, potentially saving patients from fatal outcomes. Background Cardiac arrest is one […]

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Commentary Genetics

Dog Behavior Unrelated to Breed? Researchers Respond to Controversy, Misleading Media Coverage

Introduction A recent dog genomics study from UMass Chan School of Medicine researchers claims to challenge popular breed stereotypes, concluding that dog breed is a poor predictor of individual behavior. According to the study, which was the feature article in the April 29 issue of Science, just 9% of variation in dog behavior can be […]

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COVID-19

CRISPR Test Detects All Variants of COVID-19, Could Run on Mobile Phones

During the pandemic, laboratories across the world worked hard to improve current diagnostic testing methods. The main method, quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) turns a small quantity of DNA into a larger amount and uses fluorescent dyes to indicate the presence or absence of viral genetic material. However, this method falls short in the following […]

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Neurology

Social Media Use During Pandemic Linked to Increased Tic Severity in Adolescents with Tourette’s

A study being conducted at the University of Florida is investigating a correlation between the use of social media during the COVID-19 pandemic and a change in tic severity for adolescents with Tourette syndrome. Background Tourette syndrome is a type of tic syndrome often present at a young age even as early as 2 years […]